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.

Postpartum Support

 Postpartum 40 Days Packages 

The roots of caring for mothers during their immediate post partum period are long and deep. Latin Americans, Ugandans, Koreans, Native Americans, Lebanese, Chinese, Burmese, Greeks and many other cultures around the world have documented traditions of giving special care to new mothers. This tradition is known as la qurentinia, man yue jiu, thie dwin and by many other names, but the essence remains the same: caring for mothers while their bodies heal so they can better care & bond with their children. Rest indoors, homemade soups, others tending to chores & errands and supportive visits by women familiar with the challenges and sacredness of this time are common to each of these traditions. Women with family members able to carry on this tradition for them are blessed, however modern realities often make it impossible for Grandmothers, Aunties, & other loved ones to give new mothers the care they need. Many expecting parents request that money for a Postpartum Doula in lieu of a shower gift. Consider giving yourself and your baby the gift of care.

Mama Care

Food Preparation

Sitz Bath Preparation

Belly Binding

Lactation Education

Baby Wearing Education

Emotional Support

Essential Oil Education & Support for Wellness

Home Care

Dishes

Laundry

Bathroom Cleaning

Tidying

Grocery Shopping, Meal Planning & Errands

Family Care

Baby Massage Education

In Home Massage Therapy for Mom & Partner

The Cared for Family

150 Hours of Care- $4,000

This package is ideal for the family where the partner travels frequently or works long hours. Ensure your new mother has every need met even if you cannot always be there to meet it. Your family will be my sole focus during this special postpartum periods, leave the logistics of life to me for a few weeks while you bond with your baby. Connect with your body & your recovery process through weekly massage. Get the sleep you need, I will care for your baby in your home a few nights. The perfect gift from grandparents who are not able to be near the family during this time or for families expecting multiples! This package includes:

 

2 Prenatal Visits

40 days of Daily Telephone & Text Support

30 days of Mama, Home & Family Care 3hr/day

1 Massage Therapy Session/week

5 overnight stays

 

The Cared for Mama

Approx 80 Hours of Care- $2,500

The Cared for Mama package is great for families where the Mama must return to work soon after birth. Maximize your quality time with your new little one by letting me take care of dishes, dinner, & errands. Speed your healing through weekly massage & being nurtured daily! Also, a dreamy package for women who had a cesarean birth & need that extra helping hand. This package includes:

 

2 Prenatal Visits

40 days of Daily Telephone & Text Support

20 days of Mama, Home & Family Care 3hr/day

1 Massage Therapy Session/week

2 overnight stays

 

The Cared for Baby

40 Hours of Care- $1,000

 Is your baby due at the same time as that big deadline? Can your family not come to support you until a few weeks after birth? The Cared for Baby package is perfect for you! Receive 20 days of postpartum doula support with home visits half of those days. Help to ease your transition into parenthood by having someone you can always call with concerns or questions. This package includes:

 

1 Prenatal Visit

20 days of Daily Telephone & Text Support

10 days of Mama & Home Care 3hr/day

 

 

Policies

All services must be used 60 days from the first day of use. Exceptions will be made on a case by case basis. I may be open to trade not to exceed 50% of the total package cost. I will only take 1 Post Partum Family at a time, and limit my Birth Doula clients to 2 during your expected 40 days.

 

 Overnight Doula Support 

I am available for overnight doula support. I have experience working with  families who breastfeed, bottle feed & do a combination. I also have experience supporting families with premature babies, twins, and postpartum depression & anxiety. I typically arrive at 9pm and depart around 7am, I can feed, change, and soothe your baby while your family gets some much needed sleep.

 Breastfeeding Support 

If you are having trouble breastfeeding and you or your care provider are concerned about weight gain or breast feeding I am available to visit you in your home for one on one breastfeeding support. I have training in using Supplemental Nursing Systems.

 

 Housework, Childcare & Errands 

The time after birth is a huge transition for families. If you find yourself needing more support than your loved ones can provide consider hiring me to take care of light house work including laundry, dishes, cooking, childcare, errands or whatever projects need doing. I have years of experience working with children ages 1-8.

 

 Meals 

I am available to cook meals in your home. I can come one day and make a few meals for the week  or I can come by in the afternoon to prepare a meal for the evening.

 

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.




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  • 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

 

Currently I am a graduate student in the Maternal Child Health Systems program at Bastyr University. I am doing original research about evidence based practice (EBP) change in intrapartum settings by interviewing nurses, obstetricians, and hospital administrators about their experiences with EBP implementation. This year I am largely taking a break from my massage and doula practices. I have settled in Portland, Oregon where I will continue to serve families in the childbearing year through massage & birth doula services while developing innovative health systems improvements for families when I complete my program in the Summer 2017.

I

n late 2012 I relocated to Santa Barbara & shifted my energy from primarily offering bodywork to working with families in the childbearing year through birth & postpartum doula services. I gained great experience while in Santa Barbara, attending over 80 births at home, the Santa Barbara Birth Center, Cottage Hospital, and Community Memorial in Ventura. I assisted many families in the postpartum period including families of multiples, single mothers, and babies with special medical needs.

My background is in clinical massage; I graduated from the 650 hour Massage Therapy Program at Ashland Institute of Massage in Ashland, OR. The majority of my clients were able to see me using their insurance benefits. I use Myofacial Release, various Neuromuscular Therapy Techniques including Trigger Point Therapy, Muscles Energy Technique, and Structural Relief Therapy to address my client’s aches & pains. I have a lot of experience working with clients with Fibromyalgia and other inflammatory conditions using Connective Tissue Massage.

