Have you tried Couleur Caramel Khôl Kajal?

Couleur Caramel Khol Kajal

I received a wee while ago the new Couleur Caramel Khôl Kajal…  I have it in Black and Brown.

I have to say, I’m very impressed with it.  It’s so easy to apply – in fact much easier than an eye pencil – and stays all day.  Khôl Kajal is traditionally used by Indian women to protect the sensitive area of the eye, while intensifying their look.  It’s makeup and skincare 🙂  Knowing that Couleur Caramel is natural makeup that’s certified organic, you are guaranteed a top quality and gentle product, even for the most sensitive eyes…

The main ingredients of Couleur Caramel Khôl Kajal are:

  • Organic Bees Wax
  • Organic Shea Butter
  • Organic Sesame Oil

Let me show you how it can be applied (10 min max):

First, I applied some Perle Touche no 5 (a beige shimmering powder) as a base.  Then I use my Khôl Kajal on the inner rim of the eye. You could also apply it under the eye lashes instead.

Then, I use a small flat brush to apply it as an eye liner.  Very easy and quick.

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Just do small strokes rather than one long stroke.Photo du 12-08-2016 à 17.17 #2

Et voila – both eyes are done – I love it!

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Note that you could also apply a thicker line and blend it with a brush, just like you would do with an eye shadow…

Now I add some black mascara and lipstick no  234 – et voilà!  Ready to go out…

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If you would like to try or buy this brilliant Couleur Caramel Khôl Kajal (€19), please book your free flash makeup at the clinic by texting 086 3836295 or email nurturingtouch@live.ie

A bientôt!

Tissy

8 of the main toxic ingredients found in our cosmetics

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Many cosmetics today still use chemicals within their production because it’s so cheap to acquire these components. It’s claimed there are over 85,000 chemicals used in the cosmetics industry. However, as many discover, it’s not worth a few euro less when you realise what these chemicals are & what they can do to our skin & body.

Petroleum Distillates (Petroleum Jelly)

Found in hair relaxers, hair dyes, soap, shampoo, conditioner, moisturisers, anti-ageing products, make-up, lip balms
– Derived from crude oil and are used in a variety of beauty products, particularly those which claim to moisturise and protect injured skin.

– Slows down the loss of water from the skin by forming a barrier on its surface.
– It has no nutrient value

– Encourages the skin to stop producing its own natural moisturising oils, leading to dryness and chapping. It therefore may exacerbate the very conditions you are trying to relieve.

Propylene Glycol (PEG or PPG)

Found in skin lotion, shampoo, conditioner, baby wipes, soap, make-up.
– Main ingredient in anti-freeze (keeps temps in radiators from freezing or boiling) and is usually listed on cosmetic labels as PEG or PPG.
– Claim to hydrate skin, leaving it smooth and soft. However, both are considered toxins that cause skin rashes and persistent dry, flaky skin and eye irritation.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES)

Found in shampoo, bubble bath, shower gel, cleansers.
– Used to produce foaming, removing oil from hair and skin.
– Despite being portrayed as the baddies of the beauty world by many non-chemical cosmetic companies, both SLS and SLES are proven to be safe cleansers – provided any contact with skin is brief and rinsing is thorough.

Parabens

– Chemical preservatives

– Primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. They can be found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical pharmaceuticals, spray tanning solution, makeup, and toothpaste. They are also used as food additives.

– Low cost

– Found in extremely low concentrations in breast cancer tumors.

– Slightly mimic estrogen (a hormone known to play a role in the development of breast cancer). No effective direct links between parabens and cancer have been established, however.

Fragrance

  • Fragrance is considered a trade secret, so companies don’t have to tell us what’s in it – often dozens or even hundreds of synthetic chemical compounds.
  • Even “unscented” products may contain masking fragrances, which are chemicals used to cover up the odor of other chemicals.

Colour Pigments

  • Synthetic colours made from coal tar.
  • Contain heavy metal salts that deposit toxins onto the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation. Studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic.

GMOs

  • Biochemically engineered plant extracts which allows for certain traits to be added to an ingredient that would not naturally be attainable, eg. a specific protein.
  • As much as these are enhanced to add benefits to cosmetics & results, these components are not processed & broken down as they should be in the body & will have negative effects on the organs & systems.

 

Other than Toxic Chemicals, it’s important to be aware about the common practice of testing products on animals

Every year, cosmetics companies kill millions of animals to test their products. These companies claim they test on animals to establish the safety of their products and ingredients for consumers. Product testing is commonly performed on animals to measure the levels of skin irritancy, eye tissue damage, and toxicity caused by various substances used in the manufacture of cosmetics.

