Stealing a Little Time for Yourself, Guilt Free

Making Time for Yourself Can Greatly Improve Your Relationships

Whether you’re single, married, or in a relationship, the demands of life and the expectations of those nearest and dearest to your heart can make finding time for yourself a huge challenge. Between dedicating time to parents, children, partners, siblings, in-laws, nieces, nephews, friends, colleagues, and work, it’s hard to even dream of stealing a little time for yourself.

Couple that with the guilt that many people, especially women, experience when they manage to find a few moments of time for themselves, and it becomes clear why so many people feel that finding time for themselves isn’t worth the effort. But worth the effort it is, and not only because of the personal benefits you’ll reap. Alone time has interpersonal benefits as well.

Personal Benefits of Solitude

Taking time for yourself gives your brain a chance to reboot, improves concentration, increases productivity, helps you discover (or rediscover) your own voice, gives you a chance to think deeply, and helps you problem solve more effectively. It also gives you a better sense of balance and self-awareness that can lead to a better understanding of yourself–what drives you, what inspires you, what excites you. This, in turn, can have a positive effect not only on the quality of your relationship with yourself, but also on the quality of your relationships with others.

But in today’s world, how do you find the time to give to yourself? And equally important, how do you deal with the guilt when you somehow manage to find it?

“Finding” Time

As overscheduled as our lives are these days, it can be quite a challenge to find time for yourself. There are a few things you can do, such as using your lunch hour, waking up a little earlier than everyone else, and temporarily disconnecting from your gadgets. If you’ve tried these tricks and still can’t seem to find any time to schedule for yourself, then you may need to take a hard look at your schedule and your priorities.

What are some things you’re doing now that can be consolidated or eliminated? Is there anything that can be postponed? What can be delegated? Maybe it’s true that you can do things better than everyone else, but in most schedules, there are some things that don’t need to be done better; they just need to be done. By delegating those tasks, you can free up some time for yourself, which may be much more productive in the long run than doing everything yourself.

Another important point to remember is that you don’t have to come up with hours and hours of alone time. Just start off small and see what happens. Hopefully, the little bit of time you steal for yourself will become so reinforcing that you’ll find more and more ways to get more of it.

Overcoming the Guilt

Some people, particularly women, feel guilty about taking time for themselves. They see themselves as the one who should be taking care of everyone else, and their needs often fall by the wayside. However, taking care of yourself is something that you should never feel guilty about. It not only models healthy behavior for the ones you love, but it also keeps you happy, healthy, and strong so that you can continue doing what fulfills you; and if that’s taking care of others, then you’re in an even better position to do that.

Guilt is counterproductive to reaping the full benefits of solitude. If you spend all or even some of your “found” time feeling guilty that you found it, then doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

If you need even more justification to lose the guilt, consider these points:

♦ Spending time with yourself is time well spent because it makes you a happier person to be around.

♦ Spending time with yourself benefits everyone because by having a happier and healthier mindset, you’re in a better frame of mind to take care of the people who are important to you.

♦ Spending time with yourself is preventative medicine to combat burnout. What good will you be to anyone if you eventually burnout? (And you will if you don’t take care of yourself.)

Overcoming Resistance

Once you begin making time for yourself, dont be surprised if you don’t run into a little resistance from those in your life who are used to you always being available. There are many reasons why this resistance might happen–insecurity, overdependence, feeling slighted or rejected, or simply because they have become accustomed to always having you around. Don’t let their resistance stop you. Reassure these people that you’re still there for them, but in order to be there for them over the long haul, you also have to also take care of yourself. Then, do it! Just as they’ve grown accustomed to you always being there for them, they’ll get accustomed to you taking time for yourself.

Hopefully, the ideas here will leave you inspired and motivated to find ways to make time for yourself.

“When we take some time to solely think about ourselves, and not have to consider our impact on others, we begin the process of true self-awareness. It can be a little daunting at first, but the result of this awareness is that you learn what drives you, what excites you, and what motivates you. This new-found self-awareness is a beautiful thing and it can have a dramatically positive effect on your life and relationships.” – Marty Herald’s Personal Growth and the Art of Inspired Living blog.

