As wonderful as it is, there is no denying that any pregnancy is challenging, and the need for relaxation is essential. Pregnant women are advised to stay away from stress as much as possible and to relax for both their health and that of their baby. Sadly, with all the general stress, discomfort and occasional pain that can occur during pregnancy, being able to relax doesn’t always seem possible.
Thankfully, there are plenty of different treatments available to help with the stresses and pains of pregnancy, one of which is massages.
Getting a massage from a professional massage therapist is often recommended to pregnant women, to help relieve discomfort, pain, and any stress.
Of course, not every pregnant woman has the time, money, or energy to go to see a professional massage therapist when they need one. Therefore, it is only natural to wonder whether massage chairs are healthy options for pregnant women.
As it happens, using a massage chair while pregnant is perfectly safe. In fact, in many cases, using a massage chair during pregnancy is advised as it can help the woman to relax, relieve back pain, leg pain, and improve blood circulation.
Are massage chairs safe during pregnancy?
Massage chairs can offer fantastic relaxation and pain relief, which is essential for pregnant women. However, some massage chair brands suggest that using their massage chairs when pregnant can be dangerous, and they advise against it. But why?
In most cases, massage chair companies suggest that pregnant women should not use massage chairs, as the stimulation of certain pressure points can lead to premature labor.
However, this would be a very instance and is an unlikely event. Since massage chairs move in certain patterns, as opposed to remaining on the same spot continuously, it would take a lot for them to induce labor.
That said, it is not impossible. That is why it is always best to consult your doctor before using your massage chair, as they will be able to suggest certain settings and pressures that will best suit your current state. Your doctor may recommend that you avoid chair massages if there are complications with your pregnancy.
However, it is important to not use a massage chair on too high a pressure nor for too long when pregnant. You run a risk of hurting yourself more and increasing inflammation and stress if you do so.
Are neck massages safe during pregnancy?
Generally speaking, yes, neck massages are safe to have during pregnancy. Neck massages are among the most relaxing massages as they can significantly reduce stress, pain, and increase the feeling of relaxation. Sadly, not everyone has a good neck massager in their home, at which point an electric neck massager is an ideal tool.
Otherwise, as is the case with a massage chair, it is best to avoid using the neck massager on a high-pressure setting, or for too long, as this can end up making you feel sore and could even stimulate contractions. Although the latter is very rare, it can occur and should be avoided.
Can I get a back massage while pregnant?
Yes, in fact, having a back massage while pregnant is a great idea. A massage from a partner, a massage chair, or a pre-natal professional massage therapist is a great way of relieving stress, pain and discomfort which can easily build up, especially during pregnancy.
Of course, finding the right areas to massage and the right pressure needed is essential for the efficiency of the massage. It would be worth consulting your doctor with your partner or with regard to your massage chair to get the best advice regarding how you should do it.
Can massage chairs cause miscarriage?
Although massage chairs are used quite frequently by pregnant women, there is still a lot of concern regarding their safety for the women and for the babies. This is due to the fact that some are concerned that the vibrations from the massage chair the heating features (when used) could be harmful to the baby, and the stimulation of the pressure points could induce labor. While valid concerns, there is no real proof that massage chairs could cause any of these issues.
First, the vibrations in massage chairs are not too strong. Although it is advisable to not use massage chairs at the highest pressure and settings, even the strongest vibration in a massage chair should not do you any harm while pregnant.
Secondly, as was previously mentioned, the pressure points stimulated in chair massages are not aggressive enough to induce an early labor. In order for the pressure points to actually induce labor, a steady pressure needs to be applied. The pressure applied by massage chairs moves and flows, never applying pressure in one spot for too long.
Finally, the heat. In truth, being concerned about the heating system in a massage chair is natural and valid. Pregnant women are told to avoid all kids of hot tubs, saunas, and other intensely hot areas.
Thankfully, massage chairs do not tend to heat up too much and should therefore not, because for any real concern for a pregnant woman.
That being said, not all massage chairs have the same heating systems, and some can heat up to high degrees. Therefore, it is generally wise to avoid the heating mechanisms of the massage chair if you are in doubt. If this is impossible, then consult your doctor before using it.
Do massage help circulation?
Yes, massages have proven to help with circulation. Massages can reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation, which in turn can help with healing and relaxation. Zero gravity massage chairs in particular are ideal for helping blood circulation, as these recline the user back to a point where their feet are higher than their heart level. In this position, their weight is distributed evenly, thus helping the blood circulation.
For pregnant women, this can obviously help to reduce a lot of discomfort, help with their sleep quality, increase relaxation, and better blood circulation for the baby, too.
What areas should not be massaged during pregnancy?
There are certain areas of the body that should be avoided during massages, for various reasons. For example, we have seen how massaging certain pressure points can induce early labor. Here are a few other areas of the body that you should avoid massaging during pregnancy:
Although massaging the legs during pregnancy can help with relaxation, it can also be dangerous in certain circumstances. Massaging the legs gently should be fine, but since the blood flow in legs can significantly reduce during pregnancy (due to the general increase in blood volume), massaging the legs could dislodge blood clots.
Although gently rubbing stretch mark cream onto one’s belly can feel nice, it’s not quite the same as having a massage. Massaging your belly while pregnant can actually cause you a lot of discomfort, and even pain to you and your baby.
Again, generally, it is a good idea to avoid pressure points while massaging as these can cause contractions and even induce labor. Some pressure points include the wrist, ankle, between the fingers, etc.
So – yes – using a massage chair while pregnant is very unlikely to cause harm – in fact, you might just enjoy it!