Pregnancy Massage: the benefits

SANTI’S 7 

·      Physical benefits to counter the change in your body throughout the second and third trimesters

·      Emotional support, stress relief and hormone stabilisation

·      Relaxation to encourage a better night’s sleep

Pregnancy is a wonderful experience, however it is also a time where a woman will experience numerous physical and emotional changes, not all of which are comfortable. Within this unique event, the body adapts in a variety of ways which can place stresses on the systems of the body often leading to feelings of tiredness, pain, discomfort and anxiety; all of which are targeted with a specialist Santi pregnancy massage.
Receiving regular massages during pregnancy has been shown to benefit not only mother, but baby as well as it can emotionally and physically support the mother during these bodily changes, encouraging relaxation and reducing levels of stress and anxiety. Massage works on the nervous system by stimulating the release of neuro-endorphins (sometimes known as “happy hormones”) which can have a positive impact on an expectant mother’s wellness.

Here at Santi we are dedicated to providing you with all the information, so we have devised a list of benefits (of which there are many!) of receiving a pregnancy massage.

The Santi TOP 7

1.     Targeting aches and pains

2.     Reducing swelling

3.     Increasing circulation

4.     Improving sleep quality

5.     Stress relief and hormonal control

6.     Headache relief

7.     Soothing the skin

1.   Targeting aches and pains

Massage is the perfect remedy for any aches and pains which may develop in everyday life let alone during pregnancy.

Throughout pregnancy soreness is a common occurrence due to the constant changes in the body. Pregnancy massage is an ideal way to alleviate these issues and get you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Back and joint pain, as well as sciatic nerve pain have been shown to improve thanks to soft tissue release as well as relief to muscular tension. Back pain in particular is synonymous with pregnancy. As the pregnancy progresses, increased strain is placed upon the back due to postural changes as well as because of the increased weight and size of your baby; massage can help to loosen the muscles which have tightened as a result of this strain.

Stress can be placed on the sciatic nerve during pregnancy due to compression being placed on it. This can lead to pain in the buttocks and down the back of the legs and into the feet. Massage can be used to reduce this pain by easing the muscles surrounding the nerve and reducing the pressure applied to it.

Pubic symphysis dysfunction is another condition which some women experience during pregnancy. This occurs when the ligament at the front of the pelvis separates, leading to pain during one sided activities such as walking, climbing stairs, getting out of cars etc. Massage can help to ease surrounding structures and reduce some discomfort.

2.   Reducing swelling

Massage can be used to ease swelling in common areas such as feet, legs, hands, ankles and wrists by improving lymph flow; as the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump mechanism, manual techniques used in pregnancy massage are perfect to reduce levels of oedema.

3.   Increasing circulation

Similarly to in regular massage, prenatal massage helps to improve circulation. Increased blood and lymph circulation help to reduce oedema and eliminate toxins from the body, which can in turn reduce feelings of fatigue, and can also help to strengthen the immune system and oxygen levels in the blood. This is particularly beneficial during pregnancy as it will help to distribute essential nutrients and fluids to the vital organs and placenta; helping to feed and aid in the development of your baby.  Increasing the blood circulation can help to lower high blood pressure or keep the pressure balanced, and furthermore, can relieve the symptoms of anaemia, as increased circulation raises red blood cell count, which means there is additional haemoglobin in the blood.

4.   Improving sleep quality

Massage in pregnancy has been shown to improve sleep quality by inducing deep relaxation which can in turn decrease insomnia and help you to achieve better sleeping patterns.

5.   Stress relief and hormonal control

Massage in pregnancy is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. Fluctuating hormones and broken sleep patterns often lead to increased stress levels. As well as providing a relaxing environment where you can switch off and be nurtured, massage can also help with hormonal control, leading to an increase in production of the mood-enhancing hormones dopamine and serotonin, and a reduce in stress hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol. Massage also stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers, into the brain and nervous system. Research has shown that bi-weekly massage treatment for as little as five weeks during pregnancy can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Furthermore, studies have shown regular massages can result in a less painful labour experience due to increased dopamine and serotonin levels; this has been shown to reduce depression associated with pregnancy and post-partum depression. Massage also encourages the release of oxytocin, a pain reducing hormone which can provide pain relief during labour.

6.    Headache control

Due to pregnancy-induced hormonal changes and postural strains placed on the body during pregnancy, headaches and migraines are common in expectant mothers, being seen in approximately 20% of individuals. Massage is a proven way to reduce tension in the stressed areas and in turn reduce headaches.

7.    Soothing skin and reducing stretch marks

Dry skin, tightness and stretch marks are all common occurrences throughout pregnancy, but they don’t have to be permanent. Soothing massages with natural, nourishing oils can help to moisturise the skin relieving feelings of tightness and dryness; this can also help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. 

Similarly to regular massage, pregnancy (or prenatal) massage works to reduce muscular tension, improve mobility and circulation and make you feel relaxed, however it is also customised for each expectant mother, adapting to their needs and their changing bodies.

There are tonnes of positives to receiving regular massages throughout pregnancy, with these techniques providing benefits not only to physical but also emotional wellbeing, and here at Santi, we are focused on helping you enjoy your pregnancy just that extra bit more. Whether it’s a sore back, swollen legs, sciatic pain or lack of sleep, don’t let these discomforts become chronic.

Lie back, relax, and let us worry about your aches and pains so that you won’t have to.