While most women agree that being pregnant is wonderful, changes to the body can sometimes present challenges. Consequently, the thought of some time in a massage chair during pregnancy can be very appealing. A session in a high-quality chair can relieve minor aches, pains, and tension. But are massage chairs safe during pregnancy? It is important to know before getting into that enticing massage chair!
Massage chairs are typically great for pregnant women who want to achieve deeper states of relaxation and pain relief. Of course, it is a good idea to talk with your doctor before using a massage chair, especially if your pregnancy is challenging in any way.
Benefits of Using Massage Chairs While Pregnant
If your doctor has given you the green light to use a massage chair during pregnancy, you can look forward to lower stress levels, decreased muscle tension, and better rest. The great thing about advanced massage chairs is that they accurately mimic the movements of massage therapists, so you can close your eyes and imagine you are on vacation and getting a professional massage!
Reduce Pain Throughout the Body
Pain relief is the most obvious benefit of using a massage chair during pregnancy. A full-body massage chair is particularly beneficial for expectant mothers because of the wide-ranging effects pregnancy has on the body.
For instance, pregnancy can cause changes in the size and structure of the feet, including swelling. Anyone who has ever experienced this knows exactly how uncomfortable it can be.
Many high-end massage chairs relieve this pain by providing foot massages during pregnancy. But the feet are just one common target area when using a massage chair while pregnant and in the first trimester or beyond. Others include the legs, back, and shoulders.
Reduce Anxiety + Depression
Pregnancy is not always kind to the body, and neither is stress. Another great benefit of massage chairs is their ability to help relieve stress. Stress during pregnancy isn’t good for mom or baby, as it can impact the child’s development in the womb.
But massage chairs offer a simple, speedy way to relieve stress. For instance, receiving a shoulder massage during pregnancy can help melt tension away. In addition, many settings on high-end massage chairs like the OHCO M.8 have settings specifically designed for stress relief.
Aside from the massage itself, taking time for a massage provides much needed “you time” to unwind.
The effects of shoulder and back massage during pregnancy are incredibly healing. When muscle tension is at an all-time high due to stress and the changing state of a pregnant body, sleep can be hard to come by. However, expectant mothers need all the rest they can get, and massage chairs can help them get more.
Massage Chairs While Pregnant: Busting the Myths
A few persistent massage chair myths still give some mothers-to-be pause. “Are massage chairs safe during pregnancy?” is certainly a question worth exploring thoroughly. But while concerns are widespread and well-known, there is no objective evidence to support them.
People believed that shaking the body while pregnant and seated in a massage chair can adversely affect a fetus. From fears of premature labor to congenital problems, there is no evidence to support this claim. And, frankly, your body likely shakes far more when you walk up or down a flight of stairs than it does in massage chairs.
High Temps + Overheating
There are heating elements in many massage chairs. While mothers should be aware of these, they are typically entirely customizable and can be kept at a lower setting or turned off entirely The concern is that the heating pads can unavoidably raise your body temperature to the point that it is unsafe for the baby, but this also is not true.
Electrical Wave Emissions
Many people claim that massage chairs might emit electrical waves that could potentially harm an unborn baby. Like the two previous points, there is no evidence supporting this claim.
Unlike cell phones, Wi-Fi-connected devices, etc., most massage chairs do not send or receive information via electromagnetic waves, so they are actually even safer than many devices we already have all around us.
Using a Massage Chair During Pregnancy: Important Considerations
Contrary to the myths above, there is ample evidence suggesting that massage chairs are helpful for expecting mothers. The abundance of benefits makes them a wonderful gift for expectant mothers.
However, while the myths about massage chairs are simply not true, awareness about how any device affects your body when you are pregnant is important. For example, it is essential not to overheat while pregnant. For the same reason doctors advise pregnant women to limit their time in jacuzzis, you should not use a massage chair for longer than 20 to 25 minutes.
Additionally, you may not want to use massage chairs if you are experiencing morning sickness. It is possible that the massaging motions could worsen your nausea. Similarly, if you have a high-risk pregnancy, it may be best to avoid massage chairs.
It’s also important to ensure your massage chair is not designed to trigger pressure points. This is important since there have been studies indicating prolonged pressure on specific pressure points can induce contractions. For this reason, avoiding the highest pressure settings or any chair that targets your pressure points is best. In addition, it is advisable to alternate the focus areas on your massages, moving from your back to your feet to your arms, etc., when using massage chairs while pregnant.
Using a Massage Chair During Pregnancy… And Beyond!
Ultimately, when used in moderation and with a doctor’s approval, a massage chair can provide welcome relief for someone who is pregnant. And that makes a massage chair an excellent gift, particularly since the chair will still be around after the baby is born.
Nobody needs more help de-stressing than new parents! After long, sleepless nights and busy, stressful days, a relaxing session in a massage chair can be exactly what’s needed!
And if you could use a little help picking the perfect chair, be sure to utilize our Massage Chair Quiz.