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Mother-to-be Massage

Prenatal massage

Aching muscles, swelling, and headaches are often all part of the pregnancy experience for women. Turning to a massage treatment is frequently how women who are not pregnant address these conditions. However, many mothers-to-be hesitate, not knowing if massage therapy would be entirely safe or even comfortable while they are pregnant. We would like to address a few common questions and concerns about prenatal massage.

Is it safe?

The American Pregnancy Association states that massage therapy for mothers-to-be is safe during the entire pregnancy. However, some massage therapists will not minister to women in their first trimester simply due to the increased risk of miscarriage for any woman during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The website for best-seller, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” cautions women that receiving a massage during the first three months of pregnancy could trigger dizziness or nausea.

Of course, any pregnant woman should check with her healthcare provider before booking a massage. It’s especially important that women with any of the following conditions speak with their health care provider prior to scheduling a massage appointment:

  • Bleeding
  • Experiencing severe swelling, high blood pressure, or sudden, severe headaches
  • High-risk pregnancy
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH)
  • Preeclampsia
  • Previous pre-term contractions or labor

It is very important to receive care from a certified massage therapist. Each of our mother-to-be massages at Peak Day Spa is conducted by certified massage therapists with extensive experience in prenatal massage. They are experienced in how to address the specific conditions particular to pregnancy, so you are able to truly relax.

How is mother-to-be massage different from standard massage therapy?

Our therapists are knowledgeable about how to position you safely and prevent strain to the uterine ligaments. They will note any symptoms of blood clots and varicose veins, as well. Our prenatal massages are adapted for the anatomical changes you go through during pregnancy.

A regular massage will often have you lying face-down on your stomach half of the time and facing up the other half. However, both of these positions are challenging when you are pregnant. Lying on your stomach is uncomfortable with a baby in your belly. Lying face up can put pressure on a major blood vessel, disrupting blood flow to your baby, and cause you to feel nauseous. Our massage therapists use special pillows which allow the mother to lay face down.  Clients love these and appreciate having the ability to lie face down safely and comfortably.

While many women experience foot and leg swelling during pregnancy, our experienced prenatal massage therapists will avoid deep massage on your legs. Although gentle massage strokes are safe, pregnant women are specifically vulnerable to blood clots, which could be dislodged with deep massage strokes.

What are the benefits of mother-to-be massage?

Mother-to-be massageResearch indicates that massage has therapeutic benefits during pregnancy. Women who received massage therapy reported decreased depression and anxiety, as well as reduced leg and back pain. Levels of cortisol, the body’s main stress hormone, decreased. Most significantly, excessive fetal activity decreased and the rate of prematurity was lower in the women receiving regular massages. Clients should always discuss their plans to have prenatal massages with their obstetrician prior to making an appointment, however, so that their physician may review their current health circumstances and advise them accordingly.

Hormone regulation

Many women struggle with depression and anxiety while pregnant. Low levels of dopamine and serotonin are often linked to these mood conditions. Studies[2] suggest that healthy hormone levels are encouraged when massage therapy is included in prenatal care. In women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks, hormones levels of norepinephrine and cortisol (stress hormones) were reduced, while dopamine and serotonin levels were increased. These changes in hormone levels also correlated to lower premature birth rates and incidence of low birth weight.

Reduction of swelling

Swelling due to excess fluid, or edema, is often caused by reduced circulation and the increased pressure put on major blood vessels by a heavier uterus. Massage therapy encourages the dispersal of fluids in swollen joints. The elimination of tissue waste by the body’s lymphatic system is also encouraged by massage.

Reduced nerve pain

Sciatic nerve pain is often experienced by women in the last trimester of their pregnancy. As the uterus rests on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back, this pressure creates tension in the muscles of the upper and lower leg. This causes them to swell, creating pressure on nearby nerves and resulting in pain. Mother-to-be massage therapy relieves the tension in those muscles, helping calm the inflamed nerves.

Other potential benefits of prenatal massage include:

  • Better sleep
  • Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced back pain
  • Reduced joint pain
  • Reduced edema (swelling due to excess fluid)
  • Reduced muscle tension and headaches
  • Reduced stress and anxiety

Click here to book a prenatal massage at Peak Day Spa today.

[1] Field T. (2010). Pregnancy and labor massage. Expert review of obstetrics & gynecology, 5(2), 177–181.

[2] Field, T & Diego, MA & Hernandez-Reif, Maria & Schanberg, S & Kuhn, C. (2004). Massage therapy effects on depressed pregnant women. Journal of psychosomatic obstetrics and gynaecology. 25. 115-22. 10.1080/01674820412331282231.



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Chemical Peels vs Microdermabrasion

uneven skin tone

Chemical peels and microdermabrasion are both nonsurgical, minimally invasive procedures used to improve the appearance of your skin. How do they differ? How do you know which skincare treatment is right for you?

