Massage Therapy Helps Before, After – and During?!? – Birth

We’ve written about the magic of massage therapy before, and how it helps mothers (and fathers) relieve tension, lower their blood pressure, and reduce their anxiety, both before birth and after.

But a new study published in the May 2010 edition of Women’s Health reveals perhaps the most startling conclusion of all: Massage therapy can actually help women during labor.

The article is based on a study done on 101 women, hospitalized for their deliveries, who did not receive painkillers during their labor. For 51 of the women, massage therapy was administered, and for the other 50 women, music therapy – another alternative to painkillers commonly prescribed to pregnant women – was administered.

The study showed that women who received massage therapy experienced lower levels of pain than the group that received music therapy. Moreover, massage therapy was much better when it mattered most as agonizing, “or most severe, labor pain was significantly relieved after massage therapy” was administered.

The study’s conclusion: Massage therapy can be recommended as an alternative to painkillers or other non-drug based treatment as an “effective method for reducing and relieving labor pain.” Whether or not women will rather have non-invasive massage therapy instead of an epidural anesthesia to deal with labor pain remains to be seen.

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