So give yourself a gift that will keep on giving … time for yourself.

Booking a Massage @ ZenMassage.net is a great way to get your free time in.

Take time for yourself and feel great!

Book your Massage online @ ZenMassage.net

Or call  (801) 467-3529

Zen Massage | Luxury Massage in Salt Lake City, Utah

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

 

Source:  Psychology Today

Stretching Is Essential | Zen Massage

Stretching Is Essential

Body Basics

Have you ever seen a cat get up and start moving without stretching? 

If you’ve ever watched a cat you’ll have noticed each time they begin to move they stretch! They listen to their bodies! With busy daily life, we humans tend to ignore our most basic needs.

When we don’t stretch regularly, we overuse, fatigue, shorten and tighten our muscles and the connecting tissues. This leads to decreased circulation, reduced flexibility, and an increased risk of injury or disease. 

Tune-in to what your body is trying to tell you! Notice that compelling feeling to stretch when you wake up? And again, at the end of the day when you’re tired? That is nature’s way of telling you that you need to move! Move more oxygen around your body . . . And yet a lot of us spend our days sitting at our desks barely moving.

Staying flexible as we get older is something we can all work towards. After all, loss of mobility is a slow process that creeps up on you. Many of us don’t recognize it’s happening until our bodies become imbalanced, compensation sets in, and we begin to suffer pain and discomfort.

NOW is the time to start helping your body perform as it was designed to so that it can continue to perform over time. After all, stretching is a workout in itself!

Daily Stretching Benefits

Stretching techniques can take as little as 10 minutes, but provide a multiple of benefits, including:

  • Improved posture, circulation, and range of motion
  • Accelerated recovery from injury
  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Relief from muscle soreness, strains, or spasms
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Enhanced ability to relax
  • Balance promoted throughout the body

Proper Stretching Technique

It is essential to practice proper stretching techniques.

  • Warm up first
  • Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds
  • Don’t bounce
  • Focus on a pain-free stretch
  • Relax and breathe freely
  • Stretch both sides
  • Stretch before and after activity

Here are a few good stretches to try:

Be sure to check in with your physical therapist before starting any stretching program. 

Stretching regularly can help your body and joints move more freely, allowing you to enjoy full functional mobility.

Add a Zen Massage

Stretching is wonderfully beneficial for your body, but add in a massage once or twice a month and your body will be thanking you well into your old age!

Book your Massage online @ ZenMassage.net

Or call  (801) 467-3529

Zen Massage | Luxury Massage in Salt Lake City, Utah

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

Massage & CrossFit | SLC

MASSAGE IS AN IMPORTANT COMPONENT TO CROSSFIT RECOVERY

Massages feel great and they provide excellent recovery assistance for CrossFit athletes. Getting a regular massage once a month or more can help you reduce soreness and risk of injury while increasing mobility so you can perform better.

During high-intensity exercise, lactic acid and general toxins from acidity increase in your muscles. Your body can naturally clear lactic acid and toxins with time and rest, however, massage can help expedite the process, especially when you are working out often.

OTHER BENEFITS OF MASSAGE INCLUDE:
Massage lengthens fascia and muscle easing it back into place. This increases range of motion and has the added benefit of making your muscles look more toned.
Increases blood flow and circulation getting more oxygen into your body.
Decreases and anxiety and stress.
Helps reduce pain and inflammation in the joints, tendons, nerves, and bones.


THE BEST TIMES TO GET A MASSAGE:
At least 45 minutes after you have completed your workout for the day.
During recovery periods – rest days.
3 days before a competition or race. This will help improve your range of motion and mobility for your competition.
After a competition or race to help you recover quickly.

