Pregnancy Awareness Month
For the month of May -Pregnancy Awareness Month -you can enjoy at 139ToHealing:
– SOMAnatomics Bodywork sessions with a 50% discount for pregnant mothers and /or their partners and family.
– a 50% discount on sessions with the metamorphic massage for pregnant women and /or their partners and family
Somanatomics & Pregnancy
The Importance of Body Sense & Movement Awareness
I am seizing the opportunity, since May is the Pregnancy Awareness Month, to speak a little bit more in depth about the importance of body sense and movement awareness for a woman during the period of gestation.
I invite you to experience the way you view your body in a different way. When you read these words you might need to imagine yourself into someone else’s shoes, for a moment -in order to understand, relate or even to have some fun. This will mostly happen if you are reading this and you are not pregnant. Nevertheless, practising body sense and movement awareness are equally important for every individual’s life. Yet, as a pregnant woman reading this you might need to bring yourself a few months back (or forward) to be able to compare the sensations of your two different states. Both for your and the future baby’s benefit, it’s crucial to understand that from the beginning of our life we experience mental, emotional and/or biomechanical changes that have a direct effect on the way we use our body, something that usually can be observed in our posture.
I will provide you with an everyday example; Imagine yourself picking up your phone and sending a text message. Now try to imitate this action. At this point your spine is most probably being put under pressure of up to 20 extra kilos just because of the way you lean your head forward towards your phone and the luck of control in your back/neck muscles. This happens because the attention you give to your phone becomes more important than the attention you give to your posture, without consciously realising it. Imagine now, in the period of gestation, having your body constantly experiencing all the previously mentioned changes but also adding to it the baby’s weight and movements. As soon as the end of the 1st trimester, the mother starts gaining weight, experiences mood swings and tiredness. She feels the need to change the way she uses her body in order to move more comfortably. She senses the tiny human being inside her develop, and the weight of the womb starts to put some extra pressure on her spine. This is a natural course of events and it’s not avoidable. But this does not mean it has to be a unpleasant experience. On the contrary, it actually shows how Pregnancy and Postpartum are very important times in a woman's life to practice self-care and body awareness.
As a pregnant mother (but not exclusively), understanding your body and bringing balance in your system will help you have a greater control over your movements and better comprehend emotional/hormonal/physical changes. Additionally, paying attention to your body and its functions or dysfunctions will assist you in creating a connection with your baby and its own movements and experiences. Connecting with your body senses at this period of your life is as an important task as it is having a good nutrition and learning the basics of taking care of your baby (ex. change diapers). Practicing body awareness and self-care can be proven not only beneficial but also crucial since during the childbirth year the mother’s body will go through dramatic changes. As you gain weight and as the weight of the womb puts pressure on your spine, you may experience backaches, neck and hip discomfort which some times can also contribute to a painful delivery. After birth the mother needs to change again the way she uses her body, now without the baby weight. The new body positions required for nursing, and night wakings also create shoulder, neck and back pains that can continue even several months later with the same intensity. These changes, as I mentioned previously, happen naturally but are possible to smoothen and get rid off when bringing awareness to yourself.
Although it could be challenging to pay attention to all the physical, emotional, and hormonal changes you are experiencing, finding a place of stillness for a few moments each day can help you go through this vital changes. If you use this time wisely you can get in touch with your body and the little one who is taking up more and more of it.
Somanatomics is a conscious movement and bodywork practice that provides guidance for a pregnant woman on how to allow her body to release tension, relax and find breath. A woman's body instinctively knows the path to birth. But by affirming and exploring the body/mind connection can be proven crucial for a safe and satisfying birth experience. Recovering from birth is also a sacred and important time for healing-mentally, emotionally and physically. Somanatomics approach, can have a direct effect on the nervous & muscular system, mental ease and overall well-being of a pregnant mother. It can help remove tension, balance the pelvic muscles and ligaments, and allow an easier deliver that is less traumatic for both mother and baby. The main goal is to experience fully your body during pregnancy and the baby’s response to soft touch as a relaxation/communication form. Moreover, you can learn to identify bodily responses, such as pain and smoothness, by combining what you are feeling and experiencing, when moving according to the anatomical instructions and with the help of imaging techniques. By listening to your body, you are also listening to your baby.
MINI-TASK: Close your eyes for a moment and listen to your breathing, then make a simple check-up of yourself: Are there any tense areas in your body -neck, shoulders, throat, hands, back? Is anything nagging at your mind? If the answer is yes in any of the questions doing a full-body and mind check will help you identify what needs to be released, relaxed, or dealt with. If your answer is no, well done to you! Keep bringing softness and awareness in your everyday life.
