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How Massage Therapy Can Help Alleviate Discomfort during Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings countless changes to the body, some of which are more painful than pleasurable. Back pain, leg cramps, nausea, headaches and swollen feet are all common during pregnancy. However, many women in Toronto choose to ease some of the discomfort associated with pregnancy with prenatal massage therapy.

The benefits of massage therapy have been known for centuries, but the benefits for pregnant women are a relatively new discovery. Only a handful of small studies have explored the benefits of massage in pregnancy. A study conducted by the University of Miami’s School of Medicine, however, revealed that massage therapy might have multiple positive effects, including reduced anxiety, decreased leg and back pain, improved sleep, and decreased levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine.

Looking for an RMT

When considering undergoing massage therapy, pregnant women must look for a registered massage therapist (RMT). To find an RMT, they should consult the Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario (RMTAO). The RMTs on this register will have completed an educational program at an institution recognised by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and will have passed the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario’s certification examinations. These examinations include a multiple-choice examination and an objective structured clinical evaluation.

Before undergoing massage therapy, pregnant women should ask the therapist about his or her level of training and experience in performing massages on pregnant women. An untrained and/or inexperienced massage therapist may not understand the changes that the body goes through during pregnancy, and may perform an unsafe massage.

When to Have a Massage

Most experts recommend that pregnant women avoid massage during the first trimester when the body is growing accustomed to pregnancy, and some believe there may be a connection between first trimester massage and miscarriage. However, studies suggest that massage is perfectly safe in the second and third trimesters for women who have received clearance from their physician.

As pregnant women should refrain from lying on their back for extended periods of time after the 20th week of pregnancy, most RMTs require pregnant clients to lie on their side, or in a semi-reclining position, during a massage session. Some use pregnancy massage tables, which allow clients to lie on their stomach; others believe that these tables place unnecessary strain on the lower back, though. Most massage sessions last 60 minutes, which allows for enough time for RMTs to create a whole body relaxation experience.

Pregnant women in Toronto can have their moment of relaxation with a thorough massage. A massage therapy facility, like Sage Health and Wellness Clinic Inc., offers this service.

(Common Physiological Symptoms During Pregnancy, hadassah-med.com)

(Pregnancy Massage, webmd.com)