I remember it well. My estimated due date was December 18. The pressure that builds when you have a late December birth looming. The seduction of induction (my care provider and I started discussing it when I was 6 months along). The stress of not wanting to still be pregnant in the NEXT year. The fear of birthing when hospital staff might have their thoughts on holiday parties and family gatherings. Actually, who am I kidding. The stress of US missing holiday parties and family gatherings! I had always said I didn't want to have a baby in December and yet there I was 9 months pregnant in the busiest month of the year.
I am here today to share some of what go me through the pressure to birth way back in 2006, to help you prepare your body for birth (control what you can, release everything else) and to trust that it will all work out.
Many moms to be come to me in this month hoping that Reflexology can induce their labour. It can't. And please don't let anyone tell you that it - or any other technique - can. Natural means to "induce" labour are only designed to help your body prepare for labour. They are wonderful and *should* be used, but don't kid yourself that they *will* induce. Even medical means to induce labour are not as effective if your body and baby are not ready, thus leading to difficult and possibly surgical births. But this doesn't mean that all hope is lost!
Birth is an extensive process. And to be the most positive experience possible we should be using the 9 months of pregnancy to train for it. Just like you wouldn't wake up the morning of a marathon and decide to run in it without preparing first, you shouldn't wake up in the last weeks of pregnancy and decide that now is the time for you to prepare for your birth. Natural methods of preparing your body for birth - including Reflexology (by a trained professional) - should be done throughout pregnancy and regularly/consistently in the 3rd trimester. This is the training process. Working with your body to gently prepare it for the big day. You can read more about the many ways to naturally prepare for birth in my other blog post by clicking here.
So back in 2006 I spent my final month of pregnancy doing just that. Mentally preparing for the holiday time by getting holiday tasks like shopping and wrapping out of the way so I wouldn't be stressed during the birth and postpartum that I forgot something. This meant I was always on the move. Walking around shopping, sitting upright. Baking, cooking. Anything to keep my body working and preparing.
Warming up on those cold December days by drinking my red raspberry tea to strengthen my uterus. Booking my appointments for Reflexology well in advance because it shouldn't be an after thought of something to do (more about the benefits of reflexology in a minute). But also other appointments like my hair or nails. Not making promises we couldn't keep. This was HUGE. We didn't know when our baby was born so why commit to attending dinners or parties? If we could be there, bonus. If we couldn't, I think we have the best excuse possible for why we aren't! Don't spend each day watching the calendar or clock. Your baby will be born on the day it is to be born. Whatever day that is, don't worry about it. Trust that your baby and your body knows what is best. You can control how you prepare for that birthing day. You cannot control what day it will be unless you decide to induce medically. So let it go. Believe me it will be good training for later in parenting life when you will want to "not sweat the small stuff".
As much as you might worry that you are the cause of care providers "missing out", trust me they signed up for this. They know that they might be working on specific holidays and are totally fine with it. And if you have done your preparations ahead of time, hopefully you will have a positive, short birthing experience and make their day even brighter :)
So if I'm spending this blog helping you understand why you shouldn't stress about the day your baby is born, why the emphasis on Reflexology?
The benefits of Reflexology are huge, but especially for the pregnant woman in her final weeks of pregnancy. I don't just shout from the roof-tops about Maternity Reflexology for those birthing in late December, I shout about them ALL THE TIME.
Have a look at my top 3 reason why you should be using Reflexology to help you prepare for birth - anytime of the year!
1. Sleep. You wouldn't wake up the morning of a marathon not having slept properly the night before, so why would you want to go into birth with little sleep? One of the greatest benefits of Reflexology is that it helps you get a better quality of sleep. I can't make your baby stop pressing on your bladder making you wake to go pee every few hours (sorry, lol!!), but I can make the hours that you do sleep be quality hours. And the reflexology can perhaps help you to have a nap during the day to catch up on whatever you didn't get through the night.
2. Improved digestion. Have you ever looked at a picture of the anatomy of a pregnant woman? (see below). Those internal organs all get smushed together making it more difficult for them to function at their best. Reflexology, because it works with the body in a different way through the reflex points, can naturally help stimulate these organs to work better. And an empty bladder and empty intestine makes more room for baby to descent into the pelvis, placing more pressure on the cervix for dilation and effacement.
