Are Massage Chairs Safe During Pregnancy

6 min read
Updated: 01.07.2022

Expectant mothers often hear conflicting information about how they should treat their aching backs and swelling feet during pregnancy. 

Should they continue to accept the suffering as a natural result of pregnancy, rely on traditional methods such as hot and cold packs, or take advantage of the latest massage chair technology?

First thing first, using a massage chair while pregnant is perfectly healthy in normal circumstances, according to the International Association for Therapeutic Massage

However, they may cause light-headedness and even fainting after high-intensity and long sessions. 

Please, use them only in lighter settings and after your doctor approves.

Is Massage Safe During Pregnancy

A recent study showed that relaxation massage positively affects healthy pregnant women without pre-existing conditions throughout pregnancy. 

Soft and Relaxing Touch

The main benefits of massage during pregnancy were:

  • Less Stress, 
  • Lower Risk of Depression and Anxiety
  • Declined Back and Leg Pain, 
  • Stronger Immune Reaction,
  • Higher Serotonin and Dopamine Levels (Happiness Hormones), 
  • Smaller Chance of Early Labor,
  • Higher Baby Birth Weight.

Other studies suggest that massage therapy during pregnancy is safe if you follow specific guidelines like:

  • Getting plenty of rest,
  • Consuming enough fluids,
  • And eating nutritious foods before your appointment.

Massage therapy has proven advantages for pregnant women in the short term. 

Still, there is less information about whether or not they should use it in the long term.

It requires observing those mothers and babies after the pregnancy.

Benefits of Massage Therapy During Pregnancy

Massage chairs have been around for a little while, but we didn’t use them to help with pregnancy relief until recently.

The main benefits of using regular massage chair therapy are:

1. Reduced Psychological Tension

Massage therapy helps to reduce your level of the stress hormone cortisol and the amount of stress that your body experiences. 

Relaxation encourages the body to release beneficial hormones that make you feel better.

2. Released Toxins

Our body stores the toxins in fat cells. Massage therapy breaks down these cells, releases toxins, and restores normal function throughout the body.

Reduced Toxins after Massage

A reduced amount of toxins boosts immunity and helps you feel more energetic.

3. Improves Blood Circulation

Massage therapy helps to improve blood circulation throughout the body.

Less prevented circulation can help with relaxation but more significantly decrease swelling and pain.

4. Reduces Labor Pain

Labor pain affects not only the mom’s pelvis but also her entire body.

It can feel like you’re being stabbed repeatedly or hit with a baseball bat, making you feel like crying. 

Labor pain doesn’t go away on its own. 

Getting massages during pregnancy can increase the general stamina and help reduce labor pain (and the need for an epidural).

5. Promotes Postpartum Healing

Massage therapy helps clear uncomfortable hot flashes and other after-birth pains even during the first week. 

It releases estrogen, which helps to stimulate the production of breast milk.

Massage therapy can also support overall healing after labor.

Technology Behind Home-Based Massage Chairs – How do Massage Chairs Work

Massage chairs are, without a doubt, high-tech equipment. For example, almost every modern model uses Nasa’s Zero Gravity Innovation as a core function.

This one is especially handy for pregnant women.

Pressure Free Sitting Position

Body Scanning, Individual Pressure Adjustments, and Multidimensional Roller Mobilities are the other features you may search for.

Massage chairs use another sophisticated technology to mimic the movements of a therapist’s hands.

This form of massage therapy is called “palm pressure.” 

It can be very soothing for those who want the benefits of a relaxing massage without the hassle of actually visiting a masseuse. 

Most models rely on air-pressure technology to move their massaging heads. 

So it’s essential to ensure that you read reviews about the quality of each chair you consider.

Potential Concerns of Using a Massage Chair While Pregnant

Even though studies haven’t shown any concerning side effects, you should remember that massage chairs are electronic devices. Checking the components before every massage session is vital. 

