I possess a natural empathy and a desire to help people; whether that is to help ease the pain of chronic tension, to soothe the muscles following over-exertion or simply to relax and take away anxiety. I treat people holistically and as individuals

Amy Phillips - 07800 636266

Dekker Road, Dulwich Village. London. SE21 7DJ


Wednesday, February 6, 2013 Wellbeing

Pregnancy and Massage

‘To be pregnant is to be vitally alive, thoroughly woman, and distressingly inhabited. Soul and spirit are stretched - along with body - making pregnancy a time of transition, growth, and profound beginnings.’ - Anne Christian Buchanan and Debra K. Kingsporn, The Quickening Heart: A Journal for Expectant Mothers

Pregnancy can be a wonderful time for a woman, but it can also be incredibly stressful. Particularly in the modern world, where women have to continue working, often until just 2/3 weeks before the baby is due, and even more so when there are other children to look after.
During pregnancy the body goes through some astonishing changes, including hormonal fluctuations and this in itself can be unsettling, particularly for a first-time Mum, with the prospect of your life changing to an unrecognizable extent, women have an awful lot to cope with.
Even from the start there can be soreness in the breasts, morning sickness and emotional problems to deal with. Then as the pregnancy progresses, the belly expands, forcing the rib cage to lift up, and placing extra pressure on the lower back and legs, physical discomfort can become anything from mild to extreme and debilitating.
Pregnancy massage can help with almost all of the physical discomforts and problems that may arise, but it can also be incredibly nurturing and comforting. Sometimes just being given the space to lie in silence, with no pressure to do anything is a much needed and often forgotten experience. This is true for everyone, but when going through the constant changes of pregnancy and maintaining a ‘normal’ life as well, this can be particularly important. It’s a time to connect with your body and with your baby in a peaceful and safe environment, with no one else to worry about. This in itself can be a great stress reliever and can help with restlessness and sleepless nights too.
From a scientific perspective, the reasons that massage therapy works 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 serotonin and the body’s natural painkillers and improve sleep, but there is little doubt that these are some of the benefits
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 changes in circulation put a pregnant woman at risk of blood clots in the legs, typically in the calves or inner thigh. To be safe, pregnancy massage experts avoid deep massage and strong pressure on the legs.
Generally speaking (though everyone is different) massage is most needed on the lower back and legs, though the shoulders and neck are area’s that often need attention, regardless of the pregnancy. And head massage can be wonderfully soothing; helping to rid the mind of all the little worries and negative thoughts you are holding onto. There are certain areas that a massage therapist will avoid during pregnancy, as they may induce a miscarriage. This is why it is very important to find a therapist who has trained specifically in pregnancy massage and will know all of the dos and don’ts.
Post pregnancy, massage can help to speed up the healing process as well as help you to adjust to the demands of a newborn baby. The breasts will naturally swell and that coupled with the feeding process can put a huge pressure on the shoulders, the pelvis may be unsettled after labour, leading to lower back pain, and of course, you now have a little bundle who constantly needs you- 24 hours a day. It is good for you as a Mother, and for your baby to have the occasional hour away from them, making you happier and them less dependent. So don’t feel like you have to ‘just get on with it’ and suffer away. Make time for yourself, and Dad may then get a little quality bonding time too!
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