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  • #PROTECTIONCRYSTALSWEEK {Guest edited by Heather and Timmi at @energymuse} A Bronzite Stone is a protective and grounding mineral that helps to restore harmony in your life. It strengthens your self-confidence and self-esteem, especially in situations where you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or powerless. Bronzite healing properties help to alleviate any feelings of doubt or indecisiveness. This particular bronzite meaning makes this a very beneficial stone to use when considering plans for the future.

Bronzite stones help you to take responsibility for your actions, while balancing, grounding and stabilizing your energy body in the process. Bronzite healing properties not only repel, but send back the negative energies to the sender. They instill the inner strength and courage to follow through with your actions to pave way for your dreams to come true.
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  • #PROTECTIONCRYSTALSWEEK {Guest edited by Heather and Timmi at @energymuse} A Selenite wand (pictured) is the ideal energy tool for all types of energy cleansing. Everyone needs one in their home. It is one of the the very few minerals that has the ability to quickly unblock stagnant energy and remove negative energy. Place one on each of your windowsills to protect your space and raise its vibration. Selenite crystals also greatly magnify the energy of anything that is placed upon them. Place your tumbled stones on top of them to clear their energy. 💎
Selenite is one of our must-have crystals—it’s one that we both wear each and everyday. It is a mineral that holds a very, very high vibration, working on many different energetic levels to cleanse, purify and clear your body of any negativity or energy blockages. Selenite crystals dispel all negative energy from the body and mind, bringing calming energies, deep peace and mental clarity.
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Unknown to many, Selenite also promotes fertility as well as unlocks any creative blocks. It is excellent for healers, light workers and people in the public to wear, as they act as an energetic shield surrounding your aura. Some even believe that its' natural ability to cleanse, purify and create energy flow throughout the entire energy system will help to restructure and regenerate cells. It is often used in holistic medicine treatments for physical healing, including cancer treatment and tumor reduction. 💎
Wearing a selenite necklace also shields and protects you from lower energy frequencies, especially energy vampires, spirits or ghosts. Selenite is a form of liquid light that infuses your aura and spirit with white light when worn or held.
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#crystals #crystallove #naturalbeauty #selenite #raiseyourvibration #fengshui #energymuse #crystalsforprotection #crystalbible #energy #energyprotection #ecobeauty #ecobeautyeditor #mindbodysoulbeauty
  • #PROTECTIONCRYSTALSWEEK {Guest edited by Heather and Timmi at @energymuse} An Andalusite stone is very powerful for psychic protection, grounding and motivation. Carry it with you when you are feeling anxious, stressed or fearful to help you feel more secure and protected.

Since ancient times, Andalusite stones have been used for protection. They believed that the Andalusite meaning as a sign from God, as it has a very unique, natural black cross within it. Andalusite stones carry a very highly protective vibration, especially for psychic protection. In ancient times, it was used to ward off the evil eye and any negativity directed at them. An Andalusite Stone is a powerful healing stone for focus and grounding, helping to strengthen all of your chakras so that you feel more balanced. It increases your motivation and willpower, so that you are fully focused on your task or goal. The andalusite metaphysical properties include having a deep connection with the Earth. When you hold these stones in your hands, you will feel a spiritually grounding and comforting energy. It helps you to change any negative energy into positive, fostering harmony and peace. Andalusite stones are also wonderful stones to carry when you are feeling fearful, depressed, anxious or stressed, as it helps to relieve stress and leaves you feeling more secure. 💎
#crystals #crystallove #naturalbeauty  #energymuse #crystalsforprotection #crystalbible #Andalusite #energy #soulwork #energyprotection #ecobeauty #ecobeautyeditor #mindbodysoulbeauty
  • #PROTECTIONCRYSTALSWEEK {Guest edited by Heather and Timmi at @energymuse} Peacock Ore’s (also called Chalcopyrite) rainbow color surrounds you with light to inspire positivity. It is a stone of creativity, innovation and blessings that helps to increase creative energies and stimulate new ideas. Hold it in your hands and say: Negative energy will not enter my space. I am surrounded by light and peace. This will amplify its properties for peace and protection.