My style has developed to include a deep structural understanding of the underlying postural issues that lead to most of our chronic pains.

I received my Prenatal Massage Certification from the Santa Fe School of Massage; I have hundreds of hours of experience working with women in their childbearing year. Since 2002 I have studied energy medicine, somatic emotional release, crystal healing, and ceremony with esteemed teachers all over the country including Bruce Burger, Tom Brown Jr., and Kaye Codrington.

i

n September 2011 I attended my first birth; it was a powerful and moving experience. Since then I have learned as much about birth as possible through classes, workshops, books, and women’s circles. I attended the Birth Doula Skills Workshop taught by Penny Simkin and Carrie Kenner at Bastyr University. I also received my Lactation Education Certification at Bastyr. I am currently working towards my Birth Doula Certification with DONA International.

 

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Education


 Placenta Encapsulation Workshop

    • taught by Carrie Kenner, CD (DONA)

Foundation for Best Practice in Lactation Care

    • taught by Evergreen Perinatal Services

Birth Doula Skills Workshop

    • taught by Penny Simkin, PT & Carrie Kenner, CD (DONA) at Bastyr University

Prenatal Massage

    • taught by Elizabeth Rose, BS, LMT, CD (DONA)

Ceremony

    • taught by Tom Brown, Jr. at Tracker School

Anatomy Trains I

    • taught by Peter Ehlers, LMT

650 hour Massage Therapy Training Program

    • at Ashland Institute of Massage

Polarity Therapy & Somatic Emotional Release

    • taught by Bruce Burger, LMT at Heartwood Institute

Apprenticeship in OrthoBionomy

    • with Kim Lincoln, LMP

Reiki Level II

    • taught by various teachers

BA Evergreen State College

    • in Sustainable Agriculture & Indigenous Knowledge

 

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Testimonials


After hours of laboring at home, my husband called Saralynn asking what we should do and she immediately came over. When she arrived at our house it changed the whole atmosphere – I felt rejuvenated physically and renewed emotionally to continue. She worked with us to try different positions and helped me try a variety of things to help reposition our baby to help her come down. She provided a calming influence and helped me to relax and breathe through the process.

With Saralynn’s support, we were able to understand when it was time to go to the hospital and by the time we got there I was already 8 centimeters dilated, having been able to spend as much time at home as possible, thanks to her support.

She stood by my side at the hospital the entire time, providing needed back rubs, comforting me with her words of encouragement and helping me relax and work through the waves. Also very importantly, she provided support to my husband as he endured the long labor with me and coached me through it. She was a guide not just to myself, but him as well.

When it came time to push, she proved herself even further by providing me with warm and cold compresses as needed and keeping me calm and supporting me through the exhaustion. She helped me focus and guide me in how to effectively push. She stayed focuses on everything going on and kept us informed.

At times we felt lost in what was happening, but she made sure to explain all the seeming chaos to us. She was the one that explained to us what they were doing with our baby girl when she came out…

and when she saw the nurse about to throw away the placenta we had requested they save, she sprinted out of the room to save the placenta just before it was thrown out. Without her, we would not have had that special gift.

I wholeheartedly recommend Saralynn to anyone looking for a doula. Having her there to support us, allowed us to be assured and more relaxed during such a wondrous and life-changing experience.

-Julie M., Santa Barbara

  

Saralynn’s prenatal massage helped to move me from the trauma of an early pregnancy accident through to a healthy thriving back and body. Her techniques relax my body, mind, spirit and emotions, while helping to release tight muscles and support my healing. She is kind and firm and really provides a holistic approach to building a healthy body between massages. Her wisdom and guidance through the emotional elements of both pregnancy and massage have helped me to ground and focus as an expecting mother.

I highly recommend Saralynn as a part of your support team throughout pregnancy.

-S. Snyder, Seattle, WA

  

Saralynn Finn was a tremendous help to me during my pregnancy in September 2011. She knew how to apply pressure in just the right spots to alleviate discomfort in my lower back in the third trimester and stimulate circulation in my legs to reduce swelling. She also showed me how to stretch in a way to relieve stress in my back and shoulders and make the final days of pregnancy more bearable.

But it was during delivery that Saralynn really shined. I was so grateful for the consistent support and compassionate care during that emotionally and physically challenging time. My wish was to try for a traditional delivery – vaginal birth – as long as I could stand the pain.

While my husband was managing the doctors and nurses, Saralynn helped me find that little extra courage to keep going, relieving pressure in my back in just the right spot and cheering me on…

With my husband, she was the only other person I requested in the delivery room.

When I needed to make a big decision about proceeding with a caesarian as recommended by the doctor, I was grateful for Saralynn’s perspective as a massage therapist and savvy around natural remedies. I found her to be supportive and nonjudgmental in the face of many controversial and sensitive issues. She has my infinite gratitude for helping me through that difficult, amazing experience.

Expecting mothers looking for the comforts of a doula would do well in Saralynn’s care. – T. Corley, Seattle, WA

  

Saralynn has an innate ability to assess and relieve discomfort and pain during pregnancy. Throughout my pregnancy, I suffered from low back and hip pain but Saralynn’s massage modalities and techniques consistently provided pain reduction and relief.  I continued seeing her post natal for mid-back and shoulder relief from breastfeeding and carrying our infant.  I would highly recommend her for pre and post natal massage. – T. Quinn, Seattle, WA

 

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