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is a skin-resurfacing treatment used to treat wrinkles, skin discoloration, and scarring. As an outpatient procedure, peels are performed in various locations: day spas, doctors’ offices, medical spas, and surgery centers. A chemical solution is used to remove superficial layers of skin. This solution causes the skin to react in a similar way to a sunburn: light chemical peels will cause redness in the skin. Scaling or peeling is seen for anywhere from three days to a week.

As the skin heals from a chemical peel, smoother and younger-looking skin grows back in its place. Mild peels may be repeated at two to four-week intervals until the desired results are obtained. Medium-depth peels may be repeated in four to six weeks if needed to reach the desired results.

Types of chemical peels

  • Light chemical peel – removes the outer layer of skin (epidermis). Light peels treat fine wrinkles, acne, uneven skin tone, and dryness. Light chemical peels can be repeated as often as every two to five weeks to achieve the desired results.
  • Medium chemical peel – removes skin cells from the epidermis as well as portions of the top section of the dermis, or middle layer of skin. A medium chemical peel is also used to treat wrinkles, dark spots, and uneven skin tone, but also helps reduce or remove the appearance of shallow acne scars. Medium chemical peels can be repeated after four to six weeks to maintain or improve results.
  • Deep chemical peel – removes skin cells from the epidermis and parts of the mid to lower layer of the dermis. Deep wrinkles or scars are often treated with deep peels.

Chemical peel skin care treatments from the staff at Peak Day Spa in Salt Lake City, UT - Chemical Peel Near MeWhat happens during a chemical peel?

The aesthetic professional who administers your treatment will start by cleaning your skin. Afterwards, one or more chemical solutions will be applied to the targeted areas of your skin. Chemical solutions such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid, or carbolic acid are most frequently used in this treatment.

After the application of the solution, many clients experience a burning sensation on their skin. After a few minutes, the burning sensation fades into a stinging feeling. that lasts about five to ten minutes, followed by a stinging sensation.

After a chemical peel

Cool compresses can help with the stinging sensation that is often experienced immediately following a chemical peel.  Re-building serums can be recommended such as the Growth Factor Serum Plus and hyaluronic acid bandages may be required for several days on portions of or all of the skin that was treated with the solution. There is typically no pain following a chemical peel, but the skin could take anywhere from a day to a week to heal, depending on the depth of the peel. In the meantime, the skin will be reddened, somewhat swollen, and feel tight. Avoiding sun exposure and using sunscreen will be very important for several months as the new skin will be delicate.

What is microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion, like a chemical peel, involves removing the top layer of the skin using a combination of abrasion and suction. It is a treatment for uneven skin tone, mild acne, acne discoloration, dark spots, and superficial acne scarring. Using a small hand-held sprayer or a bristle-tip wand, a skin care technician will gently exfoliate the epidermis to rejuvenate it. Microdermabrasion is a minimally-invasive, in-office procedure that takes approximately an hour to perform.

Microdermabrasion treatment

What happens during microdermabrasion?

At Peak Day Spa, our technician will cleanse your skin before moving a bristle-tip wand over the skin. A small vacuum removes the exfoliated skin cells. The wand moves over the skin using sweeping motions while the loose skin is suctioned off at the same time. The sensation is frequently compared to the feel of a cat’s lick. As a general rule, the depth of a treatment depends on the speed of the application and the number of passes made over the skin.  However, the pressure and speed can be easily adjusted depending on the sensitivity and tolerance of the skin.

After microdermabrasion

The average microdermabrasion treatment will take an hour or less. Minimal to no recovery time is needed. Most people return to their daily activities immediately following a treatment. Re-building serums are recommended such as the Growth Factor Serum Plus or hyaluronic acid products.

The skin that has been treated will turn a mild pink, which usually fades within a few hours. However, a slight sunburn-like sensation may be felt by the patient for a few days following the treatment. Light exfoliation of the skin may also occur and can be addressed with moisturizer. Sunscreen should be used religiously as the skin will be more sensitive following microdermabrasion treatment.  Microdermabrasion treatments can be performed every 2-3 weeks.

Which treatment is right for you

estheticianMuch of this decision will depend on what conditions you’d like to correct or reduce, as well as your schedule constraints and the recommendations of your esthetician. Microdermabrasion requires no downtime and no adjustment to daily activities. The treatment stimulates collagen production, encouraging skin rejuvenation. The results of the treatment are subtle: age spots and fine lines are diminished, and the skin will be smoother and softer. Those with deeper wrinkling or acne scarring will likely not see a dramatic difference in these specific problems as a result of microdermabrasion, but will see younger-looking, brighter, and clearer skin.

A chemical peel will make a more noticeable difference in skin with deep wrinkles or acne scars. However, the recovery time and adjustment to daily activities that may be required in order to receive a chemical peel should be considered. Both treatments will need to be repeated periodically in order to maintain or achieve the desired results.