Chalcopyrite is a wonderful meditation stone because it breaks up energy blockages to open up the crown chakra. It is also believed to be one of the strongest healing stones in the mineral kingdom, as it has the ability to align every chakra when placed upon it. Using it in body layouts causes a transformative experience that removes negative energy and replaces it with strong, positive energy. Meditating with them on a regular basis increases your intuition and helps you to become more in tune with the universe. It is also said to help us overcome the idea of “perfection,” encouraging us to embrace who we are and accept ourselves. 💎 
#crystals #crystallove #naturalbeauty #chalcopyrite #peacockore #energymuse #crystalsforprotection #crystalbible #energy #energyprotection #ecobeauty #ecobeautyeditor #mindbodysoulbeauty
  • #PROTECTIONCRYSTALSWEEK {Guest edited by Heather and Timmi at @energymuse} Black Tourmaline is one the ultimate protection crystals. If you are looking to clear, cleanse and unlock any energy blockages in your home, place a piece of Black Tourmaline in each of the 4 corners of the room or at the 4 corners of your property. This creates a protective shield of energy to ensure that no negative and harmful energy permeates your space. The human body is constantly bombarded with positive and negative energies. When you come in contact with people everyday, you often pick up some of their energy. To maintain a balanced mind, body and spirit, you want to make sure that your energy is 100% your own, so knowing how to remove negative energy from your energy field is key. 💎
#crystals #crystallove #naturalbeauty #energymuse #crystalsforprotection #crystalbible #energy #energyprotection #ecobeauty #ecobeautyeditor #mindbodysoulbeauty
  • #PROTECTIONCRYSTALSWEEK {Guest edited by Heather and Timmi at @energymuse} One of the oldest stones on the planet, Shungite is a must-have for any crystal collection. All gemstones have healing qualities, but in the case of this super stone, the unique purifying and cleansing properties of shungite make it unlike any of the other protection crystals. Found only in Russia, shungite has been a source of healing since long before the discovery of fullerenes within the stone. The natural fullerenes within this carbon dense stone have the ability to reduce the concentration of free radicals. That's why we always recommend setting shungite protection properties on your desk, to shield against the free radicals cast off by your tech devices. It's also great to place shungite in a glass of water to create a healing elixir. The high-carbon content within shungite acts as a filter. Modern water filtration systems use active charcoal carbon for the same reason. In Karelia, Russia, where shungite is found, they've been using shungite in their water for centuries! 💎
#crystals #crystallove #naturalbeauty #energymuse #crystalsforprotection #realbeauty #holisticbeauty #mothernature #crystalbible #energy #energyprotection #ecobeauty #jewelrywithmeaning #ecobeautyeditor #mindbodysoulbeauty
  • #PROTECTIONCRYSTALSWEEK {Guest edited by Heather and Timmi at @energymuse} Black Onyx is one of the best crystals for protection because it facilitates better decision making. In connecting with a black onyx protection crystal, you can work to shield your energy from regressing into negative habits or patterns. It's ideal for releasing tension, and guides you to find grounding within. Use black onyx to find stability during times of turmoil in your relationships. The self-confidence this stone imbues you with comes from that sense of balance within. It will encourage you to pursue your dreams without fear. Wear it as protection crystal jewelry and always have a bodyguard to shield your inner spirit from unwanted intrusions. 💎 
#crystals #crystallove #naturalbeauty #energymuse #crystalsforprotection #crystalbible #energy #energyprotection #ecobeauty #ecobeautyeditor #mindbodysoulbeauty
  • #PROTECTIONCRYSTALSWEEK {guest edited by Heather and Timmi at @energymuse} Energy is your most precious human resource. Your energy makes you, you. Your physical energy, emotional energy, mental energy and spiritual energy all contribute to how you feel and show up to your life on a day to day basis. 
Your mind, body and spirit are constantly bombarded with positive and negative energies. Even when you do your best to maintain a positive mindset, you are still susceptible to the energies of others and your surroundings. When your co-worker or loved one is stressed, you may pick up that energy and take it on as your own. If you walk into a room where an argument just occurred, your energy field picks up the energetic residue left in the space. This is why it’s of utmost importance to prioritize protecting your energy.

