Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life; one that is marked with excitement and maybe a touch of trepidation. Though the end result is worth it, there are also many discomforts that come along with pregnancy. What’s worse, most of the pharmaceutical means we employ to manage those discomforts at other times are off-limits.
Thankfully, many expectant parents have found relief through massage therapy. Let’s take some time to examine the benefits of regular prenatal massage.
Common Pregnancy Complaints Treated with Massage Therapy
Just as no two people are alike, no two pregnant patients experience the same symptoms during this time. In fact, symptoms that are rampant during one pregnancy may be entirely absent in a subsequent one, even for the same person. However, there is a typical list of discomforts associated with pregnancy that can be alleviated with a visit to a registered massage therapist.
Back pain: On average, women will gain 10-20 kilograms during pregnancy. This weight increase and subsequent changes to movement patterns combined with stress and hormonal variations, it’s no surprise pregnant woman commonly experience back pain! As back pain is one of the most common reasons for a trip to the massage therapist at any time in life, it’s no wonder that it’s a common reason to seek out prenatal massage too!
Swelling: A common pregnancy condition, especially in the lower extremities, is edema or swelling. If you have discussed any swelling with your healthcare provider and they have ruled out more serious conditions that could be causing it, massage therapy can help minimize the discomfort of swelling.
Carpal tunnel syndrome: On a related note, the swelling and inflammation that go along with pregnancy can also lead to a painful tingling in the hands and wrists known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Night braces and physiotherapy exercises can help relieve these symptoms, and so can massage therapy.
How Does Pregnancy Massage Work?
Most people who have experienced massage therapy are familiar with the traditional pose of lying face down for at least a portion of the time. But anyone who is familiar with the form of an expectant mother knows that the face-down position is a logistical impossibility. Does this mean that massage is out of reach once that baby bump is bigger than an avocado? Not at all!
Victoria registered massage therapists are well-versed in what needs to be done to help keep prenatal massage clients safe during a session. In fact, if your doctor agrees, you can safely enjoy the benefits of massage therapy right up until the end of pregnancy. Whether it’s a table that’s specially designed to help accommodate the growing womb or carefully arranged pillows to provide just the right amount of support, rest assured that an RMT can help you enjoy a comfortable massage.
Is Prenatal Massage Safe for Everyone?
There is no doubt that massage can help relieve some of the more common ailments associated with pregnancy. There is a lot of debate and discussion about whether certain massage techniques or specific areas need to be avoided during pregnancy. There is no evidence that for most woman with an uncomplicated pregnancy, massage therapy is a safe and welcome treatment.
A registered massage therapist has specialized training for bodies of all types and can work with you to ensure your massage is safe. For your own comfort and peace of mind, please communicate your requests and questions with your RMT to ensure you get the treatment you want.
In a perfect world, every pregnancy would be a healthy one with no complications and smooth delivery. However, we do not live a perfect world! Those in the first trimester, those who are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, or those have high blood pressure in pregnancy should consult with their doctor, midwife or obstetrician before having a prenatal massage.
Located in the Admirals Walk Plaza, Achieve Health is an integrated health clinic in Victoria BC, providing physiotherapy, massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic treatments. We aim to help our clients achieve optimal health through the use of evidence-based therapies. Book your consultation today!