Perfect for women who are pregnant looking for a bit of relaxation and stress relief, pregnancy massage has been determined to be both safe and beneficial.
Studies have concluded that massage specifically given during pregnancy not only decreases stress, anxiety and depression, but also effectively relives pain and has a positive impact on labor and the infant’s wellbeing.
With regard to stress, women in one study who were given bi-weekly massages for five weeks during pregnancy saw decreased levels of stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine, while relaxation and happiness hormones like serotonin and dopamine escalated. The latter are the same hormones targeted for increase by many depression and anxiety medications.
Affecting more than overall wellbeing, the hormone changes resulted in fewer labor and newborn issues than the control group.
Swelling, another common complaint during pregnancy, also has been found to be reduced by prenatal massage. Known as edema, such swelling is caused by a lack of circulation due to pregnancy; the uterus requires blood, which increases pressure on the blood vessels to perform. In the meantime, the body is producing an increased amount of waste — i.e. toxins — that tends to accumulate in the joints, like the ankles. Massage relieves both of these issues.
For those experiencing low back pain due to pregnancy, the pain can often be excruciating and debilitating. The pain is caused by the heavy uterus pushing on the muscles in the lower back as well as the pelvic floor—a perfect recipe for sciatic pain, caused when such pressure affects and inflames the nerves along the most at-risk portions of the lumbar spine. Regular massage serves to reduce such pain by directly addressing the muscles near the sciatic nerves.
Like other forms of massage, prenatal massage also can address chronic or sudden issues like difficulty sleeping, headaches and neck and shoulder pain.
The most important part of selecting a prenatal massage practitioner is to find someone who is well-trained and qualified to offer such a specific practice (like me). I and other such massage practitioners ensure the position of the body is as comfortable and healthy as possible for our pregnant clients, and typically ask them to lie on their side during the massage in order to avoid applying any pressure to either the lower back or the abdomen.
Discuss with a doctor or your massage practitioner whether prenatal massage will be right for you, particularly if you have a special condition.
I want to take care of you during your childbearing year and beyond, so I’m offering a special package just for pregnant women!