The Gift of Massage in Pregnancy By Craig Sallaway Energising, soothing, nurturing and healing, the art of massage is all of these things and more. Along with other natural therapies, many people are adopting massage as a way to balance body and mind. Just because you are pregnant, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on this wonderful natural therapy. Let me introduce you to Pregnancy Massage. Pregnancy Massage is aimed at supporting the body when it is going through one of life’s greatest experiences. This is an ideal time to nurture your body as it develops a new life within. Pregnancy presents new demands and pressures on your body such as swollen feet, poor circulation, aching muscles and lower back, and fluctuating energy levels. Your organs and muscles are working harder than ever as they support the changes occurring within. Pregnancy Massage can help with all these stresses by stimulating circulation, the lymphatic system, organ function and toxin release. This improves general health and helps to alleviate pressure in those hard working parts of your body that really need the support. Even before the massage begins, women will sigh with relief when they lie face down on the specially designed massage table. The baby and belly are supported by elasticised foam, and are supported to gently sink into the table. As the belly grows the table allows women to lie comfortably on their front and receive the full nurturing experience of the massage. My now nine month pregnant wife has had weekly massages throughout her pregnancy, and has found it greatly beneficial as an aid to sore, tired feet and legs and for total relaxation. As with any massage the therapist will tailor pregnancy massage to individual needs. Support and care for a woman’s body is a priority at this time. Pregnancy massage is gentle but firm, and is designed more for relaxation and support. There is no better time than during pregnancy to really look after yourself and keep your body and mind in the best state possible. To have time out to pamper yourself helps women to feel special and value this time in their life. The demands of work and home life can sometimes overwhelm and cause us to loose sight of the need to nurture ourselves. As parents we do a lot of caring and will be giving much time in the future to our new baby. Taking a small amount of time out for yourself on a regular basis is an invaluable habit to get into now. You cannot give endlessly without some time to recuperate and recharge. A massage is an ideal way to make sure you give to yourself. Pregnancy Massage with a Ka Huna Flavour Ka Huna Massage (also known as Lomi Lomi), has been in use for thousands of years. It originally came from Hawaii and is now a popular modality of massage around the world. Traditionally the tribal healers used Ka Huna Massage during rites of passage as a transformational massage and healing system. Its flowing movements around the table are intended to mimic the movements of birds flying, and the techniques enable the therapist to mobilise both the body’s physical and energetic systems. The South Pacific’s close bond with all the elements, ensures that Ka Huna massage is a very powerful healing method. Comments such as “It is like the ocean washing over you,” or “I feel balanced and at peace” are common from clients having just received a Ka Huna massage. Ka Huna Massage uses a holistic approach and acknowledges the body as a complete system. Using hands and forearms in long flowing strokes, mixed with soft and deep tissue techniques, a Ka Huna Massage Therapist will balance not only the client’s symptoms but also the underlining issues. When interlaced with pregnancy massage, it creates a beautiful flowing and nurturing massage that prepares and strengthens both mother and baby for childbirth.