3. Decrease of stress and anxiety. Being at the end of your pregnancy and thinking about the upcoming birth amounts to enough stress, let alone having the end of your pregnancy be in December. Reflexology is known to have a great impact on decreasing the stress/tension that gets built up in the body. As much as I talk about the importance of movement in preparing your body for labour, it is also important to balance that with rest for your body. Stopping the hectic times by receiving a Reflexology treatment and allowing your mind and body a chance to rest is important. You will walk away having a more relaxed outlook on life. Your feet will be less swollen and tender as a result of carrying the extra pregnancy weight. And the good news is that those benefits will stay in your body for a few days! That's right, the effects will continue working after the treatment so one treatment helps you prepare your body naturally for a few days. Which could result in the birth of your baby because you are mentally and physically prepared.
Remember to always stay informed. Induction is not always the wrong solution. (I did end up being induced due to medical concerns with my son. After my Estimated Due Date. Under much guidance from medical care providers, myself, my partner and my close friends. An informed choice.) There are many reasons why we are at a great advantage in society today because it is an option. But birthing in December is not a great reason for induction. And inducing before you are full term if there are not other medical reasons for it is also not a great reason.
Trust your body, trust your baby. Control what you can, be surprised by the rest. Save medical interventions for when they are medically necessary. I am here to help you do all this!
About your author:
Tanya (formally Goreing but recently married so now Tanya Hill) is an alternative health practitioner, doula and educator. She is passionate about improving the health and wellness of families, especially surrounding pregnancy, birth and parenting. Practicing in Cambridge ON, she offers in home and in clinic treatments.
The Final Weeks!
Your Birth Journey is about to Begin
By Tanya Goreing RRPr, Doula, Educator
As a Maternity Reflexologist and Doula, I work with many women in their final weeks and days of pregnancy to help prepare naturally for the beginning of their birth journey. What I have found by working with these women is that there is a lot of misinformation out there that leads to women feeling fear, anxiety, and having mal-positioned babies. All of this causes longer labours, more interventions and mistrust of the mom’s instincts.
I work hard to re-educate women in these final weeks and help them to work with their body to prepare for a happy, positive birthing experience. I encourage each woman not to focus on *the* date, but on the subtle changes she sees her body. I empower her to understand that every “sign” of impending labour is another step in the right direction and each of those signs is an important step closer to the birthing time. Every step made before the birthing time is a step that doesn’t have to happen once labour begins. That equates to shorter labours and less interventions which = positive birthing experiences.
As much as I tell people to be patient and trust, we are a society of “doing”! And this is a good thing when it comes to birth because we need to be active participants in our own birthing experiences. We need to listen to our body, move as it requires us to move, stop when it needs rest and learn to trust our natural instincts. And the final weeks of our pregnancy is a time to DO. Why? Well think of birth like a marathon. If you were about to run a marathon, would you wake up the morning of the marathon and jump out of bed ready to do your best?Or would you train and practice in the months, weeks and days leading up to the big day? Likely you would want to prepare for the event physically and emotionally. Birth is the same. It is a physically taxing experience that is emotionally charged. You will be pushing your body and mind to their limits. Therefore, you should take time in the final weeks and days to prepare for the experience.
Below is a list of things that a woman can do in the final weeks or days leading to her birthing time. This list is not exclusive, nor is it to be in exchange of recommendations given by medical practitioners such as mid-wives and obstetricians. Every body, every baby and every situation is different. You may find that some of these suggestions are not practical for you, and you may add other thoughts that seem like the best for your situation. Use this list as a guide.
3rd Trimester Suggestions
Red Raspberry Leaf tea – this will help to strengthen the uterine muscles for more effective contractions when they to begin. Some women are not recommended to do this. Speak to your medical practitioner to ensure you are not an at risk candidate.
Prenatal Yoga Stretches – gently stretching your body, especially if you sit for long periods of time through the day, is a great way to help prepare your body for the physical demands required of it during your birthing time. Find a class in your area or search for a DVD or online resource that is specially designed for pregnancy. You can also check out the book: Active Birth by Janet Balaskas
Sitting on an exercise ball – push your couch or computer chair aside and bring on your birth ball!! Sitting on a ball will help you stay in an upright position which means baby is encouraged to be in an optimal birthing position. Each and every time you lay back, even on a semi-recline, your baby is able to turn into a posterior position (spine to your spine) and this will cause back pain, hip pain and back labour once your birthing time begins. To help ensure your couch doesn’t call to you, have the exercise ball in the same room as your tv or near your computer, wherever you spend your leisure time. Not only will gravity be on your side, but the ball will help you to keep your pelvis open and if you decide to do hip circles (which I highly recommend!), you will be releasing any tension held in your lower back and hip area. And the ball will be your friend in labour as well.
