Holistic reproductive health is exactly what it sounds like, an exploration of all aspects of life when addressing a sexual or reproductive health issue. This includes examining health history, symptoms, lifestyle, eating habits, relationships, self-talk, etc… under the premise that everything is interconnected and influences each other.
Perhaps it is not surprising that there is little money and research focused on gynecological issues that aren’t geared toward conception. This means that all too often, people are suffering from chronic conditions such as PCOS, endometriosis, or debilitating, painful periods that impact the quality of their life. The standard medical approach is to offer pharmaceutical medications or surgery. Although these options may be necessary solutions for some, many are left craving something more. Someone to hear them, someone who can point them toward reliable resources or take the time to help them understand what is going on inside their bodies and what their options are.
The methods I use are massage, castor oil packs, vaginal steams, nutritional and herbal remedies. I am also able to interpret lab results and collaborate with other health care professionals you may be working with.
My clientele is broad. It’s multicultural, economically diverse and consists of mostly female identified folks in the 25 yr. – 55 yr. age range. I serve anyone from individuals who are interested in knowing more about their womb and how best to care for it, to folks who are at their wits end in dealing with some gynecological condition and are willing to “try anything”. I also serve people who don’t have wombs and have clients of various gender and sexual identities. The one common denominator that links all of the people I work with is a willingness to actively participate in their healing process.
I am committed to offering accessible services by providing pay-what-you-can spaces, to providing education and resources with the goal of collective empowerment and to approach all who seek my help in the spirit of love and compassion. Further expansion of these core values is to come!
Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy (ATMAT)
Om Laila studio 64 Henry st.
Healers in Central America have been practicing these noninvasive, hands-on manipulation techniques for thousands of years. This therapeutic massage works to eliminate the primary cause of reproductive and digestive complaints in men and women by repositioning the reproductive organs and assisting the flow of fluids and energy to nourish and repair the organs and systems naturally. Herbal and dietary education, castor oil packs and vaginal steams are complementary elements of this healing modality.
Types of conditions ATMAT can help with:
The first session lasts two hours and consists of going over the individual's health history, receiving the massage and teaching the individual how to do the self-massage at home for maintenance.
Depending upon the needs of the client, a hot castor oil abdominal pack and/or vaginal steam may also be included in the session.
Initial ATMAT sessions cost $140
Follow-up session options:
Arvigo Prenatal Massage
Om Laila Studio 64 Henry St.
The Arvigo prenatal massage specifically supports the needs of the pregnant body throughout gestation. It is a version of the "sobado", a special pregnancy massage traditional Mayan and Mexican midwives would perform at prenatal appointments. The blessings of this nurturing treatment are experienced both while receiving your massage and afterward. Not only does the Arvigo prenatal massage melt away tension and relieve aching muscles, it improves circulation and digestion, removes toxins from the body, alleviates nerve compression, enhances nutrient and oxygen delivery to your baby and aligns the uterus, encouraging an optimal fetal position and hence a more efficient labour!
Note: this is not an External Cephalic Version. ATMAT positions the uterus, not the baby.
A 2010 study concluded that pregnant people who received massage throughout pregnancy decreased their chances of having a premature baby, experienced significant less pain and had on average a 3 hour shorter labour.
ATMAT pregnancy massage is also fantastic for individuals who are concerned with going beyond dates.
For drawing the maximum benefits of this therapy, regular sessions are recommended. Recipients will also learn a special self-care abdominal massage routine, which they can do at home to enhance and maintain the healing.
A warm and heartfelt thank you to the Maya people, whose wisdom brought forth these brilliant techniques.
Prenatal Movement and Fetal Positioning
Om Laila Studio 64 Henry St.
What does fetal position have to do with birth outcome?
The position of the baby at the end of pregnancy majorly influences the kind of labour and birth you will have and ensuring that the baby is "head down" is only part of the story.
The alignment of your body and the baby's body are interconnected and dynamic. These powerful one on one prenatal movement and fetal positioning sessions start off by reviewing your health history and an assessment of your posture and breathing. You are then taught specific stretches, releases and movements that will help you feel your best, carry your baby well and encourage your baby to assume an optimal position for birth. This will, in turn, help the child be born as swiftly as possible.
We will also examine certain movements and habits that can negatively affect fetal positioning, explore indicators of fetal positioning ( including belly mapping) and discuss favorable habits that are associated with ideal fetal positioning. Handouts are included.
A Prenatal Movement and Fetal Positioning session is one and a half hours and costs $125
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Midwife & Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner
I am a Certified Professional Midwife who graduated from a MEAC accredited midwifery program in El Paso, Texas in 2011. Afterwards, I attended births abroad in Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, Kiribati and Mali to enrich my knowledge and further develop my midwifery skills.