 

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MASSAGE
You may find that your muscles are sore the next 24 – 48 hours after a massage. Help your body recover and get the most benefits from your massage by doing these few things:

Drink lots of water before and after your massage. Being properly hydrated assists with lymphatic drainage and blood flow.
Do a cold plunge right after your massage. This helps prevent toxins from reentering the muscles.
Practice Yoga or stretch an hour or more after the massage to assists the toxins to leave your body.
Use heat packs or have a warm bath with Epsom salts to reduce muscle tenderness.
Get a good nights sleep.

Book your Massage online @ ZenMassage.net

Or call  (801) 467-3529

Zen Massage | Luxury Massage in Salt Lake City, Utah
5520 South Van Winkle Expy
Salt Lake City, UT 84117

Massage for Skiers | Knee Injuries Utah

This area of the body has garnered some skiing notoriety, for good reason: the knee.

How Can Sports Massage and Deep Tissue Massage Help Rehabilitate Knee Injuries for Skiers?

Knee injuries account for 30-40% of all reported skiing injuries. Because of the amount of landing and cutting, with sudden changes of direction, skiing puts a lot of pressure on your muscles and joints, particularly the hips and knees. And when muscle imbalances exist, injury can occur. For example, uncontrolled landings play a large role in skiing injury; if your hip abductors and muscles of the pelvis have a propensity towards tightness, they are unable to fully stabilize your body in a landing or a fall. This leaves the lion’s share of responsibility for stabilization to your knees. And that’s not what they are built for. At high speed, a sudden twist or turn to attempt to avoid a crash or soften a landing will impact the most vulnerable body part involved in such movement, often resulting in knee ligament tears or strains.

This is one of the reasons why a strength-training regimen is so important for creating muscular balance for skiers. Building up strength in the larger muscles in the inner and outer thighs provides a better network of support for the smaller, more volatile ligaments surrounding and supporting your knee, and helps ensure stability and endurance in skiing. Pre-season exercises are key to developing muscle strength in the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles.

Most knee injuries that are incurred while skiing are ligament strains or tears. Symptoms often include pain, swelling, and a restricted range of motion around the injured ligament. Injuries are graded in severity; less severe strains may be treated with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory measures, while more serious ruptures may require immobilization and even surgery.


How can Massage Therapy Help with Knee Injuries?


The Massage Therapy approach I best like taking is to nip knee injuries incurred through skiing right in the bud, before you even put on your goggles. Pre-season Sports Massage Therapy for skiers is pointed towards identifying and addressing any muscle imbalances. We will attempt to decrease hypertonicity in your hip abductors. We will keep your hamstrings flushed out and encourage strengthening exercises. We will release any tightness in your quadriceps. All of these measures help ensure that you are working with a proper, balanced body mechanism that will support healthy knee function.

But what about receiving Massage Therapy treatment after a knee injury for the purpose of rehabilitation?

When dealing with a strained or torn ligament, there’s not a lot that we can do directly to the acute injury source. However, we can employ Deep Tissue Massage to focus our work on creating change in the structure around it, by improving circulation to the outlying areas. We promote the healing process by keeping the soft tissue as healthy as possible.

In addition, many people recovering from an injury feel generally uncomfortable; the pain and sudden state of immobilization can throw your nervous system into a state of chaos and frustration. Massage Therapy sedates the nervous system, promotes a healthy balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and helps your reaction to the injury not be so devastating.

And of course, if you’re hobbling around on crutches, you may find yourself overworking previously underused upper body muscles! Your traps, lats, muscles of the shoulder, forearms, and wrists may suffer secondary consequences. So we can take care of those as well, in your Massage Therapy session.

Sports Massage and Deep Tissue Massage can help keep you off those pesky crutches and on the slopes.

Book your Sports Massage @ ZenMassage.net

(801) 467-3529
5520 South Van Winkle Expy
Salt Lake City, UT 84117

Buy a Gift Card from Zen Massage before NOV 30, 2018 and get a Full Year of Discounted Massages.

Buy a Gift Card for Someone Special and get a Full Year of Discounted Massages.

When you buy a Gift Card from Zen Massage before NOV 30, 2018 You will get up to 20% off all of your individual Massages for the Year in 2019.

