Pregnancy is an emotional journey filled with physical changes for women. Hormonal changes in the body will cause pain and swelling. So, many pregnant women are interested in massage therapy to relieve pain and stress.
Massage guns have thus become popularly sought-after tools because of their ease of use. However, can pregnant women use massage guns? In fact, a massage gun is only safe with certain body areas during pregnancy.
To learn more about this issue, let’s continue the article below!
Are Massage Guns Safe During Pregnancy?
Before delving into the effects of a massage gun on pregnant women, we need to understand the nature of percussion massage. This therapy is not a manual practice, and you will need the help of tools during the massage process. And massage guns are the most popular devices.
Some of the popular brands that people look for when it comes to massage guns are Theragun, Hypervolt, or ReAthlete. Many people do not even know the term “massage gun” but only know Theragun or Hypervolt.
It is safe to use a massage gun during pregnancy, but only under certain circumstances. You will need careful advice from your doctor when using it.
This type of percussion massager improves blood circulation and stimulates muscles. In addition, it also acts on pressure points to help effectively relieve body pain, reduce anxiety and treat muscle spasms.
If you can safely receive regular treatments, your mental and physical health will improve dramatically. The best part is that percussion massage also strengthens the muscles. So, it can contract and expand at any time to relieve pain.
Even so, improper use of massage guns can have serious consequences. A scientific study shows that people with a high-risk pregnancy should get their doctor’s permission before using it.
The first trimester of pregnancy is the period when you should be most careful. The reason is that the risk of miscarriage is very high.
The increased blood flow during massage also harms the fetus.
To summarize, percussion massagers are safe devices under the supervision of a doctor or medical professional. If you are not sure about your health status, stop.
On the contrary, you can enjoy stress-relieving and pain-relieving therapy if your pregnancy is healthy.
How to Use a Massage Gun Safely for Pregnancy?
The vibration of massage guns can cause some adverse effects on the mother’s body and unborn baby if you do not use them correctly. Take note of some of the following points.
When Is The Proper Time to Use Massage Guns?
The first trimester is when the mother’s body is extremely fragile and easy to miscarry. So, you need to limit the impact at this point.
After going through the first trimester, pregnant women will have a check-up once in a while. Your doctor or medical professional will advise you on using the massage gun at this time.
If you have symptoms of a high-risk pregnancy, the chances are high that you should not use this device. In addition, you should also consider stopping therapy if you experience symptoms such as fatigue and restlessness. Not everyone is suitable for this method.
More severe symptoms that require immediate stopping are nausea or preterm labor. Some manifestations include vaginal bleeding, cramping, and high blood pressure.
Premature labor causes premature birth, which adversely affects the baby’s health.
Many doctors also forbid pregnant women from using massage tools if they have had a miscarriage in the past.
Where Should You Apply The Percussion Massager While Pregnant?
Blood flow in the body tends to increase during pregnancy, especially in the lower body parts. Therefore, you should limit the impact on this area.
The deep tissue massage technique of various tools can dissolve blood clots. It will endanger your health.
The good news is that these massagers do not negatively impact the upper body parts such as the back, shoulders, and neck. However, areas that you should avoid putting pressure on are the thighs, lower back, abdomen, and shins.
Over-stimulation in these areas will cause bruising and dissolving blood clots. Better yet, you should only use percussion massagers for the upper body areas to ensure absolute safety. Do not forget to talk to your doctor for the most satisfactory advice.
Who Can Use Percussion Massagers?
It is up to your personal preference. You can ask a professional physical therapist to perform a body massage. Alternatively, you can also get expert guidance to do it yourself at home.
Your partner is also a potential audience. If they have enough knowledge and skills, you can ask them to perform the therapy for you.
Additional Safety Tips
In addition to the above instructions, you should also pay attention to the following safety tips:
- Avoid using the massage gun in areas with swelling or inflammation.
- Start by gliding the device gently over sore parts for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Do the treatment on one area three to five times and then switch to another.
- Discontinue use if you feel any pain or cramping.
- Please do not leave the massager in one location for too long as it will cause intense irritation and bruising.
- Use it at the slowest possible speed.
- Avoid using the massager on bones, joints, and nerves.
