How can Pregnancy Massage Help?
- Friday, 20 April 2012
Studies have shown that pregnancy massage can reduce anxiety, relieve symptoms of depression, soothe those bothersome joint pains and muscle aches and even improve the outcome of your labour, giving your new born child the best start to life.
Pregnancy massage is able to relax built-up muscle tension, improve the lymphatic system as well as blood circulation. These results are accomplished by applying mild pressure to the body's various muscle groups.
Swedish massage is recommended during the prenatal part of your pregnancy because it can relieve and sooth many of the common discomforts that are known to take place in the skeletal and circulatory systems that are triggered by hormonal shifts that take place during your pregnancy. Here are just a few benefits of pregnancy massage.
Regulation of Hormones
Over the past decade, studies have been conducted indicating that hormone levels linked with stress and relaxation change significantly, when women experience pregnancy massage. For some women who experienced only five weeks of bi-weekly massages, there was a reduction of cortisol and norepinephrine, which are commonly known as the "stress hormones". There was also an increase of serotonin and dopamine levels, which, when these levels get low, can result in depression.
When there was a change in these hormonal levels, fewer complications were seen during the baby's birth. Newborn complications, like low birth weight, were shown to decrease. This clearly shows that when massage was integrated into the prenatal care regimen, benefits can be felt by both mother and baby.
Swelling, which is called edema in medical terminology, can be a very bothersome symptom during your pregnancy. Do your legs look like balloons and have your ankles all but disappeared? This is due to a reduction in your circulation, and an increase of pressure is being exerted on all of your major blood vessels due to your expanding uterus. Pregnancy massage will help stimulate the soft tissues so that the collection of fluids found in your swollen joints may be reduced. There will also be an improvement in tissue waste removal, which is carried by the lymphatic system of your body.
Reducing in Nerve Pain
Many women experience pain in the sciatic nerve during pregnancy. The uterus exerts pressure on your upper and lower leg muscles. This causes swelling in your legs and increased pressure is put on nerves nearby. Massage therapy can help to relieve this problem.
These are only a few of the many benefits which pregnancy massage can provide. Further details can be found on our prenatal pregnancy massage page.