There’s a little-known pregnancy massage technique that, despite its popularity in eastern wellness culture, is offered at only a handful of spas across Australia. In fact, an exhaustive Google search will be lucky to provide you with 4-5 spas providing this service.
Futon massage is known for creating a greater sense of comfort for mums to be when compared to traditional table massage, and the soft surface, laid on the floor, allows for better maneuverability and reduced pressure off (often sensitive) bust areas.
One of the few futon-specialist clinics across the country is Melbourne’s Body Freedom Urban Spa & Clinic, and we chatted to Co-Founder Jacqueline Johnston to find out what makes futon massage so special.
Tell us about your futon massages and what makes them unique?
Following our specialised training and history treating pregnant women and new mums we now understand the special requirements needed to ensure adequate comfort for their ever-changing bodies and sensitivities and be able to tailor and customise the massage to treat any bodily issues she may be experiencing.
We introduced futon massages which are unique because they allow the client to lay on their side rather than on their stomach. Laying on the stomach can be extremely uncomfortable for pregnant women and new breastfeeding mothers and the futon allows them to relax and benefit fully from the treatment, ensuring they are receiving the most comfortable and therapeutic treatment they can. Our futon massages are our signature treatments and a favourite of many of our clients, particularly the Pregnancy Massage on the Futon.
What makes the futon treatment ideal for new mums and pregnant women?
Futons leave enough space for the women to spread out and feel completely at ease, unlike standard massage tables that often have a cut-out section for the pregnant belly which can lead to added pressure and discomfort for the abdomen, lower back and breast area.
Some benefits of the futon massages include the following:
• Being able to easily and effectively mobilise parts of the body to release tensions and swelling
• Relief from the aches and pains of pregnancy
• Balancing hormones
• Increased health of the lymphatic system by relieving swollen and painful limbs from extra fluid carried
• Increased sleep
Are they used only for pregnancy massage?
Our futon treatments are not only used for pregnancy treatments – they can be tailored for anyone to enjoy. We also use them for new mum treatments because new mums also need time out to relax and often have issues dealing with their changing bodies and aches and pains. New mums can develop neck, shoulder and back pain from carrying and feeding their new child which can be disruptive, irritating and debilitating.
What do clients love about futon treatments?
Our clients love that they are able to lie on their side and release pressure from their tired, changing bodies. Our specialised therapists often have feedback from clients that it is the most comfortable they have felt throughout their entire pregnancy and they often fall asleep during treatments – a great sign of pure relaxation! In the past we have treated many pregnant women and new mums on our futons, including Rebecca Judd, Megan Gale, Emma Hawkins and Sophie Cachia.
Do staff receive specialised training?
Yes, the team at Body Freedom are all fully qualified and experienced professionals. When joining Body Freedom, the therapists undergo further education and training in pregnancy massage and are personally assessed by myself before treating our clients.
We follow the teaching and recommendations of world-renowned pregnancy massage and shiatsu specialist, Suzanne Yates. Suzanne advocates side lying during pregnancy massages as it is the safest, most comfortable and therapeutic way to perform pregnancy massage. To accommodate a growing belly a woman should lay on her side during a pregnancy massage, and use body pillows for comfort and support.
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