Letters

Letters 09-29-2014

Benishek Doesn’t Understand

Congressman Benishek claims to understand the needs of families, yet he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would cause about 10 million people to lose their health insurance. He must think as long as families can hold fundraisers they don’t need insurance...

(Un)Truth In Advertising

Constant political candidate ads on TV are getting to be too much to bear 45 days before the election...

Rare Tuttle Rebuttal

Finally, I disagree with Stephen Tuttle. His “Cherry Bomb” column in the 8/4/14 issue totally dismayed me. I always love his wit and the slamming of the 1 percent. His use of fact and hyperbole highlights the truth; until “Cherry Bomb.” Oh man, Stephen...

Say No To Fluoride

Do you or your child’s teeth have white, yellow, orange, brown, stains, spots, streaks, cloudy splotches or pitting? If so, you may be among millions of Americans who now have a condition called dental fluorosis...

Questions Of Freedom

The administration’s “Affordable Health Care Act” has ordered religious orders to provide contraception and chemical abortions against the church’s God given beliefs and teachings … an interesting order, considering the First Amendment’s clear prohibitions...

Stop The Insults & Talk

I found it interesting that Ms. Minervini used the Northern Express to push the Safe Harbor agenda for a 90-bed homeless shelter in Traverse City with a tactic that is also being utilized by members of the city commission. Those of us who oppose the project are being labeled as uncompassionate citizens...

Roads and Republicans

Each time you hit a road crater while driving, thank the “nerd” and the Tea Party controlled Republican legislature.

Home · Articles · News · Features · Maternity Massage
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Maternity Massage

Anne Stanton - March 2nd, 2009
Maternity Massage
Anne Stanton 3/2/09

Some women love being pregnant—others aren’t so crazy about it. After all, hormones can make you hot and crabby. Your joints get sloppy, your belly gets tight, your feet swell, and the baby throws off your center of gravity, putting pressure on your back, neck and belly muscles.
For all these reasons, Lisa Wamsley loves her specialty of maternity massage. Moms-to-be are just so genuinely thankful to get a reprieve from their discomfort.
“Every woman should try it—it will make them feel better. It’s hard to take the time, and with the economy the way it is, you might not think it’s worth it. But in the long run, it helps your body get through a tough time in a noninvasive, non-medical way,” she said.
Wamsley’s clients have included women from all different backgrounds, pregnant with singles, twins and even triplets.
Wamsley looks like a woman who does maternity massage with a warm, easy-going personality to match. She came naturally to massage, starting with her family, then her friends, and then in 1996, a girlfriend, who was pregnant, who she was afraid to even touch at first. That friend was Marjie Rich.
“I did the massage through Marjie’s pregnancy and then through labor. I was in the delivery room and doing massage while the baby was being born. That changed the course of my life. It was the most amazing thing,”
The couple—Rich is married to Dr. Roger Gerstle—loaned Wamsley the tuition money she needed to attend the Health Enrichment Center in Lapeer, where she graduated in 1998.
“Their hearts are just huge. I get teary just thinking about what they did for me,” she said.
Wamsley did additional classes for pregnancy massage, as well as Doula training, so she could be more knowledgeable in the massage studio and the delivery room.
“I’m there to act as a support person. But each woman knows what her body needs. ‘I want my back rubbed, I want my head rubbed. I want more water.’ I’m all over the place, holding their hands, getting them ice, or rubbing their husband’s shoulders because he’s freaking out.
“Studies show that just having a another woman in the delivery room decreases the pain and duration of labor. The hospital staff doesn’t have the time to get emotionally involved. You need to have someone there just for you.”
Wamsley said it’s important to choose your pregnancy massage therapist carefully—”Someone might spend 10 minutes going over pregnancy massage in massage school, then say they’re certified.”
INTUITION AND SCIENCE
During the massage, Wamsley is careful not to touch the baby—it’s an area she considers too fragile. Instead she focuses on the areas that are most affected by pregnancy.
“I work the glute muscles and hip rotators—as the joints loosen and get sloppy, the muscles respond by tightening to try and keep it all together and to maintain postural integrity. The massage helps the muscles to release; then I do a hip reset to stabilize the pelvis—a quick lift technique. Then everything kind of falls back to where it needs to be. It helps with sciatica and hip pain.”
“To help with swelling, I begin at the tips of the fingers and stroke toward the heart to get the edema back to the lymph system. It’s really a blend of intuition and science,” she said.
On the science side, the increase of blood circulation brings more oxygen and nutrients to the soft tissues and to the baby. The massage can also help lower blood pressure and stress-related hormones, not to mention leaving the mom-to-be feeling more flexible.
Doctors in the area will sometimes refer an overdue woman to Wamsley, who is familiar with the trigger points above the ankle bone that can be touched to stimulate contractions.
“It doesn’t always work, but a lot of times it does. Some of the women had babies within 48 hours, but it’s hard to say whether it was the massage. There are four points above the ankles. When I find the right spot, wow, we both know it. It’s a zinger,” she said.
Massage also helps after a pregnancy when a woman might be feeling blue or isolated and needs some TLC. As the baby gets bigger, she can stress out her back by carrying him around on just one side.
Rosa Breneman in Traverse City said the benefits of a massage lasts far longer than the one hour in the room. The after-bliss fades, but the memory stays and that’s what she draws on during the stress of everyday life.
“I take a few minutes to regroup by focusing on that feeling of serenity,” she said.
Breneman has gone to Wamsley for eight years, including a pregnancy for her son.
“I go at least once a month, and I stick with it, and it helps me stay grounded. I tell you, it definitely helps me be more at peace with myself, more in a restful state. I’m able to put everything else aside for one hour; I can concentrate on myself. And it’s funny because there’s a point in the massage, it just reaches a quiet time, a mutual understanding where we are both quiet and reflective. You don’t talk, and really not even think. She kind of knows when I just need to focus and not think about anything.”

To contact Maternity Massage, call 922-7133.

 
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