One of the most common reasons we hear people say they are interested in a career in massage therapy is that they want a career that helps people. This series will look at how massage therapy can help, what we as therapists refer to as, special populations.
Previously, we addressed how Cancer, Senior and Hospice Massage helps people.
This article addresses how prenatal and postnatal massage service can help massage clients.
How Massage Therapists Can Help Prenatal Clients
Because the body undergoes such intense, dramatic and rapid changes inside and out, pregnant women are often more in need of massage services than many.
Both the massage and medical communities agree there are numerous benefits massage can offer a pregnant individual.
If you are interested in a career that helps pregnant clients, as massage therapist you can:
- Alleviate stress on joints, muscles and fascia.
- Relieve pregnancy-related discomfort including lower-back pain and leg cramps, headaches, fatigue, congestion, shortness of breath and edema.
- Improve circulation and reduce swelling.
- Improve ability to sleep.
- Reduce anxiety and depression.
- Supports postural adjustments to help maintain good alignment.
- Enhances the pliability of skin and underlying tissues
- Promotes relaxation.
- Ease feelings of fatigue.
In addition to basic massage therapy training, you will need a course that teaches you to modify massage techniques for prenatal clients.
Carole Osborne is an award-winning massage therapist who developed and instructs several nationally recognized maternity related curricula.
But even with that understanding, client and therapist alike are hesitant to perform massage services on pregnant clients. We feel this is because the therapist often lacks confidence in their ability to perform services during pregnancy.
Education is the solution.
Lauterstein-Conway Massage School offers a program for massage licensing as well as regular continuing education programs designed to help massage therapists cultivate the skill and experience needed to offer pre and postnatal massage therapy services to their clients.
Hannah Ford is one of our esteemed massage therapy instructors who leads workshops on this specialty.
You can also read her thoughts about the importance of taking coursework specific to working pregnant clients in her article How Confident Do You Feel About Pregnancy Massage.
How Doulas and Birth Professionals Can Help People with Massage
Doulas and other birth professionals can help their existing clients and patients by adding massage services to their practices.
For example, a doula could offer a package of prenatal massages, a pre or early labor massage as a part of their labor services, and postpartum massage services after the mother returns home with her new baby.
Breastfeeding specialists, home care nurses and other healthcare professionals who have contact with pre and postnatal individuals also help people using massage therapy by adding the modality to their scope of practice.
Practicing massage therapy requires a state license. Learn how to get licensed.