Transcript: Healing Your Body Postpartum By Working With Your Energy Chakras
This is a text transcript from The First Time Mum’s Chat podcast. The episode is called Healing Your Body Postpartum By Working With Your Energy Chakras and you can click on the link to view the full episode page, listen to the episode and view the show notes.
Helen Thompson: I’d like to start by wishing you a warm welcome to 2023. I wish you all the best, and I’m looking forward to being a part of your parenting journey during this year. Since the beginning of my podcast, I’ve interviewed many wonderful experts who have shared many techniques to help with postpartum healing and recovery.
In this week’s episode, I’m exploring the area of energy centers or chakras with energy worker, workshop leader and author Lisa Erickson. I find going within and focusing on these chakras is highly beneficial in helping to heal and achieve balance, and awaken to your own greatness. If like me, you often have a cluttered, busy mind and find it challenging to go into that quiet space then focusing on these chakras is a great way to overcome this. You don’t have hours at your disposal, so you’ll be pleased to hear that these are quick energy tools that you could easily include in your daily schedule. Lisa shares some great tips and strategies which are found in her Chakra Empowerment For Women book, which are easy to follow, including 3 simple exercises to begin working with your energy and chakras right now.
I’ll share details on where you can find Lisa’s book in the show notes, and I’ll let you know where you can find these at the end of the episode. So let’s get started.
Hi Lisa, and welcome to First Time Mum’s Chat and thank you for joining me today. Can you start by just telling us a little bit about your journey and about yourself and what you do?
Lisa Erickson: Well, thank you for having me. I’m really happy to be here. I am an energy worker, a workshop leader and an author and I work with meditation tools, mindfulness tools and energy body tools, especially tools oriented around the chakras or energy centers in our body and a lot of the work I do is related to women’s transits, including fertility, pregnancy and postpartum. So I’m really excited to talk with your audience about that in particular.
Helen Thompson: Thank you, that sounds good. Let’s start by asking you about how energy works for a first time mum, particularly in their postpartum stage.
Lisa Erickson: Yeah, well, we all have an energy body in addition to our physical body and energy body teachings come from many different cultures all around the world, and they’ve gotten integrated into our life. A lot of people don’t realize that yoga, for example, the postures are not just based on our physical anatomy, our muscles and things like that, they’re also based on our subtle body anatomy, the chakras or energy centers in our bodies. What opens up the energy, what cleanses it etc. So that’s where these tools can be really helpful because the part of our energy body connected to our physical body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy and postpartum, just like our physical body does.
I think the main thing energetically that’s happening, pre-partum, during pregnancy is just like our physical body will give nutrients to the baby first, it will prioritize the baby. Our energy body does the same, and so our energy tends to pool in our second chakra that’s associated with the womb and that chakra is considered like the spiritual doorway, like our body is the physical doorway. What that can mean is that we may have difficulty accessing that energy in other parts of our energy body. We may have never felt like we were really spacey or ungrounded, and all of a sudden we are, right. So in that case, some more grounding exercises that connect to our root chakra could be helpful.
We may feel like we can’t access our ideas and our imagination. It’s almost like we can’t get any energy up into our third eye, for example. We may then, in that case, wanna do tools that help bring the energy up but then another one that all mothers can benefit from is stress management. We’re usually juggling a lot during pregnancy. Yeah, so we can kind of go down any one of those paths, but those are all common things that I see.
Helen Thompson: I know a little bit about chakras and I’m fully aware of the energy in my body. I’m working with my chakras and I know how important that energy is and for a mom, as you say, that’s really, really important, especially when they’re pregnant and their bodies are going through turmoil and they’ve got a baby to carry and you mentioned, was it the sacral chakra you mentioned it’s all to do with the womb, your tummy area?
