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May 2015 • Online Edition

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Tired? Stressed? Care For Yourself, For Everyone’s Sake | Print |  E-mail

by Jamie Siebrase

You know how flight attendants always remind passengers that, in the event of an emergency, they should secure their own oxygen masks before helping children?

The logic’s transparent – you won’t be much help to your kids if you aren’t breathing. Yet, too often we parents neglect ourselves. Which is why, this month, I’m asking all of you to secure your own figurative oxygen masks by trying a few of these TSA-approved techniques. 

Inspired by the healthier, happier pace of life she observed in Nepal, Sharon Hwang founded The Wellness Center, 870 S. Colorado Blvd., as a way to approach medicine from a lifestyle perspective. “Stress causes an estimated 95 percent of all disease,” says the entrepreneur-slash-mom. Parents are often inundated with stress, making self-care critically important.

Pre- and postnatal massage combats stress while fighting parent-specific aches:it alleviates prenatal pain, as well as soreness associated with hunching while nursing or bottle feeding, by elongating and expanding muscles while breaking up toxins. There’s even massage for cesarean scars. “Weekly massage is ideal, but once a month works too,” adds Hwang. For info: wellnessdenver.com; 303-357-9355. 

Chiropractic care also alleviates prenatal discomforts and heals sore, overworked bodies. “Parenting is really difficult,” says Lisa Goodman, D.C., chiropractor and certified sports physician. Goodman’s sports practice morphed into a more diverse center six years back. “I was pregnant with my first and realized there weren’t many local prenatal chiropractors.”

So, Goodman got prenatal certified. Today she runs Washington Park Chiropractic, 1313 S. Clarkson St., with partner Jace Buzek, D.C. “The goal of chiropractic care during pregnancy is normalizing the pelvis and creating balance,” explains Goodman. Regular prenatal care often results in faster, more efficient labor, which is why many Denver midwives and OBs refer patients to Goodman.

When it comes to postpartum care, Goodman and Buzek are particularly cognizant of common symptoms. “We have new moms come in two weeks postpartum so we can screen for depression,” Goodman says. That’s four weeks sooner than most postpartum OB visits. Goodman offers information on breastfeeding, sleep, and posture at this visit. The team also caters to a group OBs inherently miss: dads. “We’ve found a lot of dads need extra support,” Goodman says. “Nobody pays attention to them – but being a new dad is tough.”

Stress, something pretty much all parents deal with, typically manifests through physical symptoms. While there’s no specific adjustment for stress, chiropractic care relieves stress on the nervous system by reducing stress on the spine. “If the nervous system functions properly, everything else can work properly too,” says Goodman, whose goal is to be a great resource for health in the neighborhood. For information:washparkchiro.com; 303-744-7100.   

Another great neighborhood resource:Lisa Bullis, L.Ac., owner of Pin & Tonic, 1100 E. Evans Ave. Bullis specializes in women’s issues, helping moms find natural ways to cope with every stage of parenthood – from conception to postpartum and beyond.

“A lot of women and their husbands come in when trying to conceive,” says Bullis. She uses herbs and acupuncture to treat an array of infertility issues. During pregnancy, the most common grievance is morning sickness. “Acupuncture is very effective for treating nausea,” says Bullis.

Later in pregnancy, needles help with back and hip pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and swelling. Acupuncture even encourages the body to go into labor naturally; certain points can be used to help correct a breech presentation (when a baby is in position to exit buttocks or feet-first, rather than normal head-first orientation). When baby arrives, postpartum acupuncture and herbs can ease postpartum depression or assist with establishing milk supply.

Bullis’s practice is community-style; affordable treatments (think: $25 per visit rather than $75) in group settings allow for regular visits, helpful because acupuncture is a cumulative medicine. For information: pintonic.com; 303-733-3317.

This next indulgence isn’t medicine, but nothing soothes this mom more quickly than a pedicure. Fingers & Toes, 743 S. University Blvd., delivers clean, hygienic services that cater specifically to moms-to-be by providing safe polishes. For information: fingersandtoes.net; 303-955-1920.

Speaking of soothing, Cierra Imig, owner of Mayu Meditation Sanctuary, 1804 S. Pearl St., believes meditation is invaluable for parents. She touts well-known benefits like lowered stress, diminished anxiety, and reduced insomnia. “Meditation also provides skills particularly effective for the challenges of parenting,” Imig says. “Through meditation parents learn how to be more patient, deal with strong emotions, and communicate mindfully.” Mayu hosts a monthly Mindful Parenting class that resumes in August. For info: mayusanctuary.com, 303-832-0033.

If mom and dad aren’t happy, nobody is. The old adage is true – which is why you owe it to your kids to take great care of yourself. Now, go. Treat yourself to a spa day, for goodness sakes.

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