Massage Therapy

Pregnancy and Massage Therapy

Pregnancy is a temporary but important phase of life when health care is of crucial importance and massage therapy can help. It is a bit of a cumbersome stage with all that body muscles stretching and bulging to accommodate the weight of another human being within. All the types of aches and cramps are part of pregnancy and massage therapy can help enormously at this stage.

Muscle cramps, spasms, myofascial pain at the hips, neck, legs, and lower back are common during pregnancy and massage therapy can reduce it. Other benefits of massage therapy during this stage are improved blood circulation, lymph flow, and clearness and flexibility of skin and other tissues. It can also help in reducing the stress on knees and hips due to the extra weight. Above all, massage therapy can help in the overall physical fitness and emotional wellbeing of the mother.

While the credentials of a massage therapist are important for any patient, it is extra important for a pregnant patient. A pregnant woman should ensure that she gets a therapist who has a valid massage therapy license. She should also make sure that the therapist is specially qualified to perform massage therapy on pregnant women as this is a fully specialized field. Only a limited few are trained enough to manage massage therapy sessions with pregnant or even postpartum women.

There are marked differences between a regular massage therapy and a pregnancy massage therapy. Certain parts of a pregnant woman should not be massaged at all. And for massage therapy, the body of a pregnant woman should be positioned in a way quite different from that of a regular person. All these are important considerations and is the responsibility of the therapist specialized in doing massage therapy on a pregnant woman.

A pregnant woman should be in a half-reclining position on the massage table. And in her case, pillows should be used on the required side if the position has to be switched from one side to the other, or from the back to the hips. Enough of pillows and cushions should be used to support the body whenever necessary. A massage table, where there is a gap made for the belly is not recommended in the case of a pregnant woman. All these things should be kept in mind while giving a pregnant woman a massage therapy.

Strong smells may make a pregnant woman uncomfortable. The massage therapist should be told about this in advance since aromatherapy candles could be used. She should also be enquired about her comfort level with the music or lighting arrangements of the place.

Massage parlor ethics take care about the extent to which clothes have to be removed during any massage therapy. However, the level of disrobing should be adjusted between the therapist and the pregnant woman. She may choose to keep her panties and bra or disrobe completely and prefer just to be covered by sheets. The patient’s mental comfort and ability to relax have to be the deciding criteria here.

Massage therapy can even be used during labor to reduce the intensity of pain. In short, massage therapy can be useful for a woman through all stages of pregnancy.