Prenatal massage has gained a lot of momentum over the past several years. Many women will seek massage specifically for their pregnancies even if they wouldn't have incorporated it into their schedules before. So, why is prenatal massage so important? In addition to all of the regular benefits, prenatal massage has some benefits specific to pregnant women.
Just like with regular massage, prenatal massage can help to improve circulation. This is especially important during pregnancy because your blood supply increases to about double the amount found in non-pregnant women. The improvement in your circulation from regular prenatal massage can result in benefits such as a decrease in swelling and a reduction of numbness/tingling. This can feel especially good in the last months of pregnancy when most women experience an increase in swelling in their legs and feet.
When you are pregnant, there are many things that can hinder your ability to breathe easily. First, your growing baby displaces your organs creating less space in your belly. This can restrict the amount that your diaphragm and lungs can move, and can decrease your ability to take deep breaths. Postural changes can also cause a decrease in space for the lungs to fill impeding breathing. Regular massage therapy can help to improve your breathing by helping to relieve some of the tension caused by postural changes, which can help you to feel like there is more space, and therefore more room to breathe.
Another common complaint during pregnancy is sinus congestion or sinus pain. This is due to an increase in the hormone Progesterone, which can cause swelling of your sinuses. Massage can help to ease sinus pain through the utilization of facial massage and acupressure.
Improved Gastro-intestinal Function
During pregnancy, the increased progesterone also causes your digestive system to slow down. It does this so that your food takes longer to digest, leaving more time for nutrients to be absorbed for the baby. This slow down in digestion can also lead to constipation, heartburn, a cit indigestion, gall bladder disease, bloating, and nausea.
Receiving regular massage during pregnancy can help to decrease these negative symptoms. It help to encourage faster food absorption which can speed up digestion. This can help to ease the negative symptoms listed above.
The skin can take a bit of a beating during pregnancy. Your growing belly makes the skin of your midsection tight, dry, and can cause stretch marks. Having soothing massage with oils that are beneficial for your skin can help to put moisture back into it making it feel less tight and dry. It can also help to decrease the appearance of stretch marks.
Relieves Musculoskeletal Discomfort
The changes in your posture as you are growing your baby can cause a whole host of uncomfortable symptoms which increase the later you get in your pregnancy. Your balance changes completely and you may experience symptoms such as sciatica-like pain, ligament pain, carpal/tarsal tunnel pain, restless legs, and headaches just to name a few. Regular massage is a great way to address all of these discomforts. It can help to release the muscular tension that builds up in the hips causing the sciatica-like pain. A massage therapist trained in pregnancy massage is able to recognize symptoms of ligament pain and has special techniques to help ease the pain. Carpal/tarsal tunnel pain is often caused or exacerbated by edema or swelling. Reduction in the swelling of hands and feet can help to ease symptoms of carpal/tarsal tunnel pain. Restless legs can be caused by overly tight calf muscles. While no deep work should be done on calves during pregnancy, superficial massage can help to relax the muscles enough that you will get some relief from restless legs.
Some women also experience what is known as Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction, where the ligament at the front of the pelvis separates. This causes a great deal of pain any time you do anything one sided such as walk, climb in and out of bed, climb stairs, etc. Massage therapy can help to correct it and has been known to even reverse it in some cases.
New mothers are under a lot of stress. Along with dealing with the regular stresses of their lives, they are also faced with growing a human baby, erratic hormones, and the fears and worry that can come along with becoming a parent. Massage is a great way to calm the mind and relax the body, helping to relieve some of the stress.
Good Preparation for Labor
Receiving regular massage therapy throughout your pregnancy can actually help prepare your body for labor. It can help to increase your flexibility and keep your joints supple and open. It can also help you to be more in tune with your body and what you are feeling by increasing your mind/body connection and creating kinesthetic awareness. Recognizing where you hold tension and learning to relax your muscles can work to your benefit when you are in labor. Massage can also help you get used to relaxing and focusing on your breath, both of which can aid you throughout labor and child birth.
Visit the PREGNANCY MASSAGE treatment menu.
