Sunday, 20 February 2011

Complementary Therapies in Pregnancy, Childbirth and Beyond

Complementary Therapies in Pregnancy, Childbirth and beyond

Being pregnant is great! It is something that you have wanted and may be even have dreamed about.  But the reality may not be quite as rosy as you thought.

First of all there is the morning sickness – wonderful!, then comes the sore and tender breasts, hot on its heels is the backache and possibly sciatica. Of course there may well be the underlying worry of the baby and the birth itself. 

For some women the worry may be greater, if they have previously experienced a miscarriage or other such problems.

So what can you do to get you through the next nine months or so?

Of course there will be plenty of medical intervention and monitoring of both mother and baby, but pregnancy and childbirth is a very natural state and occurrence, so you want to enjoy this special time and do what you can to relax while allowing the body to do all it needs to, so a safe and happy, healthy baby is the result.

There are so many therapies that can help and it would be impossible to consider them all here. Many people are aware of reflexology and aromatherapy, so let’s first see how they can help. 

Reflexology is of course the working of the reflex points on the feet or hands to balance the body systems.  This is a treatment that can be used throughout pregnancy quite safely by fully qualified reflexologists.

One of the best things that reflexology can do for you is to aid relaxation and in so doing relieve stress and tension in the body and mind. This of course is only one of its many benefits. It can be an excellent way to relieve backache and sciatic pain, and through the stimulating of the lymphatics, it can be a useful way of treating breast tenderness. It works on the digestion and hormonal systems that will help relieve morning sickness.

These symptoms in general are all perfectly normal in pregnancy, and can so often be rectified by non-medical intervention.

Reflexology can allow the body to function at its optimum as it strengthens and restores balance. It can be used throughout pregnancy and during the early stages of childbirth. 
Aromatherapy can also be an effective treatment during pregnancy. The use of certain oils may need to be restricted at certain times and you should always seek the guidance of a fully qualified aromatherapist so as to ensure that the safety of the oils used complies with current guidelines.

Unless you have expertise in this area, it would be considered unwise and possibly unsafe to experiment with essential oils at this time.

That of course is not to say that it is an unsafe therapy during pregnancy. 

The massage aspect of a treatment can indeed be most beneficial and again can help with the muscle and ligament tension, back pains and non-medical oedema(swelling). It can help nourish the skin and lessen the stretchmarks.

It can help stimulate lymphatic drainage and improve circulation. The physical effect of massage on the body is wonderful for removing the stress that can be held in the muscles. A less stressed mother-to-be, is a less stressed unborn.

There are other therapies that are proven in their ability to help in pregnancy and post partum. Cranio-Sacral Therapy (CST) and Chirokinetic Therapy (CKT) both have excellent track records in what they can do at this stage, not only for the mother, but also for the newborn.

Cranio-Sacral (CST) is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system  (membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord).
Using a light touch practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.

By complementing the body's natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as an effective therapy for a wide range of issues that can follow childbirth and is equally effective in treating newborns.

So you have had your baby and now what state has it left your body in?

Corrections of problems that have occurred are best sorted as near to the event as possible.  A little intervention now can save a lot of problems later.

Look at what can happen to the whole pelvic area of the body in pregnancy and childbirth.  Both place a huge stress on the body and severe disruption to the ligaments and sacral joints in particular. 

Nothing worse than suffering with back problems when caring for a new baby and possibly slightly older siblings.  

Coping with a crying baby and not knowing why it is so unhappy or fretful is also very stressful. Many mothers may resort to pain relief for the baby and in the first instance this may help. It doesn’t address the root of the problem and that could well be something that gives difficulties through life.

Cranio-Sacral therapy can allow the body to correct structural problems that have occurred and can rebalance hormones that have a direct effect on all body systems. All of this is achieved in a very gentle treatment.

It can seem as if nothing has occurred at the time of a treatment, but it is no measure of the magnitude of the actual effect it is has over a period of time.

For babies the birth can be very traumatic. The journey down the birth canal may not need a sat nav, but one wonders why such a small exit route is there for birthing. The narrow birth canal can put immense pressure on the head of the baby and thus the whole spine. Given that many deliveries require forceps or a ventouse this again may cause trauma to the skull.

The misshapen head of the infant will possibly cause problems as it can impact on the brain and nervous system. This can result in all sorts of discomfort and infant problems (such as colic), and you are left holding a crying baby.

If a gentle approach in resolving these problems is your desire, then CST could be the way forward for you and your baby.

For more information go to 

One of the most effective therapies for getting to the root of any health problem is Chirokinetic Therapy (CKT) which lets the body speak for itself.  

How does it do this?  Well, it combines kinesiology with a corrective technique that signals the body to make the changes.  It can be used safely at any stage and at any age.