Stay active – unless there is a reason you are on bed rest, staying active through walking and stretching are still necessary (although strenuous cardiovascular activity may not be recommended for your situation. Check with your health practitioner to confirm) even though you may be feeling like the goodyear blimp. Women in history were active in the household activities throughout their pregnancy and this included chasing toddlers, gardening, cooking, hands and knees floor mopping, etc. and they had less medical interventions in birth. Remember that the next time you are tempted to go put your feet up.
Final weeks (36 – birth) suggestions
Continue doing all of the above and also add:
Dance – Let’s get this party started!! Remember the days at the high school dance or the clubs when you had no inhibitions and didn’t care who was watching you shake your booty? Get back there by putting on your favorite “get moving” tunes and have a dance party in your kitchen or living room (even the bedroom – see oxytocin below)! Dancing releases feel good endorphins that are necessary for birth. The movements are also great for keeping your hips loose and open, and encouraging baby to be in an ideal birthing position. If you are more into formal group sessions, check your local area for Dancing for Birth TM classes.
Hydrate – again thinking about the marathon, do the athletes do it without being fully hydrated? Nope! Your core body temperature is elevated during pregnancy which can lead to sweating, thereby a loss of essential bodily fluids. During the birthing time this is heightened even more! As well, increased fluids will help keep your bowels moving regularly and this is good for making sure baby has lots of room to move into a good birth position. So do yourself a favor and remember to drink lots of water. (If you don’t love the thought of drinking water, you can naturally flavor your water with fresh fruits). Other sources of fluids can be used as well.
Reflexology – although reflexology by a trained professional can be safe and effective to help with many issues throughout pregnancy, as a certified maternity reflexologist I have seen first-hand the benefits of a series of treatments in those final weeks as you prepare for birth. Could you use a better quality of sleep in those final weeks to prepare for your birth marathon? How about hormone balance? All of this and so much more is available by receiving this amazing “foot massage”! I suggest finding a local reflexologist who has been trained to work with maternity clients, or who have experience working with this population.
Chiropractic – through pregnancy your body is rapidly changing. Similar to reflexology, chiropractic care all throughout pregnancy can be helpful for easing back and hip pain and restoring balance, but in the final weeks it will help to keep your hips and pelvis in proper alignment which helps your baby get into, and stay, in an optimal birthing position.
Staying upright and using gravity – anything you can do in the final weeks to stay off your back and maintaining an upright position is best! Do the dishes instead of letting the dishwasher do it, go for a walk, gentle lunges and squats. Even sleeping on a slight incline can be beneficial.
Perineal Massage and Kegels – these activities, when done properly, will help prepare and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. This in turns is a great help during the pushing phase of birth to help ensure there isn’t any tearing or you don’t require an episiotomy. Well prepared pelvic muscles will also help your body birth your baby with less effort on your part.
Final days suggestions
Oxytocin – also known as “the love hormone”, this is the hormone released from your pituitary gland that begins contractions. It is necessary for bonding with baby as well. To help it be in full flow and ready for contractions to begin, you can do activities such as cuddling with partner, watching a romantic movie or reading a romance novel, nipple stimulation, looking at pictures of your wedding day or other loving events.
Bathroom breaks – because you are still remembering to stay well-hydrated, you will want to make sure you take the time each hour to use the bathroom. Even if you feel like you don’t have to go, the motion will help your brain and body get into an “elimination” mode, keep bladder empty so baby has room to move and open your pelvis.
Laugh, Have Fun, Relax – again you want happy endorphins flowing and to keep your body loose and open. The best way to do that is to release fears and anxiety and embrace positive thoughts, positive moves and be joyful. Remove anything from your life in those final days that are causing you stress (even if that means well intentioned friends or family who are calling to say “have you had the baby yet”). Watch funny shows or movies, find the joy in each new day as it brings you closer to holding your new baby!
What other ways can you think of that will help you prepare both emotionally and physically for your birthing time? We would love to add your thoughts to our list!
Your author, Tanya, is a mom, health care practitioner, doula and educator. Her clinical practice Soul Treatments, which specializes in the health of women and children, is in Cambridge ON Canada.
See that sweet little guy? This week he was one of my clients as I specialize in maternity and infant/child reflexology.
I couldn't wait to come home and tell you all about him because "Mr Smiley" was a total picture perfect client. If I was to do a treatment on an infant who just let me do the treatment, it takes about 10 - 15 minutes. Usually, however, infant clients take double that. This is normal and totally understandable. I am a stranger, they might be hungry, the treatment can work really fast so we might need a diaper change, they have short attention spans, the ideal time to do the treatment is during active alert and we can't always be sure when that will be - the list goes on! Let's just say that I book an hour for an infant treatment, and even then know that I might have to go over.
