Barefoot and Pregnant
I had the opportunity to train Carly Braswell 7 years ago when I taught for another Barefoot Massage Training Company. At the time, she lived in Florida. But last year she moved here to North Carolina to be near her husband's family and was registered in one of my upcoming classes under the Center for Barefoot Massage umbrella. She called and had to withdraw from the class because she found out she was pregnant. While talking to her I shamelessly plugged my massage & bodywork studio Bull City Soles and offered her a job. I'm happy to say she took me up on my offer!
It's been sweet to see how she's progressed in her barefoot massage skills over the last eight months she's been at Bull City Soles and during her pregnancy. I asked her if she would be willing to write a blog about doing barefoot massage while pregnant and here it is!
"I am grateful to be a part of the Center for Barefoot Massage (CBM) tribe, which allowed me to be able to provide barefoot massage throughout my pregnancy. The support and guidance in this tribe have allowed me to grow as a therapist. I learned to work with my changing body to provide effective therapeutic barefoot massage and continue to earn income for the duration of my pregnancy.
I had been a barefoot massage therapist trained with another company for several years before becoming pregnant, so my comfort level standing on the table was well established. The new techniques I learned from CBM revealed I had been working too hard for far too long. Using my weight and maintaining my body mechanics was more critical than ever. I did not experience any problems with dizziness or lightheaded feelings, and my balance never felt compromised.
I also contribute my longevity and ability to work pregnant in using quality equipment. 35" wide electric tables accommodated me and all size clients, so I had plenty of room to stand, walk around the table and not worry about my balance. Stable bars that did not bend or sway and two hanging yoga straps provided additional security for direct pressure from all angles. I also used a step stool to get up on the table. Work smarter, not harder, right?!?
Having an electric table also allowed me to do seated barefoot work until my last shift at Bull City Soles because of my ability to lower the table extensively and pivot my hips as needed. The seated barefoot massage was a blessing for me as I experienced pubis dysfunction pain in my third trimester. Being able to do barefoot work while seated allowed more focus time on the clients' shoulders AND allow me ME to rest from standing.
Some procedures had to be adapted to my pregnant body. My table warmer could not be on the highest temp. I was pregnant through the summer, and a one-hour session on a high setting had me roasting! My clients were ok with the temperature, and I provided additional draping for those few who needed more warmth. I believe this was because I delivered heat through my feet. LOL. I had a wall fan pointed up toward the bars to keep me, and my baby bump cool.
I began my maternity leave at 35 weeks. While I mentally wanted to work longer, my body was giving me signals that it was time to rest and prepare. Every body and every pregnancy is different. Listen to your body and your doctor or midwife. Last but not least, get bodywork throughout the pregnancy. Your body and your baby will thank you." Carly Braswell
Due to liability and safety issues, we do not allow therapists to receive prone or supine work while expecting a baby. Receiving is a part of the class learning experience, so please wait until after the baby is born and you are fully healed to register for our classes at NC Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage Training. Follow us on Instagram @NCashiatsu or Facebook for helpful tips and more class information.