Massage therapy has been around for centuries. Only recently has it become so popular and accepted as a means of preventive healthcare, and physical and emotional rehabilitation.
Prenatal massage offers the pregnant woman an opportunity to relax emotionally and physically. Obviously her body goes through various changes on a daily basis. Massages can be scheduled from the first trimester through childbirth. A massage session typically lasts for 60 minutes. The first trimester, you can still lay face up, face down or in a side-lying position. Special pillows are provided as support. During the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, a prenatal massage should only be given in a massage chair or in a side-lying position.
Swedish massage, which includes, long smooth strokes, kneading and circular movements is the most comfortable and preferred. Other techniques which can be used are deep tissue, stretching, trigger point, reflexology and cranial sacral. Prior to receiving a massage, you should speak with your doctor. You should also have open communication with the massage therapist regarding medical issues such as:
- High risk pregnancies
- Severe swelling, headaches, high blood pressure
- Previous pregnancy complications
BENEFITS OF PRENATAL MASSAGE
The benefits of pregnancy massage are well worth the time, effort and cost:
- Reduces stress, promotes relaxation
- Reduces edema, blood pressure and varicose veins
- Increases circulation and blood flow
- Reduces muscular aches and pains
- Hormone regulation
- Offers the woman a personal sense of being nurtured and cared for