• Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

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    Pamela Nadav has said, “There is such a special sweetness in being able to participate in creation.” Preganancy is a remarkable journey that invites a woman to completely new terrain, and to explore facets of herself that she may have never uncovered lest she embarked up this journey. It’s a time of introspection and inner nurturing, a time when she learns the intuitive capacity she has for being a vessel of life, of caring, and of love. Yet so often, the adventure to motherhood is fraught with physical discomfort and emotional ups and downs! Because a woman goes through so many changes during this time, having a support network in place in the form of community, breathing classes, massage, and yoga, can give a soon­to­be mom exactly what she needs.

    Preganancy is a time that prepares a woman to connect with her own intuition and
    wisdom. Especially for a woman, parenting begins with conception, as the tools she
    develops while carrying her child will be important ones she uses once the child is born
    and growing. It’s a time that is meant to allow the woman to rely more fully on her
    instincts, as these instincts are what give her the ability to move gracefully through the
    birthing process, no matter what the outcome, and to parent in a way that is connected to
    her deep inner knowing.

    A woman’s body inevitably experiences a multitude of changes during pregnancy, which
    can at times disconnect her from her own inner voice. As her uterus expands with the
    weight of the growing baby, there is more stress on her back, neck, shoulders and
    abdominal muscles. An aching lower back is a common sensation for many pregnant
    women, while others may experience aching legs, sore hips, swelling and/or insomnia.

    To reconnect inwardly, find ease in her body and mind, and reconnect with her spirit,
    prenatal massage therapy is a wonderful way to lessen her discomfort. A massage during
    pregnancy brings about a sense of well­being through relaxation, giving an expecting
    mother a once again clear channel to her own intuition, as well as a feeling of being
    settled and grounded.

    Benefits of Prenatal Massage

    • Soothes tired and tense muscles

    • Improves sleep

    • Relieves muscle cramps, spasms and tension in the lower back, neck, hips and


    • Reduces the release of stress hormones

    • Reduces heart rate and blood pressure

    • Improves blood and lymph circulation, which can reduce swelling (edema)

    • Can improve labour outcome and ease pain

    Soma’s therapists seek to support their pregnant clients by helping them to reconnect
    with themselves, to feel good in their bodies, and to feel prepared for the adventure of a
    liftetime. Our therapists are professionally trained prenatal massage therapists in
    Vancouver who understand the needs of a pregnant body, which techniques to use, and
    how to safely massage it to alleviate some of the discomfort. We recognize the
    importance of positioning the body during a pregnancy massage not only for comfort, but
    also for a woman and her baby’s well­being.

    As well as pregnancy massage, our prenatal massage therapists are happy to share their
    expertise in other aspects of prenatal care, from abdominal exercises to sleeping
    positions to postural correction. And when the time is right and a woman is ready, Soma’s
    therapists are also trained in postnatal massage.
    “The most important thing a woman would learn over the years was that there was no
    way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one” (Jill Churchill). Let Soma
    support you in your dynamic and exciting journey to motherhood, and feel the benefits


    By Lori Johnson, RMT & Owner of Soma Studio

  • EVENT: Normalizing Birth: Is the way we do birth bankrupting future generations?

    Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 12.16.33 PMThis looks like a great event! Details below if you would like to check it out.

    “What has always fascinated me is the sense that the process of childbirth is far more than just getting a baby out. It is something that links us back through all our ancestors, and into the future, and we are all (mother, father, baby) irrevocably marked by it. It is also one of the few experiences left in society which, when undertaken physiologically, is ultimately unpredictable and uncontrollable and, as a consequence, deeply emotional. It takes all those who experience it authentically to the very edge of their capacity to cope, and it says to them, you can do this – and if you can do this, you can do anything. Getting it right is therefore profoundly important for the wellbeing of families, and for future generations. While I have always believed this intuitively, recent exciting evidence from epigenetics seems to suggest that there is biological evidence for the impact of labour and birth on way genes might be expressed for the child, and for their adulthood, and then their own children in the future. So, for all these reasons, the normal birth agenda is really important to me.” – Dr. Soo Downe


    Tuesday, March 10, 2015

    CFRI Chan Auditorium, BC Women’s Hospital

    4500 Oak Street, Vancouver


    6pm       Doors open and reception

    7pm       Lecture


    Please RSVP to Karen Gelb at karen.gelb@midwifery.ubc.ca or 604-822-7998.


    Hope to see you there!



