Safety is part of my personal ethos. I feel a deep sense of gratitude and honour to be chosen by a pregnant woman to assist her in relieving pain in her body through massage and this means I want to provide her the safest practice. When a client presents at my practice I always take the time to discuss the best treatment plan for her individual circumstances.
Sometimes I am contacted to see if I have what is termed a belly table. Generally I will do my best to speak directly to the client and discuss her individual circumstances and explain why I chose not to use one of the pregnancy massage tables or pillow systems. Often I ensure the reasons given are taylored specifically for her but sometimes it is not possible to determine her individual situation and ultimately a pregnant woman can chose the treatment plan that she believes is best for her.
My first reason for not using a pregnancy massage table is often the same as other qualified pregnancy massage therapist - we only have the best interests of our clients (and the babies they carry) in mind. One of our mantras is "Do No Harm" and I add "Communicate...Educate...and Keep Informed" as part of my personal set of mantras for working with my clients in best practice.
If you are one of the pregnant mum's that I cannot connect with directly about why lying prone is just not recommended I have developed this list to help you educate you on why Qualified Pregnancy Massage Therapist WILL NOT chose to use a pregnancy massage table (hole in the table) or a pregnancy massage pillow system:
1. Increase and changes to intra-abdominal pressure which can contribute or acerbate Rectus Distastes (abdominal separation)
2. Can acerbate shortening of lumbar extensors which may already be shortened due to increase in lumbar lordosis
3. Can acerbate shortening of the psoas muscle. Side lying provides an opportunity for ease of psoas release.
4. Hip / gluteal muscles are ineffective in treatment for prone lying, side lying provides ease of releasing certain muscles in the hip / gluteal and sciatica
5. Clients can feel nauseous in prone lying
6. Increased headaches due to hormonal changes
7. Increase in nasal congestion making prone lying very uncomfortable for some clients
8 Lying prone may contribute to shortness of breath and rib pain due to pressure placed on the thoracic (chest) area
9. Breast tenderness is a natural occurrence in Pregnancy and lying prone may cause discomfort
10. Increased pressure in the bladder
If you have any further questions about anything in this post please do not hesitate to connect with me via Facebook or email
References / Further Reading
Kendal, F etal 2005 Muscles Testing and Function with Posture and Pain, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, United States of America
Koch, L 2012 Core Awareness North Atlantic Books, Berkely California
Hanlon, P 2014 Position Matters in Pregnancy, Massage Magazine viewed online https://www.massagemag.com/position-matters-in-pregnancy-massage-13602/
Hobbs, V 2014 Pregnancy Massage – Is it Safe? Vikki Hobbs Pregnancy, Birth & Post Partum Coach, viewed online http://vickihobbs.com/pregnancy-massage-is-it-safe/
MCInerney, C 2015 Practitioner of Pregnancy Massage Notes, Nurture Life Melbourne
Osborne, C 2011 Pre and Perinatal Massage Therapy, Lippincott Williams & Wiliams, United States of America
Osborne, C 2013 The Benefits of Using Side Lying Position, AMTA, viewed online https://www.amtamassage.org/articles/3/MTJ/detail/2850
Yates, S 2010 Pregnancy and Childbirth, Churchill Livingston Elsevier United States of America