Massage during pregnancy reduces back pain and stress in the spinal cord. A good technique helps to relax and get better sleep. A proper massage technique reduces anxiety, lowers the production of stress hormones, relaxes the bones and muscles of the leg joints and hips which are under added strain during the middle to late pregnancy stages. However, safety is the top priority when massaging an expecting mother and so are only to be administered by trained and experienced professional masseuses.
Preparation for massage
To begin with, the lady should ideally be seated on a chair with her back towards the outside. In this position, the womb remains inside so that the pressure is very low on the womb. The surroundings should be free of obstacles so that the masseuse can easily move around the chair. The lady should wear very less amount of clothes. Wearing only underwear can give a good and direct hand contact with the muscle which is very effective. Women having long hair should clip all the hair over the head and clear the neck.
Different Techniques of Chair Massage
Here are a few massage techniques that can be followed by a masseur :
- The pregnant woman should be massaged in slow and gentle strokes. No hurried or rough hand movements or extra pressure on the back should be made. Start with easy compression. Always ask the woman whether she is comfortable. Compression begins from the top to bottom or from shoulder to hips.
- Use the thumb to make circular movements to relax the tight muscles of the back and shoulder. The thumb pressure is playing a vital role in muscle relaxation. Start thumb circle from the neck muscle and then to shoulder and lastly on the back.
- Use the hand stretch posture to free up arm and forearm muscles. This is quite easy when the woman is seated. Just fold the hand and stretch it to the back and behind the neck.
- Never give a hard massage to pregnant women. They just need a gentle touch to free them from the inactiveness that pregnancy often brings. If the womb of the pregnant woman feels any type of pressure, immediately stop the massage. If possible, keep a pillow under the womb between the chair and womb so that the extra pressure cannot harm to the child.
- Not only can you use your hand and thumb, but also the forearm to massage. Use the flat side of the forearm to gently yet firmly ease should stress and back pain.
- Focus on the spinal cord area or the vertebral column area of the body. Avoid using the fists for punching because, no matter how gently you think you are doing it, you might end up harming the mother and child.
The womb carries the load of the child which adds pressure on the vertebral column. A chair massage can great relieve stress on the back. A typical session lasts between 15 to 30 minutes. You can try it on your own at home or hire a professional physiotherapist for this purpose.