Balance Blog

Apr 24th

Easing the Pain of Pregnancy Sciatica

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Sciatica pain is, unfortunately, quite common during pregnancy.  This condition occurs most often in the third trimester of a pregnancy, and the symptoms are usually pain in the back, deep in the gluteus muscles (buttocks) and down the back of the leg.  Luckily, here in Louisville there is help for pregnancy sciatica.

The pain occurs because of pressure on or injury to the sciatic nerve. This nerve runs from the small of the back to the feet. The changes a pregnant woman goes through can lead to sciatica: the uterus expands, the abdominal and rectal muscles separate, and extra weight causes the center of gravity to shift, often putting strain on the back and the sciatic nerve.  With extra tight muscles putting pressure on the sciatic nerve, the pain can be almost unbearable.

Certain pain medications are not an option during pregnancy, due to possible negative effects on the baby. However, massage therapy is a safe and effective way of dealing with pregnancy sciatica.  The pregnant mother can be positioned on her side, with soft bolsters between her knees, which helps to relieve pressure on her lower back.  The massage therapist will do an assessment, locating the source of the problem, then use gentle, direct massage strokes to relieve tightness in the muscles that are compressing the nerve. Professional massage has many clinically-proven benefits, including relief from sciatic nerve pain and anxiety, boosted immune system functions, improved circulation and improved sleep. The pregnant woman can choose to add aromatherapy oils to her massage to deepen relaxation.

Here in Louisville, there are many services available to help ease the aches and pains of pregnancy, including massage.  If you suffer from sciatica, don’t hesitate to seek relief!

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Apr 20th

Try A Workout For Couples Therapy

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A love relationship is one of the most fulfilling things we can have in our lives.  After a while, though, any couple can start to experience difficulties. How can you take action to bolster a relationship that’s starting to feel strained?

Couples therapy is an option, helping a relationship become stronger by providing a safe setting for open, honest communication and working out issues. After a while, if work and family have taken center stage, sometimes what a couple needs is to simply make time for each other. Start something new together: a hobby you can share, reading to each other, dinner dates at your favorite restaurant, and couples massage are a few ideas.  Get to know each other again!

Spring is the time to shake off the winter blues and get healthy – and creating a fun workout is a great way to create a bonding experience for a couple or family. You don’t have to buy a gym membership; try small steps, like taking a family bike ride in the evenings, walking the dog together, hiking on a local trail or playing frisbee in the park. Studies have shown that an exercise workout boosts levels of serotonin, a hormone that improves your mood.  Sunlight also increases serotonin, so taking your workout outside is a double dose of natural antidepressant. With the body refreshed and the mind clear, relationships can be seen with fresh eyes and a new perspective.

Use your workout time to help each other achieve a goal. Supporting each other in doing something good for your health shows mutual caring, reigniting positive feelings toward each other. Getting outside and getting healthy together with a good workout – it’s good therapy!

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Apr 17th

Massage and Childhood Stress

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People of all ages are affected by stress.  Unlike adults, young children may not have developed coping skills to deal with their anxiety, and grownups can step in and help out.  Bringing your child to a massage therapist may not solve the stressful situation, but the soothing touch of massage can help even the youngest children to cope better with their feelings.

Children can be very sensitive to their surroundings, leading to anxiety when those surroundings change. Childhood stress can result from starting school, transferring to a new school, the death of pets and other loved ones.  Children are also very sensitive to tension in the home, despite parents’ best efforts to shield them.  Like adults, children can also be sensitive to pressure – from their parents, teachers, peers or society.  Usually these messages are subtle, and often inadvertent, such as pressure to perform better in school and sports, to fit in, to have a certain body image and appearance.  These subtle messages can weigh down young spirits and create anxiety.

The caring touch of childhood massage can help counteract these messages by allowing the child to become physically grounded in a positive message: I’m ok, just the way I am.  By providing a sense of calm and well-being to the child, anxiety can be lessened.

In some instances, such as when a child is not as comfortable with strangers as with family, caregivers may choose to learn childhood massage techniques and provide the massage themselves.  Louisville has massage practitioners who are able to provide that training.  Look for someone who has experience both providing hands-on pediatric massage, and training others in massage techniques.

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Apr 10th

The Benefits of Prenatal Massage

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If you are suffering from the aches and pains that go along with a growing belly and the many hormone and body changes that happen during pregnancy, consider treating yourself to a prenatal massage by a local massage therapist in Louisville.

Relax, get comfortable and let the soothing touch of massage melt away your aches and stress. Enhanced relaxation and improved state of mind are just the beginning of the benefits you will experience.

Prenatal massage enhances the immune system and removes toxins by stimulating the circulatory and lymph systems, which enhances the health of both you and your baby. Massage can help stabilize hormonal mood swings. As pregnancy progresses, your body adjusts to a changing alignment caused by the baby’s increasing weight; this can put strain on the mother’s back and legs and increases stress
on weight-bearing joints. Massage supports good muscle tone and increases flexibility, making it easier
to carry extra weight while also relieving aches and pains, leg cramps and muscle spasms. The nurturing
touch of massage affects not only the physical state of muscles and joints, but also calms the nervous
system, helping to instill a sense of peace and deep relaxation.

Pregnancy is a unique and special time, and techniques for prenatal massaging are a little different as
well. You may be positioned on your side during the duration of the massage, with comfortable pillows
and bolsters for your knees, abdomen and arms. During pregnancy, deep pressure should be avoided.
Certain areas, such as the inner thigh, are avoided due to in increased risk of blood clots. Your massage
therapist may make other adjustments to your session based on your medical history.

Prenatal massage has a rich history stemming from ancient times, spanning many cultures. During
the last thirty years, research has allowed great advances in prenatal massage, improving techniques
and proving the many benefits of receiving massage while pregnant. Balance Therapeutic Massage
in Louisville recommends prenatal massage for all trimesters, up to (and including) labor. If your
pregnancy is considered high risk, or you are experiencing any complications during pregnancy, check
with your doctor first to make sure massage therapy is the right option for you.

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