Pre-Natal Massage Elements Therapeutic Massage Richland has therapists trained in Pre-Natal Massages for expecting mothers. Women can begin massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy, first, second, or third trimester. The pregnant body undergoes radical physical changes in each trimester, each with their own physical ailments. The main ailments of pregnancy are centered on decreased circulation in the body, joint pain, and muscle fatigue as the body changes. Pre-Natal Massage is directed specifically to cater to these pregnancy discomforts and to ease the burden on the body. Decreased circulation and edema (swelling) can be improved through massage stimulation as it improves the oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles, in turn providing more skin elasticity during pregnancy. Massage has been shown to encourage the stretching of muscles and reaching full range of motion in joints. Elements Therapists also understand the effects of the hormone relaxin. Relaxin enables muscles, ligaments, and cartilage to stretch and care needs to be taken to avoid overstretching. Focusing on the individual, Pre-Natal massage can provide an atmosphere to help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Balancing a pre-pregnancy routine as you work toward preparing for an unknown can be a high stressor. Numerous studies have shown a link between high levels of anxiety and stress to increased complications during labor and delivery; as such Pre-Natal Massage can have a powerful overall effect for pregnancy. Natural changes in hormone levels that accompany pregnancy include an increase of norepinephrine and cortisol (stress hormones) as well as a decrease in serotonin levels (low levels are associated with depression). Women who have received massages during pregnancy have shown significantly altered levels of these hormones, decreasing stress hormones and increasing serotonin levels. Reducing the changes in hormone levels has been associated with fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications. Given the physical and mental benefits associated with Pre-Natal massages and acknowledging this special time in your life, we encourage you to discuss massage with your prenatal care provider prior to adding it to your prenatal program. At Elements Therapeutic Massage RIchland, each massage is individually customized to best fit your health and wellness regimen.