Bodywork: Various forms of touch therapies that may use manipulation, movement, and/or repatterning to affect structural changes to the body.
"Compared to all the other possible risks in a pregnancy, the risk of neonatal herpes is extremely small." "I think it's perceived to be more of a problem than it is", says Scott Roberts, MD a researcher in the Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of Kansas.
"The rate of neonatal herpes is very low, even though the prevalence of genital herpes in our country is quite common." Transmission rates are lowest for women who acquire herpes before pregnancy -- one study (Randolph, JAMA, 1993) placing the risk at about 0.04% for such women who have no signs or symptoms of an outbreak at delivery.
If you are a man with either oral or genital herpes and your partner is uninfected and pregnant, you can do even more to protect the baby.
Since the highest risk to an infant comes when the mother contracts HSV-1 or 2 during pregnancy, you can take steps to ensure that you don't transmit herpes during this crucial time.
There is a high risk of transmission if the mother has an active outbreak, because the likelihood of viral shedding during an outbreak is high.
There is also a small risk of transmission from asymptomatic shedding (when the virus reactivates without causing any symptoms).
As an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage therapy has also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression, and more.
And, as many millions will attest, massage also helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to disease and illness. Massage, bodywork and somatic therapies are defined as the application of various techniques to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the human body.
To put this in greater perspective, an estimated 20-25% of pregnant women have genital herpes, while less than 0.1% of babies contract an infection.
"Neonatal herpes is a remarkably rare event", says Zane Brown, MD, an expert on neonatal herpes and a member of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Washington.
Neonatal herpes is not a reportable disease in most states, so there are no hard statistics on the number of cases nationwide.