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At Healthy Being Wellness Center, we focus a good majority of our services on fertility and pregnancy therapies.  From pregnancy, pre-natal massage to Hypnobirthing classes - we cater our facility and our services to expecting mothers. 

The benefits of prenatal massage or massage during pregnancy:

 Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.

Massage prepares your body for delivery by helping increase elasticity and range of motion in the joints and muscles associated with childbirth. And by helping blood flow in the legs, massage can reduce the chances of edema, varicose veins and blood clots. (If you already suffer from these conditions, then special precautions must be taken and you should let your doctor know you’re planning on getting a massage).

Massage therapy addresses different needs through varying techniques, one of which is called Swedish Massage, which aims to relax muscle tension and improve lymphatic and blood circulation through mild pressure applied to the muscle groups of the body. Swedish Massage is the recommended prenatal massage method during pregnancy because it addresses many common discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes brought on by hormone shifts during pregnancy.

Hormone regulation

Studies done in the past 10 years have shown that hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered, leading to mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health, when massage therapy was introduced to women’s prenatal care. In women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks, hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol (“stress hormones”) were reduced and dopamine and serotonin levels were increased (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression). These changes in hormone levels also led to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight. The evidence points strongly to maternal and newborn health benefits when therapeutic massage is incorporated into regular prenatal care.

Reduction of swelling

Edema, or swelling of the joints during pregnancy, is often caused by reduced circulation and increased pressure on the major blood vessels by the heavy uterus. Massage helps to stimulate soft tissues to reduce collection of fluids in swollen joints, which also improves the removal of tissue waste, carried by the body’s lymph system.

Improvement of nerve pain

Sciatic nerve pain is experienced by many women in late pregnancy as the uterus rests on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. The pressure of the uterus spreads tension to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell and put pressure on nearby nerves. Massage therapy addresses the inflamed nerves by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles. Many women have experienced significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy through regular massage.

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
hen you’re choosing a pregnancy massage therapist, there are a few things you should look for:
  1. The therapist maintains all appropriate licenses and permits for providing Massage Therapy in the jurisdiction in which he/she practices. Therapists are happy to show you documentation if you ask for it, so don’t be shy.
  2. The therapist has received training in, and passed all course requirements, in a Prenatal or Pregnancy Massage Training Program.

Beyond these two requirements, the most important thing to look for is someone who you feel comfortable with—if you feel uncomfortable during your massage, you won't get all the benefits. Asking your friends who they recommend is a good first step toward finding someone you like. Are there any expectant mom blogs or forums in your area? Visit them and ask for recommendations.

 
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