No matter how enjoyable and restful a chair massage session is, safety is always your first priority as a pregnant mother. During pregnancy, you may feel very concerned and worried about any type of pressure on your body. In this article, we will show you that you are still able to both enjoy a brief relaxing chair massage session and also benefit from its soothing effects.
Is Chair Massage Generally Safe for Pregnancy
Yes! Although you may have heard recommendations that you should not receive any type of massage during pregnancy, there is no medical evidence which supports this claim. A great prenatal chair massage can actually have considerable benefits both for you and for your baby. Here are a few problems a prenatal chair massage can resolve to a great extent:
- Mood Disorders: Researches have shown that almost one-third of pregnant women suffer from clinical anxiety or depression and a trained masseuse can help you deal with your mood disorders. A suitable chair massage can reduce your pregnancy anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that a brief comforting chair massage can reduce the secretion of hormones which show stress and anxiety, such as norepinephrine and cortisol, as well as increasing happiness hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. By calming down your body and mind, you can also improve your sleep quality, which can promote your overall wellbeing even more.
- Muscle/Joint Pain: You naturally gain weight and your body normally changes during the pregnancy. As a result, you may feel some muscle and joint pain around your abdominal or knees. There may also be some other physical problems such as arthritis due to some physical changes. A relaxing chair massage can help you alleviate pains in your muscles and joints by resolving muscle knots and boosting the production of endorphins.
- Blood Circulation and Fluid Congestion: Your baby will add weight to your overall body weight and it can cause strain and tension on your blood vessels and the surrounding areas. This condition can result in reduced blood circulation and oxygen delivery, which can lead to fluid congestion and joint swelling, called Edema. Similar to any other massage type, chair massage can enhance blood circulation and oxygen delivery. Moreover, a light massage can help to reduce the fluid congestion and remove the waste blocked in the muscles.
- Sciatic Nerve Pain: Similar to the previous explained issue, there is also another disturbing pain that can be caused due to pregnancy added weight, this one associated with the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs through the backside of your hips creating your different sensations in the lower extremities. Your unborn baby’s extra pressure can disturb the efficiency of information transmission through your sciatic nerve. As a result, you may feel tingling or numbness in your legs. A short chair massage session can help to reduce the inflammation in your muscles and nerves and alleviate the tension in the surrounding areas.
- Problems with Labor: There are a number of problems which can put you or your baby at risk during labor. A relaxing chair massage can reduce the stress of your body and mind, and therefore improve your labor conditions. As mentioned previously, a suitable chair massage can lead to more balanced hormone levels, which is a highly effective factor in having fewer labor complications both for you and your baby. Moreover, it can be helpful in reducing labor duration and also the need for labor medication.
There are also other physical and emotional benefits such as an enhanced immune system which can wipe out waste materials such as toxins and viruses, and improved emotional and psychological feelings. Moreover, chair massage can be considered as one of the most appropriate massage types for a pregnant woman. There is no need to take any clothes off during a chair massage session; therefore, if you are a little self-conscious or shy this is the perfect and comfortable massage type for you. In addition, if you are too sensitive to special smells and easily feel nauseous during pregnancy, then there is no need to worry since no massage oils or lotions are applied in chair massage.
In What Trimester Can You Receive Prenatal Chair Massage
In all three of them! A few doctors and massage therapists advise pregnant women not to receive any type of pressure during the first trimester because of the high risk of miscarriage due to increased blood flow or sensitivity of special body parts which can induce contractions. However, on the whole, there is no firm evidence that pregnant women are prohibited from receiving a massage at any special trimester. In any case, it is highly recommended that you consult with your doctor about receiving massage therapy at any pregnancy stage.
Is the Especial Position of Chair Massage Safe for a Pregnant Woman
Typically, while you are receiving a chair massage, you will sit forward while your body’s front parts are leaning against the chair front and your face is placed in a padded head cradle. This position aims to expose your back and neck to be massaged. However, as a pregnant woman, this position may be discomforting and dangerous for you. There are a number of alternative positions your massage therapist may suggest.
Even if your masseuse is not specifically prenatal certified, almost all practiced massage therapists know that the best position for you as a pregnant mother is to be seated with your back to a standard chair. You will probably be positioned in the opposite direction while the weight of your back and abdominal is supported by the chair but your upper back and neck are still exposed to be massaged.
In What Conditions Is Chair Massage Harmful for You
There are special conditions in which chair massage is ill-advised. If you are in a high-risk pregnancy or there are any adverse health conditions, it is better to avoid any massage type while you are pregnant. A few of pregnancy medical complications include preeclampsia, a history of preterm labor, severe swelling or inflammation, serious headaches, first-term pregnancy, as well as severe pain around abdominal, lower back, and legs. In any case, your specialist physician is the only person who can decide whether you are ready to receive a chair massage and, if you can, which massage clinic and therapist suit you best.
If your doctor allows you to receive the prenatal massage, inform your massage clinic and massage therapist of all the specific pregnancy details your therapist must know before applying the massage. While you are receiving the therapy, it is seriously important that you communicate with your therapist. Tell him/her about any type of pain and discomfort you feel. If you feel sudden high heart rate or highly increased temperature, stop the massage immediately. There is nothing more important than the health and safety of you and your baby.