Lisa Erickson: It’s actually lower. It’s the womb space. So there are a couple of different chakra mappings, but the one that I use for women, the root chakra is linked kind of to the tailbone and the second or sacral chakra is in the womb space, it’s in the pelvic bowl and then the third chakra is either naval or solar plexus. Different traditions put it higher or lower, but it’s really your whole upper digestive system. So it’s really that second chakra in the pelvic bowl that is linked to our uterus and our ovarian, for men it’s linked to the prostate. Every chakra is linked to a gland, so that second one varies. For men, it’s linked to the prostate, for women it’s linked to the ovaries, and physically it’s linked to the uterus, that area of our body.
Helen Thompson: So for a mom wanting to work with their energy and their chakras, what can they do, especially if they don’t know what their chakras are?
Lisa Erickson: So there’s three simple exercises. The one that anyone can do that I would recommend is heart receiving. So the heart chakras just in the middle of our chest, and just daily to imagine that light is pouring in, into this space in your heart space and then you can place a hand right there on your breastbone and breathe there and imagine a warm light there in your chest growing brighter. This is a very basic heart chakra meditation, but it is associated with soothing your nervous system and it’s a kind of energetic self-care. So for anyone who’s experiencing stress, which pregnancy does have that element of stress for almost everyone at times, that would be the simplest one I recommend for everyone is spend a minute or two each day focusing on your heart chakra.
Then for anyone who wants to branch out a little more, if you’re having a lot of spaciness or feeling ungrounded, which a lot of pregnant women will report, right, and we know the links to the hormones etc. What can help with that is a focus on the root chakra. So this is linked to your feet and it’s linked to your tailbone, the very base of your spine, the bottom of your spine. You can just gently focus on your tailbone. You can even place a hand there. You can focus on visualizing light in that area and or you can focus on walking meditation and as you’re walking very, very slowly, just around your garden or anywhere that you like, you focus on your feet and whether you focus on your tailbone or your feet you’re activating this root chakra energy, which is really about grounding in the body, and that will help with spaciness. If on the other hand, or maybe in addition, you’re experiencing this sense that you cannot quite activate your imagination, your insight, you can’t get energy up into your third eye, you can imagine just gently bringing up light from your pelvic bowl up to your third eye, and you can sort of tap gently on your third eye. This is not taking anything away from your womb space. You have more than enough energy and it’s just allowing it to distribute more upward because it’s become pooled down in your second chakra.
Just like we said with the nutrients, your body will prioritize that and almost like you get a stagnancy of all the energies built up there and you just need to give them gentle focus to bring it upward. So those are three different energy exercises really that anyone could do, very simply.
Helen Thompson: Just out of curiosity, when you were talking about that and the mum being pregnant, I was actually thinking about the baby, the baby who’s inside the tummy, does the baby feel that as well or is it just the mum?
Lisa Erickson: This is really focused on the mum’s subtle body, but there’s also a whole set of energy exercises focused on connecting to the baby. You know we have different things we might do that we already know about, talking to the baby and things like that, but energetically what you can do is place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly and light up those two centers and really imagine light from your heart chakra is flowing down into your womb.
Really, that’s what happens whenever you’re feeling affection for your baby, probably when you’re speaking to them and trying to connect. So if you wanna reinforce that energetically, that will send heart energy into the baby’s subtle body. But just as they’re developing a separate physical body in your womb space, they’re developing a separate, subtle body. So they may feel some reverberations of this energy, but mostly it’s your own subtle body that you’re working with.
Helen Thompson: It must be a nice relaxing, calming experience for the mom who’s preparing for the birth, but also preparing their baby for what’s gonna come as well. If they’re calm and if they’re not stressed, well then it goes two ways and the baby won’t be stressed. I know that through baby massage. If you calm yourself, your baby picks up on that energy.
Lisa Erickson: Yeah, absolutely. They feel it.
Helen Thompson: So when the mum’s had postpartum, that can also be quite a stressful time as we know. So can a mom do the same thing when they’re going through postpartum as well? I s there a different way they do it or is it the same?