Besides, you should not use percussion massagers if you are not sure about their safety. It requires a lot of skill and care.
During pregnancy, it’s completely normal to be a little paranoid and exaggerate about your health. You might consider using gentle hand massage sessions.
These slow movements will bring absolute relaxation to the body without much risk.
Why Is Massage Good for Pregnant Women?
The therapist is hand-massaging a pregnant woman
There is no scientific evidence to show the specific benefits of using massage guns for pregnant women. However, some studies show that massage positively affects the body.
During pregnancy, the body puts a lot of stress on the lower back and thus causes leg and back pain.
Many people also experience other symptoms of fatigue, such as edema (swelling), cramps, and muscle spasms that impair sleep quality. Lack of sleep increases stress hormones and upsets emotions.
Studies on massage therapy have shown it to reduce pain and reduce prenatal depression. It’s also entirely secure with an affordable price tag.
Some of the benefits of massage therapy include:
- Reduce fluid build-up or edema while pregnant.
- Relieve back and leg pain.
- Reduce stress.
- Improve sleep by treating sleep disorders.
- Decreased levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine.
A 2020 scientific report has shed more light on the role of massage in improving psychological well-being and reducing stress in pregnant women. They can:
- Increases levels of happy hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
- Reducing anxiety-causing cortisol levels.
In addition to the psychoactive effects, this therapy also plays a vital role in strengthening the immune system. It will protect pregnant women from viruses and bacteria.
What Areas to Avoid Massaging During Pregnancy?
Although scientific studies have demonstrated the benefits of massage therapy during pregnancy, you still need to be careful.
There are areas of the body that absolutely should not be massaged. You should avoid some of the following areas if you are pregnant.
The belly and surrounding areas are the parts that need the most attention during pregnancy. Better yet, don’t let non-professional masseuses touch this part.
If the hand is not applied correctly, the baby and mother can suffer injuries.
Even when applying lotions and anti-stretch marks, you still need to be careful. Try to avoid putting too much pressure on this area.
2. Leg Veins
Pregnant women may experience Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). The main reason is that blood and fluid increase during this period.
The application of deep pressure to the tissues of the leg can dissolve the blood clot. In the long run, they pose a severe health hazard.
Foot massage is generally a sensitive topic for pregnant women. One of the other places you should pay attention to is the ankle.
Although there aren’t any scientific studies on the adverse effects of stress on the ankle area, evidence suggests that massaging the Achilles tendon can promote labor.
Some scientists think this is because the ankles have pressure points that correlate with the reproductive organs. Therefore, you need to be careful in the first trimester.
4. Pressure Points
Pressure points in the wrists, between the fingers, or around the ankles are areas where you shouldn’t apply too much force. Otherwise, they run the risk of causing a seizure.
High-risk Health Conditions
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you need to talk to your doctor or health professional for the best advice. It is helpful advice that pregnant women with these symptoms should not apply any massage therapy.
This condition usually develops around the 20th week of pregnancy or later. Its consequence is a severe increase in blood pressure throughout the body.
2. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
If you have a history of DVT, the methods or uses of body massage in general, or a theragun in particular, are very dangerous.
Pregnancy increases blood volume and reduces circulation in the legs. Blood also clots more easily thanks to certain hormones preventing childbirth bleeding.
Improper use of massage therapies will dissolve blood clots. As a result, it leads to an embolism and can be life-threatening.
3. High-risk Pregnancy
If your doctor has warned of any risks during delivery, such as preeclampsia, bleeding, or contractions before delivery, you need to be careful. Avoid using massage unless requested.
4. Gestational Diabetes
To prevent gestational diabetes, you should monitor your blood sugar carefully. If the level is too high, you will need your doctor’s permission to use massage therapy.
5. Placenta previa, abruption, or accrete
Diseases or conditions related to the placenta can cause internal bleeding. They are dangerous to the mother’s life.
In short, you can use a Theragun, a Hypervolt, or a massage gun in general while pregnant. However, you should only use it on upper body areas such as the shoulders, neck, and back.
The impact on the areas below will cause pain and even seriously affect the health of the mother and baby.
The most important thing is to consult a medical professional or doctor before use. They will give the best advice for your situation.