Prenatal Massages | Pregnancy Pampering

Prenatal Massages | Pregnancy Pampering

Lower back pain, leg cramps, swollen feet, heartburn. Pregnancy is beautiful, but it’s anything but comfortable. Expectant mothers can help their bodies adjust with diet, massage, yoga, and even by taking a dip in the pool.

Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health. Massage therapy addresses different needs through varying techniques. From the first to third trimester, prenatal massages can have profound physical and psychological benefits.

While we always suggest getting your doctor or midwife’s advice before booking your prenatal massage, a massage therapist with prenatal massage experience and education will know how to ensure a safe, relaxing experience for you.

First Trimester Massage – Many women have been led to believe it isn’t safe to get a massage during this period. Women can begin massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy – during the first, second, or third trimester. But many facilities will refuse to offer massage to a woman who is still in her first trimester because of the increased risk for miscarriage associated with the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

During the first trimester, a prenatal massage can help relieve some of the headaches, constipation, and yes even morning sickness. Along with the physical benefits of a massage, taking the time to deeply relax will do wonders for your well-being as you prepare for motherhood!

Second Trimester Massage – Many women find this stage of pregnancy to be easy going compared to the first and third trimesters. However, as your belly grows, your posture will change as your center of gravity shifts, resulting in back pain. Prenatal massages can ease those tense back muscles as well as enhance your posture and bodily alignment. Your body and mind will benefit greatly from the healthy habits you’ve adopted.

Studies done in the past 10 years have shown that hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered when massage therapy is introduced to women’s prenatal care. This leads to mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health. In women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks, hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol (hormones associated with stress) were reduced, and dopamine and serotonin levels were increased (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression).

These changes in hormone levels also led to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight. The evidence strongly suggests there are maternal and newborn health benefits when therapeutic massage is incorporated into regular prenatal care.

Third Trimester Massage – You may find that the anticipation of delivery has increased your stress levels. This is the perfect time for you to book yourself a massage. You’ll find that regular prenatal massages during this last trimester can enhance your sleep, reduce pain and swelling, and generally assist in lowering stress as the delivery day draws near.

Massages during the third trimester can even help prepare your pelvic muscles for the birthing process. Some women find deep tissue massages especially helpful during the final stretch of pregnancy, though it’s always best to consult with your obstetrician and massage therapist beforehand.

Many women have experienced a significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy through massage.

Potential benefits of prenatal massage –

  • Reduced back pain
  • Reduced joint pain
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced edema
  • Reduced muscle tension and headaches
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
  • Better sleep

Precautions – As with any therapeutic approach to pregnancy wellness, women should discuss massage with their prenatal care provider. The best way to address the risks of prenatal massage is to be informed and to work together with knowledgeable professionals.

Women who have recently experienced bleeding, pre-term contractions, or have any of the following conditions should speak with a healthcare provider prior to receiving a massage –

The benefits of massage can improve overall prenatal health for many pregnant women. Along with the guidance and advice of a prenatal care provider, massage therapy can be incorporated into routine prenatal care as an emotional and physical health supplement shown to improve pregnancy outcome and maternal health. Consult with your midwife or obstetrician before beginning any new therapeutic practice.

From the early stages to the days before delivery, prenatal massages offer numerous benefits for your body and mind.

Sources:

http://www.massagebook.com/massage-therapy/pregnancy-pampering-benefits-prenatal-massages-trimester/

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/prenatal-massage/

Alignment, SI Joint Pain & Massage Therapy

Each body tells a personal story.  The different ways we use our bodies daily is not always a conscious decision. Let’s be honest our alignment and posture are not always optimal. We have to work, read, hunched over 8 hours at the desk, drive and then we wonder where’s our pain coming from?

​Repetitive motion creates patterns that build our posture. The fascia that lies underneath, throughout your body gets pulled in different directions and creates patches and areas with condensed tissue that need to be smoothed out.​

Massage therapy can provide significant improvement for pain and for works best as part of an integrated approach with your doctor and/or physical therapist.

Physical therapy will alleviate pain through guided and supervised stretching and exercises that increase the stability of the joint. Massage therapy can also help reduce the pain associated with SI joint dysfunction by addressing the muscles and ligaments that support it.

For example, cranial-sacral therapy (balancing the rhythm of the cerebral-spinal pulse) will realign the body and reduce the stress on the SI joint. Using Swedish massage techniques, your massage therapist can relax the muscles and improve circulation in the area.

Massage can relieve the pain and discomfort of SIJ dysfunction by correcting imbalances of the musculoskeletal system. This is the connection between your muscles and your joints and bones. Some practitioners use a therapeutic strategy involving piriformis techniques that address the stability of the pelvis in order to alleviate the SI joint pain.

Corrective massage is designed to counteract harmful muscle imbalances that result in poor body posture. With the repetitiveness of occupation and daily activities, pain occurs due to imbalances created by overuse of certain muscles and under use of others. Our body posture provides a window into musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction.

Muscle imbalances affect the whole body, causing stress and fatigue that tighten the muscles and limit oxygen to the cells. Poor posture can limit our body’s potential range of motion creating stress on the musculoskeletal system. The result is chronic pain caused by the weak underused muscles being pushed to their limit. Muscle pain is a strong signal of body misalignment.

Chronic conditions develop over time, and will often require multiple sessions to change the patterns and posture of your body.  As your massage therapist, we listen to the pain and make the healthy alignment changes that are needed using massage. The goal is for you to be pain free and capable of  living an active lifestyle.

It’s important to try the least invasive routes before leaping to potentially addictive prescription painkillers and costly surgeries with lengthy recovery times. In addition to your doctor, seek advice from massage therapists, physical therapists, and holistic health practitioners who can offer alternative approaches to your sacroiliac joint pain management.

The tools offered by doctors to treat pain (pills and surgery) mask the issue and do not get to the root problem, muscular skeletal imbalance. With corrective massage, sessions are interactive requiring you to flex and release certain muscles during the massage to accelerate the results and to re-educate the body so that stretched muscles are contracted and shortened muscles are lengthened. This creates balance in the body. When the body is in balance, it is pain free and strong.

Good communication with your massage therapist is key to getting the best treatment for your body.

Personalized Massage Therapy in Salt Lake City @ http://zenmassage.net/

Sources:

Low Back, Piriformis and SI Joint Pain

Impact of Massage Therapy on Pain

SI Joint Dysfunction

Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief Through Massage