Pregnancy Massage

In one of my massage classes, we learned briefly about different “genres” of massage – Thai, craniosacral, Shiatsu, etc. We studied the general theories behind each style and received a basic overview of the techniques. We also learned about pregnancy massage. This was less of a specific type of massage than it was a specific type of client, but there were still some details that made pregnancy massage different from the norm. The biggest detail was positioning, since pregnant clients (well, those in their third trimester) were often most comfortable lying on their side. So we wouldn’t be caught off-guard later, we practiced in class how to properly and effectively massage people in this position.

But we didn’t actually get to massage pregnant women, so it was all pretty theoretical. It wasn’t until much later, after I had already started my practice, that I realized how rewarding this type of massage could be – for both the client and the therapist.

I’m going to go out on a limb here for a moment and say that being pregnant must be hard work. Hard, constant work, with no breaks or days off. That’s why spending an hour on the massage table can be such a relief for these women. It isn’t a full break – that is, you don’t suddenly become “unpregnant” for a while; your body and hormones are still in flux – but it’s a temporary refocus of priorities. For a full 60 minutes the pregnant women herself is most important, not what’s forming inside.

As I’ve talked about before, massage can have all sorts of effects – physical, emotional, mental. For pregnancy massage, while the physical effects (i.e, pain relief) are still very much present, the emotional effects often take precedence. My clients glow a little brighter, breathe a little deeper, smile a little wider. Like I said above, when a client is involved with something as consuming as pregnancy, there’s a lot to gain from something as simple as massage. And I’m happy to be a part of it.

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