Most people know that massage therapy is excellent for relaxation and stress relief.
Thankfully, more and more people are starting to recognize that massage therapy can also be an excellent treatment for acute injuries and and chronic pain. In the hands of a skilled, licensed therapist, massage can also be used for the common cold, allergies, pregnancy support, and immune disorders... Amongst many other things.
One aspect of massage we focus on at City Acupuncture is fertility support. Through the systematic manipulation of soft tissue, our massage therapists are often able to help women stabilize their menstrual cycles to increase the chance of getting pregnant.
In some cases, even after the menstrual cycle is regulated a woman's ability to conceive is impeded because of uterine fibroids.
Can massage therapy diminish fibroids?
To find out, we first need to find out what fibroids are. Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that develop in the uterus, vary in size, and can develop in groups of 2 or 3. Since they grow from muscle cells, they can cause cramping as well as heavy periods, painful intercourse, the urge to urinate, pelvic pain or pressure. They can be caused by poor digestion or diet, increased stress and toxin build up, or lack of physical activity.
Western medicine usually offers surgical intervention, but in this case, fibroids can be treated by massage and other holistic approaches. For example, deep tissue massage helps remove toxins from the muscles and tissues as passed through sweating and urination. Massage increases circulation which counters the lack of physical activity. After the fibroids start shrinking, massage can assist in the structural repositioning of the uterus. In this case, massage is usually performed across the abdomen and lower back to help the muscles release.
Massage suggestions for self-care:
- Warm castor oil and massage gently in a clockwise direction across the abdomen to relieve cramping and pelvic pain.
- Add a few drops of organic lavender essential oil to a carrier oil and gently massage the abdomen. Lavender promotes circulation and relaxation as well as relieves pain associated with fibroids.
- Moderate exercise also creates a similar effect to a massage through increasing blood flow, reducing toxins, lowering estrogen levels, and even improving your mood.
- Hydrate frequently. Drink at least 2 liters of water, fresh fruit or vegetable juices every day. Avoid sodas, seltzers, coffee, black tea, and red wine.
- Soak in a warm bath for 20-30 minutes to soothe muscular aches and pains. Alternatively, try a heating pad, warm compress or hot water bottle over the lower abdomen for 10-20 minutes.
- Avoid tampons during menstruation; use organic cotton sanitary pads.
Don’t forget! Your diet does matter so try to remember to avoid sugar, fats, red meat, and processed foods. Increase your fiber - whole grains, brown rice, bran flakes, oats - which soaks up excess estrogen in your body. Add legumes (beans), bean sprouts and fish to assist with decreasing fibroid growth and decreasing inflammatory response in your body. If you are interested in herbs, seek a licensed Acupuncturist for treatment and herbal recommendations.