Pregnancy Massage: Benefits Of Prenatal Massage
Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, reduce anxiety, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.
Massage therapy addresses patient needs through a variety of techniques, designed to relax muscle tension and improve lymphatic and blood circulation.
Massage and Pregnancy Hormones
Massage during pregnancy addresses many common discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes brought on by hormone shifts. Studies over the last 10 years have shown that hormone levels affecting relaxation or stress are dramatically affected when massage therapy is implemented as a part of prenatal care. These hormones also affect mood regulation and cardiovascular health. Women receiving bi-weekly massages for 5 weeks, experienced reduced levels of norepinephrine and cortisol (hormones associated with stress), and increased levels of dopamine and serotonin (reducing the possibility of depression).
Reduction of swelling
Edema (the swelling of joints during pregnancy, often results from decreased circulation along with increased pressure on the major blood vessels caused by a heavy uterus. Massage therapy can stimulate soft tissues and eliminate the fluids collected in swollen joints, while improving the removal of tissue waste through the lymph system.
Sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy
During the latter months of pregnancy, Sciatic nerve pain is a common complaint, caused by the uterus resting on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. Massage therapy addresses the inflamed area by releasing the tension on nearby muscles. Many of my pregnant clients have experienced a significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy through massage therapy.
Other potential benefits of prenatal massage:
- Reduced back pain
- Reduced joint pain
- Improved circulation
- Reduced edema
- Reduced muscle tension and headaches
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
- Better sleep