Prenatal Massage: How Massage Therapy Can Help Support A Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of major change in the body as it adapts to growing a new
life from within. Massage is an excellent way to relax, increase energy and relieve the discomforts of pregnancy. The caring touch of our massage therapists can help expectant mothers accept these changes in a positive way.

What Can I Expect During My Session?

During your session, you and your growing belly will be comfortably supported with pillows or cushions. Your massage therapist will talk with you and listen to where you are feeling tension in your body. Careful and thoughtful techniques will be performed for relieve the stress you are feeling, increase circulation, and allow you to unwind and relax.

Essential Oils & Pregnancy

Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils is becoming a popular component in prenatal care. The main benefits of Aromatherapy use during pregnancy are relief of tension and stress, relaxation, relief from minor ailments and may be used in breathing practice for labor. Essential oils and a supportive massage therapist can also offer emotional support to the client and her family. Essential oils can be applied through massage, diffusion, compress and used after your session in a bath.

While there are many benefits of essential oils, certain precautions should be taken before you begin use. Make sure the essential oils you are considering are of a high quality. True therapeutic essential oils present very little hazard compared to synthetic blends. Make sure the chemical composition is not too strong for use during pregnancy because skin is more delicate at this time and some oils may cause irritation. Use of a carrier oil such as coconut oil is advised. Oils containing phenos are an example of a group that is NOT suitable for use during pregnancy so it’s best to stay away from: Oregano, Thyme, Clove, Cinnamon, Cumin, Aniseed, Fennel, Anise, Sweet Birch and Wintergreen.

While most pregnant clients will prefer the citrus-smelling oils, some safe options that can be used are: Bergamot, Black Pepper, Chamomile German, Chamomile Roman, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram Sweet, Neroli, Petitgrain, Rose Otto, Sandalwood, Sweet Orange, Tea Tree and Ylang Ylang.

Your therapist will always check with you before using any oils. When in doubt, always with your main prenatal care provider. Safe use of essential oils and your comfort are number one!

What Are The Benefits of Prenatal Massage?

While there are many benefits of receiving massage therapy during your pregnancy, a few of the top and most important ones are:

  • Reduces muscle cramps and painful trigger points
  • Relieves pain in the muscles and joints and legs, low back, and upper back
  • Increases flexibility, making it easier for the body to adjust to its changing shape
  • Eases constipation, gas, and heartburn
  • Improves circulation and reduces excess fluid retention
  • Slows the progress of varicose veins
  • Relieves headaches
  • Relieves stress and promotes relaxation

Additionally, massage greatly reduces anxiety and negative feelings. In recent studies from the Touch Research Institute at The University of Miami, they found that pregnant women who received one massage per week had lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine (the feel-good hormones). Researchers have also linked these positive hormonal changes to fewer complications and healthier pregnancies overall.

Therapeutic massage is also great for the expectant Dad. A combination of deep muscle manipulation and tension relieving strokes will relax and calm the tension Dad feels during this time of emotional and physical change.

Is Prenatal Massage Right for Everyone?

Our massage therapists at Nature’s Touch are specifically trained in providing the most comfortable and effective prenatal massage sessions during normal, healthy pregnancy. We always encourage our prenatal clients to inform their caregivers that they are receiving pre or postnatal massages. Because massage is not appropriate for certain conditions, we encourage our clients to keep us updated about their health. We want to take the best possible care of our clients during this special time in their life.

Nature’s Touch Massage & Wellness Center is an oasis for expectant mothers or new mothers to relieve the aches and pains of physical stress but to de­stress their minds as well. Click here to schedule your appointment or call our office at 330­721­9357 to learn more.

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