So why does all this matter? Because the adorable little man I had the pleasure of treating this week is 10 months old so he is happy to sit during the treatment. He decided my in home treatment supply bag and some of it's contents were the most fascinating things of all time and he happily played with it while I did his treatment. 10 minutes, no fuss, no concerns, all smiles :)
That's a good way to start your work day!! Could it be that he's already comfortable with me having heard my voice in-utero as I worked on his mom to help her prepare for a happy birth? Could it be that him and mom attended my infant massage class and because she's practiced he's used to healthy touch? Maybe. My guess is that his mom is pretty awesome and he is a happy, content baby. Thank you Baby M and Mama K for being the great people you are!
Soul Treatments Wellness Center welcomes Carey Lynne Hargrove, Registered Massage Therapist!!
Carey Lynne graduated in 2005 from Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy and specializes in Deep Tissue, Trigger Point Therapy, Prenatal Massage and Injury Management utilizing her General Swedish Massage Therapy skills. She is passionate about what she does and is results based, catering each treatment to fit your individual needs.
Carey Lynne is a mother of two, and can relate to the physiological stressors and changes that a woman's body goes through with pregnancy. She has enjoyed focused treatments taking a woman through the pregnancy and providing relief as their body adapts to parenthood. She enjoys infant and child massage as well and encourages parents to bond with their children through healthy touch.
We are thrilled to have Carey Lynne on our team and look forward to our clients benefiting from the services she provides.
Dancing For Birth ™ classes come to Cambridge!!
Women learn movements designed to encourage intuitive “vertical birth.”
A moratorium has been declared on the back-lying, lithotomy position of birthing by Stephanie Larson, DFB, CD(DONA), CBE, BFA, Founder of Dancing For Birth™, whose vision is for women world-wide to have the enjoyment of dancing their babies into the world. Currently, the classes are offered on four continents. Larson says women can learn how to harness gravity and move their bodies during labor for more satisfying births. She was named USA's National Birth Hero 2011. Cambridge resident, Tanya Goreing, was in attendance at the Dancing For Birth ™ Instructor Training workshop held in Pittsburgh, PA this April, where she learned how to Energize, Enlighten and Empower ™ women in the childbearing years. She has now earned her Dancing For Birth™ Instructor Certification (DFB) and is forming classes for pregnant and postpartum women and their newborns right here in Cambridge. Tanya is a Maternity and Child Reflexologist, Doula and Instructor, and feels Dancing For Birth™ classes will be an important addition to her offerings for pregnant and postpartum women.
“Women’s bodies are not designed for birthing on our backs, which prevents the pelvis from opening fully and gravity from helping the birth process” says Larson, who feels that the norms (such as back-lying) and routine interventions which characterize many hospital births are not evidence-based and are hindering instead of helping birthing women. “We are mammals after all. Can you imagine trying to coax an elephant to give birth on her back with her legs up in the air? Our maternal instincts tell us to move during labor and plant our feet on the floor when it’s time to push.” One way to improve women’s birth experiences is to shift the paradigm from horizontal to vertical birth positions. In fact, a recent study, "Maternal Positions and Mobility During First Stage Labour" by Lawrence et al finds that women who are vertical during birth shorten their labors and request fewer epidurals.
Dancing For Birth™ prenatal/postpartum classes teach a “language of movement” specially designed for pregnant women and postpartum women wearing their babies in soft slings or front packs. Though the movements are inspired by ancient dance forms (like Belly dance and African dance) the 90-minute weekly classes, which combine dance fitness with little-known childbirth preparation skills such as optimal fetal positioning, are the wave of the future of birth and resonate with women. “Modern day women want to celebrate birth and be transformed by it!” says Larson. “They have innate wisdom of how to give birth with ease and lovingly mother their children, and Dancing For Birth ™ classes help awaken their abilities.” Women often come to class simply for fun and fitness, and find that they gain more than they expected to. “This class was fun and informative. I love dancing and I was excited to learn a how to incorporate it into this whole pregnancy and birth experience. I gained great moves to help me feel good, and birthing positions and knowledge of what I can do to help me through labor”, said Melanie Eng, pregnant with her first child.
Tanya says “Pregnant woman and their partners are searching for ways they can achieve more positive birthing experiences. Moving through your labour and birth, and making it a pleasurable experience by dancing, is a great way to provide that."