I am a professional practitioner of the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®, have completed a Bellies Inc postnatal fitness certification as well as the "Seven Waves" essential Bellydance teacher training certification with the fabulous Roula Said.
My birth related specialities are movement, fetal positioning and abdominal and pelvic floor care.
I offer holistic reproductive health services at the Om Laila studio in Toronto where I assist people through bodywork, herbs, oils and nutrition.
It is an honour to share my knowledge and I look forward to working with you
“For several months, my PMS symptoms were debilitating for 1-4 days at a time. This included a high level of pain, nausea, extreme dizziness, and mood swings. It was at the point where it was severely impacting my ability to work. I thought for some time that it’s just the way things had to be for me and began making sure I could allot the time to endure these episodes.
I booked an appointment with Elizabeth, to have an abdominal massage, castor oil pack and vaginal steam. She worked very intently with my womb that day and was able to shift things. She told me that it is not uncommon for the uterus to shift positions, perhaps by doing heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. As the uterus expands closer to menstruation time, it can press against the vagus nerve and cause pain and dizziness. That day I really felt something move into place, and following that appointment, I haven’t felt the same extreme pain as I had been enduring for nearly a year each month.
We discussed nutrition and how I could make a few small changes that would make a difference with my digestion and nutrient absorption.
Elizabeth additionally took the time to do a lot of research into what could be done to begin alleviating my symptoms.
She blended some herbs to be used regularly for tea - for balancing hormones that improved my overall mood swings. She recommended a specific kind of magnesium supplement to further assist with pain.
I felt very safe, seen and supported with the care and attention provided, and feel that she is very qualified for this specific type of massage in such a delicate area of the body. I continue to experience benefits from the sessions and from her nutritional advice and I would strongly recommend her services to anyone who requires assistance with having a healthier and more comfortable menstrual flow. “
I came to see Elizabeth after over ten years of serious endometriosis pain which had at many points been very debilitating. It was about one year after I gave birth and I was once again in serious pain after my menstrual cycle returned, along with the back pain which can come from pregnancy and carrying an infant everywhere. The treatment which Elizabeth provided felt very relieving to my lower back, and it was a very stress-free and relaxing/non-judgemental environment after seeing doctors and specialists who told me I had no options besides painkillers or hormones. Afterwards, I felt very fatigued for a few days and needed a lot of rest, but after that, I experienced the first pain-free period I'd had in over ten years. It was a dramatic change for me and lasted for almost one year-- that was when I decided it was time to book another appointment.
Elizabeth was able to provide me treatment for my cysts after my naturopath recommended I seek a maya abdominal massage practitioner. With the combination of the castor-oil pack treatment I was able to greatly benefit from her services after only a few sessions. Elizabeth was able to provide a gentle, and relaxing treatment in the comfort of my own home and created a safe and sacred space where I was able to also receive a post-massage self-care plan to continue doing the work on my own between treatments. Elizabeth was able to offer me tools and practices to help me maintain the work all the while feeling more familiar with my body and its needs. I feel my own self-assessment skills are improved and I will be able to detect imbalances and irregularities much sooner and be able to treat them in the future. To feel connected to my womb in a whole new way, and knowing that she was there to support was truly empowering. I will continue to work with her for overall womb health and also just indulging in some sweet self-care ! - Shaila Khan
During my third pregnancy I was unable to find a prenatal class that suited my schedule. I searched the web for prenatal classes with a movement component and came across the prenatal belly dance class that Elizabeth Redmond was teaching at Om Laila studios. At 31 weeks I started class with Elizabeth. This pregnancy was classified as high risk so I knew I was not going to have a natural birth, rather another c - section. I knew that taking this belly dance class would help me deal with the disappointment of missing out on a natural birth experience and heal my past two birthing experiences to make way for a positive space to welcome my daughter.
Elizabeth was such a great teacher! Not only did I participate in amazing Belly dance movements, but I also had the opportunity to explore relaxation techniques. Furthermore, because Elizabeth is a midwife we had great discussions about prenatal, birthing and postnatal care. During dance classes I felt relaxed, happy, and in tune with my body and spirit. In this class I had carved out time for myself, away from work, away from my husband and two sons, and away from the busyness of Toronto. Time to reflect on my changing body, time to think about how I would welcome this baby into my world and family. The baby also enjoyed the classes, she got a massage through the movements and she would kick actively to show me her appreciation, something I will remember fondly.
Elizabeth modified the class to respect my limitations for the day, her music selection was awesome, and the structure of class was perfect. I took many of the things I had learnt in the class to apply to my pregnancy and still use today postpartum. When I was pregnant I would practice Belly dance moves to loosen my back, and calves. Now, when my baby is fussy I hold her on my shoulder and do figure eights or gentle hip circles. When I am feeling stressed about breast feeding I practice some of the breathing techniques I had learnt to pair with dance moves.
