The physical, emotional, and mental changes of pregnancy can be overwhelming for some women. According to the National Center for Complimentary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and Suzanne Ezner, author of the Maternity Reflexology Manual, maternity reflexology has been effective in treating common ailments many women face during various stages of pregnancy.
During the first three months of pregnancy a hormone called Human Chronic Gonadotrophin (hCG), is produced by the foetus and can make an expectant mother feel less than wonderful. The mother-to-be’s body reacts to the growing baby by producing relaxin, an ovarian hormone that works to soften pelvic ligaments in preparation for birth.
These changes can be overwhelming and uncomfortable. Reflexology can help to adjust hormonal output and can treat common pregnancy aches and pains such as oedema, carpal tunnel syndrome, constipation and headaches and it helps to keep the mother in optimum condition throughout the pregnancy.
I usually don’t treat woman until after the 1st trimester when the new life is well established in the womb. Regular treatments are recommended.
The key hormone for the onset and development of labour is oxytocin. The first secretion comes from the baby’s pituitary gland and when this crosses the placenta it activates the mother’s pituitary to respond by producing more. The mother’s oxytocin then stimulates contractions and labour. Reflexology during this phase can help to maintain the mother’s secretions and so allow labour to progress naturally without chemical or physical intervention. Used between contractions, reflexology can help to release endorphins so that the mother can actively relax and focus her energy on each contraction.
Suddenly the focus changes from you – the expectant mum – to the baby. Although he or she will be your first priority, it is important to look after yourself. Continuing to receive reflexology will help to replace energy loss, reduce post-natal depression, reduce anxiety and tension as well as aches and stiffness, aid milk flow, help battle insomnia and assist the uterus to return to its original condition.
The most common area for reflexology treatment is the foot. Pressure is applied to specific zones. For example to treat the pituitary gland, I work on the big toe. The pressure of reflexology pressure points (similar to acupuncture) generate a signal through the peripheral nervous system, which then enters the central nervous system, where signals are sent to various parts of the brain. The signals continue to travel on to the organs, encouraging adjustments in oxygen, sending a response to the body’s motor systems and stimulating the circulation system to transport nutrients, oxygen, hormone and antibodies when needed and to eliminate waste products (catabolic substances).
Reflexology can be used safely during pregnancy, labour and post pregnancy. It can induce labour naturally. It can help for the following conditions:
Reflexology treatments are recognized by most health insurances to claim back part of the treatment cost.
Maternity Reflexology 60mins €70. Go to shop >
If booked on a weekly basis throughout pregnancy the price for the hour treatment is €50.
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