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A therapeutic massage can improve health, ease stress, and relieve muscle tension. Researchers have found that prenatal massage therapy can relieve muscle aches, joint pains, and anxiety. It can also help babies' health and labor outcomes. Among Zen'd Out Massage Spa's Prenatal Massage Denver Downtown's varying techniques is Swedish Massage, which caters to different needs.
Swedish Massage aims to reduce muscle tension and improve lymphatic circulation by applying light pressure to the body's muscle groups. Swedish massage addresses many common discomforts associated with hormone-induced changes to the body's skeletal and circulatory systems that arise during pregnancy.
In addition to prenatal massage, it is crucial to distinguish perineal massage from therapeutic prenatal massage, the latter of which involves the practice of manually stretching the tissues surrounding the birth canal to reduce the risk of episiotomy or childbirth trauma.
Recent studies have found that prenatal massage has significant effects on hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress. The result is improved mood and cardiovascular health.
A study of women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks found that norepinephrine and cortisol (hormones associated with stress) were reduced as well as dopamine and serotonin levels were raised (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression).
These changes in hormone levels also reduced complications during birth and led to fewer cases of low birth weight among infants. When therapeutic massage is incorporated into prenatal care, evidence suggests strong benefits to a mother's and a newborn's health.
Reduction of swelling
When a pregnant woman has edema and swelling in the joints, it is generally due to a reduced circulation and a heavy uterus putting pressure on the major blood vessels. Massage stimulates the soft tissues, which reduces fluid accumulation in swollen joints. Furthermore, this enhances the removal of waste by the body's lymphatic system.
Improvement of nerve pain
Late pregnancy is often a time when women experience sciatic nerve pain as their uterus rests on their pelvic floor and lower back muscles. A large uterus exerts pressure on the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell and putting pressure on nearby nerves.
Having your muscles released by massage therapy helps reduce the tension on inflamed nerves. By massaging the sciatic nerve, many women have found that their pain is significantly reduced during pregnancy.
Prenatal massage may also offer the following benefits:
Reduced back pain
Reduced joint pain
Reduced muscle tension and headaches
Reduced stress and anxiety
Soft tissues and muscles are better oxygenated
Precautions for prenatal massage?
The prenatal care provider should be consulted about massage as with any therapeutic approach to pregnancy wellness. Knowing the risks of prenatal massage and working with well-trained professionals are the best ways to avoid them.
Professionals recommend that pregnant women lie on their side while receiving a massage. The tables that provide a hole in which the uterus fits are often not reliable and can still exert pressure on the abdomen, or the abdomen may dangle, causing discomfort to the uterine ligaments. Be sure to ask your massage therapist what position they will place you in during your first session.
Seek an appropriate massage therapist
Choosing a certified prenatal massage therapist is crucial. Certified therapists have been trained beyond the national standards for massage, as well as knowing how to address pregnancy and massage needs.
These professionals know how to position you safely to prevent straining your uterine ligaments. Also, they can diagnose blood clots and varicose veins.
Patients with bleeding, pre-term contractions, or any of the following conditions should speak to their doctor before receiving a massage:
Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH)
Previous pre-term labor
Having severe swelling, high blood pressure, or having sudden headaches
Recently gave birth
Prenatal massage is safe throughout the entire pregnancy?
The first, second, or third trimester of pregnancy can be used for massage therapy. There are many facilities that will not offer massage to a woman in her first trimester due to the increased risk of miscarriage associated with the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Massage during pregnancy as part of prenatal care
Massage can be beneficial to the health of many pregnant women. In addition to prenatal care providers' guidance and advice, massage therapy can be incorporated as an emotional and physical health supplement to improve pregnancy outcomes and maternal health during pregnancy. Our Downtown Denver prenatal massage is located at 910 16th St Mall Suite 408, Denver, CO 80202. To make an appointment, call (303) 656-2944.
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