Updated: Aug 19, 2019
Massage has been used for centuries to relieve muscle tension, lower stress and improve overall health. This is especially helpful during pregnancy, when your body is working hard and going though all the dramatic changes caused by nurturing another life. Not only can massage help with all the aches, pains and discomfort associated with pregnancy, it can help with your moods and emotional health as well. Some of the benefits of prenatal massage for both body and mind can include:
* Alleviating stress on weight bearing joints, especially the hips and knees
* Increasing blood circulation, which provides more oxygen and nutrients to both mother and baby as well as helping to reduce swelling
* Helps to relieve many of the discomforts associated with pregnancy: upper and lower back pain, leg cramps, sciatica, carpal tunnel, headaches, muscle stiffness
* Relaxes the nervous system by releasing endorphins into the mother's blood stream thereby reducing stress levels and helping to alleviate anxiety and depression
* Increases muscle tone and flexibility
* Helps improve posture and adjusting to the changing alignment caused by the baby's increasing weight by enhancing your ability to carry this extra weight
* Helps keep blood pressure in check by easing the load on the heart
* Offers a natural, drug free alternative for pain relief
* Helps to prepare the mother to be for an easier labour with its sedating effects on the nervous system
* Can provide emotional support by offering a nurturing touch
In the early stages of pregnancy, a woman can still lie on her stomach to receive Massage Therapy until it is no longer safe or comfortable for her to do so. Traditionally, a side lying position is then used to perform massage keeping both mother and baby comfortable and relaxed.
For many years I have also been using a specially designed pregnancy pillowing system which allows the mother to be to lie face down when working on the back of her legs and back. Many women absolutely love this and are quite comfortable right up until their due date. Your comfort level is the most important consideration when choosing a position that works best for you and the new life that you are carrying.
Along with proper diet, exercise and prenatal vitamins, Massage Therapy can provide an essential role in not only taking care of yourself, but your baby as well. Both your body and your baby will thank you for it!