Whether this is your first pregnancy or you’re an old pro, the thrill of bringing a new life into the world has its challenges, too. You may experience back pain, swollen ankles and legs, anxiety, and insomnia.
Although you may have previously considered massage only as a treat for birthdays or a reward for getting through a stressful period, regular massage helps you and your baby navigate some of the demands of pregnancy with greater ease. Prenatal massage brings many physical and emotional benefits to both of you.
At One Accord Physical Therapy, our massage experts offer prenatal massage at our locations in Casa Grande, Gilbert, Mesa, and Phoenix, Arizona. Our massage therapists are specially trained in prenatal massage to keep you and your baby safe.
As long as you're healthy and are past your first trimester, you could benefit from prenatal massage. In addition, if you have lower back pain, sciatica, or other pain conditions in your pelvis related to your pregnancy, you may benefit from our specialized pelvic floor care.
Would you and your baby like a massage? Here are a few reasons why you should consider adding massage to your pregnancy self(+)-care routine.
Massage balances hormones
Biweekly massages for five weeks have been shown to significantly lower stress hormones, such as cortisol and norepinephrine, which contribute to anxiety. The massage also raised levels of “happiness” hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin.
The balanced hormones did more than make mama feel calmer during pregnancy. They also led to fewer complications during birth.
Massage promotes relaxation and sleep
Partly due to its effects on hormones, massage helps you relax, feel calm, and reduces your risk for depression and anxiety. A calm nervous system more easily quiets down at night, leading to deeper, more restful sleep.
Sleep, in turn, helps you produce those helpful hormones that keep you relaxed. The result is improved mood and a general feeling of well-being.
Massage reduces swelling and improves circulation
Edema, or swelling in your joints (especially legs or ankles) is a result of sluggish circulation. Your growing uterus puts pressure on your veins and arteries, making it hard for blood to circulate and lymph fluid to drain.
Massage helps get things moving again. Massage encourages your tissues to reduce fluids in joint tissues and improves lymphatic drainage.
Massage reduces pain
One common complaint in the later stages of pregnancy is sciatica, an irritation of the sciatic nerve that causes tingling and pain down one or both legs. Massage releases pressure on the nerves by subduing inflammation in the surrounding muscles. Massage reduces a variety of pain conditions that often arise during pregnancy, including:
- Nerve pain
- Back pain
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
And, of course, when you’re pain-free, you feel more relaxed and sleep better, too.
Massage boosts your immune system
Weekly massage increases the function of the neuroendocrine and immune systems, when compared to simple light touch. Twice-weekly massage boosted the immune system more than once a week. The effects lasted for days at a time.
Find out if you and your baby can have a more comfortable, restful, and event-free pregnancy with prenatal massage. Start today by calling the One Accord Physical Therapy office that’s most conveniently located for you.