Pregnancy Massage: Mobile Massage for Mommies To Be!
Pregnancy massage, also known as prenatal massage or maternity massage, is steadily gaining in popularity with expectant mothers nationwide. Pregnancy massage shares many attributes with general massage, including:
• Reduced back, leg and overall body aches and pains
• Alleviate cramping
• Reduce anxiety and stress
• Reduce swelling
• Immunity Enhancement
• Decrease in stress hormones norepinephrine and cortisol
• An increase in ‘feel good’ chemicals serotonin and dopamine
• Better quality sleep
• Improved circulation and mobility
A pregnancy massage is usually an hour in length, but can be shorter or longer depending on the needs and condition of the expectant mother. Some mobile massage therapists use a special mobile massage table that accommodates a pregnant belly. However, the most popular pregnancy massage position is lying on one’ s side with the help of pregnancy pillows called bolsters.
Prenatal Massage is Tailored to the Specific Needs of Pregnancy
Although similar to general massage, prenatal massage is specifically tailored to the changing physiological needs of an expectant mother’s body. There are several common modalities that a licensed, insured and highly experienced mobile massage therapist can use while performing a full body prenatal massage, including:
• Deep Tissue—firm strokes pressing deep into muscle fibers and connective tissues
• Swedish—elongated strokes into muscles and attention to joint mobility
• Shiatsu—with pressure and tapping on acupressure points to stimulate the body’s natural energy production
It is essential to remember that increased blood volume and decreased blood flow to the lower body can put a mommy to be at an increased risk for blood clots. Therefore, although deep tissue, shiatsu and several other common mobile massage modalities can be employed on some portions of the upper body, like shoulders neck—abdominal and lower body prenatal massage should only use very light pressure, and all strokes should move toward the direction of the heart. This minimizes the risk of dislodging a blood clot, and of causing a potentially fatal medical emergency.
It is also important to refrain from any heat treatments, massage or otherwise, that could significantly raise your and your baby’s core body temperature to dangerous levels, including:
• Hot Stone Therapy
• Hot Wraps
• Hot Tubs
The Medical Establishment’s Take on Maternity Massage
Currently, there is no universally agreed upon medical consensus on the safety and effectiveness of maternity massage. This has less to do with the various health and wellness benefits of massage therapy, and much more to do with the large discrepancy in the training and experience of different mobile massage therapists. As a pillar of the mobile massage community, we totally understand and support the hesitance on the part of some medical professionals to recommend maternity massage to expectant mothers.
• This includes during the first trimester, due to concerns that maternity massage might increase the risk for miscarriage
Male or female, pregnant or not, many of our loyal customers have special medical situations requiring mobile massage therapists who are highly experienced and educated in their modalities. We strongly recommend discussing the potential benefits and dangers of maternity massage with your physician before scheduling an appointment.
When to Avoid Pregnancy Massage
As we said above, we support the conservative approach many health care professionals take toward recommending pregnancy massage. This includes avoiding mobile massage therapy treatment if you are pregnant and experiencing:
• Nausea, vomiting or morning sickness
• A high-risk pregnancy
• A high risk of miscarriage
• A skin injury or condition
• Blood clot or injury
Again, we strongly recommend you discuss pregnancy massage with your healthcare provider before scheduling a maternity massage with your mobile massage therapist. After all, it is always better to be safe than sorry—especially because the health, wellbeing and longevity of both you and your unborn child are paramount to anything else!
Choosing the Right Mobile Massage Therapist for Your Prenatal Massage
It is crucial to choose a mobile massage therapist that is an expert in his or her modalities and field. It is also essential to choose one who is licensed, insured, and understands the unique physiological needs of an expectant mother.
At A Magic Touch Mobile Massage, our prenatal massage therapists have the experience and licensing to ensure your maternity massage will be safe, effective and most of all, a pampering, pleasurable relief from the rigors and stresses of daily life. They also are happy to work within the recommendations of your physician or healthcare provider.
We bring the equipment and our magic hands—so all you need to do is open your door, and allow us in to serve your mobile massage needs. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment, to discuss our prenatal massage services, or any other of our many mobile massage and spa therapy offerings!