Complementary and alternative medicine is performed by well-trained and experienced alternative medicine practitioners, from pressing to moving muscles.
What is prenatal massage good for?
Massage therapy has been used for centuries to improve health, reduce stress, relieve muscle tension, and improve overall well-being. Massage therapy can include over 80 different techniques and types of treatment. Still, the one underlying factor is that the massage works to manipulate the muscle, tissue or ligaments to affect change.
Pregnancy is a time of life during which women undergo various side effects. All women can expect to experience some stiffness and muscle tension as the uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby. Massage in pregnancy has been found to relieve many of the common side effects of pregnancy, whether backaches, headaches, oedema or other pregnancy-related issues.
An old wives’ tale or a truth?
Among some of the myths and old wives’ tales is that prenatal massage should be avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy because it may cause a spontaneous abortion. A miscarriage, or spontaneous loss of the pregnancy, is defined as the fetus’s loss before it is viable. An early spontaneous abortion occurs in the first 12 weeks of life. Almost 90% occur within the first eight weeks. Unfortunately, the logic of no prenatal massages in the first trimester is based more on litigious concerns than anything else.
Most people enjoy a human touch that can convey comfort, love, awareness and many other sensations. In fact, individuals in the later stage of cancer experience pain relief and decrease stress and fear through the human touch.
Massage in pregnancy health benefits
Prenatal massage is gaining increasing popularity as women who are pregnant recognise the benefits of massage.
- Back pain is the most common concern during pregnancy and can continue even after the child’s birth. Fortunately, massage can help relieve back pain and relieve oedema or swelling by stimulating circulation throughout the body.
- Massage on the legs can help reduce leg cramps and is beneficial for relaxation, decreasing anxiety during pregnancy.
- Massage can help promote more restful sleep and prevent pregnancy-related insomnia. Through relaxation, you will also relax the baby, particularly if you have your abdomen gently stroked.
- Massage therapy has also been found to reduce the stress on weight-bearing joints during pregnancy. Secreted hormones help to relax the joints in the pelvic area in preparation for labour and delivery. Unfortunately, this relaxation also places greater stress on the pelvis and hips, and massage therapy can help relax muscles and improve tone.
- It can also enhance the skin’s flexibility and underlying tissue as the child and mom continue to grow.
Things to consider before getting the prenatal massage
You must seek the care of a qualified professional massage therapist during pregnancy. If the wrong areas of the body are massaged, or certain acupressure points are accessed, it can trigger contractions in some women. Massage therapists are trained in prenatal massage and know precisely what to avoid and what areas to focus on. Toward the end of a pregnancy, a woman may consider a prenatal massage that will help during labour and even strengthen contractions.
Some massage therapists use aromatherapy during the session, and while many oils are safe, others are contraindicated. Be sure you consult with a qualified massage therapist not to inhale oils that can be contraindicated during pregnancy. Many oils can help relieve anxiety and tension, while others are useful for reducing bloating and headaches. Most essential oils that may be helpful during pregnancy will include:
- Tea tree
On the other hand, oils that should be avoided are:
However, these lists are by no means comprehensive. It means that some oils should be avoided during pregnancy. Again, consult with qualified massage therapists and if you have any concerns or doubts, stick to his session without the use of massage oils.