While massage is popular as a mental relaxation tool, it can also go a long way in improving your physical well being. Therapeutic massage helps improve circulation, increases range of motion, reduces headaches, and even lowers the stress hormone cortisol, making it a highly effective way to improve your general wellness or treat certain health conditions, such as:
Arthritis. Because massage improves circulation, it is often used by people who suffer from inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis. Studies have shown that regular massages can help reduce pain and stiffness, improvehand grip strength, increase range of motion, and improve overall joint function for patients with arthritis.
Carpal Tunnel. If you’re suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, which is often caused by repetitive activities such as typing, massage may help alleviate your pain. Carpal tunnel occurs when the nerves in your anterior wrist become compressed or inflamed, and massage relieves that compression.
Migraines. Migraines, or tension headaches, are often brought on by stress, so one of the best ways to treat chronic migraines is with a stress-reducing massage. Studies reveal that massages reduce the level of cortisol in the body, and many people report feeling more relaxed and sleeping better after they’ve had a massage.
Sports Injuries. Whether you’re a professional athlete or a casual exerciser, therapeutic massages may help if you suffer from a sports injury. Many injuries occur due to the overuse of certain muscles, and massage can help relax those muscles so you recover more quickly and are less likely to suffer from an injury in the future. Even if you’re recovering from a more serious injury, such as a broken bone, massage may help the rehabilitation process by reducing stiffness and restoring movement.
Lower Back Pain. Lower back pain is often caused by muscle soreness or even a muscle strain, and, as anyone who has ever experienced this type of recurring pain before, can sometimes be hard to manage. Massage treats lower back pain by decreasing the tension and muscles and by improving circulation so the muscles and tissues of the lower back can get the nutrition they need.
Sciatica. This condition, which is caused when the roots of the sciatic nerve are compressed, leads to sharp, shooting leg pain that’s almost unbearable at times. A Professional licensed Massage Therapist may be able to reduce that pain by massaging the muscles of the leg to improve circulation and reduce the compression.
This is just a small sampling of the types of health conditions that a massage can help manage. If you’re suffering from chronic pain or a stress-induced injury, talk to your doctor about whether massage may complement your treatment.
Massage Mama is a Mobile Massage Service.
To keep things simple my rates include travel the cost of travel to your home.
My service is available in the following areas:
Cape Town City Bowl & Atlantic Seaboard
Cape Town, Southern Suburbs
Cape Town, Northern Suburbs
If your area is not listed please inquire. Additional travel costs and minimum bookings may apply.
When enjoyed in a vapouriser, essential oils are perfectly safe and an excellent way to feel uplifted and energised during pregnancy. It is only when applied directly to your skin that some warnings apply.
Essential oils are plant extracts that are extremely powerful, very potent and although highly concentrated, can have a significant impact on your body. For this reason, it's best to speak to a qualified professional before applying essential oils directly (and undiluted) onto your skin.
The benefits associated with using essential oils are bountiful, especially if used during pregnancy. There are many reports of essential oils aiding in the relief of pregnancy-related issues including nausea, swollen ankles and aches and pains. Essential oils can also help you feel relaxed, calm and balanced. Alternatively, if you need a punch of energy, there are a variety of oils to help boost your vitality and help to make you feel energised and uplifted.
Here are some pregnancy safe oils:
Massage Mama is an mobile massage therapy service operating in Cape Town central, Southern and Northern Suburbs
Massage therapy can be beneficial to people of all ages and conditions and is widely used to help obtain relief from many specific problems, including:
Love a good massage but not really enthusiastic to strip down in the middle of winter? Here are a few reasons why winter massages are really awesome.
Hands and feet feeling cold and clammy? Body feeling stiff and slow? We simple don't function optimally when we are cold. Massage therapy increases circulation to muscles, joints, and organs, warming up the body. Cold weather can bring on many discomforts, aches, pains and arthritis. Massage enhances blood flow, oxygenates yours muscles, naturally lowers blood pressure and improves body function.
Feeling a little dry?
Toasty winter fires and heaters (if you can find gas!) are great for snuggling and marshmallows but not so good for your skin. Oils and lotions used in massage contain healthy amounts of vitamin E along with the much needed moisture. A Massage will leave you feeling soothed and supple on the outside too.
