YOUR HEALTH and prenatal massage

YOUR HEALTH and prenatal massage

There are many joys in pregnancy, but with them come aches and pains. The aches and pains are due to the physiological changes affecting the musculoskeletal system and most of the organ systems. These changes start in the first week and continue throughout the pregnancy and some months after birth. As your uterus expands with the weight of the growing baby, there is more stress on your back, neck, shoulders and abdominal muscles. An aching lower back is a common sensation for many pregnant women, while others may experience aching legs, sore hips, swelling, or insomnia.

The musculoskeletal changes are due to the release of the hormone relaxin as early as two weeks into the pregnancy. The relaxin affects the collagen in joint capsules, ligaments, and fascia. It allows for greater elasticity which enables more movement in the joints and more yield in the abdomen. The joints most affected are the sacroiliac joint and those of weight bearing joints, such as the ankle and joints in the foot.

Prenatal massage therapy is a wonderful way to cope with these adjustments and ease the discomfort. A massage during pregnancy brings about a sense of well being through relaxation. It can soothe tired and tense muscles and relieve muscle cramps, spasms and tension in the lower back, neck, hips, and legs. It can also improve your sleep! Massage reduces your heart rate and blood pressure and improves circulation, which can reduce swelling.

In the first trimester, treatment focuses on relaxation of the sacral areas and those muscles not affected by the pregnancy. In the second and third trimester, treatment focuses on reducing symptoms such as:

  • General aches and pains
  • Trigger points
  • Spasms
  • Hypertonicity of the low back and gluteal muscles
  • Muscles involved in Hyperlordosis and Hyperkyphosis
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Sciatic nerve compression
  • Swelling
  • Breast congestion

While every woman presents with different symptoms, massage helps relieve them and promote a healthy pregnancy. Our therapists are professionally trained prenatal massage therapists who understand the needs of a pregnant body, what techniques to use, and how to safely massage to alleviate some of the discomfort. They recognize the importance of positioning the body during a pregnancy massage not only for comfort, but also for you and your baby’s well-being.  Our massage therapists are happy to share their expertise in other aspects of prenatal care, from abdominal exercises to sleeping positions to postural correction.