Massage during pregnancy has gained a lot in popularity within recent years. Originally, it tended to be limited to groups of women who favoured alternative therapies. But now it is seen as a valid and useful means of reducing general pregnancy discomfort. Recently research and evidence have shown a scientific basis for its benefits.
In a recently-published article entitled, “Is Is Safe to Get a Massage for Pregnancy Back Pain?” author and expert, Holly Lebowitz Rossi, writes:
“Getting a massage can mean different things--a blissful luxury, an acute stress management technique, an injury recovery strategy, or, in the case of pregnancy-related backaches, a self-care regimen directed at relieving pain,” adding that some scientific studies have shown that massage therapy can do lots of things that pregnant women want and need: It can help with sleep and improve mood, reduce edema (joint swelling) by increasing circulation and moving fluid in the body, and relieve nerve pain, including sciatic nerve pain, by relaxing the muscles that can clench and tighten around nerves and compress them.
“Pregnant women who are interested in massage therapy should adopt a safety-first approach and see only therapists who has been trained and certified in prenatal massage techniques,” she writes.
One of the most popular forms of pregnancy massage uses the principles based on Swedish massage techniques. This is because of its particular benefits in reducing muscle tension and improving blood flow and lymphatic drainage. Some massage therapists use aromatherapy oils and burn incense to heighten the sensory experience.
“Always stick with the Swedish massage technique, which involves long strokes over tight muscles. It's best to avoid deep tissue massage and other techniques that might pose a circulation or blood pressure risk, especially when massaging the calves and legs,” she writes.
Always check with your doctor first to see if massage is right for your body. If it is, you can relax and enjoy a prenatal massage with a certified therapist.