Eleven years ago tomorrow I left my almost 20 year award winning career as a VA social worker to heal my life from the effects of childhood paralytic polio and trauma. Throughout my life, I have been blessed to meet earth angels to help me overcome adversity and challenges in my life. During these past 11 years, I've explored and experienced many different healing modalities. I bless each and every one I met along with the invaluable soul lessons I learned along the way.
After a serious knee injury in December of 2014, I was introduced to the benefits of chiropractic care. After my chiropractor left to practice in China, I didn't pursue chiropractic care as part of my health and wellness regimen. Last year, while at a Business Networking International meeting, I "just happened" to meet Dr. Lizzie Sobel. I was most impressed with her presentation at the meeting about her style of chiropractic care, her passion for her work especially as she talked about a technique she uses to help turn babies who are presenting as breach to allow for a vaginal delivery. While she specializes in family chiropractic care - pregnant moms, post partum moms and their babies, she is dedicated to helping people of all ages in all phases of life experience their health and wellness best.
Since last July I have been partnering with Dr. Lizzie on my health and wellness journey. I was able to run the Bermuda Half Marathon in January uninjured and enjoy every mile along the way. My body is recovering well with the help of weekly chiropractic treatment sessions. As a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma, I've been running and working out with a lot of imbalances in my body. As we align my body each week, reset my nervous system, encourage spinal fluid to flow I am healing the effects of paralytic polio and trauma. I am in awe of the art and science of chiropractic care. I had throbbing pain in my scapula for a few days prior to my appointment. Dr. Lizzie noted that the scapula on my right side was 2 inches higher on my left side. It was pulling on the muscle attachment causing pain! As she used her instruments to encourage the bone back to its natural alignment and used soft tissue manipulation to ease the pain, the scapula was able to return to its natural alignment in line with my left side. The adjustment held and the pain was gone!
Each week I let Dr. Lizzie know what areas need attention although she goes through the entire body with her keen hands and eagle eyes to adjust areas that could lead to injury or pain. Her gentle touch, her balancing out of the body and paying attention to specific "trouble" spots leave me feeling relaxed with a sense of peace and comfort being in my body. That is quite a testimony for someone who has experienced over 25 surgeries, a spinal cord injury and severe trauma as a child. Dr. Lizzie also prides herself in providing education to her patients about their bodies, the work and for self care practices at home.
Tomorrow marks 11 years since I left the VA to heal my life. I am delighted to shine the spotlight on chiropractic care that has become an integral part of my healing journey. Eleven years later -- I celebrate healing!
Be sure to visit Dr. Lizzie's website by following this link. She has offices in Copley Square Boston and Walpole.
If you are on the South Shore, be sure to check out Seaside Chiropractic by following this link.
To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours,
Author Mary McManus, once known as “Easy Out Alper” in gym class, contracted paralytic polio at the age of 5 but managed to run the 2009 Boston Marathon at the age of 55. When Mary was diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease in December 2006, she decided she was not going to take the diagnosis sitting down. In May 2007, Mary took a leap of faith leaving behind her award winning career as a Social Worker at the VA to heal her life. She got still and asked for Divine Guidance. Through the power of visualization, lifestyle changes and with fiery determination, Mary healed mind, body and soul. Mary’s quest to heal her life led her to the sport of running that tested her mettle while fueling her journey of transformation from a survivor of childhood paralytic polio and severe trauma at the hands of family members to a woman who embodies faith, grace under fire, courage, determination, endurance and resilience. Mary holds a BS in Communications from Boston University, an MSW from Boston College. Visit her website: www.marymcmanus.com
"Wait, you can get massage when you're pregnant?" -- "Even in the first trimester?"
Yes, and yes- more often than not. The key is receiving from a trained professional who knows the indications/ contraindications of Pre/Postnatal Massage and how to best accommodate mom and baby to provide a safe and effective treatment that has her feeling the most deeply relaxed she's been in a while- maybe ever. One of the many goals of Prenatal Massage is to help mom into a weightless experience- similar to floating in a pool only on a massage table. Where her body can be held and supported by a variety of bolsters and pillows to help her not have to hold her own body up- to truly be able to let go and receive- a rarity in a momma's life. The "momma nest" I call it as it's truly like building a nest behind and around her. A nest of support, just perfect for her. Most clients, even before the massage has begun, are already feeling incredibly relaxed experiencing the nest. It encourages a deep restful feeling. It also helps take the pressure off the body and encourage lymphatic drainage to reduce swelling.
