Pregnancy and Bodywork with Zen BodyTherapy

by Charles Kise
Over the last 14 years of practice, I have been honored to work with many pregnant moms to help them be more comfortable throughout their pregnancies and beyond. I have also had the privilege of working with some women who were preparing for pregnancies and were seeking to have their bodies at “optimum” level to become pregnant.
Depending on each individual, a different “recipe” of bodywork is tailored to assist each woman achieve her goal/s. Some worked with me on simply seeking relief from the discomforts of their changing, aching bodies. Others wanted the full spectrum of aligning and reintegration of the body to the changes that were occurring. However, at each stage, from preconception through post delivery, I have found most women benefited most working on specific areas according to the changes occurring in their bodies.
During the preconception stage, we would generally concentrate on softening, lengthening and positioning the soft tissue of the body to function better within the field of gravity. During this time, it is important to get rid of all the kinks in the body and to develop more awareness within the body. To recognize old habits and conditioned patterns that contribute to unwanted symptoms of pain and discomfort in each area and reprogram the way the body carries and holds itself. We learn simple conscious movement exercises that can be done in the comfort of the home everyday to help facilitate in the preparation of carrying a fetus in the body. Also, we focus on reducing or ridding any pain and trauma of old injuries that may be in the body so that it does not incur further stress on the person.
During the pregnant stage, we continue to work on getting the body to adjust and flow comfortably with the changes that are occurring within. At this stage, there are many hot-spots, triggerpoints of pain that the mother-to-be feels. If these areas are not worked on, they may become accumulated trauma later in the person’s life.
Another area we focus on is the breathing and posture. Breathing has to be “learned” now, to prepare for the birth process. We work on opening up the ribs gently and to the fullest capacity so that each breath becomes deeper and more nourishing to the mother and child. Breathing the right way also assists in the birth process with less pain and stress.
As the pregnancy wears on, posture becomes an important focus as well. When the body gets heavy and the different parts start to ache, a good posture will easily ease the discomfort. We go into another set of simple exercises at this stage as well, to assist in relieving any discomfort in the body during this period.
Lastly, the post delivery stage. During this recovery process, we work to encourage the body to realign itself back to its natural structure. At this time, many mothers forget about their bodies and devote all the time they have to their baby.
The first 6 months after birth is when the body works to heal itself and all the cartilage and soft tissue will start to tighten and work their way back into place. It is the perfect time for the new mom to work on aligning her body to an optimum level with gravity, to achieve a new body of minimal stress and strain. Many women develop slouched positions after giving birth because they do not pay attention to the posture, especially whilst carrying the baby.
The entire process of how a body changes from conception through post delivery is miraculous. The potential of the body is immense when you consciously work with it and nature.
It is an honor and privilege that I have been able to share and be a part of the beautiful process of preparing for a new life with so many mothers through body therapy.
* You can contact me(Cynthia)for more info about Zen Bodytherapy thru my email