The Health Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy

exercise during pregnancy, pregnancy massage, post-natal massage, pre-natal massage, Massage Therapy at Dreamclinic Massage and Wellness Seattle and RedmondExercising during pregnancy has great benefits – it can help prepare for labor, boost your energy, soothe pregnancy aches and pains, and help your body bounce back faster after childbirth. While most women know that exercise during pregnancy is safe, there are still a lot of questions floating around about what you can and can’t do. Is it okay to do crunches? How low should my heart rate be? Can I still run?

A good rule of thumb is to check with your healthcare provider first, and use your pre-pregnancy exercise routine as a guideline. If you exercised regularly before pregnancy and your pregnancy is uncomplicated, you can most likely continue working out as before, with some modifications. If you didn’t work out often before pregnancy, you can definitely start now, but start off small, like a 15-20 minute walk.

Exercising doesn’t have to be an intense, uncomfortable experience. Swimming a couple laps in the pool or walking around your neighborhood can still provide amazing health benefits. All that matters is that you’re moving.

Here are some of the benefits of exercising during pregnancy:

Prevents back pain: Two-thirds of women experience back pain during pregnancy, but water workouts, yoga, and pelvic tilts can relieve this discomfort. Exercising during the second half of pregnancy seems to be especially effective.

Boosts energy: Exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system, so you don’t feel tired as easily. Pregnancy can sap your energy, but regular exercise will strengthen your muscles so you’ll need less effort to engage in daily activities.

Prepares for an easier labor: Moms who exercise tend to have shorter labors and are less likely to need medical intervention during labor, including C-sections.

Improves quality of sleep: Many pregnant women say that they have a harder time falling asleep, and staying asleep. Those who exercise consistently report their quality of sleep is better and they wake up feeling more rested.

Speeds postpartum recovery: The more you exercise during pregnancy, the faster you’ll recover physically after childbirth. Moms who exercise are more likely to socialize and enjoy new hobbies and entertainment post-baby.

Protects against gestational diabetes: Exercise may prevent this common problem, and the American Diabetes Association recommends moderate exercise as an effective prevention for women who are at risk. In fact, exercising can lower your risk for gestational diabetes by as much as 27%.

Now, you may be wondering what kind of exercise is best. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women can participate in 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise everyday. The safest workouts are low impact – they are gentle on the joints and the body.

Here are three great workouts for expecting moms:

Walking: Taking a stroll is safe throughout all nine months of pregnancy, and is gentle on your knees and ankles.

Swimming: Swimming may be the best and safest exercise for pregnant women. It’s ideal because it works large muscle groups, like arms and legs, provides cardiovascular benefits, and allows moms-to-be feel weightless.

Yoga: Prenatal yoga classes help maintain flexibility and keep your joints limber. It’ll strengthen your muscles, improve circulation, and help you relax.

For the majority of women, exercising during pregnancy is perfectly safe and offers powerful health benefits. It can be a great way to meet other expectant moms and form friendships – walking around and catching up with a friend may not even feel like working out! Or, get creative – put on your favorite music and dance around the house while cooking or doing chores. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring!

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What type of massage is right for you?

what type of massage is right for you? massage therapy, massage as treatment, deep tissue massage by Dreamclinic Massage Seattle and Redmond

What Type of Massage is Right For You?

Sarah wanted to treat herself after a couple of long, hard weeks at work. She booked a massage at a spa and enjoyed everything from cucumber slices to incense to fluffy, warm towels. It was the ultimate afternoon of relaxation.

Her friend, Rebecca, had also been working hard and wanted to reward herself. She had been experiencing tight neck and shoulder muscles from working too long on the computer, so she booked a massage at a massage clinic. She enjoyed a customized massage from a highly skilled therapist. It was the ultimate afternoon of relief.

Sarah and Rebecca both had massages, but their experiences were very different. Sarah had a spa massage and Rebecca chose clinical massage therapy. These two forms of massage get thrown around a lot and can cause confusion. While they are often used interchangeably, you can see that they are very different.

