Letters

Letters 8-18-2014

The Climate Clarified

Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me: Climate scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine is incomplete, but what we know is useful...

Beware Non-Locally Grown

The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated. As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what...

Media Bias Must End

I wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage...

Proud of My President

The world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a free world...

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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