Buy a $50 Gift Card get 5% off your individual Massages for 2019.
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5 Reasons to Get a Massage This Fall

5 Reasons to Get a Massage This Fall

Changes in weather from season to season cause physiological changes in your body, you might notice some symptoms as a result. Massage therapy increases the number of killer cells that your body naturally produces and uses as its first line of defense against sickness. This is just one of several reasons you may want to consider getting a massage this fall.

Massage Supports Your Immune System

One of the physiological changes that you might experience when the seasons turn from summer to fall is a weakened immune system. This is because the drop in temperature makes your body rebalance itself faster than usual. Massages support a healthy immune system, which protects you from seasonal illnesses such as allergies and the flu. According to a study, massage therapy increases the number of killer cells that your body naturally produces and uses as its first line of defense against sickness. It does this by stimulating your lymph nodes to remove harmful bacteria, toxins, and waste. Getting a massage can even help you get over a cold.

Helps Your Body Heal

Summer activities and sports such as kayaking, running and swimming give you the exercise that you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and flexibility. Even going on a road trip or vacation with the family can be exercise. However, a lot of exercise can take a toll on your body and cause dehydration over time. After all of the activities that you participate in during the summer, it’s important to allow your body to recover. A massage can help this process along before the physiological changes occur in your body.

Gives You More Energy

Cooler temperatures and shorter days come with the changing of the leaves, and you might feel less inclined to spend time outdoors or be active. Continuing to exercise and participate in sports, however, can reduce the toll that winter takes on your levels of energy. Similarly, getting a massage increases the flow of blood and oxygen through your body. This makes it easier for your circulatory system to deliver nutrients where they’re needed, which gives you an energy boost.

Improves Sleep

Most people feel cranky when they don’t sleep well or enough, but did you know that poor sleep can lead to chronic conditions such as depression and cardiovascular disease. It’s not always easy to get eight hours of sleep every night, particularly when your body is going through a physiological transition at the beginning of fall. Studies show that getting a massage increases serotonin levels so that you can fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Relieves Seasonal Stress

Along with the physiological transitions that come with the passing of summer into fall are the stresses of modern living. Some of these include the return to school, extra lawn maintenance, and preparation for the holidays to come. The hustle and bustle of fall can catch up to you, exposing you to illnesses that only a healthy immune system can fight. Massage therapy helps to melt the stress away so that you can take a breather. It’s also a great way to renew your commitment to taking care of yourself.

The significant benefits of massage therapy on your body and mind are too good to ignore. Allow your body to recover and relax with a massage.  Book Now 

Source

How to Have the Best Massage Experience

It’s no surprise that a massage can seriously soothe your mind and body, and you already know a solid rubdown has impressive health perks, like better blood circulation, amped immunity, anxiety relief, and even improved sleep quality.

But beyond the obvious, there’s a lot to wonder about the magic of massage. Few therapies are quite so up-close-and-personal, so to avoid awkward moments, wasted cash, and most importantly potential pain, it’s crucial to be in the know.

How to have the best possible massage experience

It’s Fine to Get Naked

It can be a little uncomfortable to strip down to your birthday suit in front of someone you’ve never met, but really, it’s totally normal. Remember, massage therapists are trained professionals and your undressing can actually lead to a better appointment. Undress to the point of where you feel comfortable, professionals keep you covered with sheets or draping where appropriate, but you should know that undergarments can sometimes get in the way of long strokes or pressure points and inhibit you from experiencing the best massage possible.

Remember to Breathe

When your massage therapist is working out a particularly bad knot, it can be tempting to tense up a little bit and hold your breath. Please, don’t do this, or you may miss out on one of the major benefits of that rubdown. It’s crucial that you breathe fully and deeply when difficult areas are being worked on so as to oxygenate your blood supply and aid tense muscles.

Drink a Ton of Water After Your Appointment

It’s especially important to hydrate post-massage. Like when working out, your muscle tissues can become dehydrated during a massage. Drinking plenty of water after your massage is very helpful in rehydration, building healthy muscle tissue, and removing wastes that accumulate as your muscles are worked out.

