When you're pregnant, you aren't just looking out for your own health, you also need to make choices that help the little life or lives inside you thrive. Prenatal massage therapy can help you live a fuller, more active, and more relaxed pregnancy.
Prenatal massage is chiefly about adapting normal massage therapy to a mother's changing body.
- Adjusted Positions: normal, supine and prone massage positions can become uncomfortable, particularly during your third trimester Your massage therapists can deliver traditional massage therapy in a way that helps you feel comfortable and relaxed. For instance, your massage therapist can massage your back using a massage chair. When massaging your swollen feet and ankles, your massage therapist can have you lie on your side while supporting yourself with a body pillow. Some massage therapist can also deliver treatment in pool or hot tub, using the weightlessness of the water to deliver profound relaxation.
The swollen, stiff, and sore knots that can cause cramping during your pregnancy often result from interrupted blood flow patterns in your changing body.
- Cupping: stimulating blood flow throughout can only be achieved when your muscles, tendons, and joints are open. Cupping is a gentle technique perfect for simulating blood flow in your changing body. Your massage therapists will apply pliable, rubber cups around your body that break up lesions in your skin and muscles to trigger more efficient blood flow throughout your body. Although this cupping technique can leave some unsightly red marks for a few days, the increased blood flow can help to combat the swelling you might experience in your hands and feet during your second and third trimesters.
Active Release Therapy (ART)
Pregnancy can make something you know intimately, your body, into something you can hardly recognize or understand. This foreign feeling can decrease your coordination and mobility.
- ART: active release therapy involves stretching and releasing to increase your mobility and flexibility. For expecting mothers, your massage therapist can use an implement like a stretching rope to elongate large muscles like your hamstring, glutes, and calves. Because ART is self-regulating massage technique, your massage therapist can show you how to use it before and after you exercise during your pregnancy. This can be particularly helpful when tendons and ligaments begin to become more elastic during your final trimester. You utilize ART to keep your muscles more pliable and mobile, even when your tendons and ligaments are not as supportive.