There are pressure points during a massage session that must be avoided, when pregnant. This article would stir clear your doubts, and inform you about the regions on the body that must not be manipulated specifying the required whys and wherefores.
A massage during pregnancy is not a strict no no. On the contrary, a massage could be rejuvenating, taking care of your physiological and psychological health. However, it is required for one to know that there are certain pressure points — during pregnancy — that must be avoided while conducting a massage. These points should never be massaged or activated, lest performed by a medical practitioner or a trained prenatal massage therapist.
This note becomes all the more important, if you have had a history of miscarriages, preeclampsia, or any other complications associated with pregnancy. A certified acupuncturist will know about the area that must be stimulated and the areas to avoid; however, if the practitioner exerts pressure on the contraindicated points, it is because he felt the need to do so.
A massage during pregnancy could provide you with the following benefits:
- Stress and anxiety is reduced;
- Joint stiffness and the resultant pain is lessened;
- Blood circulation is regulated;
- No instances of insomnia, thus, inducing peaceful sleep.
Pressure Points to Avoid
The acupressure points to be avoided are points on, or in the vicinity of the abdomen, the lower back, the wrists, hands, and feet. What may be allowed, and deemed agreeable as a massage pressure, is stroking rather than pressing or massaging these points. The locations to be avoided are undermentioned along with their respective Chinese names.
The pressure points that are located near the feet are contraindicated in nature during pregnancy. In terms of the intensity of contraindicated points, the ankle is most susceptible to trauma, if the pressure points are handled in the wrong manner. Foot massage pressure points are known by the prenatal massage therapists, and one may feel safe, when handled by them. Preterm labor contractions may harm the fetus. All that the area is open to, is gentle strokes that aid in relaxing the region.
► Bladder 67 (UB 67) Zhi Yin
Located at the external stem of the little toe nail, UB67 is one point that must be avoided
► Liver 3 (LV 3) Tai Chong
The point between the big toe and the long toe, situated precisely in the depression created.
► Bladder 60 (UB 60) Kun Lun
This point is located in the valley/depression between Achilles tendon and lateral malleolus.
► Spleen 6 (SP 6) San Yin Jiao
The point above the medial malleolus, i.e., three cuns — being the width of three thumbs — located at the posterior side of the region between the knee and the ankle.
► Kidney 6 (KI 6) Zhaohai
A point located one cun below the highest point of prominence of the medial malleolus. It is essentially positioned at the proximal border of the sustentaculum tali, situated at the perimeter of the dorsal side of the tibia and adjacent to the talar head.
► Kidney 1 (KI 1) Yongquan
Positioned on the sole of the foot, proximally situated at the center of second and third toe mound. It is diagonal to the big toe mound or the first metatarsal head and located at two-thirds the distance from the webbing of the metatarsal heads to the calcaneus.
Where the hands are concerned, the points that are not supposed to be massaged is the area that falls between an individuals index finger and the thumb. If the point is pressed during a massage session, it can induce contractions and preterm labor.
Another point that must be taken care of and simultaneously avoided is the area around the wrist. If the wrist is manipulated, pregnant women may endure contractions that may harm the well-being of the fetus.
► Large Intestine 4/Colon 4 (LI 4/CO 4) Hoku
Also termed the Union Valley, this pressure point is located between the thumb and the index finger; however, it features closer to the second metacarpal bone, i.e., the index finger.
Abdomen and Back
Acupressure points on the lower back and lower abdomen should not be massaged or pressed; rather, they must be lightly stroked. What the massage therapists call “pinpoint massage sessions” should be avoided as the area is susceptible to injury, specifically the fetus. If the kneading activity becomes too severe, exerting excessive pressure, the tissues may get damaged, thereby inducing untimely labor.
► Bladder 31 (UB 31) Shang Liao
This point is located at the first vertebral sacral hiatus.
► Bladder 32 (UB 32) Ci Liao
Located below UB31, this pressure point is situated at the second vertebral sacral hiatus.
► Bladder 33 (UB 33) Zhong Liao
This point is located at the third vertebral sacral hiatus.
► Bladder 34 (UB 34) Xia Liao
This point is positioned at the fourth vertebral sacral foramen.
► Gallbladder 21 (GB 21) Jian Jing
This point features midway between the scapular spine spanning through its length toward the acromion and Dazhui.
It is important that pregnant women consult their practitioner before they go for a massage. Certified prenatal massage therapists may be trusted, as they are well aware of the situation. If you have consulted your doctor, and he has waved a green flag for your decision to have a massage, inquire about the position in which you must consider taking the massage. Even when you go in for a pedicure or manicure — a therapist who has knowledge about the pressure points to be avoided during pregnancy — should be consulted.
As this write-up has equipped you by earmarking sedulous details on acupressure points, ensure that you avoid self doctoring, and pay a visit at the doctor’s clinic before you make up your mind to book an appointment for a massage.