Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Health Care and Pregnancy Massage

A growing trend in pre-natal care is pregnancy massage. Massage therapy during pregnancy is a wonderful complementary choice for prenatal care, according to Massage Envy. 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, stiff 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. More information is available at this site: .

If you’re visiting or living in the UK, here’s a website that can direct you to a local massage therapist for this type of care: .

According to Massage Envy, 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, stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches and edema (or swelling). In addition, it can help relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes.

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. More details on this subject are located at this site: .

According to the American Pregnancy Association,  massage therapy addresses the inflamed nerves by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles. Many women have experienced a significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy through massage. Although most massage training institutions teach massage therapy for women who are pregnant, it is best to find a massage therapist who is certified in prenatal massage. The APA works with some massage therapists who are trained to work with pregnant women, but it is still important to ask about qualifications.

As with any therapeutic approach to pregnancy wellness, women should discuss massage with their prenatal care provider. The best way to address the risks of prenatal massage is to be informed and to work together with knowledgeable professionals, as noted by the APA. Many professionals consider the best position for a pregnant woman during massage is side-lying.

Tables that provide a hole in which the uterus can fit may not be reliable and can still apply pressure to the abdomen, or allow the abdomen to dangle, causing uncomfortable stretching of the uterine ligaments. Consult your massage therapist before your first appointment to verify what position they place their clients in during the massage. Additional info on pregnancy massage is available at this website: .

During pregnancy, there are several physiological and endocrinological changes that occur in preparation for creating the environment for the developing baby, according to chiropractors who specialize in this type of therapy. The following changes could result in a misaligned spine or joint:

·         Protruding abdomen and increased back curve
·         Increased weight
·         Pelvic changes
·         Postural adaptations, including ligament relaxation due to the increased production of relaxin (a hormone produced during pregnancy which causes the pregnant woman's body to increase its elasticity preparatory for birth)

Establishing pelvic balance and alignment is another reason to obtain chiropractic care during pregnancy. When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby. This restriction is called intrauterine constraint. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery. The nervous system is the master communication system to all the body systems including the reproductive system. Keeping the spine aligned helps the entire body work more effectively. More information is located at this site: .

A trained prenatal massage therapist knows where a pregnant woman's sore spots are likely to be and may be able to provide some relief. (She'll also know which areas and techniques to avoid.) Still, it's important to communicate with her and tell her where you need attention. Let her know right away if anything during the massage – including your positioning – is causing you any discomfort.  More material on pregnancy massage can be found at this site: .

According to this site by What to Expect, ,  massage is a generally benign treatment. Still, some massage therapists are leery about giving therapeutic massages during the critical first trimester. In addition, there are pregnancy complications that can make massage somewhat risky. Check with your practitioner before receiving a prenatal massage if you have diabetes, have morning sickness or are vomiting regularly, have been diagnosed with preeclampsia or high blood pressure, have a fever or a contagious virus, or have abdominal pain or bleeding.

If you are in the second half of your pregnancy, don't lie on your back during your massage; the weight of your baby and uterus can reduce circulation to your placenta and create more problems than any massage can cure. The good news is that prenatal massage has become so popular that many therapists and spas provide specialized services just for moms-to-be (always tell your therapist you're pregnant). Plus, there are prenatal massage tables and pillows that can make the experience safer and more comfortable.

Although there aren’t any unusual physical demands for working with pregnant women, working with women during the labor process can be very physically demanding, according to the American Massage Therapy Association. This website is primarily geared toward information for the practitioner who may be considering or is already offering pre-natal massage therapy to pregnant women: .

If you are pregnant and thinking about getting massage to help with some of the physical and emotional demands you have during your pregnancy, this therapy may be for you. Always consult your doctor or medical professional before proceeding with massage therapy, and always let your therapist know about your situation in every aspect of your health. In cases where the risk may be greater, it is always best to err on the side of caution. Seek medical attention immediately if any problems occur. Safety for you and your baby is always the best course of action.

Until next time. 


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