Pregnancy definitely takes its toll on the body. From swelling to pain, nine months is a long time to suffer until your bundle of joy finally arrives and makes it all go away. One way that you can treat yourself during this exciting time is with prenatal massage. This type of massage is different from other types of massage in a few key ways and offers a host of benefits.
Prenatal massage to reduce swelling
Swelling and fluid retention are two hallmarks of pregnancy. A prenatal massage is a great way to fight this common ailment. In fact, the American Pregnancy Association fully supports the use of massage including specific types of soft tissue manipulation to reduce swelling that’s caused by the weight of a pregnant uterus on major blood vessels in the area.
Alleviate sciatica with prenatal massage
The sciatic nerve is a major nerve that runs down the back to your leg. The pressure of a pregnant uterus on this nerve can cause debilitating pain that radiates through the surrounding tissue. This pain causes swelling and inflammation that can be helped by massage which reduce tension in the muscles if done regularly.
Improve sleep with massage
Once your baby is born, you’ll have 18 years of sleepless nights. There’s no reason to start earlier than you have to even though pregnancy can make a good night’s sleep a fleeting thing. Regular massage can help with that too by circulating more relaxation hormones and the body’s central nervous system.
Balance hormone levels
Yet another great effect of prenatal massage is its ability to balance hormones in the body. When soft tissues are relaxed they allow for more blood to flow through them. More blood flow gives rise to a greater ability to heal and for the body to function optimally. Pregnancy can be a stressful time and a multitude of studies have shown that massage definitely has an impact on the presence of stress hormones in the body.