Massage therapy is known to have many benefits including reducing stress and preventing muscle tension – all good things when one is undergoing the physical stress of pregnancy. There are often mixed messages about the benefits of pregnancy massage, but there have been a number of studies that suggest massage while pregnant is an effective treatment.
There are many styles of massage you can have, including deep tissue massage and remedial massage, but the most effective style during pregnancy is Swedish massage. This gentle massage style helps to relax any muscle tension, including neck pain, and stop discomfort and improve circulation around the body.
Regular pregnancy massage therapy has shown to improve cardiovascular health, as well as changing the hormones associated with stress and relaxation. A study has shown that women who had massage therapy twice a week for five weeks had lowered levels of “stress” hormones, while dopamine and serotonin levels were increased. These changes in hormones meant there were fewer problems during labour and fewer newborn complications.
Reduction of Swelling and Improvement of Nerve Pain
Pregnancy massage can relieve swelling around joints, increase circulation and stimulate the lymphatic drainage system to remove tissue waste. Sciatic nerve pain is common during pregnancy; many women experience lower back pain and pain in the legs. Massage therapy can help to relieve this pain and reduce tension on the joints and muscles.
Other potential benefits of prenatal massage include:
• Reduced back pain
• Reduced joint pain
• Improved circulation
• Reduced likelihood of oedema
• Reduced muscle tension and headaches
• Reduced stress and anxiety
• Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
• Better sleep
Massage and Pregnancy: Precautions for Prenatal Massage?
We highly recommend that you consult with your treating physician before undergoing any kind of pregnancy related treatment – including pregnancy massage – to help reduce any risks.
Women with the following conditions should speak with a health care provider prior to receiving a massage:
• High risk pregnancy
• Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH)
• Previous pre-term labour
• Experiencing severe swelling, high blood pressure, or sudden, severe headaches
• Recently gave birth
Pregnancy Massage: Is it Safe At Any Time?
Massage is generally safe at any time during pregnancy, but we don’t want you to take any unnecessary risk. This is why we do not recommend massage within the first 12 weeks of being pregnant to reduce the likelihood of miscarriage.
Contact CBD Physiotherapy on 02 9223 3122 and make an appointment for pregnancy massage treatment today!