Lisa Erickson: Yeah, it’s the same, I think there’s certain changes. One thing that we have in the idea of energy body teachings is that we all have energy lines to other people based on our relationships. But birth mother childline is unique because it is based on having physically carried a baby and we have an energy line that mirrors the umbilical cord. We have an energy line from the baby’s naval to our own second chakra, that lessens over time and I’ve worked with many adopted mothers and many adults who were adopted. We form new lines with our adoptive parents and all that kind of thing, but for someone who’s just had a baby and is a birth mother of their baby, they’re caring for, we often talk about the fourth trimester, right? That that first trimester of the baby’s life is we’re still energetically connected to them to such a great degree, they feel like an energetic extension of our body, and in fact, through this energy line that’s true. The energy line gradually lessens as our child grows.
It’s still a unique line until they reach adulthood. But in that first trimester especially, we have this energetic bubble that we’re in with our baby and really for the most part, trying to honor that bubble is very important, right. Trying just to have that, but then trying to balance that with your own self-care and this is of course where the risk for postpartum comes in, if a mother doesn’t have the support that she needs to be able to take breaks when she needs it then that contributes to the stress that increases your chances of postpartum depression. So exercises around that have a lot to do with being able to take time away from your baby, even for just a few minutes each day while they’re being cared for and focusing on your own naval chakra, third chakra, one chakra up from that second chakra that has to do with reclaiming your personal power, reclaiming your sense of boundaries and identity, and also with bringing, with the third eye exercise I mentioned, bringing energy up from your sacral chakra because it’s gotten pooled there trying to bring energy up. So postpartum, I’m focusing a lot on the third chakra for personal power and reclamation of boundaries, and then also on upward energy.
If a mother is having difficulty connecting or bonding with their baby, which sometimes happens, then we might be doing heart chakra exercises, to help them connect to the baby. So there’s a few different variations depending on what you’re experiencing, but the main thing is to honor, you’re adjusting to this new energy line, you will adjust, but in the meantime, you have to make sure you’re taking care of yourself as well as your baby. Both you’re balancing it.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, you were talking about the energy lines, so when the baby’s born, you’ve got the umbilical cord and from what I’ve picked up, doulas and midwives these days let you hold the baby close to your chest for a few minutes before they actually cut the umbilical cord. I’m sure that’s a good thing because you are allowing the baby and you still to connect to that umbilical cord. You’re actually allowing the mother and the baby to connect before they cut it. Allowing the energy to flow up while you’re still connected, I would’ve thought that would be a good thing.
Lisa Erickson: Yeah, I think it is. Having it on your chest is opening up that heart chakra connection to your baby, and that’s what it becomes once they’re outside of you, it’s less about the sacral chakra and now it’s about the heart chakra connection to that child.
Helen Thompson: So you were talking about postnatal depression or postpartum depression. I know for some moms that can be quite a stressful time and you were talking about the heart chakra. So is there anything other than the energy, the chakras that a mom can do for the postnatal depression?
Lisa Erickson: First of all, I wanna say I view all these kinds of techniques as complimentary to medical care, right and a woman may need to seek medical care for postpartum depression and should not feel bad about that, should feel good about that, that they’re doing what they need and removing any stigma around that for sure. But then it really is about self-care and finding ways to care for yourself, taking the breaks that you need to care for yourself.
Energetically I would focus on many of the same things as during pregnancy, receiving into the heart chakra, and really allowing yourself to care for yourself and then the two things I mentioned postpartum, that focusing on that third chakra, which has to do with your personal power, being able to reclaim this sense. Often as a new mum, there’s this feeling you’ve lost yourself. Especially the first time mum, oh my gosh and just realizing it’s a process, it will happen, you will gradually get a sense of space back, you will gradually get a sense of personal power back. It takes time and a new balance will be struck. A new balance between you, your needs and your child’s needs. Sometimes we’re working with women on their throat chakra cause their big issue is Asking for help, getting them to speak that they need help, that they need their mum or their friend or their partner to watch the baby, so they can go take a shower or they feel like they should be doing it all themselves. So, that’s another big piece of it is being able to speak your needs, admit that you’re struggling, and voice, I need help. Very, very powerful.