When you feel safe, secure and energized on all levels, you just feel good. You are grounded, calm and able to make better decisions. Your performance at work sky rockets. Your relationships become easier. And your home feels like a safe, harmonious haven.

So what can you do to protect your energy? That’s where crystal energy comes into play. Throughout this week on the @ecobeautyeditor feed, you’ll learn what crystals are best for protection of your space and your energy.
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#crystals #crystallove #naturalbeauty #energymuse #crystalsforprotection #crystalbible #energy #energyprotection #ecobeauty #ecobeautyeditor #energymuse #vibration #goddess #mindbodysoulbeauty
  • #PROTECTIONCRYSTALSWEEK This week’s @ecobeautyeditor feed will be guest edited by Heather and Timmi from (my all-time favourite) crystal house, @energymuse The women are going to be talking about crystals for energy protection — one of the most overlooked health and wellness subjects on the planet IMO. We are actually first and foremost energetic beings, so it makes complete sense that we would need to put certain protocols in place to protect (and nourish) our energy reserves. If you’re a crystal lover like me, stay tuned to find out what ones Heather and Timmi recommend, and why.
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#crystals #crystallove #naturalbeauty #energymuse #crystalsforprotection #crystalbible #energy #energyprotection #ecobeauty #ecobeautyeditor #mindbodysoulbeauty
  • #NATURALMASCARAWEEK @w3llpeople claim their Expressionist Mascara is a “boundary-breaking formula that creates big, bold, fluffy lashes instantly”… and they’re absolutely spot on. I know a big frustration when trying natural formulas can be the lack of volume, the crumbling and the like—you don’t have to worry with this one. This botanical blend boasts pure mineral pigments, which deliver jet-black lashes, all the while the injection-moulded rubber brush helps to separate and define. 100 percent cruelty-free, petroleum-free, paraben free, gluten-free, coal tar-free, aluminum-free, fiber-free, and clump-free.

#mascara #naturalmascara #naturalmascaras #eyemakeup #lashes #lusciouslashes #lashlove #eyes #pure #naturalbeauty #bestmascaras #healthybeauty #cleanbeauty #organicbeauty #beautyeditor #organic #vegan #crueltyfree #ecobeautyeditor
  • #NATURALMASCARAWEEK Winner of the Green Bible Beauty Award, @lilylolousacanada ’s vegan mascara is formulated with organic botanicals, which work as an anti-bacterial—a super handy fact when it comes to mascara, where bacteria can quickly grow. Expect volumizing and defining, thrown in with a good dose of lengthening. Definitely a natural mascara must-have.

#mascara #naturalmascara #naturalmascaras #eyemakeup #lashes #lusciouslashes #lashlove #eyes #pure #naturalbeauty #bestmascaras #healthybeauty #cleanbeauty #organicbeauty #beautyeditor #organic #vegan #crueltyfree #ecobeautyeditor
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Postnatal Doula Jojo Hogan: First 40 Days with Baby

April 3, 2018
postnatal

Have you ever considered hiring a postnatal doula?

The following interview with postnatal doula Jojo Hogan will give you a deep insight into why this could be one of the best decisions to make, post pregnancy.

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I learned a lot from my first pregnancy. Top of my list during my second pregnancy was self-care, minimising stress and rallying a team around me to bring incredible gifts and knowledge to the pregnancy, birth and postnatal table.

In my search for finding a spa for pregnancy massage, my osteopath recommended Bella Mama Pregnancy Spa and Wellness Centre. And so, I took my bump to Auckland’s North Shore and had one of the most divine massages I’ve ever had. Blissed out, I vowed to make this my little sanctuary during the remainder of my pregnancy.