A Warm Shower Before

For the best possible rubdown, it’s important to take care of yourself before you step foot in the spa. The easiest and most relaxing way to prep? A long, hot shower. The relaxation effect of a warm shower on both the mind and the muscles will help you be less tense during the session, which will benefit you as well as the therapist. Also, being and feeling clean can help mitigate body insecurities if they come into play. Plus, the therapist will appreciate your cleanliness for obvious reasons

Hit the Gym Before Your Massage

Definitely pump the weights, cycle or take the run before, not after, your massage. The muscles you work may be a little tired from the exercise itself, but should be nicely warmed up for the massage.  Working out immediately after a massage is not a good idea as you are likely to stress and strain the muscles that were just relaxed.

Request Your Preferred Massage Style When You Schedule

There’s nothing worse than leaving the spa feeling, well, meh. While they’re trained to help your body, massage therapists can’t read your mind, so it’s best to tell the receptionist if you have any preference of therapists, pressure, or massage types when you book your appointment. This will help ensure you’re matched with someone who will be able to best work with your needs—for example, relaxation vs. deep tissue injury work.

Be Strategic About Timing

While there’s no perfect hour to schedule a massage, you still probably want to consider the timing of your appointment. To do this, think about what makes sense for you and your schedule. Some people feel invigorated after receiving massage and use it to start their days, while others like to eliminate stress from work and life with massage after a long day, and relax knowing they are done for the day.

Bodily Functions, Well, Happen…

Massages are sure to chill you out, but did you know they can also improve your digestion? So, if you’re getting a rub down and hear some grumbling noises and yes, even flatulence, don’t freak. It’s easy to be embarrassed, but there’s absolutely no need to be: “It’s not uncommon for people to pass gas during a massage session, it’s completely normal,” says, Dr. Helen Litovsky, Massage Therapist at Zen Massage. If you’re worried, avoid any high-fiber foods before your appointment. Litovsky also suggests hitting the bathroom before your session and not drinking too much water right before you hit the table, since there’s nothing worse than having to pee while someone is pressing on your bladder.    

Avoid Eating Right Before

Generally, a full meal right before you hit the spa is a no-go, as massage certainly stimulates digestion. Eat lightly right before a massage, and have a meal a few hours prior. Don’t starve yourself in the preceding hours, as you may feel dizzy or light headed during the massage as a result. Eating lightly one to two hours beforehand will allow for digestion while not making you feel uncomfortably full.

Speak Up

It may seem out of place to tell your massage therapist to do “more of this” or “less of that,” but that’s exactly what they want you to do. In fact, the worst thing you can do is say, “I just want a good massage”. During the massage, you shouldn’t be afraid to tell your therapist if something is uncomfortable, the pressure is not right, or if you have a question about what your therapist is doing. Be sure to ask them to spend more time on a certain area if that is what you want—at the end of the session is too late, and this is your massage.

It Shouldn’t Hurt

A little pain is necessary to get the job done, right? Not necessarily. There may be slight pain in stretching or having tight or tensed muscles worked on, but relaxation really is the key. If too much force is provided, the muscle tightens up more and creates even more pain and possibly bruising muscle and damage. So, again, be sure to let your therapist know if something hurts. We promise, they won’t be offended.

If You Feel Any Soreness, Treat It

Your muscles can get a little sore after a massage for the same reason they do after a stellar exercise session: They’re being worked pretty hard! You wouldn’t ignore tight or painful muscles after a long run, so you shouldn’t after an intense rubdown either. After deep work, icing is recommended to lessen the immediate soreness. Light stretching is a nice touch too, because the muscles are warmed up, so light yoga or even getting an adjustment at a chiropractor after is perfect harmony.

Communicate any distractions

If the music makes you uncomfortable in any way, or the temperature of the room becomes too cold, let your therapist know immediately. These distractions will take you away from your body,  and ultimately your relaxation.