  • Infant Massage Workshop with Kaely Brittliffe, RMT

    Picture 14Soma RMT Kaely will be teaching an infant massage workshop starting on Nov 26th! Here are some of the benefits of infant massage:

    • Promotes bonding and attachment between you and your baby
    • Promotes relaxation and decreases stress in you and your baby
    • Relieves discomfort from constipation, gas and colic
    • Promotes better sleep for baby (and maybe you too!)
    • Stimulates brain development and sensory awareness for baby
    • Babies cry less, as the parent is more responsive to babies’ cues

    Three Tuesday afternoon sessions: 11:30-12:30
    November 26th, December 3rd  and 10th
    Location: Acumamas in Olympic Village  #301 West 2nd Avenue (2nd and Crowe street),Vancouver BC V5Y 1C9

    For babies three weeks to pre-crawling and their primary caregivers
    Cost $105, RMT receipt for $35 issued in baby’s name at each class

    Registration required contact Kaely at 604 889 9971 or kaelyrmt@gmail.com

  • Early Pregnancy Workshop

    Newly pregnant? While this can be an exciting time, it can also be overwhelming. With so much information available and so many decisions to make, many people find that waiting to take a full prenatal class (later in pregnancy) is too long to wait.

    The goal of the Early Pregnancy Workshop hosted by Jenn King, CHt and founder of HypnoMammas is to provide expecting couples/women with information about healthy pregnancy, informed decision making and preparing for baby.

    This workshop is a comprehensive 2.5 hour class covering many of the questions newly pregnant women/couples have early on (please see the content overview below). It is also a great opportunity to feel proactive and involved earlier in pregnancy since most other workshops & classes are typically taken later in pregnancy. One of the main goals of this workshop is to connect people with the wonderful pregnancy-related resources, practitioners & classes that we have in Vancouver. Every woman/couple leaves with a full package of materials including non-biased information as well as actual promotional materials for a number of different local services and practitioners.

    Register for upcoming classes and workshops here.


    Part One –
    The Physiology of Pregnancy
    Your Developing Baby
    Body Changes
    Comfort in Pregnancy & Alternative Therapies
    Nutrition & Exercise
    Avoiding Harmful/Toxic Substances in Pregnancy

    Part Two –
    Choices in Pregnancy
    Care Providers
    Prenatal Classes
    Place of Birth
    Understanding your EDD
    Travel Tips in Pregnancy

    Part Three –
    Preparing to Co-Parent & Postpartum Planning
    Relationship Changes & Preparation for Parenting
    Creating a Parenting Philosophy
    Baby Rearing Options
    Finding Breastfeeding Support


  • Soma Studio Welcomes Michealla Redeker, RMT

    Soma Studio would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest RMT, Michealla Redeker.

    Michealla is a skilled, resourceful, intuitive, and approachable Registered Massage Therapist with extensive knowledge and experience in the field. A graduate of the West Coast College of Massage Therapy, Michealla obtained her registered status in the fall of 2001 after completing 3000 hours of training.

    Michealla has been a dedicated practitioner of Massage Therapy for the past 11 years and has continually upgraded her skills over this period of time.  She has advanced study in therapeutic deep tissue massage, Myofascial release, muscle energy techniques, Thai massage, and perinatal. She also is a dedicated yoga practioner.

    Michealla has travelled to various parts of Asia including, Thailand and India, to learn and experience different holistic healing practices.  In her practice, Michealla treats a wide spectrum of patients with issues stemming from chronic illness, athletics, pregnancy, work, stress and accident related injuries.

    Michealla has recently returned to work after taking some time off to spend with her first child and love of her life. A grounded down to earth mom and professional, Michealla is passionate about travel, foreign culture, music the outdoors and activities including, Yoga, running and hiking.

  • 5 Reasons for Pregnancy Back Pain

    While being pregnant can be a wonderful experience, it often comes with a few challenges such as lower back pain.

    There are essentially two types of pregnancy back pain: lumbar pain (over and around the lumbar vertebrae area) and posterior pelvic pain (in the back of your pelvis). Pelvic pain can be felt deep inside the buttocks, in the back of your thighs and/or over your pubic bone.

    There are many potential reasons behind your back pain – here are five of the most common causes:

    1. Hormonal changes – The hormone relaxin literally allows the ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine to relax. Your also joints loosen, leading to instability and pain when walking, bending, sitting for long periods or rolling over in bed.
    2. Postural changes – Your growing belly shifts your centre of gravity forward. Along with weakened abdominal muscles, your posture may be compensating (i.e. slouching or allowing your back to bow and your pelvis to shift back) and putting additional strain on your back.
    3. Extra weight – Women typically gain between 25 and 35 pounds during a healthy pregnancy. Not only does this weight need to be supported by the spine, it creates extra work for the muscles and stress on the joints, all causing lower back pain.
    4. Stress – Emotional stress can cause muscle tension in the back.
    5. Previous or chronic back pain – With all the changes that occur in your body during pregnancy, old issues may flare up.


