ZenMomma

ZenGatePreggo1You may think of massage as a luxury to indulge in on occasion. But one of the most beneficial times for massage may be during pregnancy.  That is why ZenGate Healing Arts in Elmhurst, IL offers the best Prenatal Massages for during and after pregnancy.  Helping pregnant women have a healthy and stress free pregnancy, a ZenMomma.

What Is Pregnancy Massage?

Pregnancy massage is a catch-all term for any hands-on massage during or after pregnancy (prenatal or postnatal massage).

A pregnancy massage typically lasts an 60 to 90-minutes.  Using specially designed pillows, aka bolsters, to position a woman comfortably on her side. This helps especially during the later stages of pregnancy. Lying on your side is often the most comfortable position.  Annie Van Zeyl, LMT is has specialized, advanced training in the anatomy, physiology, complications, precautions, high risk, & contraindications in Pre/Post -Natal Massage.  Sometimes, a  referral from the physician prior to therapy will be required.

Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

The Mayo Clinic has sighted massage, exercise and posture as specific ways of fighting lower back pain due to pregnancy. While unclear about the effectiveness of chiropractic care and acupuncture, they are acknowledged as possible complementary treatments. However, massage is clearly defined. See it straight from The Mayo Clinic.

 

In a study at the University of Miami School of Medicine suggests that massage therapy might have multiple positive effects, including:

  • Lowered anxiety
  • Decreased back and leg pain
  • Improved sleep
  • Decreased levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine

In another study of pregnancy massage in depressed women, researchers found:

  • Increased levels of the “feel-good” hormones serotonin and dopamine
  • Decreased levels of cortisol, an indicator of stress
  • An overall improvement in mood
  • Research has shown that, for the general population, massage has other potential benefits. It may relieve pain, or it may boost the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses and tumors.

Safe Techniques for Pregnancy Massage

There are more than 80 types of massage taught in roughly 1,300 massage therapy programs in the U.S. Examples of common types of massage include:

Deep-tissue massage, with firm strokes pressing deep into muscles
Swedish massage, with long strokes to muscles and attention to joint mobility
Shiatsu, with pressure and tapping on acupressure points to stimulate the body’s natural energy (called qi)
From a scientific standpoint, the mechanisms that make massage therapy work are still largely unknown. More research is needed to understand how applying different types of manual pressure to the body can:

  • Relieve pain
  • Stimulate the release of certain hormones like serotonin
  • Improve sleep
  • Promote the physiological response of relaxation

Pregnancy massage experts adapt their techniques to address the changes a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy. For instance, blood volume increases dramatically — as much as 50% — during pregnancy. Blood flow to the legs often becomes sluggish. And the levels of anticoagulants in the blood — designed to prevent hemorrhaging during delivery — naturally rise.

These circulatory changes put a pregnant woman at risk of blood clots in the lower legs, typically in the calves or inner thigh. To be safe, pregnancy massage experts avoid deep massage and strong pressure on the legs. Using strong pressure could dislodge a blood clot. Instead, they use very light, slow strokes on the legs. Types of massage to avoid on the legs include deep-tissue massage, deep acupressure, shiatsu, cross-fiber friction, and percussive tapping. All leg massage strokes should move toward the heart.

Very light pressure on the abdomen is advised, if the belly is massaged at all. Some massage therapists avoid massaging the abdomen.


Annie is a 2005″ Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist” by Peg Johnson, RN from the formally known Wellness & Massage Training Institute, Woodridge, IL.  Undergoing an advanced certification level program in massage for pregnancy, labor and postpartum. Annie’s advanced prenatal education has helped improve the level of health of the expectant and postpartum woman for over 10 years. Whether it’s an opportunity to simply unplug and relax during this special time, or reduce pain and discomfort related to the changes your body is currently going through, a prenatal massage session with Annie is guaranteed to improve your overall health & wellness.

Have more questions about massage therapy for pregnancy and postpartum? Call Annie @ (630) 935-0171 or send her an email. She is more than happy to answer any questions!