By Liana McMorrow
That moment when you step out of the house and head to get a remedial massage, that feeling of sweet bliss only touches the surface on the benefits of remedial massage. Yes, that is right! There is research to support the benefits of remedial massage during pregnancy. Lets break it down!
From a muscle point of view, massage can play a role in managing cramps, back and/or pelvic pain. Remedial massage can help to relax muscle tissue, improve circulation and reduce the intensity of pain symptoms.
But let's look at where the real winner is, on a cellular and hormonal level!
Stress and depression are identified risk factors during pregnancy that can impact upon maternal and fetal health. If left untreated this may correlate to risk factors such as lower birth weight, preeclampsia, and post partum depression. Research supports that remedial massage correlates to reduced levels of depression and anxiety. This may be because massage can have positive effects on cortisol, noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin!
Additionally, massage may also help to reduce sleep disturbances and insomnia! What a win.
If you have a high risk pregnancy or known history of thrombosis, checking in with your OBGYN and medical provider is the best way to ensure if undertaking massage therapy is appropriate for you.
El-Hosary, Eman & Abbas, Hanan & El-Homosy, Samahm. (2019). Effect of Therapeutic Massage on Relieving Pregnancy Discomforts.
Fogarty S, McInerney C, Hay P. Pregnancy-related Pelvic Girdle Pain and Pregnancy Massage: Findings from a Subgroup Analysis of an Observational Study. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2020 May 29;13(2):1-8. PMID: 32523639; PMCID: PMC7260134.
Mueller, S. M., & Grunwald, M. (2021). Effects, Side Effects and Contraindications of Relaxation Massage during Pregnancy: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Journal of clinical medicine, 10(16), 3485. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10163485