Natural cosmetic companies test directly onto skin due to the guaranteed purity of products. Animal testing does still occur in 100s of well known brands; it will be a constant battle to eradicate it.

 

Knowing that – would you like to try Natural Cosmetics that are efficient, affordable and absolutely Divine? That offer premium quality products with premium quality treatments?

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Phyt’s Naturo-Esthetique and Couleur Caramel Makeup both offer skincare treatments and cosmetics, certified organic and of 100% natural origin. Both companies have been founded on strong values and convictions:

  • Beauty and health go hand in hand
  • Vital need to reduce the impact of chemistry in our environment

They use Plant extract minerals, essential oils, marine and fruit extracts. All the ingredients are used at their purest form and all our products are labeled 100% natural and organic, to offer you the gift of using the greatest quality skincare where your skin keeps pace with inner balance and health.

Phyt’s & Couleur Caramel guarantee: NO PRESERVATIVES – NO PARABENS – NO COLOURING AGENTS – NO PERFUMES – NO SYNTHETICS – NO GMO – NO MINERAL OILS – NO ANIMAL INGREDIENTS OR TESTING

If you wish to find out more about Phyt’s & Couleur Caramel, call or text Tissy on 086 3836295 or email nurturingtouch@live.ie to book your free consultation.

 

3 steps to make your pimples disappear

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Our dear spots always appear at the worse time – the day we are going to a party, a wedding, an interview, or worse… a date !!! Just when we would love perfect skin and here they come – I had a lovely one the day I did my driving licence picture, now it’s on it for ever…

Thankfully, there are ways to hide them, just follow these 3 simple steps :

1) Cleansing

NaturodermAs soon as you see a new spot coming up, using a cotton disk or ear bud, purify the area with a an antiseptic lotion such as Phyt’s Naturoderm. With 100% pure and natural plant macerations and essential oils such as cloves (antibacterial) and sage (heals), Naturoderm is a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal lotion for any infections and open sores. I personally carry it in my bag and also use it as hand sanitiser – it smells lovely and contains no ethanol – so it’s all good.

 

 

 

 

2) Camouflage 

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Time to take out your Concealer, also called Corrective Cream – depending on the colour of the affected area, you will choose a colour to tone it down – for example, if it’s red, you can use a green concealer.  Couleur Caramel offers a wide choice of Corrective Creams, which are ideal to erase imperfections, dark circles, puffiness and redness.  The shad used must be lighter than the foundation to create contrast.  With ingredients such as Organic Shea Butter and FT Baobab Oil, Couleur Caramel Concealers moisturise, nourish and purify the skin.

Apply a small quantity with your finger or a brush by gently dabbing it onto the affected area, until the colour is neutralized.

3) Foundation

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Apply your foundation as normal but being extra gentle when you apply it over the concealer, in order to not remove it.  Then set your make up with a powder et voilà, you’re ready to go!

 

 

 

 

 

A general rule when a spot appear is to always cleanse your skin properly, avoid touching the spot(s) during the day (I know, it’s tempting), especially if you haven’t washed your hands…  Also, always remove your makeup prior to exercising.

I recommend that you choose natural products which are ideally organic in order to not irritate your skin further, just like the saying : « nature doesn’t need chemicals to be beautiful, why would you ? »  If you want to know more about some of the nasty common ingredients that are in our cosmetics, please read the following post.

Finally, watch your diet: eat wholefoods, fresh fruits & vegetables, homecooked foods preferrably (80% of the time) and avoid sweets, junk food, fast food, sodas, alcohol and caffeine – remember the 80/20 rule…

If you would like to try any of our products, please contact me on 0863836295 or by email nurturingtouch@live.ie to make an appointment for your free consultation.

To you healthy skin!

 

Tissy x

My 5 Steps to a Healthy Skin

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I love the way Irish people say “How are you” and “Take care” so many times a day, no matter how many times you might be talking to the same person, it’s such a kind and loving expression – (something we don’t have in French – not that we are not kind and loving J – everybody knows how “Rosemantic” the French are LOL)

I especially love the word CARE – like in “sharing is caring”, “I care for you” or “Skincare” which in my French way of translating means “Loving your Skin”.

I love my skin, in fact I love every part of my body, even my “imperfections” – and why would I not? It’s what makes me…who I am… and if a part of me needs attention or TLC, I give it – such as my skin, the largest organ of my body and my face – the one part of me that’s always exposed. I love to look healthy but most importantly to BE healthy, from the Inside Out – not just to look healthy thanks to the magic of makeup. In fact, even though I have a wonderful natural & organic makeup (Couleur Caramel) – which I love – I only wear it for occasions or a video tutorial, but rarely at work as I prefer my clients to see me the way I truly am, naturelle! And that’s when people get surprised – thinking I’m actually wearing makeup J

I get complimented on my skin regularly and asked what do I do… so today I would like to share with you my 5 steps to a Healthy Skin which I hope will help you too have a beautiful healthy skin, from the Inside Out.

