Although massages can be used on pretty much anyone to achieve a wide range of health benefits, one of the best times to seek out a qualified massage therapists is the months during and immediately following pregnancy, as these can be very beneficial for the patient. The term “pregnancy massage” is simply a generic term for a whole multitude of specialist hands-on massages that are suitable for patients going through the pregnancy process.
Various research studies have strongly recommended pregnancy massages for a number of reasons, and they have been shown to have many positive impacts on patients. As pregnancy continues, the female body changes, with increases in blood of up to 50% as well as all manner of pressure on structural and nervous systems. A series of gentle, non-invasive massages can result in a wide range of positive physiological, emotional and psychological benefits. Benefits of Natal and Post-Natal massages include lowered anxiety, improved sleep and decreased back and leg pain, as well as an overall improvement in mood that can make the stresses and strains of pregnancy far more bearable. Pregnancy massages are also instrumental when it comes to hormone regulation, as modern investigations have shown them to produce decreased norepinephrine (a stress hormone) and result in a lower level of cortisol (a strong indicator of stress).
In addition to these benefits, a structured course of pregnancy massages can increase hormones such as serotonin and dopamine levels, giving the patient an improved sense of well-being, as well as reducing anxiety and other symptoms of depression. During pregnancy, the added pressure on joints can manifest itself in all manner of physical symptoms, such as pain, swelling and daily discomfort. This swelling can also be caused by the reduced circulation and increased pressure on major blood vessels, which can all contribute to a lack of blood flow to the extremities as well as nerve pain and damage in some cases. In fact, sciatic nerve pain is one of the most common complaints that patients have during pregnancy. The input pregnancy massages can have on maintaining muscle tone and managing discomfort can also be far-reaching. By relaxing tense muscles and toning loose muscles, pregnancy massages can reduce pain as well as improving flexibility.
As well as relieving all these issues, a comprehensive pregnancy massage can result in better circulation all round, getting rid of toxins and resulting in less fatigue, as well as improving the immune system. Whilst the Fairlee Wellbeing Centre highly recommends our pregnancy massages during the pregnancy itself, especially during the second and third trimesters, we’ve also seen first-hand how beneficial they can be in aiding recovery, helping new mothers with the physical and mental strain that motherhood can bring.