24 weeks: pregnancy massage at ‘totally tranquil’ – review
This week’s Baby size as fruit or vegetable: Corn on the cob
Pregnancy symptom of the week: Total relaxation!
This week I was offered the fantastic chance to experience my first pregnancy massage, courtesy of the lovely peeps at Totally Tranquil in Sunderland. I obviously jumped at the opportunity for an uninterrupted hour of blissful me-time and headed down the A1 for my Saturday lunchtime appointment with physiotherapist Diane.
A pregnancy massage differs slightly from what you might call a traditional massage in that the techniques used are tailored for mums-to-be; the massage pressure is gentle and relaxing, and you lie on your side or propped up on your back rather than lying face down. Your shape and size is catered for depending on how far along in your pregnancy you are to ensure your complete comfort throughout the treatment. A pregnancy-safe massage oil is also used that will nourish rather than irritate sensitive skin.
I had been asked a few introductory questions about my pregnancy before the day of the treatment, as if there is any indication that it may not be advisable for you to undergo the massage, the team may contact your midwife or doctor to confirm it would be safe to go ahead. This was followed up by Diane at the start of the appointment, when she also took a more detailed medical history. This may seem excessive for a massage but the therapists have to know if you have any conditions which may pose a problem with the treatment – these may include unstable high blood pressure, diabetes, liver/kidney problems or risk of premature labour. Fortunately I was clear to go ahead.
After completing the necessary information, Diane invited me to get ready for the treatment by undressing to my smalls and getting comfy on the massage couch while she left me to clumsily disrobe in privacy and cover myself in lovely warm towels. When I was ready, she came back and helped me get into a comfortable position using extra pillows for support between my knees and under my bump. Starting on one side, she then expertly massaged up and down my back, shoulder, arm and hand, then leg, before assisting me to turn over to repeat on the other side. She particularly commented on the tension in my shoulders – no kidding!
The final part of the massage involved me turning onto my back supported by a pillow while Diane finished off my legs and feet before culminating in a heavenly shoulder, neck and head massage. I think I may have melted into the couch. As she finished I was left to relax in the warm darkened room, now smelling wonderfully of fragrant oil and candles, and to get up in my own time. I was brought a glass of water and laid there sipping it in a state of absolute relaxation. Reluctantly I got up to dress. In addition to having tension-free muscles, my skin felt beautifully moisturised from the oil. I had a genuine healthy glow.
As I left, I was advised to drink plenty of water and relax as far as possible for the rest of the day. I intended to! I was given the Totally Tranquil ‘Bump, Baby and Beyond’ goody bag which contained a Nuby dummy and weaning spoon, a little bottle of the massage oil to use at home, and a whole stack of leaflets and info for local services such as aquanatal classes and baby yoga. The only downside to the whole visit was having to drive back to Newcastle afterwards – I could have stayed on that couch all afternoon!
Pregnancy massage at Totally Tranquil is available for 30 mins at £25 or 60 mins for £40. Find out more on their website.
I was offered a complimentary pregnancy massage by Totally Tranquil in return for an honest review of their service. The opinions and experiences described in this post are entirely my own.
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