Upon finding out owner Jojo Hogan is also a postnatal doula, I promptly made an appointment to chat about postnatal care, and how I might incorporate her services into my 40 days of rest after bub arrives. I left our appointment feeling uplifted, confident and excited—I knew then I had a team of incredible women with me on this transformative journey called pregnancy, birth and mamahood.

As a first time mama, I had no idea about so many things, especially postnatal rest and care. So, I’m excited to be able to share this interview with Jojo, so you might learn some things I had absolutely no clue about the first time around. 

How did you become so passionate about mums and babies?

It was after completing my Infant Massage Teacher Training in London in 1998. I had been working as a massage therapist for a few years and I always felt in my heart that massaging babies would be something very special to do. That amazing training (with the International Association of Infant Massage) really opened my eyes as to the importance of the mother/baby bond and the  profound difference that compassionate, loving touch can make to the development and wellbeing of babies and therefore of course to the future of the human race!

I was so transformed by this training and information that I went on to have my own son about nine months later!  I then went on to research and discover that these benefits start in-utero and how we treat women during pregnancy can significantly impact on their health, birth experience and postpartum recovery.

When a mother is healthy and well in body and mind she is more likely to have a positive and transformational pregnancy and birth experience with fewer complications. This in turn eases her transition into motherhood. I went on to complete specialist post graduate training in pregnancy and postnatal massage in Devon, UK where I was based at the time.

Why Bella Mama?

After returning to New Zealand from the UK in 2002 I decided I would start a business that focussed on my passion. I realised there was a gap in the market for a business that specialised in this unique area, working with pregnant and new mamas (and their partners) throughout the ‘childbirth year’.

Pregnancy massage is very safe when practised correctly, however the standard of training in New Zealand are minimal meaning many therapists refused to work with pregnant women who had complications or were high risk—the very group that needs it most!

I imagine mums-to-be would book a treatment, but walk away with so much more than just a massage. How do you help them on their pregnancy journey?

You are absolutely right! Massage has so many more benefits than just the physical and the importance of deep relaxation during pregnancy cannot be overstated! In many different cultures they have rules and regulations around keeping pregnant women relaxed and cared for and research now backs up the fact that stress can have negative impacts, not only on the mother but in the growth and development of her baby too.

The thing is, we often can’t avoid stress in our busy lives. It just happens. However what we can do is understand that we must also prioritise relaxation and massage is a wonderful way of doing this. It can help reduce stress hormones, ease muscular aches and discomfort, increase oxytocin and other beneficial hormones and give the mum the time and space to really connect with her baby.

The thing is, we often can’t avoid stress in our busy lives. It just happens. However what we can do is understand that we must also prioritise relaxation and massage is a wonderful way of doing this.

The effects of massage during pregnancy go far deeper than just a pampering treat, it’s a way of improving the health and wellbeing of mother and baby, physically, emotionally and spiritually. At Bella Mama we also advise on other ways that mum can care for herself and her baby during this time i.e. yoga, optimal nutrition, osteopathy etc and I teach various workshops and classes including a gorgeous workshop for birth partners teaching them the benefits and techniques of using massage in the labour room.

Why do we put so much emphasis on pregnancy, but fail to think about the “fourth trimester”?

Great question!! I heard a quote once: “I knew I was pregnant but why didn’t anyone tell me I was going to have a baby!?” I totally felt this way following the birth of my son. I had focussed so much on the pregnancy and how I wanted the birth to go that I was completely blindsided that I was now caring for a newborn baby.

The feedback from the mothers that I work with, as a postnatal doula, is often they have felt underprepared for the challenges of the postpartum weeks and have often struggled with sleep deprivation and mood disorders and breastfeeding issues. This, along with my own experience made me want to find out more about this important time and I started training as a postnatal doula.

What cultures can we learn from to recover properly from pregnancy and childbirth?