 

STEP ONE: The products that I use – quality over quantity

First, I’d like to share one of my rules: LESS IS MORE – and that applies for skincare products and makeup. I don’t believe in spending fortunes in cosmetics but I believe in using quality. I don’t have 100 different products that I use for my skin, just a good cleanser, toner, moisturiser, exfoliator (no I don’t use serum daily – only when my skin needs it). Same for the quantity – a pea size amount for my moisturiser and if I wear foundation, I only put on a little to give a unified complexion for a long lasting makeup.

I use good quality products – and by that I don’t mean an expensive brand, I mean a natural brand with good quality ingredients, no toxic chemicals, preferably organic and not tested on animals. I use Phyt’s Naturo-Cosmetics – they suit my skin and tick all the boxes for me. I’ve been using them exclusively for the past 3 years now and find them brilliant. In fact, I can truly say that it’s the best Skincare range I’ve ever used. My skin is showing it!

 

STEP TWO: Cleansing

It’s just like brushing my teeth, it has to be done! I don’t do it twice a day though like my teeth, I only cleanse my skin sin the evening after I’ve spent the day working or outdoor, especially if I’ve worn makeup – I don’t go to bed without cleansing my skin, it’s part of my routine.

The steps are simple: cleanse, tone and moisturise – 5 min max and my skin is then ready for our beauty sleep… It actually feels lovely to cleanse the skin before going to bed, it feels fresh J Then in the morning, it’s just shower and moisturise. For me, in the morning, it’s quick quick quick – get the kids to school and go to work J I’m sure it’s the same for some of you!

BUT, once a week, usually on a Sunday after my run, I exfoliate, because that takes a bit more time and I like to give it time – it’s like a little massage… I use Phyt’s Gommage Contact + which has plant cells – a gentle exfoliator – and Ylang Ylang – which is anti-inflammatory and smells gorgeous! It gently removes the dead skin cells and impurities, brightens up my skin and helps my moisturiser to work more efficiently. That’s one of my favourite products.

Why exfoliate?

  • To brighten the complexion
  • To leave the skin soft, smooth & clean
  • To help your moisturiser work efficiently
  • To stimulate the blood supply
  • To help reverse some of the sun damage by refining the skin texture
  • To combat dryness & premature ageing

 

STEP THREE: Diet & Lifestyle

Having a Beautiful and Healthy comes from within, so there’s no point pretending that if we smoke, drink alcohol daily (more than one glass), eat junk & processed food, survive on a coke / coffee diet throughout the day because we are super stressed that our skin will be glowing – that would be amazing!

Here, it’s all about the 80-20 rule – off course I have a sweet tooth and love homemade cake, good chocolate and champagne (I know, I have luxurious taste, but to be honest, if I’m going to have a treat, it has to be worth it!). I eat very healthy 80% of the time, a diet of wholesome, home cooked food based on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, organic eggs and fresh fish – then I have my treats such as Lindt Chocolate (that’s my thing at the moment), hot chocolate with cream from Builin Blasta – our local coffee shop – 1-2/week and if I have the occasion to drink a glass of champagne (or 2), I will – but that doesn’t happen too often!!! I feel sick with every other alcohol, it’s just not worth it. I don’t smoke (but if you do, I heard that the book Easy Way to Stop Smoking (www.allencarr.ie ) is brilliant. Finally, I drink a lot of water (80%) and some Earl Grey Tea (20%).

So if you want to have a beautiful skin, you need to make choices…

Stress is another major factor for skin imbalances and break outs – so finding ways to distress is primordial: relaxation, meditation, yoga, treatments, going for walks, reading, journaling, doing some sport – these are ways I use to stay in balance and release any stress I may have.

 

STEP FOUR – Protection

I’ll never say it enough: protect your skin from sun damage!!! I see so many clients coming for facials who have pigmentation, redness and broken veins… Especially in Ireland, with the weather we have – we think we are safe because it’s not sunny like in Spain but when it is, that’s when we get caught! Suddenly everyone is very lightly dressed without protection or hats, go to the beach between 12 and 3pm and then get burnt – the beautiful Irish skin is so sensitive…

The other thing is redness, broken capillaries – from the wind and cold when going for your walks…

So protect your skin using a good SPF 30 to 50. Our Phyt’s Solaire has Argan oil, it’s nourishing, anti ageing and very light to wear – it doesn’t stick like a lot of SPFs.

