This nurturing therapy is designed to ease muscle discomfort, lower back ache and water retention for the mother to be. (60 and 90 minutes)
Therapeutic massage has been used for centuries to improve overall health, reduce stress and relieve muscle tension. Modern investigation and research is proving that prenatal massage therapy can be a very instrumental ingredient in women’s prenatal care.
Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve newborn health.
Massage therapy addresses different needs through a technique called Swedish massage. This massage technique aims to relax muscle tension and improve lymphatic and blood circulation through mild pressure applied to the muscle groups of the body. Swedish massage is the recommended prenatal massage method during pregnancy because it addresses many common discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes brought on by hormone shifts during pregnancy.
Studies done in the past 10 years have shown that hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered when massage therapy was introduced to women’s prenatal care, leading to mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health.
In women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks, hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol (“stress hormones” ) were reduced and dopamine and serotonin levels were increased (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression).
Edema or swelling of the joints during pregnancy is often caused by reduced circulation and increased pressure on the major blood vessels by the heavy uterus. Massage helps to stimulate soft tissues to reduce collection of fluids in swollen joints which also improves the removal of tissue waste carried by the body’s lymph system.
Sciatic nerve pain is experienced by many women in late pregnancy as the uterus rests on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. The pressure of the uterus spreads tension to the muscles of the upper and lower leg causing them to swell and put pressure on nearby nerves. Massage therapy addresses the inflamed nerves by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles.
Other Potential Benefits of Prenatal Massage:
- Reduces back pain
- Reduces joint pain and improves circulation
- Reduces edema
- Reduces muscle tension and headaches
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Improves oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
- Better sleep
Along with the guidance and advice of a prenatal care provider, massage therapy can be incorporated into routine prenatal care as an emotional and physical health supplement.