What makes this therapy so great is that it treats your body as the individual it is and works to its best advantage. It can be specific and treats the cause not the symptoms and in the body’s own time frame. 

Want to know where your problems are exactly –  CKT can tell you that and correct it.

It works on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels and we all know just how much our emotions are affected by pregnancy & childbirth.   

Imbalances in our body are often too subtle for standard tests to reveal but CKT can alert us to our individual disparities and along with supportive techniques, can help resolve them.

CKT is extremely safe to use on mothers-to-be, babies and children and is very effective in relieving the physical and emotional trauma of birth for both mum and baby.
Because it works on such an individual basis, it really has to be the way forward, as it can tell you what it needs to function to its best ability.

Sadly not all pregnancies come along easily and just because the first or second pregnancy came to order, the next one may not be quite as forthcoming.

CKT has helped many women with infertility issues. Of course it may not just be the woman. CKT is there for men as well. Yes guys, it could be you!

For many the medical exploration of infertility may not only be intrusive, but can be inconclusive. We think only of the reproductive system possibly not functioning correctly in parts, but it may be the body has other imbalances or deficiencies and it has decided that a pregnancy may not be what it needs while other parts are not working as efficiently as they should, and the body’s energies are being utilised in the best way it feels is needed – that may not be a pregnancy at that point.

CKT can identify these and seeks to correct them in the way best suited for the individual.
Is the body deficient in certain vitamins or minerals, again it may be too subtle for regular tests, it is what the individual body requires and not a blanket approach to the problem. That is why these subtleties can make all the difference. It can help determine the best time for sex in relation to ovulation. Again, not every woman fits a standard picture.

CKT has been successful in helping many pregnancies come about and is a great way forward in complementary medicine.

For more info visit.

It is worth remembering that the vast majority of pregnancies pass without any major problems, but it is good to be aware of what is out there that may be able to help. Whatever route you choose is the right one for you.

There is a rare opportunity to hear first-hand from four eminent therapists from the field of complementary medicine, speak in Cambridge on April 9th 2011 at the Moller Centre, Churchill College, Storeys Way.

Topics include Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Nutrition and Chirokinetic Therapy. The theme is women’s health and will include pregnancy issues
For more info on this visit where full details can be found.

Infertility - Where to start.

Infertility – where to start.

For some women having a baby is so very easy, they seem to only have to think about it and next they know – one on the way.

That sadly isn’t true for some women though and the angst every month of are you or aren’t can completely take over your life and occupy your every thought.

Then there are the well-meaning friends and relatives who have every known suggestion in the book: Onions over the bed, eat more of one thing, avoid another, certain positions are better than others, oh the list is endless.

Then how long do you have to wait before a medical route is sought and then it all becomes a clinical exercise and the focus is on the end result entirely. 

The pressure and anguish, as you have test after test and then the discovery of who may or may not be the one that is unable to make the whole process happen.

Does the next step have to be medication or IVF and all that it can bring.

For some, trying and trusting other methods may not be for them, and that is fine but what else can you try that takes the clinical aspect out of the equation or helps the body relax and cope with that, if that is the preferred route.

Chirokinetic  Therapy or CKT as it is known as, is a way of finding out from the body where the imbalance are, what may be causing the problem and then setting out to help the body correct them where possible.

It’s not just the woman that needs treating though, it could well be a ‘guy’ matter. 

We think only of the reproductive system possibly not functioning correctly in parts, but it may be the body has other imbalances and it has decided that a pregnancy may not be what it needs while other parts are not working as efficiently as they should, and the bodies energies are being utilised in the best way it feels is needed – that may not be a pregnancy at that point.

Even after many medical tests, it is often the case that no concrete conclusions are arrived at that explain why pregnancy doesn’t happen.

Then what do you do?

CKT can be used effectively and efficiently to determine where other underlying issues are and seek to correct them.

It could be immunity levels, hormonal imbalances too subtle to show on a regular test, stress in the system within digestive organs, emotional aspects or even structural problems. The list is endless really. So the body needs a chance to tell its story and CKT can help it do that and thus help restore the body to a good state of wellness and give it the best chance possible.

CKT can help also to determine what supportive measures are needed to help the body in its quest to be in good strength to allow pregnancy to occur.

Is the body deficient in certain vitamins or minerals, again it may be too subtle for regular tests,  it is what the individual body requires and not a blanket approach to the problem. That is why these subtleties can make all the difference. It can help determine the best time for sex in relation to ovulation. Again, not every woman fits a standard picture.

CKT has been successful in helping many pregnancies come about and is a great way forward in complementary medicine.

CKT can go on to treat conditions that arise in pregnancy and can treat the unborn as well.

Reflexology has its place also. A fully qualified reflexologist will treat the reflex points that represent the body organs etc on the feet, and in so doing, balance the body systems. This will work towards the body being the best it can be. 