In the evening, apply a soothing cream such as Cream Phytssima rich in Argan & Hemp Oil – it’s anti-inflammatory and healing and also our Cream Capyl which is anti-redness and anti-sensitivity with Red Vine and Cypress (venous decongestant).

 

STEP FIVE – Nurture

And by that I mean getting Facials regularly, ideally every 6 weeks, it’s not a treat, it’s essential for the skin.

Using specific serums, masks and massage technique to drain, nourish and tone the skin – while with a Beautician who can advise home care routine to keep the skin in balance.

Our skin changes with time and seasons and has different needs – so should our products. We need more nourishment in Winter whereas we need more sun protection in summer for exemple. So getting regular facials helps to keep the skin in balance, nourished and protected.

 

For more information on Phyts Treatments, visit http://www.tissysbeautyboutique.com/phyts-organic-facials/

Why Join a Baby Massage Class

Baby Massage Session

 

I discovered baby massage over 10 years ago when I joined a class with my daughter.   I really enjoyed that special time I was spending with my little girl massaging her…  Her smiles, laughes and all that unconditional love made my heart melt…  After the birth of my second child (by then, I was an expert in baby massage :-)), I decided to train as a Baby Massage instructor, in order to share with other parents my wonderful experience.  I really think that every parent should have the opportunity to learn to massage their baby, and to join such a class.  Not only you learn massage but also how to communicate with your baby, how to get to know him, how to respect him (as you need to ask permission…), how to react when he’s crying…  It’s not just about the massage, it’s a parenting class, you get to learn so much about your baby and yourself…This is what a mum wrote to me recently: “The most important experience has been the eye to eye contact.  It’s crazy to think that by listening and looking, you can actually understand your baby.  Also, I have learnt to respect my daughter by asking her permission to touch her.  I feel so close to her, and she seems to be happier and a really relaxed baby”.

I really love teaching baby massage and watching parents bonding with their little ones, having fun, singing, babies cooing…  What else can I say?  The benefits are great: bonding, body awareness, improves digestion, regulates sleep, boosts the immune system, helps with PND, non-invasive, easy, adaptable, natural, FUN!

Don’t wait any longer…join a class!

Happy massaging…

Tissy Guillou

www.nurturingtouch.ie

Pregnancy Massage: the importance of working with the Birth Partner

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I. Foreword

When I trained as a Doula (Professional Labour Supporter), my aim was to help couples who were expecting a baby as much as I could, whether it was during pregnancy, during labour or after birth. My role was to give them informational, emotional and physical support.
During my experience as a Doula, I realised that what I really loved was to prepare couples for the birth, which meant giving them as much informational and emotional support as they needed.
But I was lacking a tool; I felt I needed to be able to support them more physically and that is when I became very interested in massage.

I had already learnt baby massage, so I knew what the benefits of massage were. It is nurturing, gentle, comforting and soothing, so why wouldn’t it be for a mother to be, at a time of her life when she needs it most: during pregnancy.

I knew that through massage, I would really be able to support women; before, during and after birth.

Moreover, when I became pregnant with my second child, I wanted a massage, and I found it very difficult to get a pleasant and efficient pregnancy massage in my area; so these were the motivations for doing this course. The course turned out to be exactly what I needed, using a holistic approach, and including work with the birth partner.

As I progressed through my case studies, my clients were getting closer to their due date. So, for three out of four clients (the last one being due in September), I had the opportunity to do a session with their partners (in this instance, the fathers of the babies).
During that time, I felt like being “Doulaing” again…except that I was able to give more “Hands-on”, practical support by teaching the partners some of the massage techniques and Shiatsu points.

Each time, I noticed how involved and curious the fathers were, and especially how they felt more confident following our session. I also loved seeing how reassured and happy the mothers were. And by happy, I mean the glow on their faces as they were “working” together with their partners to prepare the birth of their child.

Therefore, I decided that this would be my project: Demonstrate the importance of working with the birth partner (for a pregnancy massage therapist) to prepare him for the labour.

II. Introduction

Giving birth is a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life. Therefore, it’s essential that these memories be positive ones, and that’s where the birth partner can help.

By birth partner, I’m thinking primarily about the father of the child, but that person can also be a mother, a sister, a friend, or a Doula.
Please note that throughout this project, I have chosen to use the word “he” – meaning the father of the child, when referring to the birth partner.

Towards the end of the last century, the role of the birth partner changed, especially when the birth partner is the father of the child.
There was a time when they were not even allowed to stay with the birthing mother! Nowadays, with a shortage of midwives (and beds) in Irish Maternity Hospitals and the number of births still rising, the presence of the birth partners is very much needed, as midwives are busier, looking after several women at once.
The birth partner is therefore left on his own with the birthing woman, during most of the labour. It’s a very demanding role and indeed a very important one, and without some preparation, the birth partner may feel helpless.

