We’ve mentioned earlier how massage therapy has benefits for women who are pregnant, and we’ve even written about hospitals in Tennessee that offer massage therapy to women who are delivering or have delivered babies there, noting that massage therapy can ease tension, lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and promote quicker healing. But as the Institute of Integrative Healthcare Studies points out in an article published this May, “[w]omen with high-risk pregnancies are often deprived of bodywork, even though they can benefit the most.”
As the Institute’s article mentions, the benefits of massage therapy have been well documented in academic study, but, because of specific health risks experienced by all pregnant women (especially those with pregnancies deemed high-risk), women and their massage therapists may shy away from massage therapy.
But massage therapy can be highly beneficial for pregnant women, even those with high-risk pregnancies. The article recommends that massage therapists who are interested in providing massage therapy to their pregnant clients follow some very simple guidelines to ensure the health of the client and baby.
Some of the recommended guidelines, among others, include confirmation that the client’s healthcare provider approves of massage therapy for the client, positioning the client on her side, as well as avoiding: deep pressure or friction on legs (to avoid blood clots), abdominal massage therapy, and acupressure points.
Again, the benefits of massage therapy for pregnant women, even those with high-risk pregnancies, are large and include: stress reduction, relief from muscle cramps and spasms, and providing general relaxation, among other benefits. So whether you’re a massage therapist, pregnant woman, or a friend of either, remember that massage therapy during pregnancy can be a great asset – even for those with high-risk pregnancies. The important thing, and this is true for the field of massage therapy as a whole, is that the massage therapist is educated in the risks of massage for those pregnant and how best to avoid these risks.