8 Reasons I Received Prenatal Massage
What can give you crappy skin, carpal tunnel, constant sinus congestion, headaches, back pain, sleeping issues, and make your feet ache too? That’s just naming a few of the issues I remember off the top of my head. Oh and by the way “pregnancy brain” is real, so I know I’m missing some. I spent most of my pregnancy wanting to throat punch people that told me how beautiful being pregnant was and how much they just LOVED it. Please don’t get me wrong, I was excited and falling in love with my little one, I just wasn’t one of those lucky ones that enjoyed EVERYTHING about being pregnant. If that’s you, awesome.
In the past I had done my share of reading about the symptoms of pregnancy, flipping through pages that outlined the physiological and physical changes. I've memorized pictures and diagrams to increase my knowledge and pass the exams that followed. All of this was great and I thought I was very well informed and then I became pregnant. If I thought I knew before, my level of understanding was brought to a whole new level.
I have written about prenatal massage or pregnancy massage before. I’ve stated it’s pretty awesome and has some pretty nifty benefits. However, I’ve never truly experienced it first hand until these past few months. I have plenty of reasons to get my own prenatal massage because it really is helpful. This is my review of pregnancy symptoms I treated with massage.
I have to work. I don’t have a choice, if I want to eat and pay my rent; I need to be massaging people. Plus, I like to work. Giving a massage can be physically demanding work. We reach, stretch, squat, bend, we use our body for leverage to give clients that pressure they desire. Pregnancy makes your joints ache, it gives women carpal tunnel syndrome, and it makes you tired. Getting a massage on a regular schedule has helped me deal with these symptoms. It’s kept me moving and massaging with little pain and discomfort. A happy massage therapist equals happy clients.
I really think I’ve prevented back pain and sciatic issues. Both are also pretty common during pregnancy. I’m not saying I didn't had some back pain here and there. For the most part however it really has been limited to days that I was way too ambitious and I probably would have had a backache even if I wasn’t pregnant. (I mean, I moved my office 2 doors down from its original location while 7 months pregnant. It was stressful and physically demanding.)
My body was creating and supporting a whole other human being. There were times where I feel like I didn’t even recognize my body as my own any more. In many, many ways I no longer had any power over my body, that’s a weird thing to recognize and get used to. Getting my regular massages connected me to me again. I may not be able to see my toes easily, but my massage helped me remember every last piggy on my feet belongs to me.
If I didn’t recognize my physical body as belonging to me, I certainly didn’t recognize my emotions as mine. Some days or situations I feel like I’ve been possessed. (Remember my urge to throat punch people?) My road rage was out of control. Something from deep within crept out and I found myself screaming at the driver that doesn’t understand how a roundabout works. This demon inside of me also liked to randomly burst into tears because there is no more watermelon in the fridge. But I digress. Getting my weekly massage really helps those episodes to be less frequent and less severe. If I put off a massage for a day or two, not only did I feel it physically, I felt it emotionally. I can’t imagine what my demon would look like if I received NO massage. I don’t think my friends and family would have stuck around.
As if physical pains and emotional woes aren’t enough, pregnancy can give you headaches, especially if you were prone to them before being pregnant. Those pesky hormones and suppressed immune system gave me some of the most horrific headaches I can remember experiencing. A few of my headaches were sinus related, see #8 but many of them were of the massive migraine variety. Oh and if that’s not enough, there’s not much you can take to treat them. How fair is that? Tylenol didn’t cut it. Nothing they gave me really relieved the headache. Guess what has really helped me deal with the symptoms and actually have some relief? Massage.
One of the most shockingly true side effects of pregnancy has been the leg cramps. The kind that wake you up in the middle of night crazy “Charlie Horse” that just won’t stop. I got those. Not only did they disrupt my sleep (because waking up to use the restroom isn’t enough disruption) they made my legs ache the next day. Which I felt moving around clients while I was giving a massage.
Morning sickness is real. I know some women that never experience it. I know other women have way more severe symptoms than I ever did, but vomiting is vomiting. Your body works hard to expel that matter. I strained my neck, upper back and made my chest hurt not to mention my abdominal muscles because of “morning sickness”. It’s awful and my massages helped relieve the discomfort caused by getting sick so often.
I had major sinus issues. Pregnancy is awesome because you’re growing another human, but in order for your body to not reject the little peanut; your immune system is weakened. For me that mostly manifested in constant sinus issues, inflammation, congestion, and pain. I was pretty lucky in that I had no major colds, viruses, or other illnesses. It may have also prevented the other illnesses, but the research on massage and the immune system isn’t yet conclusive.
I don’t regret a single penny I spent on massage during my pregnancy. I know not everyone has the convenience of working in a massage office. For me getting a massage once a week was the most beneficial. I’m aware that’s just not possible for many people. I would say get it as often as your pocketbook and time allow.Did you have massage while you were pregnant? What were some of your reasons?