Benefits of Prenatal Massage
Massage therapy during pregnancy is a wonderful complementary
choice for prenatal care. It is a healthy way to reduce
stress and promote overall wellness. Massage relieves many of
the normal discomforts experienced during pregnancy, such as backaches,
neck, leg cramps, headaches
and edema (or swelling).
In addition, massage for pregnant women reduces stress on
weight-bearing joints, encourages blood
and lymph circulation, helps to relax nervous tension -- which
aids in better sleep -- and can help relieve depression or anxiety
caused by hormonal changes.
During The Prenatal Massage
At Massage Envy, our therapists take extra care to ensure our
pregnancy massage clients are comfortable. Sideline positioning
with supportive, soft cushions is used to alleviate the extra
strain on the lower back and pelvic areas when the pressure of
massage techniques are applied. Extra strain in these areas can
cause unnecessary back or abdominal pain, so naturally we want to
avoid any potential discomfort.
Through the second trimester, you may prefer to lie on your back
with a small, cushioned wedge placed under one hip to provide a
slight elevation. Depending on where you are in your pregnancy,
your therapist may utilize such massage techniques as reflexology,
Swedish massage or certain techniques that address your specific
requests and needs.
Relief of Everyday Symptoms
Massage for pregnant women offers a number of benefits, and it's
always a good idea to discuss with your therapist any everyday
symptoms you'd like to see relieved. Those might include:
- Headaches can be relieved by massage focusing on the head, neck
and shoulders. In addition, maintaining optimal levels of stress
relief through massage reduces the chances of migraines or tension
headaches by relaxing trigger points and muscle spasms.
- Muscle tension created by carrying the extra weight of a baby
can be relieved by encouraging blood flow to the afflicted areas.
This provides more nutrient-rich oxygen and also increases the flow
of lymphatic fluid, which sweeps away toxins and metabolic
- Fatigue, backaches, leg cramps and swelling/edema can all be
relieved through various types of massage for pregnant women.
- The ordinary aches and pains of pregnancy are countered by the
release of serotonin, your body's natural anti-pain chemical, which
is stimulated by massage.
While a massage can't promise that your newborn will sleep
through the night, it can provide you with a better night's sleep
both during pregnancy and afterwards. Regular massage therapy not
only helps diminish anxiety and discomfort but boosts relaxation as
well. This ultimately can lead to improved sleep patterns.
In addition, the serotonin, endorphins and dopamine released by
your body in response to massage provide an extra helping of those
natural chemicals. "Massage is very effective at increasing deep
sleep," says Touch Research Institute director Dr. Tiffany
Women with normal, low-risk pregnancies can benefit greatly from
the variety of massage techniques offered by a Massage Envy
professional massage therapist. However, women in high-risk
pregnancies should consult their doctor or midwife before beginning
one of our massage therapy programs. If you experience discomfort
at any time during the pregnancy massage, tell your therapist