<![CDATA[May.tree.arch - Some thoughts]]>Thu, 21 Jan 2016 19:24:04 +0000Weebly<![CDATA[Hark: All women should know this. A seasonal card from Maytreearch]]>Mon, 21 Dec 2015 16:23:53 GMThttp://www.maytreearch.com/some-thoughts/hark-all-women-should-know-this-a-seasonal-card-from-maytreearch
I live in Scotland. It has been getting progressively more cold here and the nights have becoming so long that they seem to begin in the afternoon!  However we know that this is not permanent. It is part of the cycle of seasons. We are at the time of the Winter Solstice when the axis of the earth means that the part of the planet that I am on experiences these changes, going into the dark and knowing that the lighter times will return.

We are part of this planet on which we live. We each have systems within our body that operate within cycles.
 Women generally have a reproductive cycle, most know this as they experience their periods and most folk produce children following the process of ovulation. I say generally because not all do and I honour that. I am, however, speaking today about my reflections on the general pattern that I observe.  I’m good at spotting patterns and I want to share my thoughts with you.
As women our hormones ebb and flow. There are delicate yet powerful interactions between that can be observed easily and plotted on graphs. I love reading research into the small hours about fertility and I’m fortunate as there is a lot of it to digest. 
Take a look at my perspective of this theme. I apologise as I’m not an artist, I’ve tried to not draw the globes from just my place on the planet and three young inquisitive children do not make it easy to produce beautiful art but today, on the Winter Solstice, I wanted to attempt to show you how this pattern that I’m speaking about is repeated.
I have shown how our planet makes the journey around the sun with the axis degree in place, how this results in changes on the earth. I have also shown an average woman’s cycle, menstruation moving through to ovulation and back around again, albeit that these cycles are of differing length there is a pattern.  See how this is reflected in average scientific observations of hormonal change underneath. 

So what do I make of this? Well I think that we have things to learn from both cycles that can be applied to each.
During winter we get as comfortable as we can be in the warmth, we withdraw for a short time and take time for ourselves. Perhaps we ought to make a conscious decision to do the very same when we experience menstruation. Rather than fight against our very own natural system and attempt to carry on without acknowledgement of this ebb, exhausting ourselves in that process.
Let’s focus on comfort, feasting if the need is felt, a longer sleep, listening to our loved one’s stories or even watching endless episodes of Lord Ragnar and Lagertha, just something nurturing for yourself. I say this from the perspective of a mother of young children. I appreciate the wise women that have given me “license to rest”, even if that rest has to fit in around other obligations and within resources. I realise that we cannot all do everything we would like all of the time, for example sleep is a rarity here. I recognise that we all have busy lives however if we want to work WITH our systems rather than against then we would take note and make a point of doing something nurturing. A Scottish farmer wouldn’t get cross that they weren’t able to pick brilliant strawberries in winter, there’s a time for everything.
Looking at this from the other aspect, we have things to learn from the womb to apply to our winter time. The body tells us to slow down as it approaches the womb gets more heavy and then sheds layers of endometrium, perhaps we need to take time to reflect, take stock and shed all that no longer works for us during winter time so that we can move on to a fresh and more successful new year. 

​We only need to look out of our windows to see that this is what nature does, why fight it when we can be more successful by utilising it. When the womb is not in optimal position, when the hormones don’t ebb and flow, when we have occlusions and imbalances this is when life becomes hard. I see this in life too. In our relationships, our homes, our work. I think there is an outer and inner wisdom to this. Also know that you do not have to do this work alone.  There is support.  
<![CDATA[Sundays in The Tub (www.secretherbgarden.co.uk)]]>Sun, 05 Apr 2015 19:03:43 GMThttp://www.maytreearch.com/some-thoughts/sundays-in-the-tub-wwwsecretherbgardencoukPicture
Something wonderful has happened. Truly wonderful. 

I have found somewhere utterly divine to welcome women to a Sunday Maytreearch Clinic and it is all set to begin on 3rd May. 

A wise Midwife friend of mine introduced me to a lovely couple called Hamish and Liberty who own and run the Secret Herb Garden. 

Think World of Interiors meets beautiful farm and had offspring in the shape of an amazing place to eat, buy produce (herbs honey amongst other goodies), useful vintage treats, things for the garden and wait for it.....the MOST beautiful tiny building within property known as The Tub.

It is now possible for you to have Maytreearch appointments in this lovely spot!  If you either have or have had a womb then my relaxing, luxurious and therapeutic services can be for you. I use only organic and ethically produced natural products. More information about services is available below. 

Do find out what women have said about Maytreearch by looking at the "Kind Words" tab at the top of the page. I would be happy to welcome you to this special place for you to have a break away from your daily routine and support you towards better wellbeing. All within easy reach of Edinburgh (EH10 7EA) 

Do feel free to ask a question or make an appointment I would be thrilled to help. 

<![CDATA[So there I was you know, standing like a tree......]]>Wed, 04 Feb 2015 13:59:44 GMThttp://www.maytreearch.com/some-thoughts/so-there-i-was-you-know-standing-like-a-tree
"Standing like a tree with my roots going down, my branches stretched out wide.
Come down the rain, come down the sun, come down the fruits to my heart which is open.
I'm standing like a tree with my roots going down and down. Down and down"

I sing this to my children. I also sing it with women who might like it as they find their pregnancy or labour tricky or they just want a pleasant distraction. I tell them a story too as it can help give a bit of welcome relief. 

