So, What is a "Holistic Reproductive Practitioner"?
August marked the midway point of my two year Holistic Reproductive Practitioner cross-training with By the Moon, and I spent a wondrously deep week of in-person training with my instructor Michelle Stroud and two of my peers in Lloydminster, Alberta. This month I've spent a considerable amount of time embracing the various practices within last year's curriculum, making more time and space for my business and newer offerings, and finding balance between work and personal life. I'll break down a lot of these topics in the coming months within this blog--stay tuned!
A couple of weeks ago another astounding Doula in my community asked me to describe what I mean when I talk about being Holistic Reproductive Practitioner so that she knew exactly how to represent me to others--totally fair request because "Holistic Reproductive Practitioner" (HRP) is more of an umbrella term for a variety of services and work that we/I do. My studies and work under this title includes:
1.) Full Spectrum Doula (Fertility, Birth, Postpartum, & Loss/Bereavement Doula certifications)
2.) Reflexology, with specialization/focus on fertility and maternity.
3.) Reiki/energy work
4.) Trauma support for clients and fellow birth-workers
And of course, I also would include my work as a certified Prenatal/Postnatal Yoga Teacher and additional education/workshops with Spinning Babies to fit under this title, though they are not specifically part of my current cross-training, because they directly relate to reproductive health and wellness.
You see, the title of Doula alone, whether full-spectrum or not, would mean that I could not offer Reiki and Reflexology to doula clients while still being able to adhere to the average organization's Scope of Practice. Reflexology and Reiki are fantastic hands-on (though Reiki can also be offered in a totally hands-off/distance way) modalities, especially for those trying to conceive, pregnant and/or in labour, and postpartum, effective and safe, and really non-invasive; not utilizing either when appropriate would be holding back tools that could at the very least aid in relaxation. By specifically training and certifying with Michelle of By the Moon I have received an intensive training in anatomy, reproductive health/fertility, unbiased bereavement/loss support, energetics, and so much more. Under the title of Holistic Reproductive Practitioner I'm able to utilize these multiple modalities for the benefit of my clients--it's like having one really big hat that covers and incorporates all the other hats I wear, metaphorically speaking, of course.
Ultimately, the goal is this: Support and facilitate holistic wellbeing (mind, body, emotions, and spirit) of individuals throughout the childbearing years, starting as early as puberty and lasting even past menopause.
So, for example, what does it look like when I'm working with my fertility clients?
During a first session the individual fills out an intake form, which we go through together, pertaining to reproductive health. We discuss important questions such as: When was first menses? How long is your cycle on average? What are your periods like (heaviness of flow, long/ short, with/without specific symptoms, etc)? Is there a family history of suspected or diagnosed reproductive health conditions? Have their been previous pregnancies, losses, terminations, or births? If the client is going through fertility treatments we discuss what that journey has included thus far. I then do a Reflexology session, as I'm able to access and make note of which areas of the feet correspond to areas of the body that may need extra attention. A perfect example: I have observed the gall bladder and stomach points as feeling "crunchy" during Reflexology sessions with an individual experiencing nausea from her medications; during follow-up sessions together she reported that there was a noticeable decrease in nausea, and her appetite had improved--so awesome! In subsequent sessions we keep track of any noticeable changes to the cycle and I'm able to offer informational and emotional support while offering hands-on techniques.Sometimes the second session I may off Reiki, and if there seems to be possible energetic blocks this can be the most effective modality at that time. This means that there's flexibility in which modality can be supportive to the client on any given day. Fertility clients can determine the frequency in which they come for sessions, oftentimes based on what fits best with their current life's structure and scheduling needs--for some that's weekly, every other week, or just once a month.
One last little detail: I don't just work with female clients--Reflexology and Reiki are beneficial for men too! Tests with results showing low sperm count, quality and/or motility can change over the course of time, especially after lifestyle changes. Men produce an average of 200 million sperm on a daily basis, with the production of an individual sperm taking about 72 days to complete; because of this the quality and quantity in semen analysis samples taken three or more months apart can be different.
Want to know more about what I do or the services I offer? Connect with me by email at email@example.com.