I honestly couldn't imagine going through my journey without the care and support of Elizabeth. She is truly a gifted therapist. Her process is completely holistic in nature and her treatments are so very nurturing and healing. I had heard about Mayan Abdominal Therapy and was anxious try this ancient healing modality. When I was pregnant with my son, who is now almost 8 years old, I was diagnosed with uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts.
Although they hadn't grown in size, they were still very present and I was not satisfied with the Western medicine approach of "let's just wait and see". I have always taken my well being and self care seriously so I researched alternative options for female reproductive health and thankfully, I found Elizabeth.
Her approach is gentle and knowledgeable and the abdominal massages are amazing! I look forward to my treatments and just recently I found the space to actually acknowledge and thank my cysts and fibroids for having provided with me such an incredible healing experience.
Since seeing Elizabeth my periods and PMS are much more bearable. My cramping, bloating and overall feeling tired and stressed have all decreased considerably. I'm in awe of the results. I feel so supported having someone to talk to about my periods and my reproductive health. It's reassuring to have someone who truly cares about my well-being. I have so much gratitude for Elizabeth and feel truly blessed to have met such a wonderful healer. Kelly C.
I took Elizabeth's prenatal belly dance classes during my third trimester, right up till my due date; the dance moves, exercises and sense of community in our small group made an enormous difference to my emotional and physical well-being at a time that I think even the healthiest women find to be a challenge. I distinctly remember dragging myself to class, haggard, aching and exhausted, and leaving refreshed and (relatively!) limber, able to move comfortably in my body again. Elizabeth really takes her students' individual needs into account and adapts her class focus and pacing accordingly. It was clear that she put a lot of thought into what each women needed, given her dance experience and stage of pregnancy. In addition to classic belly dance moves, we spent a good deal of time on stretching, flexibility and relaxation exercises, and also took time to discuss our pregnancy joys and trials. Elizabeth is very knowledgeable about prenatal topics, including nutrition, herbal supplements, maternal health issues and fetal positioning, and she will check your baby's position for you! In short, this class was a lot of fun and of real benefit, and is an excellent way to practice self care as a preparation for birth and motherhood!
We have been using the skin salve for over a year now and lovin it! Our daughter uses cloth diapers so we needed a natural product for our diapering needs.The salve creates such a protective area that we never dealt with diaper rashes. Once we contacted Liz about it, she made it super easy to place a order and to organize a pick up. Her price was great and knowing the person that makes such a personally used product on our little one has a certain comfort to it.
Elizabeth is knowledgeable, caring, and reliable. She has helped me out with two different gynecological issues and each time her advice has been instrumental in resolving the problem. I highly recommend her for anyone looking for natural, low cost, healthy options for any gynecological issue.
I have had a LOT of massages! And I thought I had a lot of prenatal massages during my first pregnancy. It turns out, I was getting regular massages, except I was lying on my side. Then, during my second pregnancy, I started seeing Elizabeth Redmond for ACTUAL prenatal massages. She is trained as a midwife, and her knowledge of the pregnant female body is vast. She massaged parts of me that had been ignored my whole life and I left every session feeling as though I had more space in my body, for my baby and my relocated organs. I slept better, and I suffered fewer digestive issues, than I had during my first pregnancy. She stretched the parts of my body that would be involved in my birth, and my second baby was in a far better position during labour, resulting in a shorter labour, and far less pushing. Elizabeth also treated me in my postpartum healing and it was the care and pampering my body needed after the beautiful work it had done. Elizabeth is fantastic at what she does. You can feel the healing power that radiates from her hands. Pregnant people deserve special care, and Elizabeth provides just that.
-Mira Bell, proud mother of 2, massage enthusiast!
I was fortunate to receive prenatal massage from Elizabeth throughout my whole pregnancy, and after each treatment felt as though I could breathe more deeply and move more freely. I gained an awareness of my baby's position and my body's transformations, and attribute my comfortable pregnancy, natural birth and quick recovery in large part to Elizabeth's intuitive and confident touch.
In addition to the hands-on technique Elizabeth offers, I always felt very well cared for and informed by our dialogue - given Elizabeth's extensive background in midwifery, herbalism, massage, and movement, I learned so much during our sessions. I felt both pampered and empowered to do the suggested self-care at home.
Elizabeth is offering something very specialized and unique in the prenatal health field, and as a doula, yoga instructor and new mother, I highly recommend Elizabeth for anyone wanting intelligent, personalized healing touch throughout their pregnancy. It is above and beyond a simple 'pregnancy massage'. It is woman-focused and nuanced and feels incredible!
