Vimala McClure first recognized the value of massage for babies when she was working in an orphanage in India in the early 1970s. Babies with few other advantages in this world were lulled into sleep each night with a massage before bedtime.
If your client has given birth by Cesarean section (C-section), she has scars that need to heal. The surface scar, unless there are physical complications such as infection, will heal automatically. Deeper scarring, both physical and emotional, may take more work and conscious effort from both you and your client. To recover from a C-section, and to prepare for subsequent pregnancy and birth, your client needs to heal on all levels—from deep-tissue healing to releasing emotions related to the surgery. Your job as a bodyworker is to facilitate and nurture her through this process.
Bubbling with excitement, your ten o’clock appointment announces her just-confirmed pregnancy. While you share in her joy, you also hope to maintain or even strengthen your relationship with her at a time many ordinary skin treatments aren’t suitable.
While there are some don’ts in caring for a pregnant client, there are many things you can do to help mom feel relaxed and pretty while she rides the hormonal roller coaster.
Recently, a bodyworker who specializes in working with pregnant women pointed me in the direction of a largely unexplored topic: the relationship between pregnancy and autoimmune diseases. How does one affect the other, and how can we and our clients make the best possible choices in this context?
The miracle of motherhood is eloquently expressed when observing how perfectly the female body is designed to conceive, birth, and nurture a child. Following conception, a woman and her unborn baby unite in an oceanic blend of energy and identity. Where one ends and the other begins no one knows (see Figure 1, page 38). However, there does appear to be an innate wisdom that uses the nervous system as a conduit to transmit electrical impulses of intelligence to all the body’s systems that maintain mother and fetus in a state of homeostasis and balance.
Pollutants Passed On
In preparation for the many changes ahead of her, the one thing a pregnant woman needs most — even more than pickles and ice cream — is nurturing, especially in the form of bodywork.
Massage therapists have long catered to the pregnant client, helping her relax, renew, and even physically prepare for the strenuous birth date. Now spas are picking up the pregnancy pace as this unique client is walking through their doors seeking respite more than ever before.
Q. I’m a relative newcomer to the world of massage, and I love it. I just found out I’m pregnant. Can I still have massages?
Doctors have long known that proper nutrition is important for pregnant mothers but, until a recent study published in Molecular and Cellular Biology, they didn’t know exactly why. Turns out, a vitamin-rich diet for pregnant women can actually turn off disease-causing genes in their unborn children. Researches used a strain of mice with a genetic trigger that causes a yellow coat and makes them predisposed to obesity, diabetes and cancer.