A pregnancy massage therapist can help prepare the partner for the birth, thus creating a safe and nurturing environment for the birthing mother.

III. The role of the birth partner

In the past, the birth partner was the midwife. She would have stayed with the labouring mother throughout the birth and helped her emotionally, physically, as well as assisting the obstetrician delivering the baby.

Nowadays, one only sees the obstetrician if there are complications or if one has chosen to go through the “Private” Medical Healthcare System. As most births are normal (55% Normal Births against 25% C-Sections in average, in Ireland – a high rate of caesarean compared to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines), midwives usually deliver babies without any doctor’s help. Therefore, their role is now more demanding and they often have to cope with more than one woman at a time. Therefore, they rarely get the opportunity to stay beside the birthing woman throughout labour (unless they choose to be Independent Midwives and do Home Births – which not every woman can afford).

Furthermore, it often happens that a mother is introduced to more than one midwife during her labour (due to changes of shift), which can be disturbing. In that case, the only partner that the mother will have throughout her labour is her birth partner, who would usually be the father of the child.

So we should not underestimate the role of the partner who will be supporting the labouring woman, because receiving good support will largely contribute to having a very positive labour experience. According to Tracy Donegan (Author of “The Better Birth Book”), the woman’s role is to give birth and the partner’s role is to do everything else…

But what does that involve?

• Creating a Safe Environment (at home and at the hospital) by dimming the lights, putting on some relaxing music, preparing a nice bath; anything that the mother really likes, that makes her feel safe and comfortable and that her partner knows best.

• Giving Emotional Support, by positively encouraging the birthing mother throughout the pregnancy and labour and understanding her emotional needs

• Giving Physical Support (mainly what the Pregnancy Massage Therapist would teach), through massage techniques and physical comfort measures

• Attending to the Mother’s Needs, if she is too hot or too cold, if she is hungry or thirsty, if she needs to go to the loo, anything that arises

• Looking after Logistics, which may be to organise siblings’ care, put the bag in the car (and petrol!), call the maternity to let them know of the arrival

• Discussing the Birth Plan with the medical staff and answering their questions in order to leave the mother birthing peacefully, allowing her to stay in her own “space”

• Staying by the side of the labouring woman throughout the entire labour
The birth partner has definitely a big responsibility; therefore it’s important to give him “tools” to prepare him for that big day so that he can really be helpful to the mother.
According to the WHO Recommendations: “The training of professional midwives or birth attendants should be promoted. Care during normal pregnancy and birth, and following birth should be the duty of this profession.”
This is where the role of the massage therapist comes in.

IV. The benefits of pregnancy massage & the role of the massage therapist

Touch is the first sense a baby experiences while still in the womb, and continues to be one of the principal ways of learning and developing throughout childhood.

No wonder no one can live without touch. In infancy and in adulthood, massage – which has been practiced in China since at least 3000 BC – has been proven very beneficial for physical and mental well-being.

During pregnancy, more than at any other time of her life, a woman needs to be nurtured, and one way of doing this is through massage and nurturing touch.

The benefits of Pregnancy Massage include:

• Relaxation– it reduces stress, therefore reducing tensions and anxiety related to the fear of labour

• Improvement of circulation (reducing pregnancy related oedema)

• Improvement of all physiological functions (respiratory, gastrointestinal and urinary)

• Relief of tension in the back, neck and weight-bearing joints (such as ankles, lower back and pelvis)

• Helps ameliorate sciatica, improves sleep, and relieves headache and sinus congestion

• Reduction of aches and pains relating to the musculoskeletal strains of pregnancy

Throughout her work, the massage therapist not only physically treats and nurtures the mother, but also prepares her for the labour and postpartum period, through a series of evidence based aftercare advices and exercises.

The pregnancy massage therapist understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a mother to be. With knowledge and experience, she’s a good listener and adviser (referring the client if necessary).

While working with the mother on a regular basis, the therapist gets to know her very well, and monitors the physical changes (swelling relating to oedema for example), and in some cases, may find a condition that needs to be referred (ie. Pre-eclampsia), thus having a preventive role.

Planning one session with the birth partner before the birth is essential to teach him how he can support the labouring mother, by using different massage techniques, Shiatsu Points, physical comfort measures and teaching some theory on the physiology of birth.

This session is also very beneficial in involving the partner in the pregnancy and the whole birthing process.

V. The benefits of working with the birth partner

It’s a real privilege to be able to share this very special time in the life of a couple, and to help them have the best experience possible. After massaging and supporting three of my “case studies” throughout their pregnancy, it was a pleasure to meet with their partner and to help them feel involved in the birth of their babies.

