So, to continue my series on the benefits of regular massage therapy, I would like to turn my attention to massage during pregnancy. Over the past couple of weeks I have looked at how regular massage therapy can benefit the body and the mind. These are benefits that can apply to most people. Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to focus on benefits for specific groups of people, in particular groups that I work with.
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 benefits outlined in the previous blog entries, prenatal massage has some benefits specific to pregnant women.
Last week I wrote this post about the benefits of regular massage therapy for the body. This week, I want to talk about the benefits of massage for your mind.
As many of you are probably aware, the majority of our aches, pains, and illnesses are at least partially due to stress. Stress is a mental state that partially manifests as physical pain such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, digestive upset... the list is seemingly endless. You can absolutely go to a doctor and get medications or procedures to treat these physical symptoms, of course that is likely to lead to a whole host of other problems due to side-effects of the treatments. However, if you only treat the physical symptoms, the stressed mind will just cause these or other physical symptoms to come back. If your physical problems are caused by stress, it makes sense to treat the stress along with the physical symptoms. Massage is a great option for treating both. While your body is reaping the physical benefits of the massage, your mind also has a chance to let go of some of that stress.
Everyone has a different idea of what massage therapy is and what it is for. Some people view it as a luxury, or way to pamper oneself. Others may view it as a way to rehabilitate an injury. These are both legitimate reasons, however, I want to take a look at how massage therapy can benefit everyone if added to their health care routine.
There are so many benefits of massage therapy, I am splitting this blog post into a series. The focus of today's post will be about massage for your body, or the physical benefits of receiving massage.
Most people in our society seek treatment when something hurts, or when they begin displaying symptoms. Massage therapy is a great way to treat these symptoms, but it can also be used as a preventative measure to avoid being in pain in the first place.
There are many myths and preconceived notions regarding massage therapy. Some people may get nervous and not want to receive massage, while others may not know how to behave during a session. This is unfortunate, as most people can benefit from massage therapy. If you have never received a massage before, or you are getting ready to have your first massage, it is always nice to go in knowing a little bit about what to expect. It should also be said that all massage establishments are not created equal. Each place does things a little differently, and not all ways of doing things are good. Therefore, I would like to give you some examples of things that I have noticed at places I have worked, and what I keep an eye out for when I go to get a massage.
In a previous blog post, I talked about medical inductions. As a follow up, I would like to talk a little about natural induction methods. It is very common for care providers to give a mother a date and say if she hasn't gone into labor by then they will induce. This is a great time to start some natural induction techniques. The majority of natural techniques will not cause harm to mom or baby even if they don't work.
The thing about any induction is this; whether natural or medical, if that baby isn't ready to be born, it won't work. Babies come when they are ready. If you and your baby are almost ready, an induction can be a great way to kickstart a labor. If baby and mom aren't ready, an induction won't take. Many people think that being induced in a hospital puts you into labor. This just isn't true. Every day Cesareans are performed for failed inductions.
So, what are some natural methods that you can use to try and kickstart your labor? The first thing you should do before trying any of these methods is to get the all clear from your primary care provider. If they have a medical reason why you should not try any or all of these techniques, don't do it.
One thing that many people don't think about when they go in for a massage is what is being used on their skin. Most people just assume that whatever the therapist is using on them is good for them. Depending on where you go, this may not be the case.
What you put on your body is just as important as what you put into it. While many people are becoming more concerned with eating healthy, not as many are aware of all of the harmful things that are found in our skin products. There are a lot of things that we are told to look out for, but I want to talk about what is good to use on your skin.
I will occasionally have people ask me if I use one of those special pregnancy massage tables with the hole in it for the belly. Sometimes it is someone who has been on one before, sometimes it is someone who has just heard of them. I think it is not only important to state that I don't use one, but to also explain why.
Meet the Author
Amanda Tarver, (LMT, CEIM, PES, RMT) is a massage therapist and birth worker in the Chicago area. She is dedicated to using a combination of bodywork and education to help people live a better quality of life.