Early Postpartum Support

Early Postpartum Support.

The first 40 days is said to set the tone for your postpartum life. Feeling nourished and supported is emphasised greatly in Traditional Chinese Medicine (aka: TCM, which includes Acupuncture). Replenishing yourself during your forth trimester navigates the hormone fluctuations, sleep scarcity, delivery experience and recovery, rebuilding Qi, blood and fluids, milk production issues, mastitis, recovery from tears (read that how you will), prolapse, surgery and scar healing.

There’s no comparisons with ‘severity’ of symptoms between your own pregnancies, or other people’s. Your baseline is your baseline, and the aim is to build up from there.

‘MOTHER WARMING’

Pregnancy doesn’t only belong to those who identify as women, but we still use the term ‘mother warming’ treatments to refer to rebuilding Yang energy, Qi and blood that’s depleted during birth using acupuncture and moxa. Acupuncture is adjusted based on your birth experience and can be used to promote c-section recovery with softening and fading scars, as well as any deeper concerns, lactation issues, mastitis, pain, mood support, blood loss and recovery to name a few. Moxa is a warming herb used topically over the womb and sacrum to warm the body, assist with the uterus as it resizes, tissue support, while relaxing muscles and sinews through that region.

FOOD NOURISHMENT

Consuming things that are easy to digest and nutritious helps with your stress response, fatigue levels, and mental/emotional support during this time. TCM emphasised things that are cooked and easy to absorb such as congee’s (can be made sweet or savory), porridge, broths and soups, & warming herbs. Nutrient dense meals that have a postpartum focus work to restore Qi and Blood. Classically we avoid raw & cold foods, ensuring the intake of energy results in easy nutrient assimilation.

NOT NEW TO POST-PARTUM?

If this isn’t your first birth & you never felt you caught back up, then there’s every possibility you’re going into this feeling like you don’t remember what a fuller cup feels like. Perhaps even a *scoff of scepticism* over the idea of not feeling bulldozered?! If this is you, then consider this your sign to touch base for some support. It’s not an overnight turnaround, but there’s plenty of support on-hand to move you in the right direction.  If during pregnancy the time allows, some pre-labour prep may also go a long way.

Bodies were built for this, so if you’ve chosen to create a tiny human (or two ..or more), your greatest gift is going to be in giving yourself the time to replenish and recover well, so as to enjoy the long days and short years.

Laelia is a TCM practitioner who loves to support people in feeling less depleted. She’s available on Fridays and Saturdays at NBIP. You can book in with her here

Gratitude for Happiness, Health & Healing

The word “Gratitude” refers to the quality of being thankful, showing appreciation and returning kindness for both the tangible and intangible.

Having a regular gratitude practice can provide a simple platform for one to reflect upon all aspects of life. It enables us to see more than what’s simply in front of us which builds feelings of abundance and when expressed outwardly it cultivates feelings of connection not just with family, friends and community but with nature and our life as a whole.

Expressing gratitude and thanks isn’t just good manners, according to science it actually improves our health and wellbeing too. Fascinatingly this simple practice changes the neural structures in the brain and triggers the release of feel good hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine which improves mood, self-esteem, immune function, cardiovascular health, recovery after sickness and surgery, improves relationships and sleep quality. It also reduces worry, anxiety, stress, depression, regret, shame, envy, aggression and even pain!

Having an attitude of gratitude can be used as an adaptive coping technique to encourage kindness, empathy, acceptance, forgiveness and problem solving skills allowing us to move through adversity and build resilience by helping us to see our struggles and obstacles as opportunities for growth and development. Psychiatrist, Author and holocaust survivor Victor Franks wrote about how he used gratitude to deal with years of being held captive in a Nazi concentration camp in his book “Mans Search for Meaning”.

Ways introduce a regular practice into your life
• Make it easy and fun – in our house we share the best part of our day, the worst part of our day and what we are grateful for over dinner. It’s a beautiful way to connect in and ensure our kids have a regular opportunity to express themselves and be heard.
• Show affection, write a note, or call loved ones, if you can’t get a hold of them leave them a voicemail expressing your feelings for them – what a gift!
• Provide positive feedback either in person or online when you have a good customer experience
• Give compliments to those around you
• Create a gratitude accountability group where you each share something your grateful for each day

• Download an app onto your phone that gives you a reminder and a prompt, there are several available
• Make a gratitude jar that you can put hand written notes into (this is a great thing to open up and read through when you are having a bad day and need cheering up)
• Keep a journal and a nice pen next to your bed and write in it daily either before bed or when you wake.

I have found that the most important part of gratitude is in the detail! Simply listing out a whole bunch of things you’re grateful for, isn’t all that useful. What is transformative is the HOW and the WHY! Why does that person or thing make you feel grateful? How does it nourish you or make your life better? THAT is what creates real shifts in energy and emotion.

My favourite journal prompts;
What events have you participated in recently that you enjoyed and why?
Who are you most grateful for today and why?
What’s something in nature you’ve enjoyed lately and why?
What is a regular lifestyle activity you are doing at the moment and how does it positively impact your life?
What home comforts could you not live without and why?
What’s the best part about living where you do and why?
What achievements, abilities or habits can you be proud of? What positive traits and attributes do these things prove to you?
Was there something that challenged or triggered you today? What was the silver lining, blessing or lesson in this situation? What can you do now or do next time to improve?
How did you care for yourself today? How did you show yourself love and respect? How did it make you feel?