It can be very hard for the partner to understand the physiological changes that happen to a woman during pregnancy, at birth and after birth. With the huge hormonal changes that she experiences, she may exhibit a behaviour that can be very hard to deal with for her family circle and friends, and especially for her partner. It can also be very hard for them to understand that they are going to become fathers since they don’t experience all those changes. Until they hold their baby in their arms…

Therefore, getting them involved with the pregnancy can be very positive. I was amazed to see how curious and interested the partners I worked with were.

From my own experience, I remember my husband was not involved that way in any of my pregnancies. He was not so interested or curious about the changes I was experiencing. Maybe he was overwhelmed… He was present at both my births but didn’t know what to do to support me…he looked helpless! Obviously, I was happy that he was there, but at times, I felt like I was on my own because the midwife was not (physically) supportive either and was in and out of the room all the time.

Here’s a list of the benefits of preparing the birth partner (father) to the birth; for the mother, the father himself and the therapist:
• Mother:
o Nurturing
o Reassuring
o Comforting
o Supportive
o Pleasant
o Romantic!

• Father:
o Bonding (with the baby and the mother)
o Gets involved in the pregnancy
o Learning process: the father gets to learn a lot about his partner
o Reassuring; the father becomes more confident that he can support his partner at birth
o Pleasant
o Romantic!

• Therapist:
o Informative: the therapist gets to learn a lot about the couple and the way they work with each other. It gives a good idea on how supported will the mother be during and after birth.
o Rewarding: it feels so good to get a positive feedback from the couple on how useful the session was, especially when they got to use what they have learnt during the birth
o Very pleasant to get to be a part of their journey towards parenthood

When I do a session with a birth partner, I usually start by going through some theory about the signs of labour and the different stages. Then, I give some ideas on how the partner can support the labouring woman, whether emotionally, by taking care of all the “logistics” – petrol in the car, bag in the car, organise siblings to be minded; also by creating a “safe environment” – with relaxing music, a bath, gentle hand or foot massage, and by dealing with all the questions that will arise at the maternity – ie. discussing the Birth Plan. All this to ensure that the labouring mother can concentrate on labouring.

When I worked with T and her husband, she really enjoyed that part, especially because her partner was not present at her first birth. So the theory was new to him, and talking about what happens during labour reassured him. I find that men are very practical, so if they are told what to do and when to do it, then they will happily do it. But they need some guidance. T was really nervous about this birth, because her last experience in the maternity hospital was traumatic. Going through the theory and explaining how to avoid some of the procedures she didn’t want (ie. Episiotomy) helped a lot. In a way, it was like a “Fear Release” session. She had a baby boy and this time, all went really well. She was delighted with her birth and her partner was very helpful.

Then, I show some simple massage techniques that the partner can perform on the mother in order to physically support her by relaxing her (holding her abdomen to feel her breath and connect with the baby) or relieving some tension/pain experienced in the back during labour (counter pressure in the lower back and around the sacral area) especially if the baby is in posterior position. A lot of the work is done with the mother on “all fours”, lying against the bed or a birthing ball.

B and her partner found that part of the work very helpful. Her partner was very good at practising the different techniques with B’s guidance. She had a great first birth, and was not nervous at all about this one. She was confident that everything would go well this time. And she was right: all went well and she had a beautiful baby girl. After the birth, B sent me a message saying: “Thank you for all your massage tips…they came in very handy: M (her partner) was great!”

I also show some Shiatsu pressure points to relax the mother (in the hand and in the foot) or to help labour progress if it’s too slow.

A was very sensitive to those. I had noticed how sensitive she was to energy work and to lymphatic work. That couple looked so closed to each other and her partner was very much involved in her second (and first) pregnancy. However, no matter how well prepare they were, the outcome was different to what they were expecting… The baby decided to turn into a breech position while she was overdue, so the decision was to have a C-Section. But they were happy about the decision made and had a lovely baby boy. A also sent me a message saying “My little B is very relaxed, thanks to all your massages.”

Finally, I suggest different positions that can be used to help labour progress and allow the mother to feel as comfortable as possible during surges (ie. all fours, squatting, slow dance).

I think the main thing is to keep it simple, so that it is informative but not confusing for the partner when the time comes for him to support the mother. Each session that I had with the different couples has been adapted to their own needs.

Each time, I felt the partners were becoming more confident and were really involved, as they showed a lot of interest. I also noticed the mothers enjoyed working together with their partners as a “team” to prepare the birth of their child.

