If you've ever had a massage before, you know they feel great. But did you know they can also do great things for your mind and body too? Massage therapy is an alternative healing method which aims to improve both emotional and physical health by skilfully manipulating the body's soft tissues, from the skin to the muscles.
Anyone can benefit from massage therapy, but it's particularly beneficial to women venturing into the journey of motherhood. Here's how this practice can help you before, during and after pregnancy.
Massage Therapy Before Pregnancy
Have you been ready for motherhood for a while now, only to find that you're struggling to conceive? If so, you're not alone. Infertility is a surprisingly common problem which affects 1 in 6 couples across the country. While massage therapy isn't a proven treatment for infertility and difficulty conceiving, many women have reported success in getting pregnant after receiving a fertility massage. The core reason behind this is thought to be how stress affects fertility. Research has shown that women under stress take 29% longer to get pregnant. Massage is known to be a great way of relieving stress. It's also all-natural and completely healthy, making it a great alternative to stress relievers that make conceiving even harder (such as smoking and drinking). If you're having trouble getting pregnant and you think stress might be to blame, trying massage therapy is a great idea.
Massage Therapy During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be the most wonderful time of a woman's life, but it's not without its challenges. Pregnant women face numerous mental and physical problems on a daily basis, from back pain to sleep problems to mood swings. Massage therapy can help with all these issues. It can relieve tension and pain in the spinal area as well as the legs and other areas that become sore from carrying a heavy belly. On top of that, the relaxing effects of massage are conducive to better sleep and an improved mood. As long as the massage therapist is trained in prenatal techniques and works in a clean environment, massage therapy is safe during pregnancy. However, you should speak to your doctor beforehand if you have an underlying health condition or your pregnancy is high-risk.
Massage Therapy After Pregnancy
Just as massage therapy can help you improve comfort, sleep and your emotional state during pregnancy, it can do the same when you're struggling with the mental and physical wear of taking care of a newborn. But don't just keep the wonders of massage to yourself—infants can benefit from it too. Massage therapists who are qualified to work with babies can use similar techniques to soothe your little one's troubles too. A fussy baby who tends to get stressed and cry a lot may benefit from regular massage sessions. It can also help babies sleep better at night and improve their development.
Speak to a practitioner of massage therapy for more information.