Massage Chair and Pregnancy
Since my days in chiropractic up to my current involvement in the massage chair marketplace, I have been asked questions often about whether massage is safe for use during pregnancy. In addition, people wonder whether chiropractic adjustments, licensed massage therapy, and use of massage chairs are recommended for pregnant women.
My answer is always the same for all situations, and that is “Yes.” Of course, if there are unique concerns about the baby’s health or that of yourself, of course, it is prudent to check with your physician before embarking on a program of massage therapy.
In my practice through the years I have treated many pregnant women, in all stages from the beginning to the last trimester. Naturally, there may be some tweaking of a massage regimen in the last few months because of the body’s physical changes. There never have been any problems.
With all that is going on in a woman’s body during pregnancy, massage has wonderful benefits during the entire nine months.
For years I found that hands-on and manual massage were of great help to pregnant women. Since I have been involved in the massage chair industry, I have discovered no difference in the benefits from robotic massage therapy in a chair.
There is a pretty long list of health issues that can come up during pregnancy. Some of these are back and neck pain with headaches, muscle spasms, difficulty with breathing, poor circulation, insomnia, reduced mobility, and strained posture. Along with any other complaints you may have, even a few of the issues on this list can make your life miserable.
A massage chair is useful to help with all of these issues:
1. Aches and pains, muscle spasm – Your body will experience strain on your muscles as the baby grows. This can result in pain anywhere. Your best bet is to relax your muscles. Your massage chair not only relaxes your muscles, but also, helps flush toxins out that have settled there and can cause pain. When your muscles relax, pain and muscle spasm subside.
I’m sure you have heard of endorphins, nature’s answer to pain killers. They are released into your blood stream as you enjoy your massage chair. This is another causative factor in reducing those aches and pains in your body.
2. Poor Circulation with Swelling – Calf and foot massage features in massage chairs compress the legs which helps the lymph and blood circulate better. Edema (swelling) will be reduced and toxins (discussed above) flushed from the body more efficiently.
3. Poor Posture (Postural Stress) – Any pregnant woman knows about this health issue. You have this mass sticking out from your middle that throws you off-kilter. Your posture suffers. Maybe you started out your pregnancy with poor posture, as well. The added strain on your muscles from postural stress often produces pain and aching.
You will find, as most folks do, that your posture improves after a massage chair session. You will stand straighter because of the massage chair’s working of your muscles.
4. Reduced Mobility – With forty pounds of baby, fluids, and tissue added to your body, you can’t move as readily. Your joints don’t seem to cooperate when you try to turn. Your massage chair sessions will amaze you as you check yourself afterwards. You will be able to turn far more easily than before.
5. Headaches, Neck and Back Pain – All the above benefits to posture, muscles, etc, will aid in reduction of any pain, no matter where it is located.
6. Difficulty with Breathing – How in the world are you supposed to breath deeply with that precious cargo pressing in on you. Actually, aside from the obvious, most pregnant women unconsciously develop a slouch. Your posture will be dramatically improved by the roller action over the middle of your back. In addition to your relaxed muscles, you will have better posture and ability to breath more deeply. Improved sleep can result, as well.
7. Insomnia (Sleeping Problems) – Countless people have told me how surprised they were to find that after their massage chair sessions, they slept better. Your “nerves” relax as well as your muscles. While trying to sleep a month before you are due can be a challenge with any therapy you are involved in, the relaxation alone from your massage chair will undoubtedly help get a better night’s sleep.
With this information, your mind should be at ease about using your massage chair while pregnant.
Dr. Alan Weidner