On Thursday June 20th at 6:30pm, Tanya will be offering a free demonstration class at her center that is open to all pregnant and postpartum women. You can register for this class here! Following that, the community can expect weekly Dancing For Birth™ classes at Soul Treatments Wellness Center, which specializes in the unique Pregnancy to Parenthood needs in the Waterloo Region alongside her partners Tania Heinemann of Yellowood Nutrition and Wellness, Andrea Ryan of Oh Baby Fitness and Isabel Griffith Chiropractor at Soul Treatments Wellness Center, located at 426 Queen St. W. Cambridge (H). Dancing For Birth™ classes were originated by founder, Stephanie Larson, a dancer, certified birth doula, childbirth educator, perinatal fitness expert and mother of four. For more information or for an interview with founder Stephanie Larson please visit www.DancingForBirth.com call 314-469-9118. For an interview with local instructor Tanya Goreing please call 519-221-0155.
When I first completed my certification to become a reflexologist, I worked at an amazing clinic with some great colleagues for a few months. It was a crazy time for me and after a few months I realized that as much as I loved the team I was with, it would be easier for me to work from my home. My son was still young and it was hard to miss bedtime snuggles.
But that was 5 years ago!!!
Today, my son isn't so little anymore, and our home isn't so big ;) So it was time to take the next step and find a home away from home for Soul Treatments.
I am so excited to be partnering with Oh Baby Fitness to open a center focused on the family health needs of our community!! Our new space will offer pre/postnatal fitness, nutritional support, maternity and child reflexology, massage and chiropractic services, breastfeeding support and informational workshops. As a one stop shop for growing families we will offer child minding services and work hard to have a variety of programs running each day to cater to the unique needs of our pregnant clients and new parents as well as their children.
You can visit us starting October 1st, 2012 at 426 Queen St. W in Cambridge. We are 2 minutes from the 401 and easily accessible from Cambridge, Guelph, Kitchener or Waterloo as well as surrounding areas.
I look forward to seeing you there!
Can you believe it's almost the end of summer!! This year the summer flew by. I remember as a kid it used to last forever and I'm sure that's the way my son felt this year, but for me it seems like I blinked and I was trying to find back to school items because it's just around the corner. It seems my little baby isn't such a baby anymore as he begins grade one and full time school!
Over the summer I was able to work with 4 clients using Maternity Reflexology to prepare for labour. That's 4 beautiful babies that are now welcomed to the Soul Treatments family :) It was so exciting and such a pleasure to be a part of such an experience with these woman.
I also got to have some visits with my beautiful Doula baby girl who was born on May 19th. I loved being there for her birth and working with her mom and dad to prepare for their new world as a family of 3.
I also had a chance to take a bit of a vacation with my family (we usually only have winter vacations so this was a great treat!). I hope you had an opportunity to get away and enjoy the sunshine and great outdoors as well!
In my busy baby work, I just realized I didn't send any specials for the summer! So I'm taking advantage of that by releasing some fall specials early. See below! There will be more specials coming as I settle into my fall routine.
Allergy Relief - Package for $150
We lucked out at the beginning of the month, but no more. The pollen count is up followed by itchy, watery eyes and runny noses. Regular Indian Head Massage combined periodically with Reflexology can provide the much needed relief from the stuffy sinuses due to allergies. Book three Indian Head Massage treatments (1/2 hour sessions) and receive a combo treatment (1 hour session) for only $30 (savings of $25).
Healthy Pregnancy - Package for $150
The summer heat can cause serious issue for pregnant feet! Swollen extremities can strike a pregnant woman (or any of us) at any time of year, but during the hot days of summer, it can be especially bad. It's not comfortable or healthy for your body to be holding onto all of that fluid. Did you know that reflexology can help? Not only will we be supporting your urinary and lymphatic systems to work more efficiently but we will be improving the circulation in your feet significantly. Bring your "small shoes" because today's shoes will be floppy when you leave! (It is important to know when to see your doctor. If swelling is accompanied by severe headache or blurred vision, nausea or vomiting, dizziness or double vision, decreased frequency of urination, and/or rapid pulse you may have pre-eclampsia and should seek the advice of your medical care provider immediately.) Maternity Reflexology (read more about this in my recent blog post!) is also great for other pregnancy ailments such as nausea, insomnia, indigestion and can be used to naturally prepare your body for labour. Book three sessions for the package price of $150 (savings of $15)!
