Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Prenatal Massage

Found this article in a parenting/pregnancy site..i have always enjoyed pre-natal massage.....usually i go to MIMI at Spa Artiyana......memang melegakan........
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Pregnancy brings countless changes to your body, and unfortunately, some of these changes are more painful than pleasurable. An aching back, hips, and legs; nausea; insomnia; headaches; swollen feet; and unpredictable hormones are all a part of a normal pregnancy. However, many women have discovered a way to ease some of the discomfort associated with pregnancy and even improve their labor and delivery. The secret is prenatal massage.

The therapeutic benefits of massage have been known since 3000 B.C. or earlier. However, the benefits of massage for pregnant women and even infants are a relatively new discovery and prenatal massage is becoming an increasingly popular practice.

When you are pregnant, your skeletal structure supports an increasing amount of weight, your organs shift to accommodate the baby, and you go through significant emotional and psychological changes. A massage therapist certified in prenatal massage is trained to manipulate those muscles most affected by these changes to help alleviate some of the discomfort, and the relaxation can help ease your emotional rollercoaster.

Studies have shown that prenatal massage can:

Relieve depression, anxiety, and nervousness caused by hormonal changes

Increase blood and lymph circulation, which helps to reduce swelling and improves the oxygen supply to the baby

Relieve muscle discomfort such as cramping, tightening, stiffness, and knots

Reduce pain and encourage relaxation, which can facilitate labor

Improve muscle and skin tone

Provide emotional support through nurturing touch

Promote relaxation and relieve insomnia

Relieve stress on weight-bearing joints such as lower back, pelvis, and ankles

Alleviate neck, shoulder, and back pain caused by muscle imbalance

Studies at the University of Miami, School of Medicine, show that just 20 minutes of massage twice a week for five weeks reduces stress hormones in the body, improves mood and sleep patterns, and reduces anxiety and back pain. Studies also show that women who received regular massages during pregnancy had lower rates of premature birth, fewer obstetrical problems, and their babies had a lower rate of postnatal complications.

Most experts recommend you avoid prenatal massage during your first trimester when your body is still getting used to the pregnancy, and some believe there may be a connection between first trimester prenatal massage and miscarriage. However, prenatal massage is perfectly safe during your second and third trimesters, and you’ll appreciate the benefits more the further along you are. You should always check with your doctor before beginning any new treatment or procedure when you are pregnant, and many massage therapists even require you to obtain a written note from your doctor or midwife before receiving a prenatal massage.

A certified prenatal massage therapist will have a special table and pillows designed for your comfort and the baby’s safety. Since you shouldn’t lie on your back for an extended period of time after the 20th week, most therapists will have you lie on your side, or in a semi-reclining position. Experts disagree on the safety of tables designed with a hole cut out to accommodate your belly, which allows you to lie on your stomach; many believe this causes unnecessary stress to your lower back. The rest of the massage room will be familiar to anyone who’s received a massage before, decorated with soft lighting, soothing music, and a warm, extra-padded table for you to lie on. Some therapists use scented candles or lotions. If these bother your sensitive nose, ask that they be changed to unscented or removed.

A prenatal massage may last anywhere from ten to 60 minutes, depending on your schedule and discomfort. Your level of dress at the massage is completely up to you and your comfort level. Some women prefer to wear nothing, while others choose to wear just their underwear, or bra and underwear. You will be covered with a blanket and only those parts that are being worked on will be uncovered. During the massage, direct and sustained pressure should not be applied to the area between your ankle bone and heel. Many therapists and reflexologists consider this area to be connected with the uterus and vagina and it is thought that heavy pressure on this area may induce early labor.

Prenatal massage is usually fine for healthy women during a normal pregnancy. However, women with any of the following conditions should not have a prenatal massage:

Heavy discharge (bloody or watery)
Gestational diabetes
Fever
Vomiting
Unusual pain
Pre-eclampsia or eclampsia
High blood pressure
Morning sickness
Diarrhea
Threatened miscarriage
Early labor
Placental dysfunction
Infectious disease
Thrombophlebitis
Skin irritation and/or discharge
Any high-risk pregnancy
Other prenatal massage therapy safety tips include:

Never lie on your back for a massage after the 20th week of pregnancy

Never massage open sores, areas where you have a rash, over raised or distended varicose veins, or near any site of infection

You should never experience pain during a massage. Alert your therapist immediately if you do and they should stop

Always have a certified prenatal massage therapist perform the massage – a generic massage therapist will not necessarily understand the important differences of a pregnant woman’s body, and may perform an unsafe massage for your baby. To find a certified prenatal massage therapist, ask for recommendations from your doctor or midwife, hospital, or your regular massage therapist. Also, the American Massage Therapy Association has a chapter in each state as well as a nationwide referral system in the United States and Canada. Take the time to speak with a prospective massage therapist before your first session to determine their level of expertise, training, and understanding of pregnancy-related issues. Some questions you may want to ask a prospective massage therapist include:

Always have a certified prenatal massage therapist perform the massage – a generic massage therapist will not necessarily understand the important differences of a pregnant woman’s body, and may perform an unsafe massage for your baby. To find a certified prenatal massage therapist, ask for recommendations from your doctor or midwife, hospital, or your regular massage therapist. Also, the American Massage Therapy Association has a chapter in each state as well as a nationwide referral system in the United States and Canada. Take the time to speak with a prospective massage therapist before your first session to determine their level of expertise, training, and understanding of pregnancy-related issues. Some questions you may want to ask a prospective massage therapist include:

How much prenatal massage training do you have? How much experience doing prenatal massage?

How long have you been practicing massage therapy? Prenatal massage therapy?

What kind of massage table do you use for pregnant women?

How will you handle positioning me as I progress through my pregnancy?

Regular prenatal massages can get expensive. Depending on where you live, an hour-long session can cost anywhere from $50-$110. If this doesn’t fit into your budget, consider having your partner give you a massage. Not only is this great relaxation for you, it can be a great way for your partner to feel more involved in your pregnancy, relax him or her at the same time, and can be a special bonding experience for both of you. Many hospitals and birth centers offer classes for partners to learn how to perform a safe and comfortable prenatal massage. Here are some massage tips for your partner to try:

Have the mother-to-be straddle a chair, facing the back of the chair. Place a few pillows between her and the chair back, allowing her to lean forward and relax against the cushioning.
Use an unscented massage oil or lotion to lubricate your hands. Pour a few drops onto the palm of your hand and rub your hands together to warm them. Cold oil and hands can be an uncomfortable shock to your partner, tense her muscles, and be counterproductive to the goal of the massage.
Place your hands on her lower back, just below the waistline and slowly begin sliding your hands up her back on either side of her spine. Never massage directly on her backbone or over the spinal column.
As you reach her shoulders, cross your hands slowly and gently across her upper back, and then continue down the opposite side of her spine back to the starting point.
Continue this up and down massage for several minutes until the muscles are warm and relaxed.
Now apply gentle pressure to any area of her back where she is feeling pain or tension. Use the heel of your hand or the pads of your fingers, bearing down slightly and continuing in a circular motion.
Always remember to be gentle – this is not the time for an intense deep-tissue massage. Stop immediately if your partner expresses pain or discomfort.
Finish the massage with several more minutes of the up and down massage. Then cover her with a warm blanket and let her rest there for five to ten minutes

1 comment:

Mind Body Shop said...

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.