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What Is A Pregnancy Massage?
Are you pregnant right now? First up – CONGRATULATIONS!
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In case you are currently expecting a baby you may think of massage as a luxury that would be great to have to relieve some of the discomfort and tension you are feeling at this time, and to help you switch off and rest just a little, at least for an hour or so!
But – at the same time you might be very worried whether it is good for you, and even more importantly, asking yourself if it is safe for the baby?
Nevertheless, you will be very pleased to discover it may be one of the most beneficial times for both of you during your pregnancy.
Any therapeutic massage during or after pregnancy (prenatal or postnatal massage) is considered a Pregnancy Massage. A good pregnancy therapeutic massage typically lasts an hour to 90 minutes. Any shorter time periods will not really provide you with the complete benefit of the massage, simply because it will take you quite a while to completely unwind, and more importantly – for your body to begin producing and releasing those fantastic happy and stress release hormones you are so desperately after.
Your safety, comfort and convenience is my number one priority; so whatever can help you and avoids any discomfort is definitely provided. Typically, my ladies lay on their side, because this may help especially throughout the later stages of pregnancy. In fact, most of my ladies find that lying on your side is often the most comfortable position.
What Are The Advantages of Pregnancy Massage?
Only a handful of research papers have ever centered on massage in pregnancy, nevertheless one analysis at the University of Miami School of Medicine in the US suggests that massage therapy might have a number of positive effects for you, and they include:
- significantly reduce any anxiousness you could possibly feel
- reduced back, shoulder, neck along with leg soreness
- a lot more calmness and improved sleep through the night
- markedly decreased levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine
There is another body of research of pregnancy massage in woman who suffered from the impact of depressive disorders during their pregnancy, and this is what the researchers identified:
- significantly improved levels of the feel-good hormones serotonin and also dopamine, which are commonly called the happy-hormones
- lowered amounts of cortisol, which we know is an obvious sign of stress and anxiety
- and most importantly a comprehensive improvement in the pregnant women’s mood
Plenty of research has shown that, for most people, massage has numerous health benefits. For many it helps reduce or lessen pain, and it might potentially enhance the immune system simply because it reduces stress which we all know weakens your immune system.
To this day scientists still have not found out 100% completely what the exact and specific mechanisms are that make massage therapy work, and so they still remain largely unknown. Never mind – you don’t require a scientist to tell you WHY something works, when you know it makes you FEEL Great!
Perhaps a lot more analysis is necessary to fully grasp how and why massage does:
- Ease your pain
- Activate the release of happy hormones like serotonin and dopamine
- Improve your sleep
- Promote a deep experience of relaxation
What Are Safe Techniques for Pregnancy Massage?
You will find a significant number of different types of massage therapists trained in a large number of massage schools all over the world. However, the most common and well known kinds of massage therapy include:
- Deep-tissue massage, using firm strokes pressing deep into muscle groups
- Traditional Thai Massage, including a lot of stretching with a strong focus on flexibility
- A Swedish Massage, which is well known for its focus on joint mobility and long strokes on the major muscle groups
- Shiatsu, with pressure and tapping on acupressure points to stimulate the body’s natural energy (called qi or chi, depending on which practitioner you talk to!)
In my treatments of pregnant ladies, I adjust my technique so I address the changes your whole body undergoes during your pregnancy.
As an example, do you know that your blood volume increases dramatically – sometimes just as much as 50 % – during your pregnancy.
And consider that circulation of blood to the thighs and legs often will become sluggish.
Allow me to get a little nerdy and medical for just a moment: the levels of ‘anticoagulants’ within your blood which were made to reduce haemorrhaging during delivery naturally climb. This is very crucial to pay attention to due to the fact circulatory changes can put you at risk of blood clots within the lower legs when you are pregnant, commonly in your calves or inner thighs.
For this particular reason I avoid any deep tissue massage and strong pressure on your legs during your pregnancy massage to keep you risk-free. Alternatively, I use very light, soft and slow strokes on the legs because using strong pressure may potentially dislodge a dangerous blood clot which we definitely wouldn’t want to occur.
You definitely wish to steer clear of heavy massage on the legs or any deep-tissue massage, deep acupressure, shiatsu, cross-fibre friction, and strong percussive-tapping. Furthermore – all leg massage strokes should move toward the heart.
I use very light, gentle pressure on the abdomen, if you are comfortable with having me massage your belly at all. I know that most massage therapists avoid massaging the abdomen. However, I believe that a very gentle, slow stroking touch is very beneficial to mother and growing baby.
How Safe Is Pregnancy Massage?
This really is a very reasonable concern, and one you must look at.
Some doctors hesitate to advise therapeutic massage while pregnant in any respect, since like so many types of complementary medicine, massage therapy during pregnancy hasn’t been rigorously studied with high-quality clinical research methods. That is a valid point.
One area of warning may be the query involving if it’s secure to have a massage throughout the first trimester (the first 3 months of your pregnancy). Consequently, I will not offer any pregnancy massages during the first trimester. My reason for this is the potential for miscarriage.
A number of my colleagues as well as numerous pregnancy massage experts in the US argue that pregnancy massage by itself doesn’t necessarily produce a miscarriage, and therefore so far no studies have been performed to demonstrate a link between a massage and a miscarriage 100%.
But why risk it at all – because many miscarriages happen in the first trimester, it is best to steer clear of it as well as any potential dangers to you or your unborn baby. As mentioned before – you and your baby’s safety is always my number one priority.
Naturally I recommend you to consult with your doctor before trying a massage, whether it is with me at ‘Relaxation Massage for Women’ or some other massage person on the Kapiti Coast.
When to Avoid Pregnancy Massage
Because there is so little research on pregnancy massage, many doctors advise a conservative approach. Some of the medical professionals may possibly advise that all expectant women stay away from massage, and they are of course entitled to their viewpoint.
As there are no scientifically agreed upon guidelines I urge you to be 100% confident you obtain clearance from your medical professional before you decide to come for any massage at my studio. This is particularly important in case you experience or maybe are afflicted by any of the following:
- Avoid massage if you’re going through morning sickness, feeling sick, or vomiting
- Stay clear of any massage if you’re at high risk of miscarriage
- Do not have any massage should you have a high-risk pregnancy – like placental abruption (in which the placenta slightly detaches from the wall of the uterus) or “preterm labour”
- Avoid massage if you’re going through Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH)
- Do not have a massage if you’re experiencing Preeclampsia
- Also avoid massage if you’re suffering from serious swelling, hypertension or other severe signs and symptoms
Several massage therapists would require a written permission from a medical professional as well as possibly a liability waiver by you before carrying out any pregnancy massage for you.
I do not ask you for that – however when you book a pregnancy massage with me I assume you are already beyond the 3 month-threshold and have checked with your medical professional it is safe for you.
I trust you found this info on pregnancy massage useful. You certainly are now in a significantly better position to decide if this for you or not.
If you would like to come and visit me and experience the calming relaxation of a pregnancy massage at my peaceful quiet studio, then give me a call or text me at 021-1234459 to make a booking.
I am very much looking forward to making you feel peaceful, comfortable and safe at Relaxation Massage for Women on the beautiful Kapiti Coast.