There are many misconceptions around Thai Yoga Therapy as a practice. Properly trained practitioners have a great understanding of the physiology of the human body. This knowledge, combined with energetic compassion and positive intention, make Thai Yoga Treatment a wonderfully relaxing experience; marked by massage, stretch, joint mobility and meditation.
Let’s explore how Thai Yoga Therapy can be especially beneficial at every stage of your pregnancy.
You’re in your First Trimester
In between urgent charges to the washroom to relieve morning sickness (though it tends to creep up morning, noon and night), your lethargy is catching up to you and moods are swinging faster than a pendulum. With consent from a medical professional, this is the perfect time to consider prenatal massage.
The energetic and emotional benefits of massage are particularly important for women who are pregnant. Not only does massage encourage a deep state of relaxation often resulting in sleep (don’t worry your snoring is a compliment, much like burping for a chef). Thai Massage is also used successfully in boosting energy levels and mental sharpness, which is integral during the first trimester. Emotionally, the effects work two ways; to decrease norepinephrine (stress hormone) and increase our mood-regulating and happy hormones, serotonin and dopamine.
The result? Mental well-being; helping to alleviate any anxiety that might be surrounding the precarious first few months.
You’re in your Second Trimester
As you feel your body start to accommodate the growing being inside you, everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) becomes increasingly uncomfortable. Pressure on joints and organs make certain positions unbearable and/or potentially unsafe. This is when massage postures are carefully selected and props become particularly important to ensure proper support of mom and babe.
Thai Yoga Therapy uniquely offers options for women in their second trimester and beyond to avoid undue discomfort. Unlike table massage (e.g. Swedish or Aromatherapy – which offers its own challenges as sensitivities to smells develop), access to certain areas of the body can be accommodated in seated or side-lying positions when conducted on floor mats. Further, Thai Yoga Therapy is about more than just massage. A key component of this modality is joint mobility and stretching; of great importance in this physically demanding stage of pregnancy when tension in the hips and lower back can be pronounced.
The result? Range of motion is greatly improved and limitations to movement are overcome; allowing you to feel more like yourself, for longer.
You’re in your Third Trimester
You’re moving SLOWER…much slower. Moreover, the urgency to run to the washroom has taken on new meaning; “Is the baby deliberately playing with my bladder?”
In this final phase of pregnancy, focus shifts away from stretching (practitioners must be mindful of increased joint flexibility as the body prepares for delivery) and moves entirely to massage. Though your ‘slowness’ may feel like a burden at times, ‘taking it slow’ is a cardinal rule within Thai Yoga Therapy. Using various touch techniques and practitioner stances that allow for optimal transference of pressure, Thai Massage honours a pace that not only effectively brings about a meditative state, but also works to detect the ‘end-point’ within muscles more efficiently. Plus, your deepened breath helps to detoxify your body, and feed baby’s development. Note: be sure to indicate the need for bio-breaks…
The result? Feeling nurtured and supported through the most strenuous phase of your pregnancy; encouraging excitement and anticipation for this next, most miraculous stage – child birth!
Dionne Daley is a certified Thai Yoga Therapy Practitioner and is a member of the International Association for Thai Massage. Dionne is the founder and owner of SENse Wellness. Through intuition and a thorough understanding of the human body, SENse Wellness Thai Yoga Therapy works to encourage relaxation for the mind and body. Whether you’re looking for healing (illness/injury/pain), stress/tension release, post workout muscle manipulation, preventative health care…or could just really use an escape. Thai Yoga Therapy is a wonderful way to find deep relaxation. To find out more about Dionne and SENse Wellness or to book your own prenatal massage visit her website and go say Hi to her over on Instagram and Facebook!