Prenatal Upper Body Conditioning

Upper Body Strength, It’s Everyone’s Problem

I’m calling this a prenatal workout but really anyone who sits at a desk or has neck and shoulder pain will benefit from this workout. It is important, particularly if you are planning to breastfeed, to have your shoulders strong before birth. Think about it, how often do you carry around 10lbs of wiggling weight with you everywhere?

Post Partum Pain

The number one area of pain for post partum mom’s is their shoulders, their whole chest almost caves in from holding baby all day. Nighttime feeding is really where good ergonomics falls apart, and rightly so, get as much sleep as you can! However, it can be hard to get back into good ergonomics in the morning. However 10 minutes daily for 7 or 8 months will change your posture and give you a good foundation for strength.

Do It!

If you don’t have weights grab a water bottle or some canned food! I really like resistance bands because they fit in a drawer. Also, if you don’t have a balance ball this can be done in a chair. Although I recommend having a ball for stretching, ergonomics, bouncing baby to sleep and being playful!

 

 

Coming next: Lower Body Conditioning…





Side Lying Comfort

As pregnancy goes on most woman experience difficult sleeping due to either acid reflux or hip and shoulder pain while sleeping on their sides. It’s important to get good sleep during pregnancy because fatigue can put you at risk for complications.

 

Acid reflux, or GERD (Gastroesophogial Reflux Disease) is common during pregnancy because of a slowing of the muscles that control swallowing. Often the acid reflux is worst at night, after dinner,when you are trying to find an agreeable position. A supported reclined position can be a comfortable position to sleep in. One of the most critical aspects of finding a safe and comfortable position is ensuring the angle of your body. A 45 degree angle is ideal because it ensures the weight of the baby is not on your Vena Cava reducing blood flow to the baby and placenta.

Generally if your position is causing the baby stress your body will wake yourself up. Many women are viscerally aware when the uterus is pressing on their vein so use your awareness and trust your intuition when getting settled.

Many women find the best compromise for them is a combination face down/side laying position with a small pillow under their belly similar but not exactly like the picture at the right.

 

Sleeping on your left side is the recommended safest position during the second and third trimesters because it allows the most blood flow and nutrients to get to the placenta and the baby. However, this position puts a lot of pressure on your shoulder and hip and can result in painful aches. This results in a lot of restless nights changing positions and moving pillows. Regular massage will help to relieve some aches and can relax you into peaceful sleep.

I invested in an OakWorks Side Laying Positioning System for maximum comfort during prenatal massage. Most of the massage is done in the side laying position but there is a torso pillow that takes the pressure off of your shoulders and hips while supporting your head and keeping your top leg just above hip height. There is also a little wedge pillow to support your belly. Depending on your needs during the massage we may move you to the supported reclined position to work on your neck or give a gentle belly massage.

 

A number of clients wish they had pillows this comfortable for every night sleeping. I am considering buying a second set to rent to clients for the final months of their pregnancy. Please let me know if this is something you might be interested in.

Living Life Fully with Fibromyalgia

Massage schools try and touch on as many pathologies as possible to give students some ideas about how to work with myriad of clients with unique lives and bodies.

Since every body truly is different and each body differs from day to day it can be challenging for a massage therapist to give the right massage for the person on the table.

I had been a massage therapist for about a year when I realized there was a pattern among some of myclients. I had a few who loved the really deep, deep tissue techniques, but then we’d get to some spots where even gentle pressure sent them jumping off the table. Often these spots were just inferior and posterior to the greater trochanter and the inferior portion of the adductors, or in plain English the hips and the inner thighs. The same clients would sometimes report that they felt “out of it”, “slugglish”, or really tender for a day or two after their treatments.
I thought, “Huh.” And I decided to keep paying attention to how this client group progressed.

These clients became regulars, their massages were the times they felt their best. They wanted that deep table time even if they had to pay in the form of brain fog, achiness, or low energy.

One day one of my clients mentioned starting the Abascal Diet at the recommendation of their naturopathic doctor.

This new tidbit was hungrily filed into these clients’ folder in my mind.
I thought, “How could inflammation connect to these symptoms?”.  A few things floated around and due to the power of the Internet I found this article, published in 2004. I asked this client pool to do an experiment with me and try the techniques. Many of them had talked before with other health care providers about inflammation being related to their health issues, especially their pain. We had good success in terms of short term pain relief. We learned a lot and we found great hope and deeper body awareness.