***If you are looking for more support for your pregnancy and birth, remember to ask about my Labour Support and Doula services!***
Soul Treatments is opening it's own new space! We have joined with Oh Baby Fitness to start a Mom and Baby whole body wellness facility. If you are (or know someone who is) an alternative health care practitioner with experience in, or interest in, Materntiy and Postnatal care, and are looking for a new opportunity, please contact me to discuss this unique opportunity to join our clinic. Stay tuned with grand opening details coming soon!
Enjoy the first day back to school! I look forward to seeing you again this fall :)
Almost six years ago I took my reflexology training. I was 7 months pregnant at the time so my feet were "patched" with cute band-aids so the other students knew what sections of my feet should be avoided. Why would they do that? Simple. Pregnancy is considered a contraindication in the standard reflexology training. What is a contraindication? It is a condition considered "do not treat" for the therapist. So if someone presents with such a condition, the therapist must not treat them, or must alter the treatment, until that condition no longer exists.
Does that mean pregnant woman cannot benefit from a reflexology treatment?! Absolutely not!! Reflexology can help with nausea, vomiting, heart burn, insomnia, anxiety, swollen feet (edema), hip/joint pain, back pain and the list goes on. Reflexology can also help a woman when she is approaching her due date to get her body prepared for the upcoming birth. It can benefit during labour to regulate contractions, ease discomfort by gating the pain, stimulate hormone secretion and give mom some time to rest.
So what is a pregnant woman to do when she wants to take advantage of the benefits of reflexology? She can find a reflexologist who has gone further in his/her studies to include maternity reflexology training. Think about it. A doctor (or general practitioner) is trained as a doctor right? But when we are pregnant, our care is transferred to an Obstetrician (or Midwife) - someone who has furthered his/her training to specialize in pregnancy and birth.
Often I have other reflexologists say to me: "I have treated many pregnant clients so I feel qualified to work with pregnant woman". I worry when people say this because it means they have not taken the extra time to invest in their business and further their training to include working with maternity clients. If the practitioner does not have a vested interest in working with this special category of clients, why would a pregnant woman or new mom want to work with them? Let's look back at the doctor example. Some people would feel comfortable with their doctor delivering their baby. They have an established relationship with that individual and want to maintain that bond to help them through the birth process. But more often than not, we feel we would be in better hands with someone who has gone beyond that "general" training and specifically trained in the type of care we require at this phase in our life - maternity care - that is offered by an obstetrician or midwife.
It was my goal to specialize in prenatal, postnatal and baby/child care when I started my alternative health care practice. So I went beyond my "general" training to specifically train in the type of care I wanted to provide for my clients. What some people see as a "formality" or a "piece of paper" was much more important to me than that. It was so important that I had to look hard to seek out specialized training even though there is currently no one in Canada that offers such training. I helped organize for a trainer from abroad to come to Canada and offer Maternity Reflexology and I traveled to the United States when I heard a trainer from the UK was offering her training in Baby and Child Reflexology. I had a vested interest in the needs of my clients and a desire to learn more so that I could service them better. Was it easy to do that? NO! But I think that shows the level of dedication and the true passion I have for helping this specialized group of people.
There are very few people in Canada who have been worked to take advantage of this specialized training. In fact, I am one of only two practitioners in the surrounding area of Kitchener/Waterloo who is qualified to offer these services. There was a total of 20 people in Ontario who took the Maternity Reflexology training and they are scattered throughout various regions in Ontario and neighboring boarder cities in the US. Even less of those are actively practicing it (if you are in the Belleville/Trenton/Kingston area, you can look up my good friend Michelle Stroud of By the Moon. She shares my passion in birth services!) There is another Maternity Reflexology training offered in Europe, so you might find a few who have pursued that training by traveling abroad. So far, I am the only practitioner in Canada who has taken the Baby and Child Reflexology training. Within the next year, there will be training offered through The Healing Arts Learning Organization that will help make these services more accessible, but for the time being, if you want a specialized practitioner, do your research and find one that is dedicated to your needs.
My name is Tanya Goreing and my company Soul Treatments is dedicated to your maternity and childcare health needs! If you have questions, please do not hesitate to let me know.
Isn’t it crazy how quickly time passes? In the moment, it doesn’t feel like it at all. Ask a pregnant woman who is nearing her due date and ready to give birth and that last 9 months will feel as though it was an eternity. But ask that same woman on her child’s first birthday and the 12 months previous will seem like a blur. And before we know it that same child is starting school. When we look back, the years are like a drop in the bucket and it’s hard to imagine how we got to where we are today in such a short period of time. But when we are in the middle of it all, it seems like the time is passing so slow and we will never make it to our goals.
