Everyone wants to enjoy their pregnancy but it’s hard when you have a softball game going on inside of your belly. Not to mention the aches and pains of the added weight and pressure in places you did not know existed. Trying to enjoy your pregnancy in the later months becomes a battle of mind over matter as you attempt to convince yourself that every moment of the pregnancy is precious despite the shooting pains and simultaneous numbness you periodically experience. You also decide this is your last pregnancy around this time, although you won’t always stick to it. What few pregnant women realize, is the extreme benefits of prenatal massage for both mother and baby.
Prenatal massage is the same type of therapeutic bodywork in all other massage, but it focuses on the dramatic changes a woman’s body undergoes during pregnancy and the special needs that arise, from aches and pains, and discomfort to emotional issues. The result is enhanced muscle and joint function, improved circulation, relief from physical fatigue, and improvements in overall body tone. Prenatal massage is gentle and noninvasive which eases discomfort and helps prepare for labor by providing a nurturing environment.
A study conducted by Dr. Tiffany Field of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami which appeared in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, showed that pregnant women who received 20-minute massages twice a week experienced a reduction in anxiety, improvement in mood, less back pain, more sleep and better-quality sleep, and a decrease in urinary stress hormone levels. These women also had fewer complications during delivery and had babies with fewer postnatal issues.
Prenatal massage is usually a 30 to 60 minute treatment in a side-lying position. The time can be spent split into 35 minutes on one side and 25 on the other or something similar. It can also allow for a short period of semi-reclining with support. This can also be called a constructive rest position. Positioning and timing in this manner allows the massage therapist to address specific areas of pain such as the neck, or shoulder to alleviate headaches. These are the most optimum positions to reach the area of most pain to pregnant women, the lower back. An assortment of techniques can be used depending on the therapist skills and specialties including:
• Myofascial Release
• Trigger Point Therapy
• Swedish Massage techniques
• Acupressure and several other Eastern techniques can be also incorporated into the session
These techniques are applied to the muscles of the neck, back, extremities, and gluteal area, as well as the abdominal sections.
The benefits of massage also come from the calming environment in which the massage takes place. The air is scented, the table is comfortable. Your therapist has a soft voice and delicate touch. These factors impart great benefit to the psyche and emotional state. Another perk not many people realize is that massage helps when nothing else can. Pregnant women cannot take medications for pain or small discomforts. Massage is a drug-free way to alleviate much of the pain of pregnancy.
Each pregnancy is different, and each pregnant woman is unlike any other. Pregnancy specifics are unique to each mother and so it is important to get an OK from your doctor before engaging in any prenatal massage. You will want to make sure you are in perfect health and have no issues with various positions or pressure applied upon you. If you have any questions about the benefits of prenatal massage or your session in particular, do not hesitate to contact the knowledgeable staff at Shelley’s Hair and Day Spa. We can help with all your questions and schedule inquiries.