Benefits of Massage for Mother, Baby & Pregnancyback
Massage affects most systems of the body. By utilizing a wide variety of soft tissue techniques, massage therapy addresses muscle tension, blood circulation, and the flow of the lymphatic system. Therefore, it's easy to conclude that massage therapy is an excellent way to help mothers to be.
There are a number of peri-natal massage therapy benefits:
- Reduces Pain
- Improves circulation
- Minimizes swelling
- Decreases stress and anxiety
- Improves sleep
- Reduces muscle tension
- Oxygenates soft tissue
Blood is Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner to Our Soft Tissue
Massaging a bodies' soft tissue increases systemic blood flow. Blood is the deliverer of nutrients and oxygen and not only helps the mother-to-be by relaxing tight muscles, supporting flexing joints, reducing swelling and helping to deliver blood to the fetus.
The Lymph System and Massage
The lymphatic system is our bodies' filtration system helping to improve immune function and reduce edema. There isn't a heart to pump the lymph fluid. Instead lymph is primarily moved by muscle contraction and gravity. Manual stimulation of the lymphatic vessels helps the body reduce excess fluid retention. For pregnancy, they lymph system often isn't working as efficiently. Swelling will become greater in the extremities.
Massage to Reduce the Stress of Pregnancy
Massage therapy has proven to lower the levels of stress hormones during pregnancy. Studies show hormones are significantly reduced when relaxation occurs. Norepinephrine and cortisol are two stress hormones that are affected when stress levels fluctuate. One study shows that women who received bi-weekly massage, for 5 weeks, experienced decreased levels of cortisol and norepinephrine, and increased levels of dopamine and serotonin (associated with depression when levels are low). By decreasing a mother's stress hormone levels, with the help of massage therapy, there are fewer complications during birth.
Cesareans and Peri-operative Therapy
This is Soulstice’s specialty! When recovering from your birth, naturally or by cesarean, Peri-operative Therapy is a must. In the first few weeks of recovery our expert therapists focus on your lymphatic system, helping your body to remove not only the toxins from medications from surgery but also the swelling surrounding the incision site. Once the incision has sealed itself we are able to work directly over and surrounding the incision to improve and reduce the developing scar tissue.
Field, T. (1999). Pregnant Women Benefit From Massage Therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mar;20(1):31-8.
Field, T. (2004). Massage Therapy Effects on Depressed Pregnant Women. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Jun;25(2):115-22.
Heimlich, Patti, RMT, CD, ICCE, The Benefits of Massage During Pregnancy, Labor & Postpartum. www.expectantmothersguide.com/library/houston/massage/htm. Article accessed online 10/18/2007.
Howell ,Julie, NMT, PMT, Prenatal Health Through Massage Therapy: For Women and Their Babies. www.newlifejournal.com/decjan03/howell/01/03/full.shtml. Article accessed online 10/18/2007.