I used to hate it in job interviews when the interviewer would say “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” How am I supposed to know today where I will be in 5 years?! There are SO many different journey’s my life can take between now and then and while it is important to have goals and visions of the life you want to achieve, I don’t ever want to limit myself to what I can dream. I have proof that what I couldn’t have imagined IS possible if you don’t put limits on yourself and stay open to all the possibilities life provides. I am living the limitless life!!
Just over 5 years ago, I was working – full time and part time (I always planned on being an entrepreneur). I was in a committed relationship and we lived a pretty carefree life. Sure we had a home (mortgage) but we also had 2+ incomes, no kids and tons of freedom. We could go on vacation when/where we wanted. We weren’t sure we were going to have kids. Not that we didn’t love kids, we just didn’t know if WE wanted any. We kind of liked life as it was. We were comfortable. I loved my “part time” job in direct sales, was top in my franchise working toward goals and achieving them week after week. My full time job wasn’t awful, I just loved the idea of working for myself so I worked very hard day and night to turn my little business into something more stable so I could live a more flexible life.
Then one day I discovered I was pregnant. It was the most stressful moment of my life to say the least. As much as I felt an instant protective instinct over this little being inside of me, I didn’t know how my partner would react or how I felt about what this would mean to the life I loved.
And then suddenly.......I stopped worrying. Maybe my life was going to take a different path then I expected. Maybe I really didn’t know exactly what I wanted. Maybe the universe was throwing me a curve ball and seeing where my hopes and dreams really lied.
Long story (ok, longer....) short, my son was the best dream I never imagined. Being pregnant was scary and new and exciting. The thought of bringing a new life into this world – a little “us” – was an amazing opportunity.
What I knew though, was that life as I knew it was going to change and I need to figure out how to make it change – FAST!! I didn’t want to be that stressed out, crazy mom with a day care raising her child 12 hours a day. I needed to set priorities immediately for the new life inside of me. I was 8 months pregnant when I took my Reflexology training. It was the greatest experience of my life. I was so excited to know that I could help others in their health goals. My years of having my own direct sales business were a great base to helping me learn how to start my own Reflexology business. I asked my trainer – Can I do this? Can I make a viable business with just Reflexology?
Her answer wasn’t YES!!
She said, if anyone can Tanya, I know it will be you. It’s not the norm, but with some hard work and maybe some other things to compliment it, you can do it.
That was all I needed. Someone who believed in me, and some motivation. What better motivation then the little face that was looking up at me keeping me up at night, teaching me to breastfeed, change diapers?
Was the road easy? Was the path exactly what I planned or expected? Ah...NO! I thought I would easily slide into motherhood and build a business and kiss my full time job away. I was SUPERMOM after all right?
Enter – the unexpected journey to today!!
I didn’t expect a child who started having stranger and separation anxiety at 3 months old. How was I going to build a business that way? I achieved my certification quickly and easily, but does anyone know how hard it is to build a business? A business that is going to replace the lucrative income you currently make at your full time job. And with a partner that worked nights and a toddler who still scream cried every time I was out of the room. And what about sleep? Would that EVER come? How long would it be before that child slept through the night and I could sleep in my own bed again? Would he sleep with me until he was a teenager (because people convince you he will!!)? I had given up my old dreams to have this child, was I going to have to give up my new dreams too?
Wow, how fast time goes. I can barely believe that I am the same person today that I am describing in the paragraphs above. Do you know why I’m not the same person? Because I never let those negative thoughts stand in my way. I rolled with the punches instead of crumbling in defeat. I created my new journey by taking advantage of opportunities as they came my way. I worked at it, hard work!! I didn’t stop at my reflexology training. I added Hot Stone and Indian Head Massage. I didn’t stop at being a Reflexologist. I knew others had to learn this as well and I was passionate about teaching them so I began instructor training. I wasn’t just a Reflexologist – like any other in the community, I specialized my practice based on my passions of working with children and pregnant women. I traveled to Cincinnati OH to take Baby and Child Reflexology with Sue Ricks who had traveled from the UK to teach us. I networked with other reflexologists in other communities and helped bring Maternity Reflexology training to Canada. And then I learned about Doula work and felt it was a great way to compliment my services. And then one day I learned that the beautiful woman who was teaching the Doula programs in my area was looking to retire and had approached my training organization about adding the programs to the list of alternative health practices we already taught. Since I had just completed my instructor training, the question came to me – would I want to train to instruct the Doula programs for HALO? What an opportunity!!
