Pregnancy can be hard on a person's body, both emotionally and physically. With massage therapy, however, it doesn't have to be. Massage therapy is a popular treatment method that has been used since ancient times to promote healing, relaxation and mobility in muscles, and it's also known to help relieve stress and anxiety. As such, it makes a great natural treatment for expectant parents who want to improve their health without taking any medications that could harm the baby.
Oedema (swelling) in the feet, ankles and lower legs is one of the most common and uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms, and it can greatly reduce your mobility and quality of life. Thankfully, there are many pregnancy massage techniques designed to relieve problems like oedema. Here are three of the best.
Effleurage is a technique that involves long, gliding strokes applied across the body. The professional performing this technique on a pregnant person will use flat hands and fingers to promote the flow of fluids in a therapeutic manner, reducing water retention and swelling. Effleurage has a positive effect on the lymphatic system, so it can help reduce swelling and inflammation associated with oedema. The best part about this technique is that it is stimulating the lymphatic system, which also prepares the muscles of the body for lymphatic drainage
Compression massage is a type of therapeutic massage that uses deep tissue strokes to apply pressure to the muscles. This technique is usually done by gently but firmly pressing down on the muscles in specific areas using the hands, fingers and even elbows and forearms. The purpose of compression massage is to tone and strengthen the underlying muscles, as well as improve circulation in your limbs, helping to relieve oedema discomfort. Compression will stimulate the body's lymphatic system, encouraging lymphatic drainage.
3. Skin rolling
Skin rolling is another massage technique that will help with circulation. The skin of the body contains many blood vessels near the surface; when these are massaged, blood flow is stimulated. Skin rolling involves gently pinching your skin in the fingertips and rolling it between them with varying degrees and pressure. Skin rolling will greatly decrease the pain and swelling in your feet and ankles by decreasing the tightness and tension in your muscles. Like the rest of these methods, this technique also helps increase the body's lymphatic flow to keep swelling at bay in the long term.