By Amy Mulcahy
Remedial Massage Therapist at Life Ready Physio + Pilates Camberwell
Have you ever thought about who is doing your pregnancy massage? Are they qualified for pregnancy massage? What experience do they have?
In Australia there is no regulation of the massage industry – you don’t need qualifications to work as a massage therapist!
Recently, the remedial massage association, Massage and Myotherapy Australia (M&MA) called for the introduction of a formal register to ensure the public receives safe massage. While there has been a crack down on fraudulent practices within the health insurance sector, regulation around massage therapy still does not exist.
What does this mean?
Unfortunately, some massage therapists in salons, spas or shopping centres are not qualified in remedial or pregnancy massage. They may be trained overseas, on the job, or sadly, not at all.
How to know if your massage therapist is qualified
The best way to tell if your massage therapist is qualified is to simply ask to see their qualifications. You can ask the clinic or massage therapist directly. They should also display their qualifications alongside their prices and association certificate, as a requirement of the association.
If they are registered with an association, the massage therapist is required to adhere to a code of ethics and standards of practice. These include having and updating their qualifications, first aid certificates and appropriate insurance.
Benefits of going to a clinic over a spa
Another benefit of seeing a remedial massage therapist in a clinic is that you will have access to other modalities, such as physiotherapy and Pilates, which can offer great benefits during pregnancy. These therapies will work alongside each other to offer you the best holistic treatment your body needs.
What are the benefits of massage during pregnancy?
Massage during pregnancy can:
- Reduce anxiety
- Decrease symptoms of depression
- Relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and
- Improve labor outcomes and newborn health
Swedish massage is the recommended pregnancy massage and aims to ease muscle tension and improve circulation. It is also able to address many common discomforts associated with pregnancy such as sciatic nerve pain, lower back and hip tension, tension through the thoracic and upper back and ease headaches related to shoulder tension. It can also assist with hormone regulation by reducing cortisol (the stress hormone), and increasing dopamine and serotonin, lowering the risk of post-natal depression.
Massage is generally safe throughout all the trimesters right up until the birth of your baby, however, you can rest assured knowing that a qualified remedial massage therapist will have the professional knowledge of your condition and the contraindications during pregnancy.