But I couldn’t do that, right? My son was barely 2, and what was that sleep thing anyway? How long could a person go without a full night sleep? How could I be a Doula when I still worked full time and my partner was gone have the week? What would I do if I got a call in the middle of the night when my partner was gone? What would I do if I got called during the work day, what would I tell my employer? This wasn’t reflexology clients who I could plan into my own schedule! This was 24/7 on call and needing to leave at a moment’s notice to be bright and chipper and happily helping a woman overcome her fears and achieve her goals. Not to mention that after all that I would have to mentor other people in this journey as well! Market and advertise and organize classes and have people staring at me (I hate public speaking by the way!!) while I tried to explain things to them that I was just figuring out myself. I couldn’t do that!! I didn’t have time. I didn’t have patience. I didn’t have the perfect sleep through the night child. I didn’t have the supportive partner who always looked at the bright side. He wasn’t even home most of the time because at this point he traveled for work. HOW COULD I EVEN CONSIDER DOING THIS?!
But I did it.
The one thing – other than my motivation and determination – that has always seen me through is the big picture. I don’t know the details of that big picture most of the time, but I try to not focus on that. I focus on where my heart is, listening to my instincts when opportunities come my way, being grateful for all that I do have (My partner does travel 4 days of the week, but he is home 3. My parents are in town and my step-dad is retired so is always happy to spend time with his grandson if I get called away. I have supportive friends and family and colleagues who I can always turn to in order to vent if I am having a rough day. They won’t hold it against me, they will listen and then be there for me when I finish my pity party and am ready to tackle the world again), remembering the things that are most important to me and not sacrificing on those, remaining open to all possibilities the are available to me and always doing my best.
Do I worry about money? Sure, who doesn’t!! Especially the day I did finally leave my full time job since I’m not independently wealthy. But you know what I have learned? If you don’t stress about how the bills will get paid, work hard and stay focused, somehow they do get paid. I can’t explain why to you because I don’t know. But not stressing about it has helped me.
Can you believe that it was only just over 5 years ago that this journey began? I can’t! I never could have imagined I would be where I am today when people asked me – “Where do you see yourself in 5 years”.
Never let fear stand in your way. Don’t stand in the way of your own success! You can be the best YOU possible so build your own success and make it happen. There will always be excuses why you can’t, be the reason you CAN.
This morning I got a call from a new Grandma that her daughter had given birth at around 9am to a baby girl. I couldn't have been more excited! I have been working with this woman for the last two weeks to naturally prepare her body for labour and birth her baby. I was told the labour was fast (approximately 4 hours) and that mom and baby were doing well! Last week it was an email from a proud new mama who I had also been working with showing me pictures of her new daughter. These moments in my business make it all so rewarding and I am excited to be a part of it!
I love my job! I love that I can work with these woman and share just a tiny bit in the joy of bringing new life into the world. When a pregnant woman comes for reflexology early in her pregnancy, it's amazing to see the changes in her body as reflected in their feet. I love that I can offer these woman improved sleep, ease nausea, and relieve swelling - among so many other things - while also allowing her to relax and release any anxiety. I love that I get to hear birth stories and see pictures of new babies! I love that I can be a part of the maternity "team" and match natural health with mainstream.
Other Reflexologists or business professionals might find it strange that I would love such work. I mean these woman in some cases are only clients for up to 9 months. Leaving me constantly searching for more woman to work with! And you know what, I LOVE that. Sometimes they do become clients for longer because they have seen the value of reflexology. Sometimes they move forward with me in this new stage of life by taking infant reflexology. Either way, I love that for this brief period of time I can make a big difference in a woman's health.
Being pregnant can really cause crazy issues in our bodies. Doctors often pat us sweetly on the hand and explain how these issues will all go away - after birth. But that's not true. Many of these things can be safely and naturally helped with reflexology. Everything from nausea and vomiting in first trimester to swollen ankles and heart burn in the third trimester to regulating contractions once labour has started. We don't have to suffer through pregnancy and to believe we do is just a myth. Relief is at hand. I caution to ensure you seek help from a skilled professional who has obtained additional reflexology training to work with pregnant woman, but outside of that you are good to go!
Are you pregnant or do you know someone who is? Are you interested in learning more about how reflexology can help you have a healthy pregnancy and labour? Email me for more information! I love to share knowledge. I also offer Doula services if you feel you need more than just the reflexology. Let's talk more about it soon! Until then, I'm off to prepare for the next two wonderful woman I am working with and help them prepare for birth naturally.
Tanya Goreing is the proud mother of one boy and the owner of Soul Treatments. The natural health of woman and children is her passion!