The Health Series: #8 Reflexology Therapy During the Childbearing Year

It gives me great pleasure to introduce Linda Baril, RCRT/Instructor/Teacher Trainer (RAC), Childbirth Educator/Doula, to you this month.

Linda was both my Foot Reflexology Instructor and my Foot Reflexology Teacher Trainer. She has been a practicing reflexologist since 1992, a teacher of foot reflexology and a childbirth educator since 1996. Linda has been a practicing Doula for over thirty years. You can reach her at: (250) 726-5300 or casita.linda@hotmail.com.

Reflexology Therapy during the Childbearing Year

I can’t think of anything more calming and supportive during pregnancy than receiving a professional reflexology treatment! Pregnancy is a time of profound transformation, both in body and in spirit. Many emotions will be experienced during this time; joy, excitement, fear, trepidation and, perhaps, stress. Along with the joy of welcoming a baby into the family there may be financial or relationship challenges. If you have an opportunity to work with a childbearing woman, you could bring a great deal of comfort and support to her.

I am often asked if there are contraindications to working with a woman during her pregnancy. I would like to offer you some guidelines that will be helpful to you and to your client.

First, I would suggest that you do not give treatment to a woman during the first trimester of pregnancy. This is a tenuous time …. typically, if there is a problem with the pregnancy this is the time period in which a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) could occur. There has been a great deal of discussion over whether or not reflexology could trigger a miscarriage without a definitive conclusion. There is, however, a very real risk of it being perceived as having contributed to a miscarriage. I don’t wish to put myself or the pregnant woman in the very difficult position of questioning whether or not something I did may have caused this very sad event. I always inform my pregnant clients that I will begin their treatments once they have passed 12 weeks of gestation.

As therapists, we never work on a client with suspected DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). The danger is that a thrombus (clot) could dislodge and travel to the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism. This is a life-threatening condition. DVT is painful and the woman will likely have a diagnosis from her doctor. If you encounter swelling, redness and deep pain in the lower leg, send her to her caregiver immediately. Do not work on her.

With the growing number of women undergoing IVF (in vitro fertilization) it is likely you will encounter this issue in one of your clients. While undergoing IVF treatment, the woman will be under a strict hormone-altering protocol that is necessary to ‘prime’ the uterus for receiving the implanted embryo. As we know, reflexology is an excellent therapy to restore hormonal balance… this is one situation where this is NOT the goal. I don’t work on IVF patients as I don’t want to disrupt the very delicate artificially induced balance that has been created by the medical personnel.

Finally, when giving reflexology therapy to a pregnant woman, avoid working the pituitary and reproductive reflexes. It is acceptable to gently pass over these reflexes but avoid focused pressure on these areas. The pituitary is responsible for releasing the hormone oxytocin which may cause uterine contractions. This will become appropriate as she reaches full term but not prior to that.

These guidelines are meant to encourage you to work with pregnant women under most circumstances. The relaxation and hormonal balancing that are the result of a treatment can make a great difference in her experience of pregnancy and better prepare her for the transformation into motherhood.

If you wish to learn more about assisting women through the childbearing year, please consider attending my 18-hour workshop Assisting Women Through the Childbearing Year. We look at techniques (reflex and acupressure point plus much more) that are beneficial to women during pregnancy, labour & delivery and postpartum.

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments.

Linda Baril
Ecobirthing – Bringing it Back to Natural

May, 2017

 

 

 

The Health Series: #5 Reflexology by Suzanne

I’m pleased to introduce this month’s guest, Suzanne Partridge. Suzanne has been the Reflexologist at The Haven on Gabriola Island for 23 years. She had a practice in North Vancouver at the same time for 18 years. She has been invited to work with people in China several times. Suzanne currently lives in Nanaimo, B.C.

Welcome, Suzanne!

Reflexology by Suzanne

I received my training in Edmonton, Alberta in Touchpoint Reflexology in 1992, but wasn’t totally satisfied, even after I was certified. I always had more questions than my teachers could provide for me in ways of energy blockages as I “saw” them, and so I put is aside except for family and close friends.

I went to The Haven in December 1992 and took my first Come Alive and then the Phase Programs: 1, 2, and 3. It was during Phase 3 that I was introduced to the Chinese Five Elements and had all my previous questions answered, relative to energy, meridians and Yin/Yang.

Yin/Yang – the ancient Chinese symbol of energy opposites.

An internal flow towards balance, known as “Chi”, the life energy, the constant evolvement of change. Energy is change; the vibration of all matter all the time. Just as ice melts and turns into water, or as a person’s heart rate registers joy and fear.

Chi, the life force, is a notion of the energy being able to flow freely throughout the body via meridians, always seeking optimum functioning.

Reflexology, yet another ancient Chinese belief, is that all the body’s parts, functions, and organs, can be accessed on the sole of a person’s foot.

Reflexology can determine if, and where, energy blocks may exist, and assist the person to release it to regain energy flow – and health.

I embrace and work with the Chinese Five Element theory in gentle manipulation.

Reflexology as I offer it, is also a guided tour of the body’s energy flow from the eyes to the internal organs – all from the soles of the feet.

I will often suggest or ask for a picture or metaphor (something of nature, that is given to me silently) that can more fully describe the sensation or constriction and thus, in this way, I may assist the person to understand their situation and take the responsibility of dealing with, or appreciating themselves more effectively.

In Health,

Suzanne, February, 2017

The Health Series: #4 Feldenkrais and You.

I’m pleased to introduce this month’s guest: Gwen Spinks.

Gwen is a Feldenkrais Practitioner and Dance instructor. Gwen completed the four-year Feldenkrais Method™ training in 2012. Gwen is here to talk about Feldenkrais & You. Learn more about Gwen on her website: gwenspinks.com or Instagram: gwenspinksart

Feldenkrais Method of Movement is based on the work of Israeli physicist, engineer and martial arts master Moshe Feldenkrais (1904/1984), and is now taught around the world.

The Feldenkrais Method™ is grounded in anatomy, physiology and physics. It is also informed by the latest research into movement and human development. Bringing these disciplines together provides us with a model for learning new movements and can be applied to learning any new skill we are learning. Ordinarily, we learn just enough to get by.

In the Feldenkrais Method™, we learn from our own unique ways of moving. As we become aware of how we do all that we do: act, sense, think, and feel, we gain a great range of ease and skill. We empower ourselves by asking and answering a simple question: Is there a better way to do this? and it is a physical way through to the emotional body.

I believe that all our physical pain has an emotional component. When we are willing and able to look at our pain/illnesses/injuries as something that has manifested from our emotional traumas, then we are willing and able to release both the physical and emotional pain.

As a dance teacher (Ballroom, Latin, West Coast Swing, etc.) for almost thirty years, I have seen many people quit dancing or not start at all, because of their fear. Mostly, it comes down to control, trust, or intimacy. Facing their fear on the dance floor is a huge challenge – how they move reflects how they feel in their body. It also reflects how they hold their traumas (which is where the fear starts).

The Feldenkrais Method of Movement has been the key for me to help people unlock the connection between their physical and emotional pain bodies. This helps them to literally move through and release old habits of how they hold and move physically, emotionally, and mentally. The result for most people is greater mobility not just on the dance floor, but in their life, and that mobility/flexibility/ease of movement comes pain free. It can be a scary journey, however, the benefits are amazing.

Gwen Spinks, January 2017