Massage Therapy In Pregnancy
One of our favorite massage therapists, Amanda Bollinger, shares why massage in pregnancy doesn't just feel great, but has even more benefits!
Therapeutic massage has been used to improve overall health for centuries. When included in the prenatal care plan of expecting mothers, therapeutic massage has been shown to address many common discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes that occur during pregnancy.
Some of the top benefits of prenatal therapeutic massage include: 1. Hormonal Affects Massage therapy affects the release of certain hormones in the body that respond to stress and relaxation. Studies have shown that during and after a massage session, stress hormones are reduced and relaxation hormones are increased. This has a direct affect on emotional and mental health. These benefits can lead to fewer complications during pregnancy and birth, and fewer instances of newborn complications. 2. Reduced Swelling Circulation changes occur during pregnancy and swelling is common due to the increased pressure of the uterus on major blood vessels. Massage therapy helps to locally and systemically aid circulation. By stimulating the soft tissue structures of the body, the movement of massage helps to reduce the collection of fluid in swollen joints. 3. Less Aches & Pains Soreness and achiness seem to increase as pregnancy develops into the later months. This is usually because of the increased pressure of the growing baby in the abdomen, causing postural imbalances and tense muscles. Swelling can also put pressure on nerves and cause discomfort. Massage therapy addresses these issues by reducing muscle tension, increasing mobility and improving circulation. For example, a prenatal massage session including assisted on-table stretching for the legs and hips can be helpful for relieving pain associated with the sciatic nerve. 4. More Restful Sleep With reduced stress, less swelling, and the body feeling more at ease, many pregnant women experience an improvement in the quality of their sleep after a prenatal massage. The soft tissue structures and muscles experience a boost of oxygenated blood during a massage which helps promote an overall sense of ease. The lymphatic system also benefits from these changes in circulation, which helps to keep the body healthy and supports a strong immune system. Getting better sleep and sleeping for longer periods after a massage helps support overall health and a happy, healthy pregnancy.
Check with your prenatal healthcare provider to ask if massage therapy is recommended for you. As always, verify that your licensed or certified massage therapist is knowledgeable about prenatal massage or specifically certified to work with prenatal massage clients.
To connect with me, call or text: Amanda Bollinger, NC-LMBT
(336)528-7835 Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist in Kernersville, North Carolina