Helen Thompson: It’s a different approach to self-care because self-care is a big in word at the moment. I like your approach to self-care. You mentioned the throat chakra, it helps you to express where you want to go and what you want to do, and I sometimes feel blocked in that area and using your energy techniques and learning how to do that for self-care, I think is much more powerful than somebody saying, oh, just go and take a shower, or, can I take the baby, can I go and wash up the dishes for you or doing whatever, because you’re teaching the mother how to do it themselves and how to encourage ’em to do it themselves.
Lisa Erickson: Exactly, yeah. It’s a big transit when a baby is born, a mother is born, right? And so you’re going through this rebirth as a first time mum, and then even as a second or a third time mum, because when you do it, the second or third time, you still have another child you’re caring for. Yes. So each time it’s a whole new experience that you have to give yourself some grace and ask for what you need as you make that adjustment. You know what I love about these kinds of energy tools is, you say the word like meditation to any mum and they’re gonna be like, you’ve got to be kidding me, I do not have time to take a shower, let alone meditate right. So these are not meditation. These are quick energy tools that you can do while you’re nursing, while you’re pumping, even while you’re changing the diaper, you just build them into your day, focusing on your heart chakra when you’re nursing is actually a really great thing to do. The breasts are connected to your heart chakra.
Helen Thompson: That’s skin to skin as well.
Lisa Erickson: Exactly. So you can be receiving at the same time you’re giving. It isn’t like you have to carve out a separate time of your day. So a lot of these energy tools, when you’re walking your baby in the stroller, you can be focusing on your third chakra, which has to do with rebuilding your power and just that little bit of exercise of going out for a walk can be an act of gradually reclaiming your physical body as your own, which is really important. So there’s different ways to work these energy tools into your day that don’t require more time.
Helen Thompson: And even changing the baby’s nappy, you call it diaper you are still communicating, connecting, and you can still work on your heart chakra or you can still work on whatever chakra because that energy is like oxytocin, what I like to call the cuddle hormone, but I know it’s the love hormone and that’s also releasing that because you are working with your heart chakra, but when you’re doing that, you are releasing oxytocin, which then goes to the baby.
Lisa Erickson: Exactly and as I mentioned earlier, every chakra on the energy medicine side is linked to a gland and all of these hormones and endocrines that are released, including Oxycontin and all that, they are related to different chakra meditations and so when they’ve done studies on individuals who can really focus in on a particular chakra, they’re releasing these feel good and relaxation hormones on their own because they’ve learned how to relax their nervous system and open up their heart chakra. So some of the stuff that we do experience we can keep going. Motherhood may open you up to these feelings and you can keep them going.
Helen Thompson: And also opening up your baby to those experiences as well. You are teaching your baby how to do that. People always say to me, how can you ask your baby’s permission? They always say, well, how can you do that? But it’s exactly what you’re saying, you’re teaching yourself respect by doing all these energy things, but you’re also passing that onto your baby and you’re teaching them the respect and the love, and you’re saying, are you open to doing this right now?
Lisa Erickson: Yeah. I love that. I love that you teach that. Yeah. I mean, babies are so energetically sensitive and when we, especially as new mothers, we are very attuned to that. Sometimes a mother will be able to tell something that no one else can tell, right about their baby’s cry or their baby’s posture. So really honoring that, teaching your baby to honor their own feelings in that way. Maybe you’re holding them and grandma comes over and wants to hold the baby, but the baby doesn’t wanna let go of you. Like there’s a part of you that can just be like, oh honor her feelings right now, she’ll wanna go to grandma later. You’re teaching her to honor her own boundaries. So yeah, really tuning into that vibration is another whole gift of doing energy work.
Helen Thompson: I love what you do. I think you have such a a nice way of connecting with yourself and being with yourself, but also that sort of postpartum connection as well.