One Rubdown Every Few Years Isn’t Going to Do Much

ZEN Massage in Salt Lake City. Has monthly memberships to make your massages more affordable. We know you live a busy life, we are here to help take your mind off the daily stresses and make your massage therapy experience as relaxing as possible. Try our online scheduling feature to schedule your next massage.

Reduce stress and feel great, with the best masseurs in Salt Lake City, Book with ZEN Massage today!

(801) 467-3529

5520 South Van Winkle Expy

Salt Lake City, UT 84117

 

Relaxation & Good Health Habits | Zen Massage Salt Lake

 

We’d all like to live a healthier life. But where to start?

One step at a time as the saying goes. Habits are hard to break but easier to start. Here are seven simple ways to launch yourself into a healthier lifestyle.

Pick fresh seasonal veggies, berries, and fruits

Knowing How to Choose Fresh Fruits and Vegetables is key. If you are unsure when it comes to choosing ripe good fruit, check out this great article from Family Circle.

Picking fruit and veggies in season in your area is also a great way to stay healthy. Find out when local Utah Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables are best here.

Eat more healthy fats

According to Fitness Magazine – The Big Fat Truth: Why Non-Fat Isn’t the Answer – Of your total daily calories, 25 to 30 percent should come from fat. The keys: Pick good-for-you fats, and limit the bad kinds. Don’t know a saturated from a poly? Here’s the skinny on which fats to eat and which to avoid.

 

Be hungry more often

It’s being discovered that Intermittent fasting brings great benefits, it protects your brain, slows aging & fights cancer.  Why Intermittent Fasting Is The Best Thing To Ever Happen To Your Metabolism

When it comes to intermittent fasting, there are several options. Some people eat only during an eight-hour window. For example, you can eat from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., then fast from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. Or you can fast for 24 to 36 hours once or twice weekly. There are also several ways to deal with hunger cravings and stay hydrated. You can stick with just water or add some combination of coffee, green tea, and fiber. My good friend, Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, author of The Bone Broth Diet, recommends drinking bone broth during a fast. I’ve tried this fasting technique, and it’s my absolute favorite way to do it.

Before you begin fasting you should know if fasting is right for you.

Sleep & Relax More

Healthy Sleep Basics – Along with nutrition and exercise, sleep is one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle. Healthy sleep improves your health and quality of life in a variety of ways:

Healthy sleep is vital for your physical health

Healthy sleep is essential for your mental health

Healthy sleep improves your memory and focus

Healthy sleep promotes personal and public safety

Get less processed food, less salt

How to cut back on highly processed foods

  • Start slowly. 
  • Supplement your meals with fresh foods. 
  • Fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, more water. 
  • Stop adding salt to foods. 
  • Choose whole grains over processed grains. 
  • Limit or avoid processed meats. 
  • Plan ahead. 
  • Use substitutes for highly processed snacks and foods.

Think fun!

Take a deep breath and smile. A rose by any other name might smell as sweet. But call exercise by another name and it might do you more good, a pair of experiments suggest.

In one, 46 adults went for a 2-kilometer walk around a lake. Half were told it was an “exercise walk” and half were told it was a “scenic walk.” When it came time for a mid-afternoon snack, the “exercise” walkers ate more than twice as many M&Ms as the “scenic” walkers — a difference that amounted to 206 additional calories. In the other, the “exercise” group ate 35% more chocolate pudding at lunch.

The key is to think of activity as fun, says Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and one of the researchers involved in the experiments. If you tell yourself you’re working out, you’re likely to reward yourself by eating more. “So tell yourself it’s personal time,” Wansink says. “Say, ‘I’m doing this for me.’”

Mother’s Day Special | Zen Massage Salt Lake City, Utah

Mother’s day is just around the corner!


Don’t forget Zen Massage has the perfect gift for the women in your life!

Mother’s Day Special – SAVE $56.00

Buy three- 1-hour massages for only $199.00 Regularly $255.00 – Call to Book Today! (801) 467-3529

Available until May 20th!

Give the gift of relaxation!

 

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/