Massage Therapy During Pregnancy
Massage therapy as a general rule, is very helpful with overall health to reduce stress and relieve muscle tension. During pregnancy would seem an optimal time for such a treatment. However, since everything we do while pregnant affects our child and our body, we need to understand the benefits and risks associated with massage therapy while pregnant.
There hasn’t been a lot of research on the effects of massage during pregnancy. Some small studies show that massage during pregnancy reduces stress hormone levels. The reduction of these hormones leads to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications. Massage can also increase circulation and stimulates soft tissue. This helps prevent collection of fluids into joints and flushes waste carried in the body’s lymph system, reducing swelling that commonly occurs with pregnancy. Also, pain can be reduced by relieving tension in our tight and overstretched muscles – and improved sleep can be achieved.
Because of the lack of extensive studies, deficit of certification standards, and quality training of massage therapists, some doctors may hesitate to give their endorsement to proceed with massage treatments. Massage therapists also tend to avoid giving therapy to those women who are in their first trimester. This is not because there are studies to support increased miscarriages, but rather simply to avoid liability issues should one occur.
Another potential problem is that during pregnancy a woman is at risk of forming blood clots in her lower legs. Because of this, expert therapists avoid deep tissue massages in that region to avoid possibly dislodging a blood clot that has formed.
If you decide you are interested in seeking massage therapy while you are pregnant, certainly discuss it with your doctor as well as do research on any potential therapist you make seek to use. Check their certifications and licenses and make sure they are experienced with Prenatal or Pregnancy Massage.
Feb 01, 2014