Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Expecting" Massage

Liz Roche - Prenatal Masseuse/Avatar Spa

The Expert's View
Insight from leading spa industry experts.

No one has ever said when you get pregnant you should stop relaxing. In fact most doctors want you to reduce anxiety. By doing so you will decrease symptoms of depression and improve labor and the overall health of your newborn.

One of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety during pregnancy is to schedule bi-weekly prenatal massage treatments. Not only will it be effective in reducing anxiety, but it will relieve muscle, joint, back, and nerve pain commonly brought on by pregnancy as well as increase circulation. In addition stress hormones will be reduced and serotonin levels will increase. Opposite levels are common during pregnancy and low levels of serotonin lead to depression. Studies have revealed positive benefits to maternal and newborn health when therapeutic massage is introduced into your weekly stress-reducing regimen.

As with anything during pregnancy, precautions should be taken if you are planning on a prenatal massage. I recommend side-lying rather then a table that provides a hole for your baby bump. It is not as reliable and may still apply pressure to the abdomen, something you want to avoid. It is also imperative that you are under the care of a certified prenatal massage therapist. Like me they have received training beyond the national standards and will expertly address specific needs and sensitive areas of the body.

Speak to your doctor prior to scheduling a prenatal massage regimen and keep in mind most spas will not offer a massage to women in their first trimester because of risks associated within the early weeks of pregnancy.  

It is my belief that prenatal massage should be thought of as an important supplement that should be incorporated into the routine of your prenatal care. 

Gift Certificates for Prenatal Massage are available at

Liz Roche is a body therapist and certified prenatal masseuse who works exclusively with Avatar Spa in Marlboro, NJ .

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