VI. Conclusion

Throughout my work and my experience, I have realised how important it is for a mother to be to have a birth partner who is well prepared for the birth. Actually, it has been proven how the presence of a Doula contributes in having a good birth experience for the couple (even reducing C-Section rates). However, not everyone can afford or would like to hire a Doula, that is why preparing their birth partner (here, I am thinking especially of the father of the child) can be very beneficial for the mother.

By being trained, they can be more active during the labour, they know what they can do to help the birthing woman, and therefore they feel more confident and helpful.

Consequently, the mother can really relax that her partner is in control, and will support her in all her needs, thus giving her all the tools for a positive birth experience.

As a Pregnancy Massage Therapist, I believe this session with the Birth Partner is really important to accompany the mother thoroughly throughout the pregnancy and at birth, especially in the career that I have chosen. Working with a pregnant woman does not only mean massaging her; I prefer to have a more holistic approach and supporting her in all her different needs: physically (through massage and exercises) and emotionally (through listening and referring). At birth, they need the same support, and what a better person than the father of the child to assist her delivering the baby, after all they conceived that baby together!

Working with the birth partner has been an enriching and fulfilling experience. I taught them a lot but they did too: I realised how involved and curious they were, but also how scared and helpless they felt. Initially, I thought it would be difficult to get to do a session with a birth partner because they wouldn’t want to be there, but I was wrong, they were delighted to get some advice on how to support their partner.

In my career to accompany women and couples through pregnancy, birth and beyond, I have one wish: for them to have a positive experience throughout. By working with the birth partner, I work towards that wish…

Tissy Guillou  www.nurturingtouch.ie

A Pregnancy Massage Session

2011-05-26 Pregnancy Massage

I was invited to take photos of a pregnancy massage for Tissy.  The client came in, on her due date, and was the perfect model – she was so relaxed she fell asleep!

The hardest part for me as the photographer, was keeping quite for an hour however the calming setting and music certainly helped.  I came away with some great photos but more importantly a whole new understanding of the process.

Firstly it is very comfortable for the mum-to-be – Tissy makes a massage bed on the floor and the client is supported by pillows and cushions and completely covered up.  It is very physical for the massage therapist as well as being mentally exhausting.  Tissy was totally absorbed in what she was doing and managed to tune me out completely.

The best bit was all the accupressure work on the labour focus point worked – her client went into labour that night.  I’ve since heard that another of her clients went into labour the same day following her massage.

All I could think, having had a baby myself, was that lucky woman, she is having her last peaceful snooze for a long time!

Andrea

Can Shiatsu Massage help to induce labour?

pregnancy massage

I often advise to my mums to start working on the “labour points” from 37 weeks to help the body getting ready for labour.  But how does it work?

Research has now proven that we are not just a “Physical Body” – what can be seen: made of bones, blood and flesh, but also an “Energetic Body” – that can’t be seen, but can be felt: the Aura and Energy Pathways called Meridians.  Most Meridians are named after the organ they go through (ie. Heart, Liver, Stomach).  When there’s an imbalance in the Meridians (ie. Energy stuck), then it creates pain in the body (ie, Sciatica is usually energy not flowing nicely in the Gall Bladder Meridian).

Shiatsu Practitioners work with these Meridians aiming at balancing the energy throughout the body.  Many factors can create imbalances, they can be either external (ie. Weather: wind, cold, etc.) or internal (Emotions).

When a woman reaches the end of her pregnancy, she often can’t wait to go into labour!!!  It might be because she’s tired, in pain (SPD, etc.), worried that baby grows too big … But there’s also the threat of induction…and that’s what worries most of my mums… Induction with Pitocin (the synthetic version of Oxytocin) will usually make contractions much stronger than when Oxytocin is naturally produced by the body, which makes labour a bit more challenging for mums, and they often end up opting for the epidural… Believe me, if you can do without drugs, you’re better off!

It’s important to remember that the due date is only a guess date, so when you are given 10 days after the due date to go into labour spontaneously; it’s still only an estimate.  Buy some time!  Remember that the World Health Organisation recommends 14 days.  Ask your consultant if you and your baby are ok, if yes then ask to wait one more day…  The fear of induction can often create an emotional blockage.  It’s hard for the body to release happy hormones to go into labour when you feel emotions such as fear.  So it’s very important to RELAXXXXXX…

That’s what Shiatsu works on: releasing stuck emotions, as well as relaxing the mum, releasing tension in the upper body, promoting the production of Oxytocin and strengthening the uterus.  To do that, they access the Meridians through gates called Tsubos or Acupressure Points. Usually, a few sessions are needed, however, if the body is ready, mums can go into labour within 3 days following the treatment.

