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Shiatsu Massage For Pregnant Women

Shiatsu Massage For Pregnant Women. Pregnancy and childbirth has become a "medical technology" event in today's society despite the fact that it is a naturally occurring physical and emotional part of a woman's being.

Women today experience one scan, after another during pregnancy, encounter higher rates of Caesarean section births and a host of other mechanical interventions. It has become anything but a natural process for most women giving birth today.

Women are starting to demand that practitioners listen to their need for a more natural, body-directed pregnancy experience and birthing.

Pregnancy brings with the joys, quite a few physical symptoms that women need to address, including: backaches, headaches, and leg and hip pains.

Shiatsu offers them natural pain relief from these and other pregnancy aches and pains by targeting acupressure points to bring about tension relief and a feeling of deep relaxation. Other issues that can be dealt with using shiatsu are puffiness and swelling caused by water retention.

This often occurs in the feet and lower legs of the pregnant woman, but can also occur elsewhere on the body as well. Shiatsu can stimulate the body to restore it's natural balance. Another common ailment of pregnancy is morning sickness.

This is caused by over-acidity during the first trimester of pregnancy. Over-acidity also causes the woman to experience reduced flexibility, food and other cravings, and an increased bodily tension. When women combine healthy dietary habits with shiatsu as well as stretching exercises like those in yoga they find improved flexibility and ability to manage stress better.

Shiatsu can help keep a woman's body in alignment while it stretches to accommodate the growing baby. During labor shiatsu can help the woman to focus her breathing on the painful parts of her body and increase her natural birth experience.

Shiatsu allows one to have a unique relationship with one's own body in that you are aware of and can enjoy your own energy sources that are a part of who you are. Part of what relieves women most can be the "negative release" they feel when undergoing the massage.

They become one with their bodies instead of being unsure or even fighting what their bodies are trying to do. There was a study done in England where the effects of Shiatsu were evaluated as 66 women progressed through their labors and deliveries at the St. Michael's Hospital in Bristol, England from March through July of the year 2000.

Those participating in the study attended a hospital consultant clinic appointment where a midwife taught them the massage techniques. 


This midwife had been instructed on the art of Shiatsu during a six-week course. There was a control group of 76 women who attended similar clinics but were not taught the shiatsu techniques.

The group of women who were taught shiatsu was shown how to use thumb pressure at three different body points (gall bladder, large intestine and spleen).

They were taught to hold the thumb pressure on these points until they experienced a "reaction", at which point they were instructed to "work the point" deeper and firmer for as long as she felt comfortable. 

These women were encouraged to use these shiatsu techniques at home. The study included information gathered and audited regarding the women as they underwent labor, deliver and analgesia.
It was noted whether or not they were induced, what type of delivery they had, and what analgesia was used. The study revealed that of the group of women who used shiatsu 17% of them went into spontaneous labor.


Theraputic Massage Terms and Facts.

A head massage can build on a facial massage, combining it with massage of the scalp.

This can relieve some of the symptoms of a headache. It can also be very soothing and relaxing, especially when you are tired.

The scalp can be massaged somewhat more vigorously than the face itself, but again effleurage should be the main technique used. 

Those women who completed the audit questionnaire, 80% found the shiatsu techniques to be helpful to them during labor and delivery.
The study did not say how many of the women of the total participating actually answered the audit questionnaire.
The authors of the study concluded, "This preliminary study raises the hypothesis that the use of specific shiatsu techniques on post-term women by midwives reduces the number of labors that need to be induced pharmacologically" (Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Volume 13, Issue 1, March 2005 pg 11-15). 

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