Nearly every traditional culture worldwide emphasises a period of rest, recuperation and care for the new mother following the birth of her baby. It is common throughout Asia, Africa and India. I fact, even today I was massaging a mum from Saudi Arabia who confirmed they too observe a postpartum resting period in their culture.

The postpartum seclusion is often around 30 to 40 days and although there are differences, for example in the foods the new mother is given, the basic practises are very similar.

Complete rest and abdication from household tasks such as housework, cooking and childcare, keeping warm, having nutritious food cooked and fed to her and massage and belly binding (sometimes daily!).  It is understood that this period of rest is essential for the new mother to recover from her pregnancy and birth and also to develop a strong bond with her new baby.

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Why is it important for new mums to get specifically 40 days of rest once baby is born?

I feel that in the West we totally underestimate the profound changes a woman experiences during and after pregnancy and birth. Many women are working until late in their pregnancies and/or caring for other children at a time when it’s much more physically taxing to move easily with little chance to rest or prepare for birth.

The birth experience itself has a huge impact on the physical body with fluid and blood loss, enormous energy expenditure and (in the case of a c-section birth) recovery from major abdominal surgery. The hormonal aspects are also profound.

‘Baby Brain’ is a real thing and although it is derided and dismissed in our culture, recent neuroscience shows the changes to a woman’s brain in the last few weeks of pregnancy and the first few weeks postpartum are actually incredibly important and designed to prepare her for effectively bonding with, protecting and breastfeeding her baby.

It’s a time of her life (along with puberty and menopause) when the hormonal impact creates the opportunity for brain plasticity – allowing her to learn new skills, to be more emotionally empathetic and aware and to bond, not only with her baby but with others around her at the time. Amazing!!

The birth experience itself has a huge impact on the physical body. The hormonal aspects are also profound.

For all this to happen however, we have to keep her stress levels very low and her oxytocin levels high.  Caring for a newborn baby is a 24/7 job so giving her extra work to do over this time will only serve to exhaust her. Something that is played out in our culture time and time again as 80 percent of new mothers report being exhausted and overwhelmed in the weeks following birth which is tragic.

The relevance of ‘The First Forty Days’ is that around the six week mark, the new mother has usually stopped bleeding, breastfeeding is established and, as long as she is well rested, nourished and has had a reasonably complication free birth, she is starting to regain her energy.

Why do you think Western society celebrates women who “get back to it” and “bounce back” after just weeks? How can this impact the mum later in life?

There is a saying in Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicine – ‘Forty Days for Forty Years’, which means what happens to the new mother in the first forty days postpartum will impact on her life for the next forty years.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) there is a similar understanding that if a woman is depleted, exhausted and stressed in the weeks after birth then she will never completely regain her vital energy and this will have implications for her later in life including sometimes a difficult menopause.

In the West, we don’t honour and respect the enormous expenditure of energy that it takes to to grow, birth and feed a baby. Instead we expect and even praise women who ‘bounce back’ and recover quickly with no acknowledgement of how this might be impacting their physical and emotional wellbeing in the long term.

There is a saying in Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicine – ‘Forty Days for Forty Years’, which means what happens to the new mother in the first forty days postpartum will impact on her life for the next forty years.

You may have heard the term ‘postpartum depletion’.  This is when a mother never regains her original vitality after pregnancy and birth and goes on to have further children, again without adequate care, rest and support from others.  The effects and repercussions can felt years, if not decades after the birth of her first baby.”

Currently in the West we are experiencing increasingly rising levels of postpartum mood disorders, decreasing breast feeding rates and tragically, suicide is now the leading cause of death for pregnant and new mums in Australasia.  Something is wrong with the way our society is treating pregnant and new mothers.

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Can you explain your work as a postnatal doula?

My work at a postnatal doula is to ‘mother the mother’ giving her focussed care, love, attention and support as she does the important work of mothering her new baby.

Historically, this was often the task of other women in her life but increasingly we are living in a disconnected society where new mothers are isolated away from their support networks, families and friends.  The saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is truer than we believe.

