Whether it is your first pregnancy, or you're expecting another addition, pregnancy is sure to bring a lot of change to a women's body. With each trimester many women are faced with new emotional and physiological challenges as the human body adapts to the growing fetus. Pregnancy massage therapy is a safe and effective way to treat aches and pains, alleviate emotional stress as well as promote a healthy pregnancy.
What is Pregnancy Massage Therapy?
Pregnancy massage therapy or otherwise known as pre/post-natal massage therapy is essentially a hands-on massage performed during or shortly after your pregnancy. Pregnancy massage therapy can treat a variety of musculoskeletal issues directly or in-directly related to pregnancy. The primary goal during the treatment is to promote a healthy pregnancy, often times this includes incorporating relaxation techniques and providing a safe and supportive environment.
Are There Any Benefits to Receiving Massage Therapy During Pregnancy?
Here are a few common benefits to receiving massage therapy during pregnancy:
- Can assist in alleviating common discomforts directly related to your pregnancy such as muscle tension, upper/lower back pain, leg cramps, compression syndromes (sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome), headaches, edema or swelling of the limbs
- Increases blood & lymphatic flow
- Relaxes the nervous system by releasing endorphins into the body which helps to promote sleep & decreases stress levels
- Helps to maintain good posture and adjust to alignment issues potentially caused by the increased weight of carrying a baby
- Provides a natural and safe alternative for pain relief
Is it Safe to have Massage During Pregnancy?
It is a common misconception that massage therapy is harmful during pregnancy, even more so during your first trimester. There is no supporting evidence that demonstrates massage can create complications or miscarriage. Registered massage therapists that provide pre-natal massage are trained to take certain precautions during each stage of pregnancy such as avoiding reflexology pressure points, adjusting pressure over certain areas, providing appropriate positioning for the patient and monitoring any warning signs or symptoms. Any signs or symptoms of a high risk pregnancy should be discussed with your primary physician before receiving treatment.
Positioning during pregnancy massage therapy is very important and is a common question I get within my practice. As the abdomen begins to grow it needs to be supported sufficiently; there are a few options that I typically suggest depending on the patients level of comfort and safety:
- Seated on a massage chair or in a semi-reclined position on the massage table
- The sideline position, supported with pillows/bolsters or a contoured body cushion
- A customized pregnancy table [available at our Dartmouth location] or pillow that comes equipped with a cut out for the belly/breast tissue
For more information or if you would like to learn more about pregnancy massage therapy you can contact Jodi Greene, RMT at our Halifax location or another Registered Massage Therapist on our team. To book an appointment call 902-404-3668 or book online