You see this tree here?

I came across it once growing out of a ruined Mayan temple. 

It found itself in not the most ideal of situations but it found a way. Anything is possible. 

You can find support. I think the tree is beautiful too. 

It was thriving there!

Maybe I will sing it with you one day :)

<![CDATA[Steaming, Bajos, Yoni cleanses, V-steams, Chai-Yok,"Vaginal facials" Who does that? What? Why? No, really why?]]>Sat, 24 Jan 2015 01:50:41 GMThttp://www.maytreearch.com/some-thoughts/steaming-bajos-yoni-cleanses-v-steams-chai-yokvaginal-facials-who-does-that-what-why-no-really-whyWhat might seem like a frivolous step to many in the search of modern beauty to some actually has deep thick fertile roots in the tradition of women taking care their own reproductive health. Nowt stranger than folk as they say. Far from what might at first sound like the feminine version of the jets at the car wash in fact women's traditions throughout the world have used gentle steam from skillfully blended herbal brews using a specific technique at particular times of the women's lives to aid healing and maintain their reproductive health.

Who does that?
Bajos and Chai-Yok are pretty much still mainstream in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Korea to name a few. Medieval England, Scotland and France had similar herbal treatments but here we've almost forgotten. In California it's becoming very popular under the name v-steam and you might be forgiven for thinking it is a new fad but actually it goes back hundreds if not thousands of years. Anyone who has or has once had a womb would possibly benefit, although there are particular risks if the untrained decides to go ahead. This ought not be done when pregnant or if you are amid a particularly heavy flow as it will increase blood flow. If you have an infection in the area or open sores it's not a great choice either as that could land you a trip to your doctor or worse. Getting the temperature right is also a fine art, you really don't want to get burnt. Those who come from a culture who habitually use steaming techniques would have been taught when and how with great care, as getting it wrong could cause much heartache. There are other contra-indications for this therapy and for these reasons I'd strongly recommend that anyone new to this would seek out a trained professional to guide them. 

What happens?
Well, a case history and positional is taken and suitable plants are selected which would bring advantages for the woman. This is bespoke as every single woman is different. This could include gentle ingredients such as rose petals, camomile or lavender. Usually at least three are chosen for their unique qualities. Some therapists are quite protective of their formulations. If you've ever visited a herbalist you might have an idea of the dizzying array of natural plant matter available. Once selected they are brewed in hot hot hot, did I mention hot water. Some use specific types of vessels, shapes and materials vary from ceramic to heat toughen glass.  Then a suitable piece of furniture is used to sit on with the steaming vessel underneath, some have their own bajo seats and some are even more swish and have the technology to keep the water steaming for a long time. Layers of heat and moisture retentive material are wrapped around the woman and she luxuriates in that amazingly relaxing feeling for as long as is comfortable. Twenty minutes in peace and quiet spent like this is quite heavenly. Perhaps unsurprisingly there haven't been huge medical company research studies into the topic so you've only got the experience of the many women who have gone before you or who still use this today as evidence. Really if you haven't tried it, don't knock it. I was certain it was pants until I tried it. Which brings me on to my final point.

Why? No, really why?
Is it all about vanity? A vaginal equivalent to a facial? In a word, no. Lots and lots of women throughout the planet benefit from monthly steams (after menses and before ovulation preferably) and see it as part of the normal routine in their self care. Rather surprisingly for me I am one of them. Formulations change for each one and I know the health benefits that it has brought me so I can heartily advocate. 

Steaming heals, nourishes and tones the tissues. It makes the area more supple. If you've had a traumatic birth resulting in scar tissue it might be of great benefit for example. The moist heat of the steam opens pores and dilates vessels allowing more oxygenated blood through the tissue to heal and promote health naturally and gently. No nasty artificial substances, fancy antibacterial products or procedures required. You do after all need the good bacteria there. The plants carry their own benefits with their volatile oils which would be absorbed through the delicate but highly reactive tissues. Have you ever tried garlic on your lady bits and tasted it? No, don't I'm kidding, sort of, but anyway you get the idea. The plants used are important in this delicate area as you will notice their qualities. You might particularly benefit you've got any symptoms such as PMS, cramps during your period, brown blood/dark blood/purple blood or clotting during menstruation, endometriosis, PCOS, absence of menstruation, long cycles, bleeding less than 4 days per cycle, scar tissue or experience painful intercourse. These aren't things we, as women, should necessarily have to suffer through as they can have far reaching and life changing consequences ranging from those few critical days off work to a woman living in painful silence. Steams are a luxurious way of taking care of your reproductive health purely for maintenance too. They are very pleasant. So yes your down below may look rejuvenated, perhaps, but that's not the point. That would be missing the point by several thousand naval miles. 

They, we, do it because we hold so much creative power as women which belongs in the world joyfully unhindered. 

I almost don't mind where you live what your background is or what you call this therapy if it works for a woman who could sensibly stand in her way?