An experienced Licensed Massage Therapist with advanced training in Pre/Postnatal Massage will know how to position her client in the safest most effective ways to keep blood flow to the baby strong and prevent vasovagal responses. A vasovagal (dizzy/ fainting) response can occur if a mom is all the way flat on her back with legs flat for extended time as the weight from the uterus/ baby can put pressure on important arteries. Having mom propped up in a semi reclined with knees elevated or side lying position encourages a healthy blood flow to mom & baby. Normally, I spend a little less time with mom on her right side as the blood flow to baby is slightly less in this position. Unless mom has specific recommendations from her provider to not be in certain positions, these positions are safe. Treatment is optimized when we are able to work on all areas of the body- head, neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, legs and feet. YES feet too! That is another question I've received a lot - the myth of avoiding foot massage during pregnancy. There are specific labor points to avoid during pregnancy and to activate these points deep consistent pressure is applied in a rhythmic way. General massage on the ankles and feet, safe and feels amazing!
Back pain, hip pain, rib pain, sciatic pain, neck shoulder tension- the list goes on for all the ways physically massage can help prep for and recover from labor/ birth. Receiving prenatal massage on a regular basis contributes to a healthier pregnancy, feelings of well-being, reduction of stress, better sleep, and improvement in energy. Physical touch is one of the first languages we speak and important to go back to when feeling stressed, overwhelmed, scared, or overexerted as it is one of the most primal of needs. Prenatal massage can also help contribute to smoother, shorter labors. The less restricted and more aligned you are in your body the "easier" time baby can have on the descent. "Does this also apply for cesarean birth?" Of course. I've supported many moms up until and during recovery from planned and unplanned Cesarean births.
"I'm so uncomfortable and restless at night, have restless leg syndrome or cramping- can massage help?" Yes to all. Pre/postnatal massage can greatly help support mom into more restful sleep as the less pain, swelling, or cramping occurring the easier it is to relax. Another aspect I offer to my clients is "sleep position coaching"- just a quick run through of how to best support sleep positions as the bodies needs change. Many times it's finding the right supports for your body which is not always the enormous pregnancy pillow. Sometimes it's multiple pillows with different densities and wedges. It may seem like a lot in the beginning but once you get the hang of transitioning (side to side) it becomes second nature. The relaxation effects from the massage also help to ease sleep challenges.
"Can I receive if I'm considered a High Risk Pregnancy?" Usually yes, but it depends, and sometimes no. This is something to always consult with your provider about. Being considered High Risk is a pretty broad category. Knowing the reasons why you're high risk is important. I have worked with many high risk pregnancies for a variety of reasons with provider consent. It's an important question to ask as receiving massage can have a great impact on the comfort of your pregnancy, reducing stress levels, and postpartum recovery. And again, making sure you're going to a knowledgeable professional in Pre/Postnatal Massage so that any modifications needed can be made.
"How often is best to come in for Pre/Postnatal Massage?" Again, It all depends on your specific needs. I've worked prenatally anywhere from weekly, to bi-weekly, to monthly. Most common is bi-weekly- coinciding perfectly with Chiropractic care. Weekly is usually when the needs are greater or you're getting really close to giving birth. Ideally we can work up until the day before delivery. I'm also trained to provide in-labor massage and postnatal we can work together as soon as you're comfortable to receive. Checking with your provider is recommended in case there are any further modifications needed or important things to know.
There are many additional ways Pre/Postnatal Massage can benefit the mind/body/soul connection- the ones listed today are the most common ones and questions I've received. Any further more specific questions feel free to reach out and as always check in with your provider.
Author Ashleigh Dundas is the owner of Massage Loft New England in Norwell, MA.
To connect with her please visit: https://www.massageloftne.com/