So mums, remember: It’s very important to relax and to enjoy the last few days of your pregnancy.  Meet up with your friends, go to the cinema to watch a fun movie, go to the restaurant, do all these things that you won’t be able to do for a little while.  If it’s your first baby, go for a tea with your book on your own, believe me, as a mum, you don’t get much time on your own anymore 🙂   Go to the restaurant with your partner and enjoy the time just the 2 of you.  Make love (to produce Oxytocin), drink Raspberry Leave Tea, work the Acupressure Points daily (maybe not in that order :-)) and forget about Due Dates, Induction Dates, etc.

Just RELAXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX and have a wonderful labour!

Tissy X

Couleur Caramel – How to put on my Eyeliner and Lipstick

eye-liner-bio

Products Used:

Eye Liner:

  • Black Eyeshadow 023 – with Organic Soybean Oil and Rooibois with anti ageing and anti oxydant properties – used with Angled Eye Shadow Brush No 10.
  • Organic Eye Liner Black with Organic Aloe Vera Juice and Organic Rosewater to moisturise, regenerate, soften and protect.

Lips:

  • Lip Pencil no 107 Red, with Organic Beeswax, Organic Shea Butter and Bisabolol to nourish, protect and regenerate.
  • Lipstick no 223 True Red, with Organic Jojoba Oil and Apricot Wax to protect and nourish the lips.
  • Gloss no 805 Perly Rasberry Red, with Rooibos and Apricot Wax to protect and plump the lips.

All products are available on the Boutique or by email nurturingtouch@live.ie

Is my Skin Dry or Dehydrated?

aqua phyts

When choosing a skincare product, it’s important to know our skin type and if we have any imbalance.  There are 4 main Skin Types:

Normal Skin

  • Well balanced water / oil content
  • Refine Pores
  • Little or no blackheads or breakouts
  • Even Texture and Tone
  • Minimal capillary damage / sensitivity

Dry Skin

  • Lacking Oil
  • Tight Skin
  • Pores are very fine / barely visible
  • Flakiness can appear
  • Ages more quickly / noticeably
  • Rough Texture
  • Sensitivity can also happen and DEHYDRATION occurs easily

Oily Skin

  • Over production of sebum
  • Obstructed pores on T-Zone & cheeks
  • Blackheads, rough texture
  • Pimples, spots, cysts can occur as a condition

Combination Skin

A mix of the above skin types

 

DEHYDRATION is a skin imbalance that can occur with any skin type and means that the skin tissues are lacking WATER. Here are the symptoms:

  • Skin feels and looks tight
  • Fine lines
  • Scaly appearance when looking closely
  • Flaking and broken capillaries are common

This imbalance is due to our general health, lifestyle, diet and skin care routine:

  • Inappropriate Cleanser (watch out for alcohol or chemical glycerine)
  • Acne Treatments
  • Sun Exposure
  • Neglect: diet, incorrect homecare, smoking, etc.
  • Medication / Illness
  • Harsh Exfoliators (avoid those with grains)
  • Environment – ie: air conditioning, extreme temperatures
  • Hot water / baths
  • Ageing

Ingredients that Hydrate:

  • Sunflower Oi
  • Palm Oil
  • Sesame Seed oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Sodium Hyaluronate
  • Vegetable Glycerine

 

Phyt’s Products:

  • Lait Nettoyant Cleanser
  • Orange Toner
  • Gommage Contact + (Exfoliator)

Aqua line

Phyt’s Aqua Line specifically targets dehydration.  They combine the best of Natural Hyaluronic Acid and vegetable oils:

  • Cleanser: Eau Micellaire (cleanser & toner in one bottle)
  • 3 moisturisers: Fluid Aqua, Creme Aqua and Creme Hydra Riche
  • Serum: Elixir Aqua
  • Mask Hydra’Gel

With Couleur Caramel Makeup, most products are for all skin type, but here are 2 products particularly suited to Dehydrated Skin:

  • White Base
  • Natur’Fluid Foundation

All products are available to try at the clinic, just call or text to book an appointment on 086 3836295 or email nurturingtouch@live.ie

 

What changes can make to your lifestyle for a beautiful skin?

  • Watch your diet: eat a balanced diet of fresh fruits & veg, whole grains and good quality products – avoid processed foods, fizzy drinks, alcohol, coffee and as much as possible and cook your meals 80% of the time rather than buying ready made
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Check your products and their ingredients, stay away from toners with alcohol, exfoliators with grains / seeds (too harsh) – use appropriate products.  Your skin is your largest organ, anything you put on your skin goes into your blood stream, so for your health, choose natural products over chemicals and toxins
  • Protect your skin from sun exposure, using a good SPF of minimum 30  – I love our Phyt’s Sun Care Range… not only the products are very effective, but less is more so they last long, smell beautiful and don’t feel sticky

A bientot!

 

Tissy