“Blown away today to watch a baby turn itself from breech to cephalic during myofascial release work at an awesome School of Bodywork study day. The mother was so much more comfortable after the baby turned and grinned from ear to ear.
It was so gentle and permissive. Truly the baby chose to turn. Somehow the therapist merely held the space which enabled this. The change in the mother’s demeanour was profound from tense and experiencing chronic pain since 11/40 to smiling happy and comfortable. She told us the baby was moving big movements about 10 minutes into the treatment. The therapist’s hands were still. We could easily see the baby’s movements and all of us noticed the changed shape of her belly after the Release. She was kind enough to let me palpate afterwards, already convinced her belly felt quite different at the top. It looked so gentle and led by the baby. I was in awe and still am. More workshops may follow.”
The above account was written by Liz Nightingale an extremely well regarded independent midwife of 13 years.
On the 8th of August I, Emma Gilmore Director of School of Bodywork was kindly invited to Oxfordshire to teach 13 chiropractors and one midwife some incredibly effective myofascial release techniques, to free up restrictions in the pelvic diaphragm and abdomopelvic cavity which allows breech or posterior babies to turn. After settling into the space and getting over my fascination at the tiny chiropractic couches we settled into what was to become a very moving day.
The course entitled Pelvic Diaphragm Release is a one day course and in the past has been attended by midwives, physiotherapists, massage therapists, doulas or partners. So working with chiropractors was new to me.
After an introduction to fascia and an exercise to tune the therapists into the subtle yet profound touch of the myofascial techniques, I went on to teach the “workhorse” of MFR, the Cross Hand Release, a gentle, flat handed technique where the therapist contacts the patient’s body and feels for the first restriction or barrier. With light, sustained, yet constant pressure applied into the patient’s body, the trained therapist will begin to feel the restrictions release, working through barrier after barrier, releasing layers of restriction within the fascial system. This subtle yet profound work created a great atmosphere in the room and there was great focus amongst the students; everyone truly understood the essence of this work.
After lunch Geri a 34 week pregnant patient of a chiropractor present joined us, she had been in a lot of discomfort since week 11 of her pregnancy, she had numbness and pain down her left leg, and had been walking on crutches, she did not look 34 weeks pregnant. Her baby boy was in breech position. She looked exhausted and in pain, although had a charming disposition. She climbed awkwardly and tentatively onto the couch with the help of a foot stool and lay in a supine position. I ensured she was as comfortable as possible and explained briefly what I was going to do, she seemed very happy. While I worked with Transverse plane technique; which frees up restrictions within the pelvic diaphragm; Geri talked about some of the difficulties of her pregnancy, her baby was almost never still (as he was constantly trying to get in a more comfortable positon for both of them). As I worked I felt her sacrum soften and “drop” into my hand, allowing space into her body, I continued for several minutes more, tuning into what the baby and mother needed, we both felt further restrictions on the left of the abdomopelvic cavity, so after gently removing my hands from the original position I worked here with a Cross Hand Release, after a few more minutes of this technique there was a terrific movement and Gerri looked almost shocked as the bay repositioned himself in a cephalic position, it was clear that my work was done. So I invited Liz to palpate…….the baby had turned itself cephalic, Geri got off the couch saying how different she felt, the baby had dropped and she now looked like a pregnant woman, she then walked without crutches.
These techniques are a MUST for all midwives and bodywork therapists working with pregnant women.
Next course: Tuesday November 25th 2014
Pelvic Diaphragm Releases: Incredibly effective myofascial release techniques, to release restrictions and allow breech or posterior babies to turn. Invaluable techniques for midwives, massage therapists, doulas or partners. £95
7 CPD points awarded by APNT