Thai Massage, Acupressure, and Reiki have known benefits but how do they specifically benefit us in pregnancy? How about when the waves of labour begin to rise? Would you think they may be useful right into birthing?! And what about afterwards – is there any point to continuing with them afterwards?
Thai Massage during pregnancy opens the hips and back, creating space (both physical and flowing energy through emotional blockages too). It is very grounding, decreasing the stress hormones noradrenaline and cortisol while increasing our feel-good hormones dopamine and serotonin. Because it works on the Central Nervous System, it helps regulate sleep cycles, increase appetite, and helps us better focus and remember things. Thai Massage decreases leg cramps during pregnancy and, because it is working on the Central Nervous System, it can help to block pain in general. It promotes better breathing, which means both pregnant person and baby get more oxygen, and in the third trimester Thai Massage is especially helpful to baby because it helps with the forming of connections between neurons and synapses in the baby’s brain.
Thai Massage during the first stage of labour can reduce pain and anxiety in certain people. Touch, especially firm and consistent without hesitation, can release oxytocin and endorphins. When oxytocin is released during labour, it helps labour to progress naturally and make us feel “warm and fuzzy”. When endorphins are released during labour, they act as natural pain-relievers and anti-depressants/mood-lifters!
After giving birth, Thai Massage can be used to relieve the tension in the neck and shoulders and other areas from straining. It promotes relaxation and stress relief, and provides emotional support. If a caesarean section has been performed, we must get clearance from the care provider before doing massage. Thai Massage postpartum is often used in conjunction with belly binding. Both reduce water retention, push out gas, relieve after-pains, help the womb shrink down, and tone the body.
When using Acupressure during pregnancy, there are numerous conditions that may be addressed. Acupressure is known for mitigating headaches and morning sickness during pregnancy! Also top of the list is reducing swelling. Acupressure can be used during pregnancy for its anti-depressant abilities. After week 34, Acupressure can be used to encourage baby into the ideal position when baby is in a breech position.
Acupressure massage can be used for labour induction, when needed, and to help with the progression of labour. It helps the cervix to ripen and reduces anxiety. Once labour begins, Acupressure can be relaxing and reduce pain too.
Acupressure’s anti-depressant abilities are great to use postpartum too. Acupressure can be used to treat fatigue, and even helps with milk let-down.
Reiki has a lot of benefits to those who are pregnant. Those who have had cesareans have a better chance of a vaginal birth with the use of Reiki during pregnancy. Reiki has a calming effect on both pregnant person and baby. This is great to use if the pregnant person is feeling invaded at any point. Reiki can be used to promote a deeper connection with the baby, a sense of balance, a feeling of centredness. It can be used to treat exhaustion and sleep problems, as well as nausea. It can be used to reduce anxiety, especially in the release of fears related to pregnancy and birth. And that overwhelming impatience to get it over with that some pregnant people get near the end of the third trimester – Reiki returns patience and peace to the pregnant person.
Reiki has been shown to help control and lessen pain during labour. Using Reiki during a labour/birth can create a more empowered birth experience. Immediately after birth, when baby can be stressed, it makes it easier for baby to transition into life outside the womb when Reiki is there.
During the postpartum period, healing is occurring very deep inside the body when Reiki is used… making it especially great for post-surgery. Reiki also promotes deep relaxation, returns an emotional balance, and makes for an easier transition into parenthood.
Healing Arts by Annastasia includes Adapted Thai Yoga
Massage, Adapted Acupressure, and Adapted Reiki. That is, I
have been trained in all three. Healing Arts by Annastasia is
included in some of the Doula packages, or currently
$40/session with all money collected going into supporting
the low to no income pregnant using the Doula packages.