Massage therapy during pregnancy is a wonderful complementary choice for prenatal care. It is a healthy way to reduce stress and promote overall wellness. Massage relieves many of the normal discomforts experienced during pregnancy, such as backaches, stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches and edema (or swelling).
In addition, massage for pregnant women reduces stress on weight-bearing joints, encourages blood and lymph circulation, helps to relax nervous tension -- which aids in better sleep -- and can help relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes.
Relief of Everyday Symptoms
Massage for pregnant women offers a number of benefits, and it's always a good idea to discuss with your therapist any everyday symptoms you'd like to see relieved. Those might include:
Headaches can be relieved by massage focusing on the head, neck and shoulders. In addition, maintaining optimal levels of stress relief through massage reduces the chances of migraines or tension headaches by relaxing trigger points and muscle spasms.
Muscle tension created by carrying the extra weight of a baby can be relieved by encouraging blood flow to the afflicted areas. This provides more nutrient-rich oxygen and also increases the flow of lymphatic fluid, which sweeps away toxins and metabolic waste.
Fatigue, backaches, leg cramps and swelling/edema can all be relieved through various types of massage for pregnant women.
The ordinary aches and pains of pregnancy are countered by the release of serotonin, your body's natural anti-pain chemical, which is stimulated by massage.
Your Comfort During a Massage
You will be comfortably supported during your massage. In the early stages of your pregnancy, you may still be positioned on your back and face-down without any discomfort. In the later stages of your pregnancy, you can get a complete massage comfortably supported with the use of a bean bag or in a side-lying position. If lying down is simply not comfortable, you can remain seated for a relaxing partial massage. These options can be discussed with your Therapist.
Women with normal, low-risk pregnancies can benefit greatly from the variety of massage techniques offered by a professional massage therapist. However, women in high-risk pregnancies should consult their doctor or midwife before beginning one of our massage therapy programs. If you experience discomfort at any time during the pregnancy massage, tell your therapist immediately.