10 reasons why Shiatsu massage is good for pregnancy

Shiatsu for Pregnancy Heidi Newport ON Tay, Fife
Shiatsu Society teacher and pregnancy massage expert Suzanne Yates gives Shiatsu training to midwives to improve the childbirth experience.

Shiatsu is a versatile full body treatment from Japan using hand pressure, acupressure points and stretches. It gives relaxation and pleasure while drawing on the ancient wisdom and remedies offered by Traditional Chinese Medicine . Here are some reasons why it is beneficial in pregnancy.

CALMING & ENJOYABLE             Treatments create a soothing space where body and mind can relax and let go. Shiatsu improves the quality of breathing, loosen tight muscles and aching joints such as hips and lower back which are often problem areas in pregnancy. There is now a big body of evidence showing that the deep relaxation provided by complementary therapies such as Shiatsu results in fewer admissions to hospital, obstetric complications and C-sections. Being relaxed also reduces the heart rate of the baby and increases the birth weight.  A 2016 study conducted in two hospitals in Australia found acupressure and stretching, techniques used in Shiatsu, reduced the risk of Caesarian and need for epidurals.


Shiatsu for pregnancy Heidi
Swiss Shiatsu therapist Massimo Martino works sore shoulders and back from the side position.

COMFY POSITIONS –  The baby bump means lying on the back or front is often uncomfortable. Shiatsu offers alternative positions – without losing the satisfaction of a full body treatment with stretches and rotations for the spine, arms, legs, hips, fingers and toes. Expectant mums can choose choose to lie on their side, stay seated or even go onto all fours position supported by an exercise ball – this helps the baby go into the optimum head-down position for an easy birth.

Pregnancy Shiatsu with Heidi
Pregnancy Shiatsu using an exercise ball can help the baby reach optimum foetal position for birth

IMPROVE THE CHANCE OF SPONTANEOUS LABOUR – Women having regular Shiatsu are more likely to go into labour spontaneously, according to research by midwifes in Bristol involving 66 pregnant women in 2005.

HELP MORNING SICKNESS & NAUSEA – A study involving 66 pregnant women in Korea found that use of acupressure point – Pericardium 6 – on the inside of the wrist soothes the queasy feeling that makes life miserable for expectant mums.

Spleen 6 helps pain relief and reduce delivery time in Labour Shiatsu for pregnancy with Heidi Dore
Spleen 6 helps pain relief and reduce delivery times

REDUCE PAIN & DELIVERY TIME – The acupressure point – Spleen 6 – on the inside lower leg is an effective tool in the delivery suite, according to a Korean study.

REDUCE RISK OF CAESARIAN – Use of acupressure point – Spleen 6 – on the inside  lower leg can be effective tool for reducing the need for Caesarian births according to a study involving 200 pregnant women in Korea in 2004.

FERTILITY BOOST  Shiatsu is increasingly popular with people wanting to improve fertility. It is not a miracle cure for infertility – but helps by improving general wellbeing and health. It is particularly good for relieving stress and unhappiness couples experience when they are struggling to conceive. Shiatsu practitioners specialising in fertility provide therapy for both man and women.

BREECH BIRTHS Acupressure points in the feet can help turn the baby as demonstrated by this short video

BOOST WEIGHT OF PREMATURE BABIES – Research has shown that Shiatsu practice of meridian massage increases body weight of premature babies 

INDUCING LABOUR –  acupressure points in the hand, toe, shoulder help with overdue pregnancies and reduce the need for medical intervention