Lisa Erickson: In addition to energy work, I’m a huge fan of meditation and although when my children were young, I couldn’t meditate much, before and after meditation’s been a huge part of my life as they got older, and it’s such a help as a parent to have that time out every day that’s just for you. So as your children get older and are out of that baby stage, that’s another thing I really encourage, whether it’s energy meditation, or other kinds focusing on your breath or all the other kinds of meditation there are out there, really, really helpful as a parent.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, there’s lots of different kinds of meditation. I mean when people say to me meditation, I think, oh no I’ve gotta close my eyes and in my mind I think about lots of things I shouldn’t be thinking about and I just find it really, really hard to calm my mind. So that’s why when I do meditation, I think of the chakras and I think of all the different colors of the chakras, because that way it really helps me to focus on one particular thing. Otherwise, my mind just goes in a tangent when I’m doing meditation.
Lisa Erickson: Yeah, well, the value of chakra meditation is that, if you have a busy mind, it gives your mind something to do that helps release new vibrations and so that is often a kind of meditation that someone with a busier mind finds more helpful than just trying to be still, right.
Helen Thompson: I love doing the chakra work cause the colors and all the different energy fields that work with it and, and also the affirmations to go with the chakras as well. And I use essential oils too. So I’ve got all the seven different chakras in a little box and I just close my eyes and just sit there for a few minutes and think, right, which one do I need to work with and pick one out and then use the essential oils for it and have the affirmations up as well and that really helps me.
Lisa Erickson: I think some people are very physical and so the oils or crystals and gemstones associated with each chakra are really helpful. If you’re more kinesthetic physically oriented. Some people love visualization, some people love sound. You know, there’s sound baths and chimes that are associated with each crystal. Other people like affirmations, you can say different statements around each chakra. So I think there’s a lot of doorways in and everyone can find their doorway.
Helen Thompson: Yeah, I like the sounds, but I don’t use them very often. I think the sounds is very good cause you can hear yourself chanting. Is there anything else that you would like to add? Is there any magical tip that you would give to a first time mum?
Lisa Erickson: Well, just as a mother, trust yourself. It’s gonna be okay and you don’t have to do everything perfectly. You don’t have to be feeling like, oh my God, I messed up, and how’s that gonna harm my baby? You know it’s gonna be okay. You’re gonna have up days and down days, and you’re gonna have days where your mood is great and days when it’s not, and your baby’s gonna learn from all that cuz they’re gonna have moods too. You don’t have to be perfect, you haven’t failed. If you have a bad day and things like that cuz I think we’re very hard on ourselves as mothers these days.
So that’s sort of my general parenting advice. When it comes to energy body, I think just give it a try. Don’t think in terms of do I believe in this or do I not believe in this? Just try certain techniques and see what you feel. See what you feel.
Helen Thompson: Thank you, Lisa, you’ve given us a lot of really good tips today and I’ve really enjoyed talking to you I could sit and talk to you forever about chakra stuff because I think it’s so valuable for everybody. So thank you for sharing your expertise.
If somebody wanted to find out more about you and how to get in touch with you, how would they go about doing that.
Lisa Erickson: My website is EnlightenedEnergetics.com and my book Chakra Empowerment for Women is available everywhere Amazon and it does include some of these techniques that I have mentioned.
Helen Thompson: Thank you. I’ll put those all in the show notes. So thank you for coming on the podcast. I really enjoyed talking to you.
Lisa Erickson: I enjoyed it as well. Thank you very much for having me and for your work with baby massage.
Helen Thompson: Thank you. The baby massage work is wonderful cause it links into what you’re talking about as well.
Lisa shared some great tips during our chat, and I highly recommend trying the simple exercises to begin working with your energy and chakras and check out her Chakra Empowerment for Women book. I’ve included links to Lisa’s website, where you can purchase her book and social media in the show notes, which can be accessed at MyBabyMassage.net/podcast/101.
I’m looking forward to sharing the topic of secure attachment parenting with you in next week’s episode. This is a really important topic when it comes to learning how to connect with your little one and is also a really important way to encourage your baby to trust and communicate their feelings.