Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cesarean Scar Healing Massage

So, you or your client had a cesarean section? 

A cesarean section is often treated as if it were a no-nonsense procedure from which women should recover quickly. In fact, it is serious surgery, and a huge intrusion into the wholeness of one's body. It can cause many complications afterward, especially if the scar tissues are not tended to quickly. This can include prolapsed organs, bladder incontinence, abdominal and intestinal pain, hip pain, organ displacement, and more. But what woman is given information after delivery about how to tend to her scar?  

This article should offer a little help, as it describes how, when, why to massage the surgical scar!

Pregnancy Massage Risks and Postnatal Massage

Many public forums discussing pregnancy massage rant about certain contraindicated acupressure points during pregnancy and fearful myths about their potential to stimulate contractions or miscarriage. I have written about these myths in an article published in Massage & Bodywork Magazine.

 However, one of the primary concerns rarely discussed in these same public forums  are the much more concerning risks of blood clots and embolism, and the many issues faced by women during the postnatal period.  During pregnancy a woman’s normal risk for experiencing a blood clot is multiplied by 5. That risk increases even more during the postnatal period. In fact, as far as a massage therapist is concerned, the postnatal period is a much more risky and vulnerable time overall for both mother and baby. Blood clots are just one issue to be aware of in the first 6 weeks postpartum. For some women there are also potential dangerous outcomes of continued effects of preeclampsia (a condition that occurs only in the perinatal period). There are many more issues of hormonal imbalances, postural readjustments, and musculoskeletal discomforts relative to a woman’s life as a post-birth, new mother that need to be carefully considered when working with postnatal clientele.  This postpartum time period does not just last the proverbial 6 weeks. It actually may be up to a year before a new mother’s body has returned to a semblance of pre-pregnant homeostasis.

Mothertouch Massage & Bodywork For the New Mother class, will be taught again November 2013 at the Oregon School of Massage, addresses these concerns and much more. Topics include the physiological and psycho-emotional realities of mothering, along with numerous techniques for hip and pelvic rebalancing, renewal acupressure, breast massage, external abdominal and uterine work, and addressing cesarean scars.
FOr more information: www.TouchForBirth.com

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Most people preparing to have a baby or supporting others during pregnancy focus their attentions on the proverbial "rosy glow" or the aches and pains of pregnancy. Then they turn their focus to facing the expected challenges of  birth. Rarely do people spend much time thinking about the support needed After baby comes. The reality of Motherhood and need to establish clear long-lasting support after a child is born, is lost and neglected under the excitement of the pregnancy and the initial welcoming of baby. Yet, postpartum is the most critical, most vulnerable, most dangerous, and most need-filled time for perinatal women.  The lack of sleep, the uncertainty of how to care for a first born, sibling  confusion,  massive hormonal shifts, and the complete depletion of vital energy after 9 months of Creating a new Human being, all lead to the potential for mothers to experience postpartum depression, isolation, and trauma. When a mother is well and happy, she and her baby produce plenty of Oxytocin, the love hormone that nurtures the bond between herself and  her child. If Mother is depressed, baby reflects the same chemical soup in its blood and saliva that mom does...baby is depressed too. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Holistic Pelvic Care

Tami Kent is a physical therapist in Oregon, who has treated thousands of women for pelvic floor pain, dysfunction, and energetic disassociation, using internal pelvic floor massage. I had a session with her several years ago, and was moved by her wisdom and ability to read what was happening inside my body with deep listening, intuition, and doing myofascial release of the muscles of my interior pelvis.  I think of her like a yoni-shaman; in some circles she is known as the yoni-whisperer! The awareness I got from my session stayed with me and has been influencing my work and life journey since then.

I have since trained with her to do this work, and am finding women are having similarly powerful experiences. One client says the menopausal dryness of her vagina has not been an issue since our session. A postpartum client said that the pain she was suffering from since birthing a year before, was greatly alleviated in one session. Others talk about the healing that has come from simply having attentive presence in their pelvis, where they did not have to give something away to sexual expectations, where it was not uncomfortable like an exam, where it was not focused on menstruation, cancer, or birthing,  but instead, it was about them, and their connection to and presence with the root wisdom that resides in what I consider the pelvic "temple". It's there for all of us, all the time.

Tami said to me recently: "You have to be your own protector." This resonates with me. We are the residents of our bodies, and when connected to this root pelvic place, we can hear more clearly our intuitive wisdom, and our natural wild feminine energy.  We remember to nurture and care for ourselves more readily in a world that often denies our root wisdom. When we listen in closely we hear the call to fulfill our creative desires, or to nurture more rest time, which allows for our internal wisdom to flourish. WHen we align with our core, we don't give ourselves away and end up depleted and resentful. We are able to establish healthy boundaries and clear Yes and No's.

Holistic Pelvic Care is awakening a revolution of awareness in our women's society, helping restore wholeness and congruence with our natural energies.
You can learn more about my work at www.holisticpelviccare.com

Sunday, January 27, 2013

5 Tips for an Ecstatic Birth

How is it that some women feel like birth was a horrifically painful experience, and others describe it as ecstatic or even orgasmic?

My mother describes her first birth of my brother in 1956 as ecstatic. She had found a doctor who actually supported "natural" childbirth, and 'allowed' her to labor and birth without drugs or serious interventions. Despite the fact that her husband was not with her, nor any other known support, apparently the doctor and nurses gave her verbal support, and she felt flooded with good feelings and love when my brother was being born.

On the other hand, when I was born, she was in a different hospital, and she got the generic violent birth of the time: drugs against her will, forcep delivery, and separation of me and her for hours until "feeding time". This was a tragic traumatic experience for us both, and it influenced us both for our whole lives.... (and I"m now 54 years old!)