Specially trained practitioners, use a combination of Swedish and remedial massage techniques, to assist with the tensions and pains experienced during pregnancy. These are often caused by the extra weight and shift in the centre of gravity. There are many physical benefits to pregnancy massage, in addition to the nurturing and emotional support provided by the practitioner. Massage reduces peripheral swelling, soothes the nervous system, helps to prevent insomnia, muscle cramps and back pain.
Care must be taken during the first trimester but pregnancy massage is beneficial throughout the whole pregnancy. Various massage techniques are used as the client progresses through the pregnancy and massage may be performed whilst she is lying on her side, seated, or on a special table that allows her to lie on her stomach. Once the pregnancy is advanced, she is discouraged from lying on her back as this may cause pressure on deep blood vessels.
Regular massage throughout the pregnancy is also said to shorten labour time and the return to optimal fitness after birth.