    There are several things you can do to ease the discomfort of back pain during pregnancy and prevent it from turning into a long-term problem.

    1. Exercise – Regular exercise strengthens muscles and increases flexibility, easing the stress on your spine. Swimming is a fantastic option as it strengthens muscles while the water’s buoyancy removes any strain.
    2. Keep active – If you can’t get to the gym or pool, make walking and stretching part of your daily routine. Avoid sitting for long periods or bed rest.
    3. Check your posture – When standing, ensure that you use a pelvic tilt, stand tall and hold your shoulders back. When sitting at a desk, rest your feet on a box or stack of books, sit up straight, use additional support behind your back and, if in the third trimester, a pillow on your lap under your belly.
    4. Sleep position – Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees. The pillow should be wide or thick enough to almost set your legs hip distance apart. As your belly grows, use another pillow underneath it for support.
    5. Massage therapy – See a certified prenatal massage therapist, who will relax muscles that are overworking and tense due to the changing body. Prenatal massage therapy deals with some of the other pregnancy-related conditions as well such as carpal tunnel syndrome, edema in legs and hands, insomnia and headaches. A certified prenatal massage therapist will also provide advice about where to take prenatal classes, proper breast feeding positions for your body, the importance of rest after delivery as well as appropriate exercise after baby.

    If you have pregnancy-related back pain, make an appointment with one of our certified massage therapists to relax and experience some relief.

  • Fit for Two Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness CONTEST

    Soma Studio East and Fit for Two® have partnered in a monthly draw to win a free pass at Fit for Two Vancouver East! The free pass is for four consecutive classes at the East Vancouver location only.

    How to Enter

    Starting December 1st, 2012, all one-hour pregnancy massage clients at our Soma East location will be entered into the draw after their appointment. On the last day of the month, one name will be drawn from the group as the monthly winner. Winners will be notified by phone.

    Learn More About Fit for Two

    Find out general information on the organization or view the class schedule for Vancouver East.

    Please contact us with any questions about the contest.


  • Pregnancy Massage: Stomach or Side?

    We’ve heard from many of our pregnant clients that they initially didn’t consider prenatal massage therapy to be safe or all that comfortable. It wasn’t until during their pregnancy massage at Soma Studio that they became more informed about how we approach this special type of massage.

    Safety, comfort and therapeutic effectiveness are foremost in any certified prenatal massage therapist’s mind. Positioning of your body is critical to all of these. While many therapists feel it’s better to position a pregnant body on its side, our Vancouver massage therapists feel it’s more beneficial to lie on the stomach (or ‘prone’). Here’s why.

    Massage in the Stomach Position

    Lying on the stomach in pregnancy massage is more restful and allows the therapist to better access your back and hips for a more therapeutic full body massage. When a pregnant body is pillowed properly and consciously, the spine is in neutral position and the back is longer. Similar to swimming, this position takes the weight off and makes you feel like you’re floating. After over 20 years of relying on this position and hearing consistently positive feedback from repeat clients, we know that it works.

    Massage with a Pregnancy Pillow

    A good pregnancy massage pillow support system can accommodate a growing belly as well as enlarged breasts. Soma Studio’s pregnancy pillows consist of several pieces: two large pieces with a half-moon ‘dip’ to support the belly as well as smaller rectangular pieces to support the shoulders—watch our pregnancy pillow video to see how these work. Our prenatal massage therapists work with each client to carefully adjust each pillow, ensuring the back isn’t in extension and for maximum comfort before starting the massage.

    Massage in the Side-Lying Position

    Many prenatal massage therapists choose this position because they don’t have access to a good pregnancy pillow system. In the past, some therapists have used tables with a hole for the belly, but the hole wasn’t padded or adjustable, causing the abdomen to dangle, stressing the lower back and creating discomfort with the stretching of uterine ligaments.

    While Soma Studio’s massage therapists prefer to use the pregnancy pillows, you still have the option of lying on your side—especially if your breasts are too tender or you’re suffering from nausea or congestion.

    No matter what position you’re lying in, your body will always let you know if it’s uncomfortable, with symptoms like nausea, overheating or pins & needles. Trust and listen to your body, and do what you feel is right for you.

    Learn more about prenatal massage therapy on our Pregnancy Massage page or please contact us with any questions or concerns.