Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ten Great Reasons Why Moms Need Massage

I gave away one of my business cards yesterday at the salon to a lady 24 weeks pregnant with her second child. She seemed pleased to get it and interested, but she uttered the same basic story I've heard countless times.

"I just have to convince my husband to pay for it."

This often means I never hear from them again, unfortunately, whether because they forgot, were too busy, or it just wasn't in the budget.  As a result of hearing this line so often, I've been led to wonder just why the men have to be convinced it's a good idea to buy their wife a massage (or three, five, ten, or fifteen!)  She is carrying your growing child inside her body, protecting, growing, and nurturing it with everything she is and takes in, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, (give or take) 40 weeks a year.  And then she's going to mother it for the next umpteen years.  Is that not enough reason to buy her something wonderful, lovely, and just so gosh-darn good for her?
"No massage for you!" - Godwin's Law
Don't get me wrong, I fully understand the issues surrounding a poor economy, that there's not a lot of money going around, and pregnancy and new babies tend to be rather expensive already.  Ninety dollars (at my rate, and I'm inexpensive) can feel like a lot to drop on an hour and a half of lying on a table while somebody rubs you, ninety dollars and minutes that you can't get back once they're gone.  I do understand that very much because--thanks to the poor economy--not a lot of people are spending money on "luxuries" like massage.  You see my problem.  But I digress.

Going back to my point, I hear that line a lot and I got to thinking (and tweeting) about good reasons women could give their husbands to convince them that massage really is an investment in the ultimate well-being of the family and not just an expensive and froufy nicety.  After an initial run of four vaguely facetious tweets, I came home and got down to thinking more about it, and eventually came up with a list of ten.
  1. Growing a new human being is hard work! You deserve it.
  2. Massage can help regulate hormonal fluctuations, reduce edema, relieve leg cramps, and improve both mood and sleep.
  3. By lowering stress, anxiety, and pain levels, massage can decrease the need for some expensive pharmaceuticals.
  4. Massage can help your body integrate the physical changes of pregnancy and prepare for labor and birth.
  5. By receiving regular massage, you can learn and condition yourself to consciously relax, an invaluable skill during labor.
  6. Massage also helps speed postpartum recovery, and can ward off or relieve Postpartum Depression (PPD).
  7. The benefits of massage are cumulative; the more often you receive it, the more effective it is and the better you feel.
  8. Massage allots an hour or more of personalized, healing human contact, something unavailable from most other care models.
  9. While it can seem pricey out of pocket, minute-for-minute, massage is one of the most cost-effective models of care with one of the lowest risks or incidence of adverse side effects.
  10. [Reading] this, you've found a specially trained Certified Massage Therapist who is gifted in bodywork and passionate about mother & infant health..
These have already been formatted onto a folding business cards with the title on the front and my business information on the back, which I will dutifully whip out any time I hear a woman say she has to convince her husband it's worth the money.  This is not a comprehensive list of reasons why pregnant and new moms should get massage, nor exclusively scientific, but my hope is that it is a thought-provoking and persuasive one, nonetheless.  My purpose is to be illustrative of not just what massage does for a Mom, but what makes it worthwhile, why it's not as expensive as you think (my chiropractor charges 4-6 times what I do, as an hourly wage, just for a routine visit), and that I am particularly well suited to be someone's choice of therapist.

I'd love to see comments of any other reasons or arguments in favor of prenatal and postpartum massage.  This is far from exhaustive and if I find the distribution successful, I may expand the list at a future date.  Or, if you find my presentation flawed, please leave a comment to that effect as well.  Thanks!

Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage

P.S.: The blanket donation drive is still going on, Sebastopol! You have until the end of this week to give, or no later than Tuesday, if you can't make it this week.

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