Elizabeth was so wonderful and made me feel very comfortable during the optimal fetal positioning session I had with her. Her approach was gentle and she was very receptive to what I was feeling and what my limitations were near the end of my pregnancy. She was very knowledgeable when it came to answering any questions or concerns I had regarding my experience during the session. The stretching techniques and restorative yoga positions she led me through during the session were not only helpful and practical, but very relaxing. At one point during the session, the baby moved. When I went into labour, which occurred a week following the session, the baby was in the optimal position and my delivery was shorter than the first time I gave birth. Additionally, the tips she shared about labouring positions were appreciated and very useful. Overall, my experience was excellent and I would recommend OFP sessions performed by Elizabeth Redmond to anyone interested.- Natalie Woloshyn
Links to Holistic reproductive health affiliates & fantastic pregnancy resources
The Arvigo™ techniques were developed by Dr. Rosita Arvigo, N.D. based on her apprenticeship with the Maya healer Don Elijio Panti and her own education, training, and research as a naprapathic physician. Rosita's lifework, THE ARVIGO TECHNIQUES OF MAYA ABDOMINAL THERAPY®, help to restore the body to its natural balance by correcting the position of organs that have shifted and restrict the flow of blood, lymph, nerve and chi energy. For more info, click the visit website option above.
Om Laila Studio
Roula Said's boutique space in Toronto where we teach bellydance, singing, sensual fitness, self-accompaniment (dancing with finger cymbals and/or song) and wellbeing exercises.
Transgender Parents is about love, life and kids after a gender transition. It shares the struggles and strengths of several trans women and trans men navigating different stages of parenting: from pregnancy, through raising infants, toddlers and teenagers.
Some, who transitioned prior to founding their families, experience fertility clinics and hospital births; others, who transitioned in the presence of their kids work to renegotiate their identity and relationships within their families.
The holistic stages of labor
Whapio has been an Independent Midwife for over 30 years, attending women and families in birth and educating women in the Arts of Midwifery and Healing. She also teaches Homeopathy and is affiliated with HANA (Hahnemann Academy of North America). Whapio has studied homeopathy and Qigong with Robin Murphy, ND for over 20 years. She has also studied healing at The Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Beijing Massage Hospital in China. Whapio is a Community Mediator and counselor for family concerns. She speaks and writes frequently about Quantuum Midwifery and Returning Birth to the Family.
In 2001, I retired from active practice of midwifery and began teaching what women have passed on to me. The Matrona was created as a repository of this birth wisdom and our programs have been educating women as midwives and doulas since then. I no longer actively attend birth but I still maintain my connection to birth by offering Placenta Readings to the community and, of course, teaching.
These days I read a lot of quantum physics and quantum biology. I feel that the principles being discovered and written about by cutting-edge and on-the-edge physicists and punk scientists are absolutely applicable to our evolution and to the evolution of childbirth and midwifery. These discoveries uphold what we already know about birth and life…that we are sacred, that life is sacred, that there is a field in which we are all connected and that the way we bring forth life on this earth is evolving us to understand the authentic nature of our reality.
The Matrona – our Quantum Midwifery Program, our Holistic Doula Program, all of our teaching programs – serve to share and expand this knowledge of life and consciousness.
Toronto Pregnancy and Childbirth Meetup Crew
Event locations vary
his meetup is for pregnant women who want to socialize and discuss pregnancy and childbirth related topics in a cozy, welcoming environment. It will be facilitated by a midwife who is dedicated to people empowering themselves through education, so that they can make the best decisions about what is right for them and their bodies. This group is interactive and the participants will choose what topics they want to explore. Queer and Trans welcome
The meetups are posted on the website calendar. If you are interested in attending, please go meetup.com and join "Toronto Pregnancy and Childbirth Meetup Crew" so that you can RSVP and be kept in the loop about future events!
Toronto Postpartum and Community Meetup Crew
Event locations vary
The purpose of this meet up crew is to support and nourish the people in our community who are raising newborns. This is a pivotal time, full of transformation. There are so many decisions and life style adjustments to make that often people can feel isolated and overwhelmed. This group serves as a space for people to come together, socialize and discuss topics related to postnatal health, newborn care, parenting etc. It will be facilitated by a midwife who is passionate about empowerment through education and peer support. The Toronto postpartum meet up crew is an interactive group, meaning that the participants will decide what they want to talk about and are encouraged to share their own knowledge and expertise along side with the group facilitator. Queer and Trans folks welcome.
The meetups are posted on the website calendar. If you are interested in attending, please go meetup.com and join "Toronto Postpartum and community Meetup Crew" so that you can RSVP and be kept in the loop about future events!