We’ve all heard of the benefits of a great massage, but how often are you actually treating yourself to one? I have loved massages long before I started working in the spa industry. I was fortunate enough to have parents who both worked as health care practitioners and thoroughly embraced herbology, meditation and massage.
My mother shared with me that within different ethnic groups, abdominal massage during pregnancy actually created bonding between the parent and child. While I practiced nursing and midwifery in England, Saudi Arabia, and at the World Health Organization, newborn babies were given their first bath combined with a massage. Mothers would be taught this wonderful bonding technique.
I also had the opportunity to accompany my mom to a women-only Russian spa, or Banya, located in England. There we were treated to body scrubs, cold and warm plunges followed by a heavenly massage. After the treatments, we were wrapped in warm sheets. I always slept so well following these visits. It was several years before I truly understood the benefits of our visits.
Scientists worldwide now know through research, that good touch equals less stress via hormone reduction. According to the Mayo Clinic studies have already found massage to be helpful for many things, ranging from stress relief and managing anxiety to boosting immunity and even cancer treatment. Prenatal massage not only offers a similar list of benefits but can also improve newborn health. Here’s a list from the American Pregnancy Association of some benefits of prenatal massage:
- Hormone regulation: Studies have shown that women who received bi-weekly massages for five weeks, showed a reduction in stress hormones (norepinephrine and cortisol), and the hormones that make them happier (dopamine and serotonin) were increased. The change in hormones improved cardiovascular health led to fewer complications during birth and had fewer instances of newborn complications.
- Reduction of swelling: Massage helps stimulate soft tissues which can help improve circulation and reduce the collection of fluids in swollen joints.
- Improvement of nerve pain: The pressure of the uterus spreads tension to the muscles, creating Sciatic nerve pain. Massage therapy helps release the tension on nearby muscles by addressing the inflamed nerves. Many women have experienced a significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy through regular massage.
Other benefits include:
- Reduced back pain, reduced joint pain, improved circulation, reduced edema, better sleep, reduced headaches, and muscle tension as well as improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles and reduced stress and anxiety.
Touch of London Spa offers a number of different massages. We have a talented staff, ready to pamper you and reduce your stress. For the mother’s to be, I would recommend the Pregnancy Massage; 60 minutes, $105. 90 minutes, $150. Make the time to take care of yourself. With all of the health benefits, it’s hard to find a reason not to.
Here’s to a stress-free and relaxed you,