Prenatal Massage Experience at Rhemedy By Rhed Therapeutic Massage
Written By: Elizabeth Gleckler LMT
Edited By: Judie Rhed Yim LMT
We all know women come in all different shapes and sizes, have different postures and different gaits, and therefore often experience bodily aches and pains in a variety of different places. Though, one thing every woman can agree to during pregnancy, is that their bodies are changing, and these changes are happening very quickly! Often quicker than one expects or is ready for. Whether it is the leg swelling and cramping, that weird pulling in your groin, the new waddling walk you’ve adopted or that lovely slouching posture that the baby bump has caused you; you are now experiencing new aches and pains in places you’ve never felt before, or the ones you’ve had since before you were pregnant are now ten times worse. But what’s a girl to do? You can’t take any Advil, simple sitting on the couch or lying in bed is just making the aches even worse, and on top of that, it’s becoming harder and harder to focus at work since you have unlimited preparations before the baby arrives. This is where massage comes in.
As prenatal specialized massage therapists, we work with a variety of different women to help their bodies adapt throughout the pregnancy. When our bodies go through changes, we naturally adapt thereby trying to reach a state of equilibrium and this is no different during hormonal roller-coaster pregnancy. The diffculty now though, is that your body is going through many changes so rapidly, it is really hard to stay balanced and you begin to need outside
help. Massage has the incredible ability to decrease stress in your body and of your mind by releasing happy hormones and decreasing your stress hormones. The amount of research that is now being done on the benefts of decreasing your stress during pregnancy is incredible. Massage also helps tonify overtaxed muscles compensating for the slow increase laxity of pelvic ligaments due the Relaxin hormones which spike-up towards labor date. There are also myriad benefts for your baby as well as yourself when you keep your stress levels low. This is also why we
often recommend prenatal acupuncture, prenatal yoga/Pilates classes and proper nutrition, as they all work in tandem with massage to balance your stress hormones as well as energize those overtaxed muscles.
As far as the specifc aches and pains go, we are trained in therapeutic massage techniques. This means we work to treat pregnant women’s ailments on an individualized basis. If you are experiencing pain or tension in a particular area, we will assess and locate the source of the pain, then not only treat that specifc area, but the surrounding and distal areas as well. For instance, I often see women who complain of lower back and sciatic pain. This is a common complaint as the new weight in the front of the body causes the glutes and back muscles to fire continuously, which is your body’s way of preventing you from falling forward and also supporting a growing belly. This also means that your Glutes or Sacroiliac joint attachments become really sore because the muscles are constantly contracting and ligaments are constantly pulled! So, often I will massage the entire hip region and most of the muscles that attach to the pelvic girdle, (ie: lower back deep intrinsic muscles, QLs, Piriformis, Glutes, Quads,Hamstrings etc.) attempting to ease the shifting overstretched muscles in the posterior line and the overly contracted anterior line.
Since we work with many prenatal women, we are experienced not only in special side-lying position massage techniques, but in the precautions as well. We always massage with Organic pregnancy safe oils of Sunfower Seed and Calendula which are nourishing to the body and of course good for preventing stretch marks.We also avoid the contraindicated areas and use customized levels of pillows and bolsters to aid in the client’s comfort, making sure baby and mama are completely safe. Water or Pregnancy supporting tea are offered post-treatment as well as stretching or exercise advice and answering of any questions you may have. We love our prenatal clients, so please come join us— for your own well-being and ultimately your baby within you!
As per the NYTimes article noted in the picture above, we never share pictures of the myriad happy zen newborns we were privileged to work with.