I recently had the pleasure of giving my best friend, 32 weeks pregnant, a two-hour pregnancy massage. Before the session, she had been telling me about that niggling back ache that was starting to creep in; the beginnings of swelling in her legs and feet; as well as the mild insomnia seeping in as she tossed and turned trying to find a comfortable side-lying position for her and her bump. Mentally, she talked about a cocktail of emotions including joy, devotional love for this new life that was growing, alongside fear about the future and anxiety about how she would manage.
When I offered to give her a Thai massage to try to alleviate some of the ailments and pamper her a little, she said: “But can you do Thai massage on pregnant women?” I then realised that perhaps a lot of women asked themselves the same question. So I decided to write this article to highlight just how good (and safe) Thai massage is for pregnancy (and let me add, at any stage of your pregnancy).
One of the many comforts of Thai massage in pregnancy is that you can stay in your comfort zone, by being fully clothed. You will be on a comfortable futon mattress on the floor, keeping you close to Mother Earth and grounded; held and secure. The therapy takes place mostly in side-position, so there is no pressure on the belly, meaning no twists or strong stretches. You can access the whole body from this position, meaning there’s a massage there for all your toes, your legs, hips, arms, hands, neck, shoulders, head and of course the face for that extra bit of pampering.
By working the whole body through gentle acupressure, joint rotation, upward and downward strokes, and focusing on key “release” points, the treatment nourishes our many “koshas”, or sheaths/layers, including physical, emotional, and energetic. The gentle manipulation from massage can help ease physical discomfort through myofascial release, and increase blood circulation and oxygen supply. On a much deeper energetic and vibrational level of the cellular body, Thai massage can help rebalance stuck or tired energies bringing you back into feeling balanced and in harmony with yourself.
We don’t know the exact benefits that pregnancy Thai massage can have on the baby, but a regular massage, or indeed any self-care activity that activates the parasympathetic nervous system will in itself positively contribute to how the mother-to-be feels and as they say, “happy mum; happy baby”!
In my friend’s case, she said she felt her blood pressure lower which led to a peaceful sleep, and an improved mood the next day! So for me, “happy client; happy therapist”!