Last week, after longer than a year without a visit, a client came to our office. Excited to help and curious as to what had been going on in her life, I was surprised by her protruding abdomen. Not wanting to say anything awkward, I simply remarked that she looked healthy. She replied kindly, adding that she was five months into her first pregnancy and confiding that it was a more difficult than she had expected.
I have found that physical discomfort is very common in first-time pregnancies. No matter what advice experienced mothers share, it’s never the same until you go though it yourself. There are many transformations occurring, least of which is the expanding girth, which make formerly simple activities much more challenging. All of these changes create pains in parts of your body that you did not think existed. Adding to the discomfort is the fact that, since you are the vessel for a new life, you have to keep your body free of most artificial stimuli, including pain medications. What are you to do?
Fortunately for pregnant women, years ago the technique of pregnancy massage (professionally called pre-natal massage) came into existence nyc Asian Massage, perhaps from a practice as simple as rubbing one’s belly. Like the name implies it is a massage specifically designed for the mother-to-be to help her and her body feel more at ease with all the changes occurring in the body. There are various formats, but for the most part it involves gentle massaging of the parts of the body that tend to take the brunt of the weight, including the back, legs, hips, ankles and, naturally, the abdomen.
In pre-natal massage the massage therapist typically positions the expectant mother in various comfort-seeking positions to reduce the stress on the mother as well as the special package that she carries. Unless the therapist has a special apparatus to allow lying face down (which poses dangers in the latter part of pregnancy), in most cases the woman is placed on her side. He or she may use European-based gentle effleurage (long smooth massage strokes) to induce a relaxed state before moving on to petrassage, which is more of a kneading action. In other cases, such as certain Asian-based massage styles, the therapist may use an acupressure technique or even give a Thai massage. Both of these can be done on a massage table, but they are easier to perform on the floor. Again the mother is positioned in comfort-seeking positions, which can change throughout the massage session in order to prevent focused-on parts of the body becoming fatigued.
Since two people are actually being massaged, the abdomen is massaged using gentle and confidence-creating strokes. This action may make the little one move around a bit later on in the pregnancy, but it will ultimately create a sense of harmony between the mother and baby.
Pre-natal or pregnancy massage can help shelter both mother and child from what may seem like a raging storm, thereby creating a sense of harmony that transitions them into calmer waters before entering this wonderful world.