Winter can be gloomy. We tend to get out less and have less social interaction. This decrease in activity and emotional connection coupled with our usual daily stresses can lead to some very real hormonal changes. Cortisol (Cortisol can drive up blood pressure and blood sugar levels and suppress the immune system.) rises and our serotonin and dopamine (neurotransmitters that help reduce depression) levels drop. Bring on the winter blues.
Booking yourself a nice relaxing massage can really help if you're struggling, here's why:
Massage therapy has a very real and measurable effect on the body's biochemistry. In a series of studies researchers found that massage therapy lowered cortisol levels by up to 53%. (That's huge!) Massage also significantly increased serotonin and dopamine levels.
Your lymphatic system works with your cardiovascular circulatory system to flush out toxins and carry white blood cells throughout the body to help defend against infections. If your lymph fluid circulation gets sluggish, toxins can accumulate and immune cells may not get carried to the areas of the body where they’re needed. Since the lymph system doesn’t have a big central pump like the heart to keep things moving, it has to rely on gravity, exercise, breathing … and massage.
Research sponsored by the National Center for Contemporary and Alternative Medicine showed that massage actually increases the production of white blood cells. So massage not only assists in getting the bad stuff out, it helps create more good stuff and gets it to where it needs to be. Win win win!
That warm wonderful relaxed feeling you get after a good massage – so much more to it than you thought! Warm muscles, soft skin, lowered blood pressure, hormonal balance and a boosted immune system. And Massage Mama is a mobile service so you don't even have to leave your home!
A technique involving deep bodywork designed to improve your circulation, take some of the strain off your muscles and joints, and generally re-energize you.
What It Does: Anyone who's ever had a professional massage (whether pregnant or not) knows that both body and mind feel better after a rubdown. Studies show that massage can reduce stress hormones in your body and relax and loosen your muscles. It can also increase blood flow, which is so important when you're pregnant, and keep your lymphatic system working at peak efficiency, flushing out toxins from your body. And it reconnects your mind with your body, a connection that's comforting during the constant changes to your body during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, regular prenatal massages may not only help you relax, but may also relieve insomnia, joint pain, neck and back pain, leg cramping, and sciatica. Additionally, it can reduce swelling in your hands and feet (as long as that swelling isn't a result of pre eclampsia), relieve carpal tunnel pain, and alleviate headaches and sinus congestion — all common pregnancy problems.
You don’t have to go on a detox diet or drink special smoothies to detox. Start with a massage to kick-start your body’s own natural cleansing processes, which can slow down for a variety of reasons — lack of regular exercise, too little fluids or fiber in the diet … If you haven’t been taking the best care of yourself, a detoxifying massage can help set things right again.
How does massage help the body detox, exactly?
The rhythmic strokes and pressure applied to muscles, tissues and organs during massage therapy help stimulate the circulatory system. It works sort of like a sponge: When pressure is applied to the tissue and fat, toxins are literally “squeezed” out from in between the muscle fibers and cells. They’re released into the circulatory system for easier elimination.
The lymph system is key
Your lymphatic fluid system works with your cardiovascular circulatory system to flush out toxins and carry immune cells throughout the body to help defend against infections. If your lymph fluid circulation gets sluggish, toxins can accumulate and immune cells may not get carried to the areas of the body where they’re needed.
Since the lymph system doesn’t have a big central pump like the heart to keep things moving, it has to rely on gravity, exercise, breathing … and massage. So if you haven’t been as good as you should about your exercise, diet and “me time” routine (it happens to the best of us!), that can affect how you feel, causing aches, pains and swelling (lymph edema). It can also cause deterioration in organs and glands like the thymus that are vital players in your immune system.
It’s easy to see why detoxification is important to avoiding illness and chronic health conditions. So if you’re not feeling your best or haven’t been as good about your diet and exercise routine lately, try a massage to get back on track. Remember to drink a glass or two of pure water after massage to help the body flush out toxins more rapidly.
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Massagemama@telkomsa.net or 0829211223
Anice Lombard, Massage Mama. Mama of 2 and Massage Therapist