Aromatherapy massages during pregnancy are extremely necessary for inducing ultimate relaxation in the body and mind of pregnant women. These physical exercises are required for ensuring that one is aware of the various alterations which occur in one's body while she is pregnant. Extra care must be taken while when massaging on more vulnerable areas such as stomach and lower back. Since the body is said to be quite sensitive to oils during pregnancy, the quantity of aromatherapy oil mixed to carrier oils must be reduced to half its original amount. A rejuvenating aromatherapy massage is ideal for easing tension which is common during pregnancy or gestation period. However, as pregnant women might find it uncomfortable to lay down in their front, they are advised to lie along their sides, being supported by a cushion. Partners of pregnant ladies can also massage her back and women must remain seated, supported by a cushion. The following massage techniques must be employed for massaging the body parts of a pregnant woman:
One must stroke gently down the spine from the base of the neck to the lower back of the pregnant lady. This must be done slowly and evenly and repeated, using alternate hands, twenty times.
Using both hands, one must gently stroke down the sides of the neck, over the shoulders and down the arms, coming off at the hands. The process must be repeated ten times.
With both hands, one must stroke gently up the spine, round the shoulder blades in a figure-of-eight, then gently down the sides of the body and the technique must be repeated at least ten times.
One must also stroke across the back, starting from the lower back on the right hand side. Thereafter, one should stroke in from the outside of the body towards the spine with alternate hands, moving gently up the neck towards the shoulders.
The above procedure must be repeated several times on the right side and then worked on the left side in the same way.
One must place one hand on the lower back of a pregnant lady, place the other hand on top, and allow the heat from the hands to build up. This is very soothing to a sore back. The first step can be repeated.
Now one must work on the neck of the pregnant woman to ease tension.
One must knead along from the outer shoulders towards the base of the neck and it must be repeated four or five times.
With the fingertips, a person must work in little circular movements from the base of the neck up to the base of the skull and repeat it for four or five times.
One must stroke down the sides of the neck and out to the shoulders, very slowly. The technique should be repeated five or six times.
Now, the pregnant woman must be asked to lie on her back. (She might like the support of a rolled-up towel under her knees).
Aromatherapy Massage for the Stomach
This massage is mainly for relaxation. The following aromatherapy blends are recommended. To 100 ml of carrier oil, one must add six drops each of Sandalwood Oil, Rose Oil, Chamomile Oil, Lavender Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil, Geranium Oil, Frankincense and Neroli Oil.
One must gently stroke the chosen oil to the stomach of a pregnant woman.
The stomach must be gently stroked, starting from the breasts to the pubic bone. This must be repeated twenty times with alternate hands.
Now the mixture must be gently circled around the stomach with the flat of the hand in a clockwise direction. No pressure must be applied. It should be repeated five or six times.
One must stroke in from the hip bone, using alternate hands, gradually moving up the body to the side of the chest. One should repeat several times on each side.
This movement is helpful for an aching, tired back. One should reach under the pregnant lady's waist with both hands. Thereafter, the hands must be slid them out from under her back, lifting gently as one does so.
One must bring the hands gently over the stomach of the pregnant lady and repeat the process five or six times.
Little tears appear on the surface of the skin, known as 'stretch marks' on the bodies of pregnant women. Initially, they are visible as tiny red spots which dull to a silvery whitish scar. The stretch marks increase with a gradual increase in the weight of the body. One must add 50 ml of wheat germ oil and 50 ml of avocado oil to a solution of three drops of tangerine oil and three drops of frankincense oil. It is believed that frankincense oil has a calming impact on the skin of pregnant women and tangerine oil is a rich source of Vitamin C and it helps keep skin elastic.
Aromatherapy Massages during Labour
Pregnant ladies can tolerate the contractions which take place during labour and it is also said to diminish the fear experienced by women, as their nervous system is gently calmed down during this time. One must massage the stomach gently with three drops of lavender oil when necessary and also repeat the technique. If the stomach seems to be tender, a figure of eight movement must be followed which includes massaging around the stomach and also under the bump of the stomach. One must add some drops of rose oil or lavender oil to chilled rosewater. A tiny sponge must be dipped into this solution and stroked gently over the forehead, neck and face of the pregnant lady, in a rhythmic manner. This floral aroma is quite soothing and enables one to take one's mind far away from labour pains.