(reposted from Sept 2012)
Nearly every prenatal client in her 2nd or 3rd trimester comments that I have “magic hands” or have found the “magic spot.” Once the baby starts to show, ladies lie on their sides for a treatment. This position not only accommodates the changes to their bodies, but also allows easy access to the lateral rotator muscles of the hips and the gluteals. These muscles get unduly challenged during a pregnancy as it is their job to counterbalance the growing belly and keep women from falling forward. Once you understand muscle anatomy and the actions they perform, it really is no “secret”.
Nonetheless, I do enjoy hearing the deep breaths and sighs in the first few minutes of a prenatal massage when I hone in on the area that causes distress. Even though I have never been pregnant myself, I do know first-hand the relief and joy that one experiences when these deep muscles are overworked and achy and receive targeted bodywork. I know exactly where to find the tight spots because I have felt them myself from the inside out and on hundreds of clients. I often find myself reminding these ladies that I am, after all, a trained professional and it is my job to know these so-called tricks when they complain that their partners have failed to ease their pain.
There are so many benefits to both mother and child during prenatal massages. Circulatory, digestive, and lymphatic systems are stimulated, toxins are released from tissue for elimination, the nervous system is soothed, and muscle fibers are elongated. The body’s natural healing ability is boosted when one is relaxed, and hormones are better regulated and swelling reduced. Sleep quality is improved, along with moodiness and clarity. I could easily argue that these benefits increase the well-being of those who live with a pregnant lady. For this reason, I find that family members and partners are often eager to learn massage techniques to apply at home. Getting professional bodywork greatly enhances one’s health and comfort level; why not supplement by taking a class or getting a private lesson from a therapist? With a little training, everyone can discover their very own magic hands.