Pregnancy & Full Abdominal Massage – Nature To Nurture Techniques
- Soft Tissue
- Deep Tissue
- Trigger Point Therapy
- Neuromuscular Techniques
- Pregnancy & Full Abdominal
- Myofascial Release
- Facial Rejuvenation/Natural Facelift
- Indian Head Massage & Indian Champissage
What exactly is the difference between all these massage techniques? How can they help with pain or stiffness? Which one is best for you?
I see an increasing number of clients with muscular aches, pain, stiffness & lack of movement. This can be due to many factors: lack of exercise; lack of general mobility due to illness or injury; over-exercise & not allowing muscles to properly relax; long working hours; desk-based work (causing the classic C-shaped hunching spine seen below); long hours of driving, travelling or commuting; stress, anxiety & emotionally-held tension, or simply a sedentary lifestyle.
Whatever the cause there are many different massage techniques which I can offer to help you & I often choose to combine them. I have therefore decided to compile a series of small articles letting you know about each kind of massage technique & method I have trained in. The third of these will be about Pregnancy & Full Abdominal Massage, also known as Antenatal Massage. As usual please click on anything highlighted in green, which will take you to a weblink.
Pregnancy Massage – In A Nutshell
Although pregnancy can be a wonderful experience, it is also a time of incredible change within the mother’s body. Carrying around a substantial weight in the form of your baby bump at the very least can lead to lower backache, especially around the sacrum & lower back, as your body tries to support you. It can cause you to change posture – sitting, standing, walking, lying & generally moving differently. Many different hormones are released, in particular, Relaxin. As the name implies this hormone is released in preparation for childbirth – relaxing the ligaments in the pelvis, softening & widening the cervix, but also causing many of the tendons & ligaments to stretch. All of these factors can combine to put strain & pressure on the joints, ligaments & organs, which may cause aches, discomfort & ailments from lower back pain to swollen ankles, which massage can help to alleviate.
Pregnancy massage can help with:
- Muscle tension
- Muscle spasm & cramping
- Sciatic Pain
- Swelling & Oedema (water rentention)
- Back, neck & shoulder discomfort caused by hormonal & postural changes
- Improve Quality of Sleep
- Reduce headaches
- Relieve heartburn
- Balance mood-swings
- Support post-natal depression
Pregnancy Massage – In Detail
With Antenatal massage particular care for mother & bump’s comfort & safety is taken at all stages of pregnancy. There are a number of different options for treatment:
Pregnancy Massage Positions
Prone-lying Pregnancy massage cushion: Heaven for those who miss laying on their front & would like a prone massage. The KIH Bed is a Multi-Award-Winning Pregnancy Cushion that allows a client to safely lay on her front throughout her pregnancy. It is used worldwide by Massage Therapists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths & Mums-to-be. It is also used post-partum for co-sleeping safety so you may well choose to buy one yourself!
- Side-lying: many opt to use a side-lying position on the treatment couch, with an array of pillow options for comfort between the knees, under the head, feet & bump. This is best when a full body massage is required & is especially good for deep relaxation.
- Seated: another option is to be seated using a face rest. This is best when a focussed treatment on the back, neck & shoulders is desired, & can be especially effective at relieving muscular aches & pains in these areas
Pregnancy Massage Treatments
- Soft Tissue & gentle Swedish techniques – a combination of massage strokes & gentle but effective deeper pressures can be applied to relieve muscular tension
Lymphatic drainage – can be helpful for swollen wrists, hands, feet & ankles
- Deeper pressures – generally Deep Tissue massage is avoided during pregnancy. However, in the last few weeks of the Third Trimester & with the agreement of the midwife deeper pressures can be used to bring relief prior to labour & to prepare the body for birth
- Indian Head Massage & Champissage – always a favourite for pregnant clients as treatments can be limited to 30-45 minutes, are seated, require no oils/products & can be done through clothing
- Facial Rejuvenation & Facial Massage – this treatment can be adapted to a side-lying posture when pregnant & can be incredibly relaxing
Studies have shown that women who receive regular massages have fewer complications during their pregnancy & labour and that their babies are more settled & content, suffering fewer baby ailments
Aromatherapy & Massage can be of enormous benefit to both expectant mother & baby, helping to facilitate a connection & bonding between them. They can be used as separate treatments or combined to peaceful & soothing effect, calming & comforting. In addition research also shows that the baby can greatly benefit from massage as endorphins (feel good chemicals) are released by the mother during treatment that are passed onto the baby. Quite often the therapist will feel the baby kick & move as it too responds to the massage treatment (taken from the Gateway Massage Course handout, 2014). Aromatherapy essential oils can also help immensely in all areas of pregnancy & I am usually asked about them more than massage!
At a time when many medications cannot be taken, essential oils can provide a safe & natural alternative for many pregnancy issues when advised by a fully qualified practitioner
I cannot stress the latter point enough – you do need to consult with a fully-qualified practitioner as there are oils which are unsafe to use during pregnancy. However, for a fully-qualified & trained Aromatherapist there are many perfectly safe alternatives which can bring excellent results for many common Pregnancy issues (see below). For advice or if in doubt seek out a professional Aromatherapist like myself – contact me to ask for an Aromatherapy Consultation or my advice.
Aromatherapy can help with:
- General Relaxation
- Time for self – helping you to help yourself have a calmer pregnancy
- Morning sickness
- Stretch marks
- Pre-Birth – stress/anxiety/tension
- Muscular aches & cramps
- Third trimester – to help prepare the body for birth
- Labour – within the birthing room to make the process much easier. Blends can be supplied in aromasticks to sniff as required
- Post pregnancy – issues like sleep (for both you & baby!)
- Support for antenatal & post-natal depression
Benefitting from Pregnancy Massage & Aromatherapy:
Antenatal & Full Abdominal Treatments
I am fully-trained & insured to gently & safely massage the abdomen as well as the rest of the body – arms/hands, legs/feet, whole back/shoulder, face & scalp so I can focus on any of these areas or give a full body treatment if you would prefer. All can be provided with a tailor-made Pregnancy Aromatherapy blend to take home for massage, diffuser or portable devices such as rollerballs & aromasticks. I am also available to give advice on treatments.
For further information about Pregnancy Massage click here
To book with me for a Pregnancy treatment or discuss options please click here