Why You Should Book a Pregnancy Massage

pregnancyMy first pregnancy was tough on my body. I had always been more or less the same weight my adult life, and suddenly I was gaining more pounds than I was used to carrying. Moreover, it was starting to become difficult to sleep and move around with a persistent backache. I had always loved going to the spa for a massage, but after I got pregnant, I was wary just in case it is dangerous for me and the baby.

Desperate for a good and relaxing session, I searched for a pregnancy massage Eastern suburbs Melbourne. I wanted to relieve myself of backache, but I wanted to be sure that the therapy will be, at the same time, safe. I looked online and found practitioners who are qualified for this and immediately booked myself an appointment.

When I went to the center for my session, I found out how different pregnancy massage is. First of all, she had specialized equipment where I can lie without squishing my baby and allowing my therapist to still be able to massage my back and shoulders.

My therapist offered a treatment room that was so warm and relaxing, perfect for women who need to relax a bit despite the extra kilos they are carrying around all day. Stress is, of course, very bad for mothers and babies, and as the day of giving birth draws near, anxiety can really build up. A massage is, then, not just for its physiological benefits, but also for clearing the mind and feeling better psychologically.

To be more concrete, here are advantages for booking that appointment:

Skin Benefits

I have started to develop some really ugly stretch marks because of the weight that I have put on. When you get taut skin massaged, these can be reduced and the oil can even nourish your skin.

Help with Sciatic Pain

During late pregnancy, the weight of the baby and the uterus exerts a lot of pressure on your sciatic nerves and leg muscles. This is a typical complaint of women that can actually be improved after a session. 

Reduce Swelling of Joints

Reduced circulation and more pressure on major blood vessels caused by the heavy uterus can lead to swelling. Going for therapy will stimulate soft tissues and minimize fluid accumulation in these joints.

Decrease Symptoms of Stress and Depression

Studies have shown that massage helps reduce stress hormone levels. Pregnancy can really bring a lot of changes in your body and this can be hormones can really make you emotional. Depression can also occur as women start to feel big and ugly. This is why you should go to that spa. In fact, a course of therapies over 6 weeks can significantly make you feel so much better.

Fewer Chances of Complications

Stress can affect childbirth and regular massage will help the mother relax. In turn, this will reduce complications and even result in higher birth rate.

Promote Better Sleep

Because of the relief I experienced after the massage, I could sleep better without feeling the throbbing my back.

Help Induce Labor

There is also a form of therapy called Induction Massage, where practitioners use acupuncture points, as well as relaxation techniques and oils to facilitate labor, especially perfect when you are overdue.

Other Benefits

Should your baby be in a breech position, a massage can relax your pelvis and help with the rotation. At the same time, recovery can be sped up, regardless of whether you go through a normal or caesarean birth. Lastly, production of milk can be increased, which is also a great thing for your baby.

With so many benefits, it is really a great idea for pregnant women like me to book a session with a therapist. However, there are some important points that you should consider. 

First of all, make sure to clear it with your physician or gynecologist if you are thinking about going for a pregnancy massage. There are some conditions that will require an approval of the doctor before you go for a session. Some of these include pre-eclampsia, hypertension, severe headaches, high blood pressure, and severe swelling. If you are also having a high-risk pregnancy, pre-term labor or have recently given birth, inform the therapist. Should you have any of these conditions, consult with your doctor first before having a massage. 

Second, if you are especially experiencing consistent pre-term contractions, you should speak up so that pressure points that might stimulate pelvic muscles should be avoided. 

Third, it is more recommended to wait until the end of the first trimester before you book an appointment.

Make sure to include pregnancy massage in your plans during your 9 months. Not only does it bring you lots of advantages, it will really help you relax and enjoy the wait for your baby to arrive. This is a special time for you and by removing stress and pain out of the equation, you can really savor these wonderful changes happening in your life!

