While pregnancy can be one of the most joyous times in a woman’s life, sometimes not-so-joyous symptoms can cause discomfort. Rather than remedying symptoms with medication that can negatively affect your sensitive body, there is an array of all-natural alternatives including prenatal massage that can be just as effective. According to experts, “massage during pregnancy offers many physical and mental benefits throughout every stage.” See how massage therapy can help ease your pregnancy symptoms.
Another common ailment during pregnancy, frequent headaches can occur due to changing hormones, fatigue and blood sugar swings. Prenatal massage increases circulation and improves oxygen flow to muscles, which can soothe these headaches naturally—without the harmful effects of some medications. With muscles free of tension, you will soon feel revived and headache free. Other simple fixes such as regular exercise, getting sufficient rest, increasing your intake of water and monitoring diet, as described above, can help soothe headaches. Relaxation can also help alleviate headache pain.
During the first trimester, cramping during pregnancy may be caused by your body adjusting to a growing baby. This pulling sensation in the abdomen can serve as a gentle reminder to take it easy. Taking time to rest the muscles that are working hard to support your changing body is imperative. Pregnancy massage can help to prevent cramping by improving nutrient circulation to the muscles and increasing their flexibility and tone to better support your changing body without strain and cramping. Incorporating gentle, regular exercise and drinking plenty of liquids is also shown to ease cramping.
When you are fatigued, it’s easy to convince yourself you’re too tired to exercise. But fitness and staying active is invaluable when it comes to fighting exhaustion and sleeplessness. Prenatal Massage not only relaxes muscle tension, but can also uplift your mood and energy level. In fact, massage stimulates “feel-good” hormones such as serotonin and dopamine—the body’s natural anti-pain chemicals. Meanwhile, stress hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol are suppressed, leaving the nervous system soothed and relaxed. Feel-good hormones give you more energy during waking hours while maintaining a state of calm relaxation so that you are able to easily drift into a deeper, more restful sleep at night.
Wondering where your ankles have gone? You are not alone: about half of all pregnant women experience ankle swelling during pregnancy. Since swelling typically gets worse as the day progresses, particularly in hot weather, try to elevate your feet as often as possible. Soaking swollen feet in Epsom salts or wrapping them in green or white cabbage leaves at the end of the day can help draw out retained fluid and relieve discomfort. Massage therapy can also help reduce pain and swelling as it improves circulation and the removal of toxins and fluid in swollen, irritated joints.
Somewhere between 50-80 percent of women experience back pain during pregnancy, according industry research. Staying active is important to maintain muscle tone to support your changing center of gravity. Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time, avoid high heels and maintain good posture. Warm baths, heating pads and ice packs can also help with pain management. Finally, massage therapy is the ideal way to lessen tension in the back region and relax muscles.