Also, adjusting the massage intensity to the bare minimum and finding the proper position are the points you shouldn’t miss. 

Now, let’s check the minor issues that may occur even with correct usage.

1. Lightheadedness

Massage chairs apply concentrated pressure to specific areas of your body, and it could make you feel lightheaded. 

Reduce the intensity if you feel extraordinarily lightheaded or have a bad headache after using the chair.

2. Fainting

Pregnant women are at an increased risk of fainting during the first three months of pregnancy. 

Faint and Dizziness

New moms are also at an increased risk of fainting while caring for a newborn baby and breastfeeding.

A massage chair’s swinging and vibrating effect may increase the above risk.

3. Back Pain

Some massage chairs may apply too much pressure, so you should check the pre-set pressure levels of your chair.

Turn it down if the chair is too powerful and manually reset the intensity.

Expectant women find that a “shallow” form of massages like Shiatsu or Swedish is more soothing than a deep, hard massage. 

4. Unhealthy Weight Gain

Massage therapy has been linked to weight gain in some cases.

If you’re concerned about gaining weight while pregnant, it’s best to talk with your dietitians about your eating routine.

Can Vibrations Hurt a Fetus

In a word, yes. Extreme vibrations of a massage chair can pose a risk to your baby in the womb if encountered during pregnancy. 

There is a fierce debate over this, but the critical term is extreme

The concern is that the extraordinarily powerful and excessively lengthier beats could cause the fetus to stop developing correctly, leading to early labor or miscarriage.

They can also cause pain in your stomach or back, making you nauseous. 

Settings and Adjustments of Massage Chair While Pregnant

If you feel relaxed and comfortable, your massage chair is in the right setting.

  • Gentle and short settings are the safest for pregnant women. 
  • Shorter than 15 minutes and 3 times or less a week is ideal. 
  • Don’t forget to use body scan and Zero-G features. 
  • Be sure to listen to your body and observe the reactions of your body (and your baby). 

Just stop the device if you feel any pain or discomfort during the massage. 

When to Avoid Using a Massage Chair During Pregnancy

You should avoid using a massage chair during pregnancy if you have any of the following conditions:

For any other concerns, please consult your doctor before taking action.

Alternatives to Massages Chair While Pregnant

You may have concerns about using an electronic device throughout your pregnancy. We have some alternatives for you:

1. Professional Massages

Massage therapy is an excellent way to reduce the stress that typically comes with pregnancy, but you should avoid deep-tissue massages while pregnant. 

Instead, ask your healthcare provider if you can receive a relaxing, gentle massage therapy session during pregnancy.

2. Acupressure and Shiatsu Therapy

Acupressure involves applying pressure to specific points on the body as a way to promote relaxation and improve circulation. 

Acupressure is a type of massage therapy that can help you relieve pain and underlying diseases simultaneously.

Massage with Shiatsu, or Japanese hand massage, is another option for pain relief during pregnancy. 

It relies on the pressure from your therapist’s hands to stimulate healthy levels of endorphins and other neurotransmitters, which act as a natural painkiller.

3. Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation can be very calming and help de-stress your body and mind. 

If you’ve been feeling anxious, stressed, or upset, you should try a relaxation technique before considering a massage chair.

4. Water 

Water Gives Relief and Peace

When we say water, we mean any activity performed in the water, such as swimming, water yoga, or simply taking a warm bath.

Conclusion

Massage chairs are a great way to relax and release tension while providing pain relief. These chairs are often easier to use than visiting a spa and can be just as effective at relieving stress. 

There is no reason that healthy pregnant women can’t receive massage therapy treatment when they need it.

Massage chairs are not recommended for all pregnant women, however.

If you have Preeclampsia or any other medical or pregnancy-related condition that your doctor has mentioned, you should avoid massage therapy during pregnancy.

You shouldn’t rely on massage chairs to relieve all of your pregnancy symptoms.

But they can help make some of the physical discomforts more manageable.

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