Physiotherapy and the Management of Sports Injuries

sports injuryNobody understands sports injuries a lot better than physical therapists or physiotherapists. Countless athletes have seen their dreams shattered because of sports-related injuries. Some have eventually lost their lives because of the complications that result from concussions as well as fat embolism that gets lodged in the brain or even in a major artery of the heart secondary to a fracture. And while orthopaedic doctors and neurologists will be typically involved in the management of sports-related injuries, its ongoing treatment and rehabilitation will require the expertise of a physical therapist to make sure that you retain optimum functionality of whatever is left after the injury. Unfortunately, I had to learn this the hard way.

I enjoy running. In fact, I have participated in several marathons including the Melbourne Marathon and the Melbourne Half. But that was about to change. I was training for the next marathon when I tripped on a large crack on the pavement, landing hard on my knee. I felt a jolt up my spine and my knee started to really throb within the next couple of days. I knew that I had to rest it, apply cold compress, and elevate the rest of my lower limb. But, foolish me, I was more focused on completing my exercise regimen just in time for the marathon. So I didn’t. Only when the pain started getting really unbearable that I decided to see an orthopaedic surgeon. X-ray examination revealed that I had a severely swollen kneecap. You can say I wasn’t surprised. What I was amazed at, however, is the fact that I was given a very unusual prescription: physical therapy. Sure, the orthopaedic surgeon gave me analgesics for the pain but there is not much he can do. According to him, the best healthcare professional to manage my problem is a physical therapist.

I was quite sceptical knowing that physiotherapists only work with world-class professional athletes and sports organizations as well as manage the rehabilitation programs of patients who have recently had a stroke or those who have undergone hip replacement surgery. I know that physical therapy is primarily rehabilitative in nature and as such I was cynical about the idea of getting a physiotherapist manage my swollen kneecap. Is this not supposed to be a domain of the orthopaedic surgeon?

Anyway, the physiotherapy clinic my doctor recommended was nevertheless acceptable for me. I live in Werribbee, just 30-plus kilometres southwest of Melbourne, so it was comforting to know that the Wyndham Physio and Rehabilitation clinic – wyndhamrehab.com.au is also based in Werribbee. At the very least I don’t have to drive all the way to Melbourne just to get the physical rehabilitation. What amazed me, however, was the fact that the clinic’s many clientele were young women like me. Most have musculoskeletal problems or issues in mobility aggravated by pain. They were also at the clinic all raring to manage their pain and immobility issues and get on with their lives.

Physiotherapists are specialists in optimum physical mobility. Where the body needs to move in a certain manner, then they are the ones who needed to be sought. Any issue that compromises or undermines the body’s ability to move efficiently is thus, addressed so that improved functional mobility is achieved.

So what happens during a physiotherapy visit? First, your physical therapist will conduct a very thorough assessment of your health but mostly, will focus on your physical mobility. This means that your muscles, joints, and bones and their respective characteristics will be carefully assessed. Your range of motion and the strength and tonicity of your muscles will be thoroughly evaluated. The stability of your joints as well as your body’s overall flexibility will also have to be assessed in order to come up with a very accurate description of the body’s state of physical mobility. The physiotherapist will then create a comprehensive plan that is primarily composed of three goals: rehabilitate the injured body part, strengthen the surrounding structures particularly the muscles, and prevent further injuries.

Physiotherapy will not address your problems in one sitting, however. In my case, I had to visit Wyndham several times. Each time, my physiotherapist will assist me with stretching and muscle strengthening exercises. I also had to undergo transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation to help relieve the pain and discomfort, increase muscle strength and tonicity, and improve blood flow to the injured area. At home, I was also advised to apply heat and cold compresses alternately and to perform the physical exercises we do at the clinic.

In 2 months’ time, I was able to regain full functioning of my knee. This really helped me better understand what physiotherapy is all about and how it can benefit individuals suffering from a variety of musculoskeletal problems. You can click here to see my previous article about physiotherapy.

