Reproductive Conditions

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Ever since I started studying massage therapy I have been interested in working with pregnant women and their partners. I am drawn to the idea due to the ability to make a strong difference in a woman’s well-being at an important time for her. I include the partner because I believe that pregnancy, while physiologically happening in one partner’s body, is a two person endeavor. This has been true for my wife’s pregnany, and I wouldn’t want to imagine what it would have been like if I had not been as involved as I have been. The training that I received in pregnancy massage focused on helping the body to maintain an upright posture, loosening fascia around the belly, and reducing edema in the lower extremities. We focused on reducing tonicity in the head, neck and shoulders–including the posterior postural muscles, plus SCM, scales, platysma, pectoralis minor, latissimus dorsai, the teres muscles, rhomboids, etc. The purpose here was to keep the shoulder girdle loose and the head on top of the body instead of out in front. We also focused on the hips–encouraging piriformus to remain healthy knowing that as the belly grows it will be stressed. We also worked on moving fluid from the lower extremity–with lymphatic drainage techniques and elevation. Finally we were taught to do fascial loosening on the expanding abdomen–a gentle connection with semi-circular stretches. This would encourage the fascia to stretch, and give more room to the growing baby and the impacted internal organs. As an expectant father it’s been exciting to use these techniques for my wife, and the idea of sharing these techniques with other pregnant women is welcome. Having partners present for the activity is important–for them to understand that a man can be a caregiver, and who better to give care than them. As for the reproductive pathologies, I am glad to know the diseases to be aware of, and particularly glad that dealing with many of these is outside my scope of practice.

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