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Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

 

1. Relaxation – massage during pregnancy helps to stop the buildup of tension, especially In the neck and shoulders

2. In the later stages of pregnancy tension in the lower back caused by the extra weight of the baby can be alleviated

3. Uplifting and revitalising – massage increases the flow of endorphins and minimizes fatigue – usually felt at the start and end of pregnancy

4.Improves circulation – veins often become more apparent in pregnancy and there is a tendency to varicose veins (although we never massage over varicose areas!)

5.Stimulation of lymphatic drainage – this is especially important during pregnancy because of an increased tendency to fluid retention in ankles and feet

6. Relief of aches and pains – massage relieves aches and pains caused by distended ligaments and also the tendency to cramp

7. Maintains skin suppleness and elasticity – helping to prevent stretch marks which often appear around the fifth month

8. Induces a feeling of well-being – keeping the client relaxed and in harmony, preparing her for the birth.

 

The changing body and benefits of Pregnancy Massage During pregnancy the body changes faster than at any other time; for some women it is a shock and for others a delight. An average pregnancy lasts forty weeks or three trimesters. Every woman is different and every pregnancy is different. As soon as you know you are pregnant you can start to help yourself manage symptoms without taking drugs which can be harmful to baby. Massage can help relieve headaches, nausea and sleeplessness and help you stay drug free. PLEASE NOTE Your treatments obviously do not replace care by your  doctor and/or midwife. Any serious conditions MUST be referred to the  GP (eg excessive headaches, dizziness or vomiting; sudden or pronounced swelling of feet, ankles, fingers or face; increased discoloured vaginal discharge; vaginal bleeding; abdominal cramps; any fall or accident.

 

Please note for you and your babys’ wellbeing a letter is always required form your midwife or GP before pregnancy massage can take place

 

History and Benefits of Massage

The word ‘massage’ is French and means ‘kneading’, from the Greek word ‘massein’ – ‘to knead’ or from Arabic ‘massa’ meaning ‘to touch, feel or handle’. Massage is the treatment and practice of soft tissue manipulation with physical, functional, and in some cases psychological purposes and goals. Healing through touch is a natural human instinct. When a child falls and hurts her knee we rub it better. We hug our friends when they are upset and if our neck feels sore we do a little self massage in order to feel better. The massage therapies such as Swedish massage formalise this natural healing instinct to want to heal ourselves and others. There is evidence that the ancient civilisations of India, China, Japan, Egypt, Rome and Greece all used massage and oils for healing. In India Ayurveda is practised, the Chinese have acupressure and in Japan, shiatsu. In fact, most Eastern cultures have their own form of massage therapy. In the West, what we know as Swedish Massage is probably the most widely practised form of touch therapy and the routine you will learn for Pregnancy Massage is based on Swedish Massage techniques. General Benefits of Massage (pregnant client or not!)

 

Physiological:

1. Boosts circulation – bringing fresh nutrients and oxygen to cells

2. Warms tissues

3. Superficial and deeper layers of the skin are stimulated – cellular function is increased

4. Increases lymphatic flow thus aiding removal of waste products and toxins

5.Skin condition improved due to improved circulation and desquamation

6. Lactic acid is removed from muscle tissue

7. Relaxes tense and contracted muscles

8.Stimulates or soothes nerve endings depending on massage movement being used

9. Reduces pain and fatigue

10. Reduction of blood pressure and pulse rate

 

Psychological:

1. Relaxing or invigorating for mind and body – depending on client’s need

2. Can help relieve symptoms of stress – restores the body to state of ‘rest and repose’

3. Can help relieve depression by stimulation of endorphins (feel good hormones)