Can you explain a little about what Holistic Therapies involve and what motivated you to become a Holistic Therapist?
‘Holistic’ comes from the Greek word holos, meaning ‘whole’. Rather than just addressing an immediate symptom, a holistic therapist will look for the underlying cause by considering current physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual states of health and wellbeing. They will then work to restore the body’s natural balance.
I have always had an interest in the alternative lifestyle, and finding myself in a situation of being a single mother of 3, I embarked on retraining to start my own business in something I am passionate about. I used homeopathy all the way through my pregnancies and wanted to build on that to offer a service for mums to be. Massage & Reflexology were not so readily available when I was carrying my babies. My youngest is now 18 years old, eldest is 27, to give you an idea of the time scale. Options like water births and positive birthing was all very new and quite “out there”. I was way ahead of the times! Look where we are with it now!
What are the main benefits of Holistic Therapies for pregnant and new mums?
Pregnancy is a time of great hormonal changes and this often stirs up emotions such as fear, apprehension and anxiety. Studies indicate that receiving regular massage and/or reflexology during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and led to fewer complications during birth.
What are the benefits for babies?
Evidence strongly suggests there are maternal and newborn health benefits when therapeutic holistic therapies are incorporated into regular prenatal care. – A healthy baby starts with a healthy pregnancy.
Are there any specific situations in pregnancy or for mums or babies where Holistic Therapies can really help?
Holistic Therapies may help to ~
Do you have any hints or tips for pregnant women or mums to help them look after themselves, their physical health and their mental health?
Being pregnant is unique to each mum to be. Some sail through pregnancy with no complications or symptoms, and others suffer. My advice is to hydrate regularly, increase your daily fluid intake. Your body and your vital organs must have water to function properly. It is also essential for healthy blood cells. Adequate hydration is especially important during pregnancy and after birth as your body needs more water to cope with the demands of your changing body.
Water is needed to form amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby, support the increase in blood plasma volume and produce breast milk and essential for good lactation.
Adequate hydration can also help to alleviate common pregnancy-related conditions, such as constipation. Drinking enough water may go some way to helping prevent urinary tract infections. Dehydration during pregnancy can lead to many complications such as headaches, nausea, cramps, oedema and dizziness.
It is also essential that mums to be reduce their stress and anxiety. Research suggests that prenatal stress plays an important role in the health, growth and development of growing baby during gestation and over their life span. Exposure to high levels of stress, have been associated with issues affecting the metabolic, immune, endocrine and cognitive function in babies.
Pregnancy yoga, holistic therapies, aromatherapy, gentle exercise can all play a role in reducing the levels of stress mum to be might be exposed to.
It is also vitally important that new mums also take care of their needs. So often new mums are so wrapped up in their new baby, with adjusting to demanding routines of feeding and being sleep deprived, that they are running on a depleted energy reserve, which in its self can lead to postnatal depression, baby blues and general fatigued and burnout.
Even though giving birth is a “natural occurrence”, the physical trauma of pregnancy and birth is huge! I always advise my clients to visit me as soon as possible post-birth, with baby too, to have a reflexology session. This is great time for mum and baby to have some bonding, whilst I work on acupressure points on her feet, to promote relaxation, boost energy levels and address any underlying imbalances.
Focusing on good nutrition post-birth is not only vital for the production of breast milk, but also to support the recovery from birth, restoration of hormonal imbalance, and to replenish diminished nutrient stores. Maintaining your blood sugar levels during this time has been shown to support post-natal mood. When our levels become unstable, anxious and depressive tendencies maybe aggravated and worsened.
What sort of training do you do as a Holistic Therapist? Is there a way mums can find out what training levels their Holistic Therapist has?
I undertake regular training that adds to my already existing tool box of therapies, several times a year. Further CPD is requirement of the governing body that I belong to, The Federation of Holistic Therapies (FHT)
All therapists have to be fully insured to carry out Holistic Therapies. We all hold certificates in the therapies we have undertaken. This can be requested to be seen by the client prior to treatment. It is vitally important to check that your therapist is fully insured and qualified to treat with the services she offers. I have written a full blog outlining this very thing.
If you would like to know more about what it's like to experience and more of the benefits of Tania's care check out this blog on her website.