Stuffy nose, runny eyes, scratchy throat…allergy season is upon us. We know how much allergy symptoms can affect your life. For the month of April, Heidi Ella Wellness and Massage is offering a complimentary 15 minute allergy relief add-on to all massage sessions, 60 minutes and above. In this 15 minute add-on you will receive gentle massage techniques, aromatherapy with Breathe essential oil and lymph drainage designed to target the sinuses and provide relief to common allergy symptoms.
Breathe essential oil is a blend created by doTerra oils to help promote clear and soothe breathing passageways. Your therapist will use this blend to enhance your massage session for maximum sinus relief. Breathe is a blend of rich and vibrant lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus, thyme, melissa and cardamom oils. (All oils used during your session are available through order through Heidi Ella Wellness and Massage.)
|To schedule, Book Online Now, or call 571-224-5393. Be sure to select your the 60 minute or longer appointment of your choice and then ‘Select Another Service’ and choose the 15 Min Sinus Relief Add On. Limit, once per customer.
March 22-28 celebrates World Doula Week. Let’s learn more about what a doula is and how they can help you during your labor and delivery.
What is a Doula?
A doula is a person who offers emotional and physical support during your labor, delivery and immediate postpartum period. Doulas work in a variety of birth settings: home, birth center or hospital. Often doulas meet with families before the labor for one or more prenatal meetings. This helps the doula get to know the family and help them to prepare for the impending labor. During labor, the doula will either meet the family at home or at your chosen birth location. Your doula will provide comfort measures, support and advocacy during the entire labor. Once the baby is born, your doula will help you transition to the postpartum setting and facilitate breastfeeding (if you chose to nurse).
Benefits of a Doula
Doulas have been shown to:
- Reduce the use of medical interventions such as pitocin, vacuum or forceps and cesarean section
- Provide comfort for the mother and reduce the need for pain medication
- Facilitate shorter, more productive labors
During your labor, your doula will use comfort measures like massage, essential oils, warm compresses and positioning to help you through each contraction and keep your labor progressing. Your doula will also be a sounding board in the conversation about the benefits/risks of any interventions that arise throughout the labor. One thing your doula will not do is replace your clinician/care provider. They are there solely for your emotional and physical well-being. A doula can also help the partner focus fully on the mother during the labor. This support helps transition the family unit and promotes bonding during and after labor.
Where to find a doula in the North Virginia area?
Birth Options Alliance: Local organization that highlights birth services in the DC Metro area
DC Doula Match: A website about local doulas with fees, contact information and availability.
“Meet the Doula” Events: Many local groups host “Meet the Doula” events to offer a chance to meet local doulas in a low pressure environment.
During the early days of pregnancy you may find yourself wanting to change your eating habits to include healthier food into your diet. Due to morning sickness, this may pose a particular challenge, as raw foods may make you feel worse. Slow cooked, nutrient dense foods are best at this time to nourish your body.
- 1 Medium Onion (sliced)
- 2 Medium Carrots (skin on, sliced)
- 2 Stalks Celery (diced)
- 2 Medium Russet Potatoes (1 in cubes)
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 2 cups green lentils (soak overnight)
- 3 cups greens (kale or chard works best)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 5 cups stock or water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
You will begin the night before by soaking the lentils in water overnight. This helps to prepare the nutrients in the lentils and cut down cooking time. When you are ready to prepare the soup, you will begin by preparing the necessary vegetable ingredients. Keep the onions, garlic and celery separate from the carrots, greens and potatoes. Use a large cooking pot (stainless steel or cast iron). Put about 3 tbsp of olive oil in the pan and turn the stove to medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic and celery. The goal here is to caramelize them slightly (not too brown). Next you will add the lentils, stock and herbs to the pot. After allowing this to cook for 1 hour, add the carrots and potatoes. Cook for an additional 1 hour (or longer if you prefer a thicker stew-like soup). You will add the greens and vinegar when there is about 30 minutes left to cook. Enjoy with brown rice or some crusty bread.
Middle Eastern Flavors
Omit the greens, vinegar and thyme. Add diced roasted red pepper, a thumb’s length of grated ginger, 1/4 tsp of corriander and 1 tsp of cumin.
Add 2 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled, and 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika.
In January we welcomed our newest therapist, Janet Brown, LMT. Janet specializes in fertility, prenatal and postnatal massage. In order to showcase that talent, we will be offering “Well-Mama Wednesdays” through the month of March. When you book a prenatal massage for a Wednesday in March you will receive 15% off a single session or 20% off of a 3 session package*
(*Must be used in the month of March. When you click on the Booking button above, your 15% discount will automatically be applied and you can choose the Wednesday that works best for you. When buying a series, you will need to click on the ‘Shop Online” tab at the top of the screen, and then the ‘Buy Series’tab to the right of Gift Certificates. Choose either 30 Min, 60 Min or 90 Min. Your 20% discount will be applied at checkout. You must then book your 3 massages still after purchasing the series within the month of March.)
It can be difficult to maintain balance during pregnancy. It seems like if it’s not your hormones, it’s your ligaments. Massage therapy is a safe and effective addition to your prenatal care that can help you to maintain posture as well as hormone and fluid levels in the body. It can also help to keep your organs functioning better as they react to the body changes through pregnancy. Research has also shown that massage therapy can provide the added benefit of shorter, more productive labors and speedier recovery time for the postpartum period. Massage therapy can be a wonderful compliment to a healthy pregnancy. If you have any questions about whether massage during pregnancy is appropriate for you, ask your birth care provider.
Massage Through Your Pregnancy
While there are massage therapists that prefer to not work during the 1st trimester, there is no evidence to support that it should be avoided. But even with that caveat many women may not want to have massage performed during this time. Frequent urination, morning sickness, breast tenderness and dizziness may make a full hour session uncomfortable. Your therapist can work with you to create a shorter session designed for stress and fatigue relief. Massage in the first trimester may also allow you a time to focus on yourself at the start of this new journey.
Massage during the second trimester is like “preventative maintenance” for what is to come. Many women comment that the second trimester is the most comfortable time of the whole pregnancy. Your morning sickness is probably over, but your body is just beginning to shift and grow. You may also experience a boost in energy levels. Massage during the second trimester can help to encourage deeper breathing and help alleviate back pain. This is also a time to encourage body awareness as your body grows and changes with your baby.
During the third trimester, massage will help to prepare your body for labor. It will help alleviate the pain caused by joint separation or ligament pain. You may find that your stress levels rise during the third trimester as it finally sinks in that you will have the baby and soon. Massage can help you relax and, as in the first trimester, give you time to focus on just yourself.
While you will not be feeling up for getting a full body massage during labor, massage is an excellent comfort measure to be used during early and active labor. In addition to traditional Swedish-style massage techniques, acupressure points located on the body can be used to provide pain relief and labor stimulation. If you have a doula, they will most likely perform some sort of labor massage to help with pain management and stress. If you do not have a doula taking a series of childbirth education classes and/or a workshop in labor massage for couples can be very beneficial for you and your partner to prepare for labor.