Pregnancy Massage Therapy
At Imagine Wholeness, we offer exceptional pregnancy massage therapy. We take the care so seriously that 5 of our therapists are Pregnancy Certified Massage Therapists! Certification is the highest degree of learning and is far more extensive than any traditional massage school training. While the risk of getting massage during pregnancy is minimal, an untrained therapist can potentially do harm to mother and or baby.
We use the patented body cushion system which allow for the highest degree of safety for Mom and baby, as well as allowing for the greatest comfort possible during your session. Our therapists always use the side-line position for the massage. While we do have women who request to be face down, it is absolutely unsafe after the first trimester! We do not have the table with the hole in it for the belly, or allow any type of face down massage after the first trimester strictly for safety. Any therapist who offers this is not certified, and you should steer clear.
According to research from the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology (doesn’t that sound like a great read?), pregnancy massage has been shown to reduce stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine, while other levels climbed. The “feel good” hormones that we count on every day to fight depression increased after only two massage sessions a week for four weeks. Prenatal massage has also been linked to improved labor outcomes and fewer low birth weight babies. Researchers believe that massage helps to regulate hormone levels which could help improve baby’s growth processes inside the uterus.
Are these promises guaranteed? Certainly not. Just because you have regular massages does not mean that your labor will be smooth, or your baby perfectly healthy–so take these recommendations lightly, and makes sure to combine any massage with regular prenatal visits, a healthy diet and light exercise.
In order to get a safe, effective massage it is imperative you find a certified prenatal or pregnancy massage therapist. Imagine Wholeness has made a commitment to pregnant Mom’s by ensuring we have several therapists to choose from. Some expecting mothers request a prenatal massage package in their baby shower. I can’t imagine a better gift to give someone than a massage anytime- but particularly during pregnancy.
You may ask what the difference is between certified and trained. It is a great question and the answer may surprise you. In massage training certification, classes are offered in a variety of modalities. Every massage student receives training in dozens of modalities. These training sessions are generally 4-12 hours long in total. Additionally the same instructors generally teach all of these classes. When a therapist seeks certification in a particular area they have to undergo rigorous training with a trained professional in that area. The classes are between 32 and 64 hours and require proficiency testing both with an exam and a practical massage given under the supervision of the instructor. Every certified therapist at Imagine Wholeness was trained under the watchful eye of our area’s only Pregnancy Certification Practitioner- Becky Stoermann-Snelson. Becky has been a labor and delivery nurse for over 30 years and a massage therapist for over 10 years. Becky has worked for years to create a course that could combine her unique skill set to teach others how to safely and correctly deliver profoundly effective and safe pregnancy massages. When Becky presented her class curricula to the board for review, she received approval to be a certified practitioner almost immediately. To be board certified and approved is generally a difficult task but Becky’s professionalism and expertise helped her to achieve that status very quickly. We are proud to be the only clinic in the area to employ so many Certified Pregnancy Therapists. With a Certified Therapist, you know you are in the best hands possible.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, women with high-risk pregnancies, pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, previous experiences with preterm labor and who have recently given birth should get permission from a doctor before scheduling apregnancy massage therapy session.