Case study 3: Foot and Ankle massage – Motherlylove Footloose Soothing Massage Oil

From cramped to relaxed: restoring a good night’s sleep  

Rose* was a healthy mum-to-be, 36 weeks pregnant and still on her feet all day working happily as a hairdresser. All her antenatal (prenatal) observations were normal, apart from slightly swollen ankles.

Caring for the whole patient

At the midwifery-led clinic I ran, I was able to offer aromatherapy as a treatment for any of the problems that pregnancy can introduce. And though Rose was energetic by day, she went to bed every night with tired swollen feet and leg cramps. This kept both her and her partner awake much of the night, and neither of them was enjoying the pregnancy, nor getting the rest they both desperately needed.

I read through Rose’s booking history and found she’d had no previous medical problems or surgery. All her blood tests, blood pressure and urine were in normal limits, and her unborn baby’s heart rate was normal. Apart from the leg problems and tiredness they were all happy, and even the baby moved enough to keep mum satisfied that all was well.

I talked Rose through the benefits of aromatherapy foot and leg massage, and she agreed to try the massage.

For Rose’s tired limbs I chose a foot and leg massage with peppermint and lavender essential oils, in a blend of  carrier oils apricot and Jojoba seed oil. I showed her partner how to massage her feet and legs, and then I blended and labelled these oils, so he could perform the same massage for her at night. They were willing to try it, and we booked an appointment to see each other the following week.

One week later

When I saw Rose a week later she was very happy, as she was sleeping much better.  The aromatherapy massages were good for her partner as well, as he was able to get involved by helping her, and he knew that their rest depended on him giving her the massage.  He also sent me a separate message of his own to thank me, as she was sleeping peacefully, and also no longer waking him up with leg cramps.

*Name changed to protect confidentiality

Please inform the midwife or doctor, when you are using complementary therapies.

The science 

All the essential oils were blended harmoniously with Sweet Almond oil and Baobab oil for being appropriate in pregnancy, effectiveness and quality for leg cramps, swelling of ankles and swollen legs in pregnancy.

The peppermint and lavender essential oils were chosen for relieving every day aches and pains Studies have shown that lavender soothes inflamed skin and researchers have demonstrated that cyprus essential oil eases swelling and muscular cramps.

I also chose natural vegetable oils which were a blend of Sweet Almond oil, Baobab oil and coconut oil chosen for their richness in omega oils, vitamins to nourish, moisturise and soothe the skin.

Cyprus oil  http://www.quinessence.com/blog/cypress-essential-oil

Leonard Price http://www.amazon.co.uk/Carrier-Oils-For-Aromatherapy-Massage/dp/1874353026

Jan Bastard BSc. (Hons) complementary therapy/aromatherapy, RN, RM, Anaesthetic Diploma, IAIM.