Making the Most of IVF Acupuncture

IVF AcupunctureA growing number of people in our society today are being affected by infertility. In some situations, these infertility problems can be addressed with regular medicine, while some people choose surgery. However, if you do not want to undergo an operation or take a lot of medicine, you can always opt for an IVF treatment and there are several ways to improve the outcome such as the inclusion of acupuncture. The fertility levels during the embryo transfer tend to double with the application of acupuncture. In spite of the medical advancement, people are still having trouble in conceiving and some prefer the in vitro fertilization method.

The IVF acupuncture includes the insertion of fine needles into specific areas of the body to increase the flow of energy. Most acupuncture experts believe that the fertility conditions are brought on by the blockages in the pathways (also called meridians) to the reproductive body organs. The idea is to stimulate the particular points in order to unblock those areas, thereby restoring fertility.

How Much Does it Cost?

Generally speaking, the cost of IVF requires a substantial amount of money. But once you get the result you have been wishing for, it will be worth the expense. At a glance, there are the laboratory fees. In the case of in vitro fertilization, the best egg cell and sperm cell will be picked, and later put together for fertilization. You will also have to deal with some medication costs.  Considering that the human female body is unique, it is difficult to estimate the amount of the medication you need and the duration you need to them. Therefore, it is hard to determine the costs of your own IVF treatment.

What are the Benefits?

Using IVF treatment with acupuncture is considered to have a lot of benefits. Acupuncture is known to prevent ovarian hyperstimulation, and minimize the negative effects of the commonly used fertility medicine, Lupron. It also increases the flow of blood to the reproductive system, which includes the womb. Several studies have also revealed that women who acquire acupuncture treatment on the actual day of the embryo transfer have increased the pregnancy rates.

Acupuncture has proven to lower the levels of stress, which helps to hinder fertility. Stress causes the blood circulation to be rerouted away from the reproductive organs in the direction of the stress coping glands. Acupuncture helps a person to relax, consequently restoring the supply of blood to the uterus and the rest of the reproductive organs.

When it comes to IVF, it is essential for your hormones to be balanced and acupuncture can greatly help on this. The needles increase the release of endorphins, which affect the production of the reproductive hormones that regulate the function of the ovarian and control the menstrual cycle. In addition, acupuncture reduces the adverse reactions from taking fertility drugs, which contribute to the thinning of the uterine lining and thus, negatively affect the implantation. The improved blood circulation to the uterus as a result of acupuncture is able to reverse this. It regulates the hormones and relaxation, thus decreasing the miscarriage rates.

There are many women who prefer not to undergo acupuncture for IVF treatment method mainly because of the usage of needles. However, those women who already experienced the treatment are now great advocates, claiming that it is quite a relaxing procedure and the acupuncture needles are not painful at all.

What You Can Do

Whether or not you go for an acupuncture with IVF will be based on your attitude to the treatment itself. If you are stressed about the entire process, it could be counterproductive and just add to your stress levels. And so, it is worth knowing that most people who experienced the fine needles claimed that they give very little, if any, pain and discomfort.

Whatever activities you do in your daily life, diet is important. IVF treatment methods will be effective if you give great importance to a healthy diet. Following a poor diet regime during an IVF procedure can have an unfavorable effect and result in low fertility rate. If you are treated with in vitro fertilization, make sure you avoid eating foods with preservatives and additives. You should also avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they are considered to be fertility disruptor. Moreover, be sure to drink plenty of water. If you are really serious in increasing your chances of conceiving through IVF acupuncture, remember that it is essential to practice a healthy diet and lifestyle. It is one of the best approaches to increase your IVF result.


Your decision to proceed with an IVF treatment is not easy. It may take its toll on you physically, emotionally and financially. But needless to say, the amazing benefits are great. Of course, you want to increase your chances of getting pregnant, and want to do everything possible. And one effective consideration is opting for acupuncture with IVF treatment.