Quelling Inflammation is like Herding Cats

Connective Tissue Massage, the techniques described in the article, is designed to turn off the sympathetic nervous system. You’re probably heard of this nervous system as putting you into a ‘fight or flight’ state. New research points to women’s unique response to this cascade of hormones more as a ‘tend and befriend’ stress reaction.

Well, maybe we had a really great session and the client felt awesome at the end. This client then arrives home to a disaster and has to do some heavy lifting that sends him into a “flare”. He feels low back pain that night, and the next morning has a migraine. The migraine goes away after 2 days but his neck is stiff. When he’s finally feeling better he picks up his toddler in a funny position and the whole cycle starts over again!
If it’s not one thing it’s often another.
Or maybe it’s a gluten intolerance that creates a lot of inflammation for another client. She dutifully avoids gluten and then a coworker snaps at her, causing a stress reaction. She has to cope with a few days of reduced mental acuity and some grumpiness.
And, sometimes stress is unavoidable. Your parent gets sick, your child isn’t doing well in school, you’ve got a deadline at work, all at the same time! Stress is a part of life and some of my clients’ internalize this stress into inflammation. They get a flare even though they’re doing everything else right.

Goldilocks Rule

My client group all found exercise really difficult. They would have the same kind of brain fog and low energy symptoms they got after massage, only more often accompanied by achiness. Many of these clients worked with a Physical Therapist to strengthen their bodies. Finding a PT that was experienced working with inflammation was important to building muscle without sending them into pain.
Goldilocks Rule applied to our massage sessions too. We could go pretty deep in some areas to bring pain relief but not too deep or else we’d trigger the sympathetic system and induce a pain response.

Acceptance

My clients who had the most success with the technique could accept that some days would be painful and other days would be blissful. They took each day as it came and didn’t feel doomed to pain for the rest of their life. Good luck with this one!

For more information on massage and inflammation email me!

Locations

Serving Ojai, Santa Barbara, and Ventura

I am currently seeing clients in their homes for massage therapy appointments in Ojai, Ventura, Carpentaria, and Santa Barbara. I have an office in Santa Barbara where I see clients on Tuesdays & Saturdays. It is located at 113 W. Mission St. Suite C. There is often parking in the back.

Payment

Payment

Please provide a $400 deposit within 5 business days after I’ve put your birth on my calendar. This will be subtracted from your balance due. I accept payment by cash, check, or credit card.

The remainder of your balance will be due at your first post partum appointment

I will do my best to provide the services described. However, I too am human,

  • If I am ill, have a family emergency, or am out of town I will provide a back up doula to attend your birth. I this case the back up doula will receive the remainder of your balance.
  • If you do not contact me to tell me you are in labor, or notify me less than four weeks before your birth that you no longer wish to have me at your birth, you will owe me the remainder of your balance because your place on my birth calendar was reserved and unavailable to other families.

 

Insurance

I will provide you with an invoice with the appropriate medical codes you may submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

 

Sliding Scale

I am able to offer one sliding scale birth per season. This family will receive the Basic Birth Services Package for $600 and complementary Placenta Preparation.

Massage Therapy

 

Saralynn Finn, CMT & Doula

began practicing massage professionally in 2010; my passion for bodywork began as a child, my family could not get enough of my massages. During college I studied energy medicine and learnedabout the powerful healing potential of energy work. I attended massage school at the Ashland Institute of Massage in Oregon. Since then I have worked in chiropractic offices and massage clinics in Seattle, Washington focusing primarily on clinical massage. I am excited to become a part of the Santa Barbara community.

Currently, I am NCBTMB Certified & am working towards licensure in Oregon. I have held CMT certification in California and an LMP license in Washington.




[intro]Training in: [/intro]

  • Prenatal Massage
  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Myofacial Release
  • Reiki
  •  Structural Relief Therapy
  • Neuromuscular Therapy
  • Structural Integration
  • Polarity Therapy
  • Swedish Massage

 

I accept PIP (Personal Injury Protection), check and cash. I am happy to provide a receipt for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement  I am working towards becoming a preferred provider with insurance companies in Oregon.

About

 

Becca is the best prenatal massage therapist serving Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

I am thrilled to pass my practice along to her knowing my clients are in good hands.