Studies of traditional tribal cultures show a newborn baby is held and cared for by multiple people throughout the day with the mother only holding the baby 40 percent of the time. This gives her time to rest, eat and do other things. This is necessary as newborns are very vulnerable and needy in the first few weeks and benefit from constant body contact, stimulation and feeding on demand. However this is too many jobs for one person (or even two people!) and in our culture we expect women to mother in isolation and then wonder why they feel exhausted, depressed and overwhelmed.

When I work with a new mum as her postnatal doula I support her to find her own path to mother her baby in a variety of ways. I treat her to specialist postpartum massages to help her relax and recover from birth, I bind her belly to support her organs and back, I cook nutritious and delicious food for her to enjoy and to build up her strength and resiliance and I listen to her if she needs to talk about her challenges.  I also encourage her to trust her instincts, difficult for many women in the days of ‘Dr Google’ where mums are bombarded with advice (most of it conflicting) and may not have even held a newborn baby before they bring home their own.

I treat her to specialist postpartum massages to help her relax and recover from birth, I bind her belly to support her organs and back, I cook nutritious and delicious food for her to enjoy and to build up her strength and resiliance and I listen to her if she needs to talk about her challenges.

Most new mums need not to be told what to do but rather encouraged to trust themselves and their babies, to be able to make mistakes and learn from them, to ask for help and to gather around support.  This is my role as a postnatal doula and I feel so very privileged to be a part of their journey.

What’s your vision, as a postnatal doula, for the future of childbirth in the Western world?

My concern is that, even though we are living in a more technologically advanced world, women are increasingly losing confidence in their body’s ability to effectively and safely grow and birth their babies.

Of course technology and intervention have their place and are absolutely vital and lifesaving for mothers and babies in some instances however our c-section rates are rapidly rising (over 90 percent in some countries!) which means that many women and babies are missing out on the hormonal cocktail of hormones (hormones of love and bonding) that help them to prepare for mothering and breastfeeding.

We are actually very lucky in New Zealand compared to other Western countries because our midwifery lead model of care is world class but even then in my experience, many women view childbirth with fear and trepidation rather than viewing it as a time of transformation and power.

My concern is that, even though we are living in a more technologically advanced world, women are increasingly losing confidence in their body’s ability to effectively and safely grow and birth their babies.

In the bad old days women had very little information or choices around birth. More recently we are bombarded with both information and choice however mothers are not being taught the skills needed or the understanding of how their bodies work necessary to actively participate in their births.

My life’s work as a postnatal doula is to improve women’s experience of pregnancy, birth and postpartum so that they trust their bodies to birth their babies with love, joy and confidence (whether vaginally or surgically!) taking this confidence and positivity into their mothering journey.

What are your top tips for mamas-to-be, particularly those who have never had a baby before?

I would love for mamas to view their pregnancies, births and postpartum weeks as a time of immense transformation, power and possibility. A time to learn about and celebrate the incredible workings of their bodies and their brains and to honour this accordingly by getting enough rest, eating well and, just as importantly, doing things that make them happy and joyful on a regular basis as we know that babies benefit from their mothers physical and emotional wellbeing too.

As a postnatal doula I would encourage them to be an active participant in their birth. Learning about birth physiology and how they and their support people can facilitate the right environment for birth to progress smoothly and easily reducing their need for intervention and complications.

I would love for mamas to view their pregnancies, births and postpartum weeks as a time of immense transformation, power and possibility.

Most importantly I would remind them that ‘it takes a village’ and to put in place support networks of friends, family and care providers that will honour the mother/baby/dad, allowing them time and space to get to know each other, bond and fall in love without any extra stress or strain around them.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I truly believe that mothers and babies that are born into a space of peace, love and respect will in turn bring that energy into the world, changing it for the better.

Find postnatal doula Jojo Hogan at Bella Mama Pregnancy Spa and Wellness Centre: www.bellamama.co.nz

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