It is said that very little is needed to have a happy life, it’s all within us in the way we think. Energy flows where focus goes and when we practice gratitude as part of our daily life it has a powerful positive compounding effect on us.

Meditation and Massage

Recently, more than ever, Remedial Massage clients are presenting physical complaints that when we discuss life events and activity, are generated from a cumulative period of stress and anxiety. The late, Jesuit Priest and Psychologist Anthony De Mello wrote meditations that lifted the vail for thousands whom opted in on taking a bold dive into healing anxiety and the subsequent tension… for my work as a soft tissue therapist, manual therapy is almost always accompanied with ‘deep and meaningful’s’, or seemingly light hearted dialogue into the Why’s and How’s of – ACHES AND PAINS AND RECURRING INJURIES.

I do not suggest that I offer here a solution to you, the reader, their woe’s and misfortunes. The intention of this blog is to offer an insight into healing power through self affirming oneself to challenge their place in life. Through words and self love placed into those words.

A remedial massage can have a gamut of uses when a client is on the table. Everything from choosing appropriate techniques, to passive and active breathing, progressive relaxation technique, contract / relax stretches, and the ol’ favourite sedative massage so soft snoring can be detected.

I challenge you to have a go at taking a personal exploration into where you are currently placed in life. Commit to this meditation with prepping your environment so it is sensory conducive (sound, sights, feel) to relaxation and peace. Some of you may need to get in the car for this! Read the content over once, as the way through these words can bring with it some obstacles that your mind may wrestle with. That is completely normal and part of the letting go process which yields the healing power. Please feel free to share any thoughts or revelations to me.. I will welcome comments sam@nbip.com.au / 0425 315301

I suggest, to read these words slowly.  In order to live you must look reality in the face then you will shed your fear of losing people and develop a taste for newness and change and uncertainty …you will shed your fear of using the known and expectingly wait and welcome the unfamiliar and the unknown.

If it is life you seek then here is an exercise that might prove painful but will bring the exhilaration of freedom if you are able to do it.

Ask yourself – if there is anyone or anything who loss would cause you grief.

You maybe one of those persons who can not bear to even think of the death or the loss or the parent a friend a loved one, if this is so and in the measure that this is so, you are dead….

The thing to do is…  To face the death the loss the separation from loved things and loved ones Now

Take these persons and things one at a time, and imagine they are dead or lost or separated from you forever

And in your heart say… goodbye

To each of them say… thank you and goodbye

You will experience pain and you will experience the disappearance of clinging and then something else will emerge in your consciousness, an Aloneness, a solitude that grows and grows and becomes like the infinite vastness of the sky

That aloneness is freedom and that solitude is life … that non clinging is the willingness to flow and to enjoy and to taste and to relish each new moment of life which is now made all the sweeter because it is freed from the anxiety and tension and insecurity …freed from the fear of loss and then that always accompanies the desire for permanence and clinging.

Stress and How to Live Without It

As a society today, we are riddled with stress and have accepted living with it in our lives. Some of us struggle today to relax and have even forgotton what it’s like to relax. Our “smart” lives keep us constantly plugged in to a constant stream of notifications so our mind has no rest. How many of us sit down and eat a meal without any distractions – TV or looking at our phones? Today, multiple studies have linked our constant state of stress as a contributor to many ailments and diseases. Stress can manifest physically in tight necks and shoulders, weakened immune system, digestive disorders, diabetes, high cholesterol, cancer, even endometriosis.

In Chinese Medicine, any disease begins when there is a blockage to the flow of energy. Overtime, this blockage can lead to symptoms which if not addressed or treated may lead to some of the diseases mentioned above.

Finding ways to deal with stress and lowering the feelings of anxiety you experience are paramount building blocks to maintaining good health and preventing disease.

Here are some practical tips on how to manage stress:

1) Practice breathing

One of the simplest and easiest ways of dealing with stress is a through breathing. Research has shown that deep breathing can stimulate the vagus nerve which switches off the body’s internal fight or flight response. This in turn activates the parasympathetic nervous system which allows the body to kick into rest and digest mode. By just focusing on the breath, you can feel an immediate sense of calm and wellbeing.

2) Go out in nature

Turning away from our screens and being out in an open space looking at greenery has been found to generate positive energy and is relaxing and restorative for both the mind and body. If you’re stuck in an office without greenery around, adding a green plant on your desk can also be beneficial.

3) Meditating

Science has shown that meditating has profound effects on our overall wellbeing. The practice of slowing down and not thinking is greatly beneficial in dealing with stress. Find an easy guided meditation to start off with. Again, it does not have to be long, just 5 minutes a day is all you need to get started with.

4) Do something that you love doing

Do you remember doing something that you loved doing as a child be it colouring, singing, dancing. Turning to an activity that you love takes your mind off your troubles and negative self talk. It does not have to be a tedious task. You can do it for 5 minutes and that in itself is a form of meditation.

5) Acupuncture and herbs

Acupuncture works on balancing your internal environment. Based on a series of questions, our acupuncturists find out what imbalances you have and choose points based on what is best for you. Many of our patients find that acupuncture has helped them in coping with their busy week. Our acupuncturist Dawn will be holding a relax and restore workshop on Sunday 15th May 2022 by Narrabeen lake. The session will incorporate meditation, qi gong, acupuncture and sound healing which will be guaranteed to send your body into a state of calm bliss. For more info and to get tickets you can follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/sunday-healing-vibes-relax-restore-tickets-321588097657