Pregnancy Body Massagers and Contraindications – WebMD

Possible Benefits of Pregnancy Massagers

Only a handful of small studies have focused on bady massage in pregnancy. No definite benefits have been established. But one study at the University of Miami School of Medicine suggests that body massagers therapy might have multiple positive effects, including:

  • Lowered anxiety
  • Decreased back and leg pain
  • Improved sleep
  • Decreased levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine
  • In another study of pregnancy body massagers in depressed women, researchers found:

Increased levels of the “feel-good” hormones serotonin and dopamine

  • Decreased levels of cortisol, an indicator of stress
  • An overall improvement in mood
  • Research has shown that, for the general population, massagers has other potential benefits. It may relieve pain, or it may boost the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses and tumors.

Safe Techniques for Pregnancy body Massagers

From a scientific standpoint, the mechanisms that make body massagers therapy work are still largely unknown. More research is needed to understand how applying different types of manual pressure to the body can:

  • Deep-tissue massagers, with firm strokes pressing deep into muscles
  • Swedish massagers, with long strokes to muscles and attention to joint mobility
  • Shiatsu, with pressure and tapping on acupressure points to stimulate the body’s natural energy (called qi)

There are more than 80 types of massage taught in roughly 1,300 massage therapy programs in the U.S. Examples of common types of massage include:

  • Relieve pain
  • Stimulate the release of certain hormones like serotonin
  • Improve sleep
  • Promote the physiological response of relaxation

You may think of massage as a luxury to indulge in on occasion. But one of the most beneficial times for massage may be during pregnancy.

What Is Pregnancy Massage?

Pregnancy massage is a catch-all term for any hands-on massage during or after pregnancy (prenatal or postnatal massage).

A pregnancy massage typically lasts an hour. Some practitioners use a pregnancy massage table. That’s a table designed to accommodate a woman’s pregnant belly. Others use specially designed pillows called bolsters to position a woman comfortably on her side. This helps especially during the later stages of pregnancy. Lying on your side is often the most comfortable position.