Pregnancy massage is considered one of the most relaxing therapies a woman can include in her pregnancy routine. Having a pregnancy massage should involve a trained massage therapist with certification in the field of pregnancy massage. Special equipment is also needed for pregnant women.
Hot stone massage is an alternative form of therapy that involves heated rocks and pressure points. Acupressure therapy involves pressing on certain pressure points on the body to increase relaxation and heal. It is believed that certain points on the body could induce labor so the hot stone massage should only be performed by a therapist trained in the effects of all pressure points.
Hot stone massage is typically performed with a person lying on their back or stomach. Early in pregnancy this may not be a problem, but as the uterus grows these positions could. From the end of the first trimester, the uterus can be felt when lying on the stomach. Later, when the uterus weighs enough to cut off circulation to certain blood vessels when the expecting woman is lying on her back, back hot stone massage should be avoided as well.
If the therapist has pregnancy massage tables, stomach hot stone massage can be performed for the duration of the pregnancy. Pregnancy massage tables include a supportive cutout where the tummy can rest without pressure. These tables are typically used during other forms of pregnancy massage but may also be used for hot stone massage.
If essential oils or herbal body rubs are used in conjunction with the hot stone massage, these may not be suitable for use during pregnancy. Certain essential oils can increase the risk of preterm labor or affect neurological function. It is best to stick with warms stones, leg palpation and arm palpation during pregnancy.