Learning Center - Massage Chairs & Pregnancy
Baby on Board!
If you’re using a massage chair or considering purchasing one, but you’re concerned about using it if you become pregnant, no need to worry. Plus, just like getting a massage from a therapist, as long as you follow the safety precautions, you can enjoy a lovely massage to ease those aches and pains.
It is suggested that you wait until you’re about four to six months along before you get a massage, and possibly to avoid the ankle area when you’re receiving a massage because of the concern that stimulating these pressure points or body might cause early labor or problems with the pregnancy. You can always wait until the pregnancy is fully established as well.
If you’re thinking about the heating elements, they are typically located on the back or calves/feet. This is unlikely to raise your body temperature the way a hot tub or sauna can. You'll also likely want to keep the calf and foot massager to gentle. Pregnant people can be susceptible to blood clots and deep massage in the legs can dislodge them.
You might also be concerned about using the vibration function in a massage chair, but this is no more jarring than a brisk walk or a light jog. No scientific evidence demonstrates that prenatal use of a massage chair can cause a miscarriage. You’re safe.
Massage Chair Benefits During Pregnancy
Research has shown that massage therapy during pregnancy can lessen anxiety, improve symptoms of depression, alleviate muscle aches and joint pains, and enhance labor outcomes and newborn health. Though there are different techniques used, the favored one is Swedish Massage.
Swedish Massage helps lessen muscle tension and bolsters lymphatic and blood circulation through mild pressure. It is also the most recommended massage method for pregnant people because it can assist to combat several of the common discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes caused by hormone shifts.
Below you’ll find a basic rundown of each of the benefits that this type of massage, found in several chairs, can provide.
Studies from the past decade show that hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are greatly changed when massage therapy was introduced to prenatal care.
In those who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks, hormones like norepinephrine and cortisol, which are associated with stress, were decreased, and dopamine and serotonin levels were increased. Low levels of dopamine and serotonin are related to depression.
These changes in hormone levels also led to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight. The evidence strongly suggests there are maternal and newborn health benefits when therapeutic massage is incorporated into regular prenatal care.
Edema, or swelling of the joints, is frequently the result of reduced circulation and increased pressure on the major blood vessels by the heavy uterus. Massage helps to stimulate soft tissues to diminish the buildup of fluids in swollen joints. It also aids in the elimination of tissue waste carried by the body’s lymph system.
Decreased Nerve Pain
Sciatic nerve pain is experienced by many people in late pregnancy. The uterus sits and presses down on the muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. The pressure causes tension in the upper and lower leg muscles, causing them to swell and squeeze nearby nerves.
Massage therapy helps to treat the inflamed nerves by releasing the tension on nearby muscles. Massage has helped many pregnant people experience a significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain. In massage chairs, the L-Track construction can address this area nicely.
Back Pain Relief
One of the most frequently reported issues during pregnancy is back pain. A quality chair, with or without heat, can help to relieve some of this pain. Most pregnant people feel this in the lower back, and many find the rollers in the chair grant relief when they adjust them to hit the correct places.
The aches, pains, and overall feeling of discomfort associated with pregnancy can put anyone in a bad mood. A few minutes in a massage chair can relieve some of the achiness and helps to release those feel-good hormones for an improved mood.
Pregnant people frequently acquire a hyper-sensitive sense of smell, and unlike creams, oils, or lotions uses at a spa, a massage chair doesn’t require any type of balm. This can be beneficial when you’re pregnant because certain smells can cause you to feel nauseated. As someone who got sick from mouthwash, this is very appealing.
Strengthens Your Immune System
Some studies indicate that receiving a massage can reinforce your immune system. Massage therapy stimulates your white blood cells and assists to create more lymphocytes, which help to protect the body from sickness.
Massage chairs are an excellent alternative for pregnant people who love massages and want all the benefits of a therapeutic massage but don’t wish to leave their homes.
Anytime the aches, pains, or other symptoms associated with pregnancy arise, a few minutes relaxing in your new chair can all the difference.
Precautions for prenatal massage
As with any therapeutic approach to pregnancy wellness, you should review massage with your prenatal care provider. The best way to approach the risks of prenatal massage is to be informed.
Pregnant people who have recently encountered bleeding, preterm contractions, or have experienced any of the below situations, should speak with a health care provider before receiving a massage:
- High-risk pregnancy
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH)
- A prior preterm labor
- Severe swelling, high blood pressure, or sudden, severe headaches
So there you have it!
Take advantage of all the incredible benefits and you’ll be spending more time enjoying your pregnancy instead of being uncomfortable. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us via phone or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.