Pregnancy and Childbirth : A holistic approach to massage and bodywork by Suzanne Yates pdf
Working with pregnant women is not simply about adapting normal bodywork techniques as there is a particular ‘energetics’ of pregnancy. This is why we have described the eastern and western theoretical views of pregnancy in so much detail. Together, they offer a way of looking at the body which can lead to a better understanding of the most appropriate practical approach for each client.
The book is divided into two sections: a theoretical section and a practical section. The two sections are designed to be read separately but the reader can cross-refer from one to the other, as relevant. The theoretical section is itself divided into two, describing western and eastern approaches. The practical section draws together eastern and western approaches by integrating them into ideas on how to work with the different areas of the body.
The theory is separated into eastern and western approaches because this reflects the fact that the theories have evolved separately, but we hope that at some point in the future they may blend together to become an holistic way of looking at the body. Indeed this is already happening. Quantum physics and biology are moving towards some aspects of traditional Chinese medicine such as the idea of a unified energy field, which is essentially the Tao. As this happens then we hope that eastern and western healing traditions can merge to provide integrated medical care.
The eastern theory described is based on traditional Chinese theory, partly because this is the theory with which the authors are most familiar and partly because it is a traditional medical system which has survived to the present day intact and uninterrupted. However, there are other traditional medicines worldwide which have contained and contain similar themes. For example, the role of the healer in many societies has been primarily to support health in order to prevent disease.
The theory was usually based on observing patterns in nature and applying them to the body. We hope that whatever discipline therapists work with, they will find relevant and useful ideas in this book.
We have sometimes made reference to the differences between traditional cultures and modem cultures. We are aware that a whole book can be written on this huge subject, but rather than individually note the many thousands of examples of different traditional practices worldwide, we are talking in general terms about traditional cultures being based more on people living closer to the cycles and rhythms of nature.
Of course, there are many variations in these types of cultures and this is expressed in both positive and negative aspects. We do not want to unduly glorify traditional culture per se, as there may be aspects which are not beneficial; however, we feel that some practices are worth noting and it is valuable to reflect on how those aspects may be integrated into modern cultures.
We have tried to cite as much published evidence as possible. There are fewer references available for eastern bodywork and in general there is not a great deal of research on massage or on shiatsu and bodywork. This does not mean, however, that these practices are of less value than modern medicine which is more research based.
Furthermore it can be argued that bodywork does not have the potentially negative implications of many aspects of modem medicine. To begin to validate the role of bodywork we have drawn on studies which have been done on the role of stress and the presence of support people in labour, which can give indications as to the potential benefits.
There is a need for more research in the field of bodywork but it can be difficult to have access to funding. Nevertheless, where possible, we encourage bodyworkers to collaborate with local researchers and hospitals and try to get their work recorded so that its effects can be investigated and analysed.
We would have liked to include more information on aftercare but realised that this could indeed be a whole other book. Instead, we give some basic information on the main themes of aftercare.