It may not be as specific as CKT, but an experienced reflexologist will know where points lack ‘energy’ and need stimulating. And again reflexology has helped many women in their quest for a baby.

During the pregnancy, reflexology can help ease stress and tension, help with back ache and sickness and can also be used during the early stages of labour.

Stress can be one of the symptoms that prevent a body becoming pregnant. Note I say, stress is a symptom, it is not a cause. When trying for a baby, the two quickly become entwined or you could see it as a continuous loop.

Can’t fall pregnant – stress starts to build – this in turn can then prevent the very thing you want. So any therapy that can break that loop and reduce the stress, will help also.

Aromatherapy is a delightful therapy. The use of essential oils from plants, used in a controlled and prescriptive manner to address the issues that the body needs. 

A fully qualified aromatherapist should be sought, as they will know the oils and strengths of blends that are right for the individual and the problems that present. Oils that may be used to help the body with infertility, are not the same as the oils used for assisting the birthing process and hence why a qualified aromatherapist should be sought.

There are many oils such as Geranium, Rose or Fennel that can help balance oestrogen levels in the body, if hormonal imblance of that nature is the cause. It could be oils specifically that aid relaxation and ease stress and tension in the body that are needed.

Oils such as one of the many lavenders to help lower blood pressure, if that is a factor 
There are so many essential oils and selecting the right combination in the right strengths is the skill of the aromatherapist.

I have used all three of these therapies in the past to help infertility, but i have to say my prefered option is CKT. for all the reasons i have written about.

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Saturday, 12 February 2011

Heavy Periods and CKT

Throughout a woman's life her body undergoes major physical changes. Every month a woman is constantly reminded of this. It's not just physical changes that occur. We are all aware how our emotions can alter just before a period or how emotional we can feel after a birth. These emotional changes can impact on the physical level as well.
Then as time marches on, we face all that the menopause can bring, and many women are well aware of that roller coaster of heat fluctuations, body shape changes, emotional upheavals.

So many of these major body changes occur just as other rights of passage are going on.
For many girls, their periods start just as they are about to change school or not long after. The menopause can come along as your children start to think about leaving home, which can often be at the same time as your own parents may start to need help or your support.

Is it any wonder that stress levels creep up and they themselves impact on our hormonal balance.

Women certainly need a lot of inner strength, but we also need to think how we can nurture our bodies and tend to our physical and emotional well being.

So what works best?  What can we do to assist the body to be at its optimum?

Well, there is always the conventional route of a trip to the GP's, who will I'm sure, do their best given the time slot and what they have available to them, or there is another route.

Complementary health practitioners offer many ways to look at the body and address its needs.

Now don't get me wrong, no way would I advocate not seeing a GP if that is what's needed, or that it has to be one or the other. After all, the term is Complementary Health. Complementary to the body and if necessary to mainstream medicine.

In my practice, I see a lot of women who have tried the HRT route for menopause, or take the pill for heavy or painful periods etc, but what are we adding to our bodies and what did women do before these were on offer to us.  Surely it makes sense to look at natural medicine rather than impose a pill on the body.

Heavy periods

Firstly it is important to rule out causes such as Uterine fibroids, Polyps or Endometriosis etc It may be worth having a thyroid test as over active and under active thyroids can give menstrual problems.

Checking diet to make sure that there is a good supply of Vit C, which helps in strengthening capillaries, it also helps in the absorption of Iron and a deficiency in Iron can also be a cause of heavy periods and strangely a result of them as well. Vit A, E and K are also worth checking.

Seeking the advice of a herbalist or nutritionist could be a good start

Many herbalists recommend Blue Cohosh, Birthroot or Sheperds purse, but a consultation would determine individually what is right.

My favoured route would be Chirokinetic Therapy

Never heard of it? Well check out the website.

Chirokinetic Therapy or CKT can check the individual cause and make the corrections or determine just what the body needs to allow it to make improvements.

It does not take a 'blanket' view or a 'one size fits all' approach. It looks at the individual and finds the cause and not just treat the symptoms.

CKT and its supportive techniques can offer a great approach to the body and it's needs.

With CKT you can check if the body has fibroid issues, and offer ways of treating these. Check hormonal imbalances and get the body to correct them. Check structural problems and diet deficiencies and determine what is needed for the individual. There is no end to the lengths CKT can explore the body to establish the cause of the problem

It could show that aromatherapy or homeopathy, herbs or tinctures would control heavy periods. It could then hone that down as to what oils, remedies, herbs or tinctures would be best and even the dosage required for that individual.

CKT can be used on its own to treat or support other therapies in the pursuit of a healthy body.

How ever one tackles health issues, it has to be the way forward that we try and tailor the remedy to the individual body.      check it out!