This article lays out top reasons for choosing pregnancy massage, supported by the hard facts (that is, evidence from studies and of course reviews from my lovely existing pregnancy massage clients!)
Relieves muscle spasms and cramps
Massage increases flexibility, enhancing the ability to carry the extra weight and relieves spasms and cramps. It also helps to reduce fatigue, and aid a restful nights sleep.
Improves sciatic nerve pain
Sciatic nerve pain is common in late stages of pregnancy as the uterus rests on the muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. Massage therapy helps release the tension on nearby muscles and can significantly reduce sciatic nerve pain with regular treatment.
Alleviates stress on weight-bearing joints
Myofascial pain is caused by pressure on sensitive points in your muscles (trigger points) that causes seemingly unrelated pain in other parts of your body. During second and third trimesters, a pregnant women’s centre of mass shifts, causing stress on weight bearing joints such as the lower back and pelvis. Massage has proven to be a safe and effective pain relief option for those suffering. For more information on how massage helps, see this study.
Relieves tension, fatigue and headaches
Massage helps to reduce muscle tension in back and in neck muscles, increase relaxation, and promote blood circulation. Which means that head aches are less likely as you are more relaxed and less stressed.
Reduces oedema (excess retention of fluid) in hands, legs and feet
Oedema is often caused by circulation problems and increased pressure on the major blood vessels. Massage stimulates soft tissues to reduce fluid retention, which also improves the removal of tissue waste by the body’s lymph system.
May prevent stretch marks
There have been lots of claims that pregnancy massage helps to prevent stretch marks from forming. It’s most likely frequently rubbing in of a good moisturiser of some organic natural coconut oil may help to prevent the stretch marks from appearing.
Improves sleep quality
Early studies into massage for sleep quality and insomnia during pregnancy have revealed that exercise, massage and acupuncture may be associated with improved sleep quality during pregnancy. From my client’s feedback, improved sleep quality is definitely a benefit of pregnancy massage.
Reduced labour time and pain
A recent study of labour pain showed that women who received massage therapy throughout their pregnancy experienced significantly less pain, and their labours were on average three hours shorter, and with less need for medication.
The changes it can make to hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and cortisol has been proven to lead to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications.
Reduces stress, anxiety and depression symptoms
Studies have concluded that massage has been significantly successful with reduced depressive symptoms, stress and anxiety in pregnant women and less incidents of prematurity and low birth weights.
Pregnancy Massage can be inappropriate in some cases:
- High risk pregnancy
- Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH)
- Previous Pre-Term Labour
- You are experiencing severe swelling, high blood pressure or sudden, severe headaches
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