To help you choose the right kind of massage, we’re exploring the differences between clinical massage and spa therapy. The biggest differentiators fall into three buckets – focus, techniques, and training and credentials:


A spa practitioner’s focus during a massage revolves around relaxation and self-pampering. Techniques can include Swedish massage, aromatherapy, and hot stone. In spa massage, the environment is private with special emphasis on décor, lighting and music to set you at ease in addition to standard amenities like music and table warmers.

Clinical massage therapy may offer music and table warmers as well but does not focus solely on relaxation; rather its main focus is treating conditions and providing real health benefits. Clients visit massage therapists to alleviate chronic pain, headaches, or inflammation (or, like Rebecca, to alleviate tight muscles).


Both spa therapists and clinical therapists can practice different types of massage, like Swedish, hot stone massage, or deep tissue massage. The biggest difference is why the therapists choose a technique.

In spa massage, the therapist is focused on ambiance and client relaxation. It’s about you feeling pampered and relaxed and leaving all your troubles behind for an hour or two.

On the other hand, clinical massage therapists have a great understanding of connective tissue and muscles, so they can provide specialized, treatment-oriented services. You explain a health concerns, like chronic pain or migraines, and the massage therapist will choose a technique that can best solve the issue. Client satisfaction is often assessed after multiple visits, to evaluate whether the health concern has been solved or has improved.

Training and Credentials

Basic massage education usually requires between 500 to 750 hours of learning and hands-on experience, and allows new therapists to get a spa massage job to gain necessary experience and improve their skills.

A typical massage graduate requires a period of professional practice and experience in the community to become fully versed to practice in a clinical setting. They also need to have an advanced understanding of pathology and kinesiology. In many clinical massage settings, therapists are expected to have completed additional professional certification or training in continuing education hours.

The bottom line: spa massage is about relaxation and pampering, while clinical massage improves quality of life by lowering treating muscle aches, and restoring flexibility.  Both types effectively treat stress.

So, did Sarah make a huge mistake by going to a spa massage? Not necessarily. You have to decide what you want from a massage. If you like the fluffy towels and cucumber slices, then a spa massage is probably right for you. But, if you want to see long-term health benefits and feel better physically, then a clinical massage is the perfect addition to your healthy lifestyle.

See what we’re talking about for yourself! Book a massage at Dreamclinic today.




Do you clench your jaw or have TMJ?

when to consider intra oral massage, massage therapy at Dreamclinic Massage in Seattle and RedmondWe already know that massage can reduce stress, boost your mood, and strengthen your immune system, but what if it could also help relieve that pesky (and painful!) jaw clicking? Or, soothe achy neck and jaw muscles after whiplash?

The answer is intra-oral massage, a lesser known but extremely effective massage technique. This method works on muscles inside and outside the mouth, as well as on the neck and throat.

It can be intense, but it is not necessarily painful. Since it focuses on muscles that are rarely massaged, they respond to less pressure. Gloves are worn while working inside the mouth to relax and release the muscles associated with chewing and jaw clenching.

So, how do you know if you need intra-oral massage? Here are four common reasons you would consider it:

TMJ pain: The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. TMJ disorders cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control that movement. This pain can occur from jaw injury, arthritis, or grinding your teeth, and can result in clicking or popping noises. Intra-oral massage relieves pain from the tight jaw muscles.

Teeth grinding: Formally known as bruxism, this is a condition where you unconsciously grind, gnash, or clench your teeth, either during the day or at night. This grinding can be frequent and intense enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, and damaged teeth. Massage releases the muscles associated with chewing and jaw clenching.

Migraines: Some migraines are caused by pressure on a bone found in your skull called the sphenoid bone. It is also found in the upper reaches of your oral cavity. Massaging skull and jaw muscles can reduce pressure on the sphenoid bone and help relieve migraines.

Whiplash: The neck is usually the primary victim of whiplash, but it can also strain the muscles and soft tissues of the throat and jaw. In these cases, intra-oral massage can reduce stress placed on the jaw muscles and joints.

If you have any trigger points or pain areas in your neck, mouth, or facial muscles, then intra-oral massage may be just the thing for you. Next time you’re at Dreamclinic, feel free to ask your massage therapist more questions about intra-oral massage or schedule a session now.


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