Become aware of your senses and bring balance and control in your life with SOMAnatomics!
SOMAnatomics Practitioner, Neuro-Movement Researcher,
Dance, Sports & Exercise Scientist
Vibrating with Life:
Receiving the Metamorphic Massage During Pregnancy
I am writing this in May, just as I realised it is Pregnancy Awareness Month, and I thought the best way to honour that, is to sit down and write a few words on the Metamorphic Technique focusing more on what it means for pregnancy and why it is such a blessing to receive a metamorphic massage when you are pregnant.
The metamorphic is a blessing for anyone. It resonates within the deepest levels of ones´ vital life force and releases all blocked energy patterns that are what we call non-correct, non- beneficial to a person´s “wholeness” and balance. In other words it liberates an inner force that helps you become the best possible version of yourself, attracting the best possible possibilities that you can possibly get in your life!
It does that by awakening a self-healing mechanism within one´s own life force because it unblocks all that is blocked since those very first experiences in the very early stages of our life, as a fetus and during birth. I will not go into more details here about how this works or why those first experiences are of the utmost importance for the development of a person´s life. You can find all this on my healing growth blog or on any other website or book about the metamorphic technique. In fact the impact that the gestation and birth experiences have in the development of a person´s life is analysed by many bio-medical and psychological theories, and no matter where each of these theories places its focus they all agree that there is an impact and it is huge.
When it comes to the metamorphic, it is essential to understand that the metamorphic is a kind of light massage and as such its first effect, for anyone who receives it, is relaxation. Again it is more than self-explanatory why relaxation could be beneficial to a pregnant mother and her unborn baby.
It is also essential to understand that the metamorphic is not just a massage but rather a healing, a body work technique, which moves along the lines of energy fields and vibrations.
This is not a place to argue whether such things as energy fields and vibrations exist or if they play any part at all in the doings of our bodies, our psyches and our lives. We will take it for granted that they do, whether we chose to do so because we believe in spiritual teachings or the theories of quantum physics or for the shake of finishing this essay (me writing it and you reading it!).
What happens to a pregnant mother during the metamorphic sessions? A lot of interesting things! The mother´s own vital force and self-healing mechanism is being restored. Her own blockages, dated back to the period of her own experiences as a fetus and as a baby-being-born, are being released and all the non-correct (what we used to call “negative”) patterns are being transformed into new ones that are correct for the benefits of her life and good health.
This -sometimes I call it- “restoring transformation” in the mother´s cellular memories and energy patterns functions as a preventive safety-net for complications during the pregnancy and birth and sets the road to natural birth and a rewarding giving-birth experience.
The next interesting thing happens to the gestation process as experienced by the baby. During the metamorphic session, any underlying stressful situation, from the mother´s emotions to relationship dynamics in the family and physical or genetic predispositions, they are all loosened up, giving way to relaxation, trust and blossoming of the most empowering and positive potential for the creation of the new human life.
The metamorphic enables mother and baby to honour and elicit the best that their joined vital force has to offer. I would dare say that these sessions resemble a call-out-ritual for respect and trust. For the pregnant mother it is like laying down the red carpet for your new baby to walk into life, a nominated powerful life potential. You are creating the best spiritual and emotional environment for your pregnancy and birth (with the consequent positive repercussions on both mother´s and baby´s physical well-being).
Some mothers don’t experience anything more than a deep relaxation during the sessions. Others have strong sensations, which vary and are unique to each one of them -after all it is about a person´s unique vital life force. A pregnant mother and friend reported to me afterwards that she had felt that she was floating together with her baby, establishing a first emotional connection with him. He was born a healthy baby, in her own words “without stress and very relaxed”. In my personal experience as a practitioner of the metamorphic technique I haven´t had any feedback from pregnant women who have received the metamorphic other than: “such a relaxed baby”, ” sleeps so many hours”, “such a happy cheery baby”, “such an easy birth” and so on.
As we say the metamorphic technique resembles the metamorphosis of the caterpillar to the butterfly: all the tiny changes that are required for this transformation and are not visible to the naked eye and are based in trusting the power of life to transform all experience in its best possible potential. When we are receiving a metamorphic session we are opening up the channels to allow such a transformation: we are creating a powerful connection, we are supporting some sort of floating vibration (like the one my friend was talking about), we are opening the way for spiritual respect, we are allowing the expansion of full potential, we are embracing the flow of love, we are embracing tenderness, we are accepting, we are listening, we are waiting, we are appreciating, we are including, we are liberating, we are forgiving, we are strengthening, we are protecting, we are enjoying, we are trusting. We are, in other words, vibrating with life.
May 5th, 2015 Amsterdam, by Polyxeni C. Stavrou
0619 55 9018