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The benefits of pre-natal massage

The benefits of pre-natal massage

We have spoken about the many benefits of massage for relaxation, repair, training and sport. But did you know that massage therapy can provide many benefits for pregnant women and therefore, for baby too?

There have been several studies proving those that are pregnant can benefit from massage therapy – so long as the treatment they receive are from those that are trained in this practice.

As well as helping the mother to relax, prenatal massage can help reduce back pain, improve sleep, reduce anxiety and even help you prepare for labour.

Some studies also suggest that the right massage could reduce the levels of cortisol – the ‘stress’ hormone – that can be an element in premature births.

For most women, and by association their partners, pregnancy is a time of excitement and promise. However it can also be a time of anxiety and stress. Therefore, the relaxing nature of a prenatal massage can be beneficial. This is thanks to the production of endorphins – the mood-boosting hormones – that can also help reduce blood pressure.

Stress in pregnancy can contribute to several side effects including increase in pain. A woman’s body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy, which can include a build up of lactic acid, especially when the skeletal and muscular systems are adjusting to their new situation. Massage can reduce the build up and allow the blood to circulate easier, in turn increasing the flow of oxygen and removing toxins from the body.

Other common side effects of pregnancy are joint pain and sciatica, a condition that causes pain to appear between the leg and up to the lower back. While a prenatal massage can reduce sciatica causing more comfort for the mum-to-be, reflexology can also reduce the condition as well as assist the body in its preparation for labour.

Meanwhile, joint pain can be a big problem for some during pregnancy. Not only does the baby add more weight to carry around - causing strain on your back, knees and hips - the increased fluid volume within your body can cause extra pressure and inflammation on some of your joints. Inform your massage therapist on which joints to concentrate on and they can increase the circulation around them, reducing the pain and allowing you a bit more movement.

We appreciate that some of you may not feel comfortable enough to go to your local massage setting however, there are many mobile therapists who can come to your home. Alternatively, a foot or body rub from a loved one, using massage oils* to help relaxation, can provide the relief needed.

If you are a therapist and interested in training in pre-natal massage there are courses that specialise in this area, including at our affiliate school – Gateway Worshop – who provide a variety of courses that can boost your massage business.

*some oils are more suited for pregnancy than others so it is always good to do your research.

 

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