Why have Shiatsu and massage during your pregnancy?
Support for the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy.
By offering support for your changing body, shiatsu and massage can help you maintain good posture and muscle tone, providing relief from common aliments such as back ache, swelling, varicose veins. By providing a relaxing, safe space it can support your well being and offer a space for processing the emotional changes. It can also help you become more aware of your baby and changing body and help prepare you for labour. Common aliments such as constipation, morning sickness and heartburn can be addressed.
Relief from many of the physical symptoms of pregnancy.
A key aspect of our support is to help you become more aware of your body and you will be shown how to adapt your basic standing and sitting positions to support the pregnancy. You will also be shown other positions which might be helpful and simple stretches and exercises which you can easily incorporate into your daily life. Understanding how to adapt to your changing body can help ease many of the common symptoms such as back aches, head aches, shoulder tension, swollen ankles and feet. Of course, during your treatment work will be included which will address these problem areas and issues.
Support for the emotional changes in pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time of big emotional changes and often there is little space given for this in your normal antenatal care. As many women are having to juggle busy lives with work and family comitments, it can often feel quite a stressful time. Simply having an hour or more space just to be able to relax and tune into what is going on can be extremely beneficial. Seeing a practitioner who you can trust and having regular contact with them during your pregnancy, can provide a safe space in which you can air concerns. All bodywork addresses emotional issues in some way, as emotions are stored in our body. Shiatsu includes work with meridians which have direct connections to different emotional aspects of our being. A key aspect of work in pregnancy is to support you with developing your connection with your growing baby. This will be tailored to what feels appropriate and comfortable for you: often abdominal massage is one of the most enjoyed moment of the treatment, but not all women may want work on their abdomen. Sometimes breathing awareness or visualisations can be included as appropriate. If the therapist feels you need more psychological or other support than they can offer, they will refer you to other practitioners, and they may or may not continue to work along side them . They should also be able to provide information on local support networks such as Twins groups or pelvic pain groups as well as different types of classes such as yoga or swimming for pregnancy.
Benefits for the baby
A calm, relaxed environment is likely to be of benefit for the baby as well as the mother. It may help encourage mother/baby connection/bonding as well as optimal fetal positioning
Complementary support to your primary care: midwifery or obstetrical.
As shiatsu and massage are simply supporting your body then there is nothing which would be incompatible with your conventional medical care. Indeed they often help to fill in gaps such as having a little more space to discuss particular issues and having continuity of care.