Beauty and Wellbeing
Over the last few years, I have been asked a number of questions about pregnancy massage so I have collated them together and this article will answer them. Should you have any further questions, please do ask.
For some pregnancy is time of happiness, excitement and enjoyment. For others, it may be hard to relax and develop feelings of anxiety. Pregnancy massage is not only a wonderful way to alleviate some of the physical discomforts associated with pregnancy but also a way of promoting a sense of relaxation wellbeing.
are the benefits of a pregnancy massage?
Some of the benefits of pregnancy massage include:
- releasing muscle tension - studies have shown that it can reduce
back and leg pain
- releasing endorphins to aid relaxation and improve sleep
- reduced swelling
- increased blood circulation
- studies have shown that
this can result in reduced levels of stress hormones
- delivers more oxygen and nutrients to both mother and baby.
- studies have shown that this can result in reduced levels of stress hormones
How is a pregnancy massage carried out?
A pregnancy massage is performed in a side-lying position (on the left-hand side) with cushions used for support and to ensure maximum comfort, whilst massaging the back and backs of the leg. The front of the legs, the arms, neck, shoulders and face are then done with the client lying face up.
It is performed with a much lighter pressure than a regular holistic massage due to changes within the joints and ligaments. (Deep tissue massages are not recommended.)
How long is a treatment?
The treatment can be adapted to suit your needs and can be either 30 minutes or 70 minutes.
At what stage of pregnancy can I have a pregnancy massage?
Pregnancy massage can be carried out after the first trimester.
Regrettably, for obvious reasons, pregnancy massage cannot be carried out if your pregnancy is considered to be high risk, such as:
- multiple pregnancies (twins/triplets)
- severe nausea and morning sickness
- vaginal bleeding or spotting
- high chance of miscarriage
- early labour
- placental dysfunction
A great workshop today with Nicki Lee of Elysium Massage on soft tissue release (STR). A really useful technique to add to my massage toolkit. Once honed, I will look forward to incorporating it into my massage treatments over the coming weeks and months.
What is soft tissue release?
Soft tissue release uses assisted stretching of the muscles, fascia and tendons to release tension. Targeted static pressure is applied to an area of the muscle, which is then stretched through further specific movements. There are two types of STR:
P assive STR
It can be done passively where the therapist stretches the muscle by moving the client’s limb (i.e. the client is passive and the therapist performs the movement).
The client performs the movement. The client can target the pressure more effectively as the client is performing the movement that stretches the muscle.
What are the benefits of STR?
- STR can target small areas of muscle (e.g. tight bundles of muscle
fibres) without affecting surrounding more pliable muscles.
- More effective than stretching alone.
- Can be used with stretching to gain flexibility.
- Good for self-treatment in between massages.
What is deep tissue massage?
Deep tissue massage is a specific type of #massage that targets the deeper muscles within the body and the fibrous connective tissue (fascia) that supports and protects the muscles.
How does it differ from Swedish massage?
The massage involves a greater degree of intensity than a more relaxing Swedish massage because it reaches beyond the superficial muscles and fascia. As such, if you are suffering from muscular injuries and complaints, a deep tissue massage might be a better way of getting to the source of the problem.
How does deep tissue massage work?
Deep tissue massage involves the use of slow intense strokes (using the hands, lower arms, fingers and elbows) to provide deeper pressure to release chronic tension. In addition to working 'with' the grain of muscle tissue, deep tissue massage is applied 'across the grain' of the muscle to 'normalise' the muscle and tissues.
Whilst deep tissue massage should never hurt, you might experience slight soreness after a treatment. This is quite normal and shows that the treatment is effectively targeting the areas of tension. The pressure of the massage is adapted to suit every client through constant communication between client and therapist.
What are the benefits of deep tissue massage?
Over time #deeptissue massage can break down and eliminate scar tissue that has been left by injury or overuse. It also helps relieve tension in the muscles and fascia by removing toxins. Other long-term benefits can include pain relief, improved flexibility and suppleness, and improved mobility and posture.