Centering During Pregnancy w/ Rosie Santos

Zen Thai Massage Practitioner, Reiki Teacher, Plant-Based Chef, & Mother.

How did you get into Zen Thai Massage and what are the benefits for the childbearing years?

I was practicing shiatsu at a retreat Center in Guatemala for about a year or so and when I returned to Australia, I became exposed through friends who are zen Thai practitioners, the magic of this modality.

It’s like nothing else I had ever experienced - the nervous system support and the deep listening that I felt from the practitioners inspired me to study it. To me, zen Thai is so exquisitely superior in the way that one gesture can touch and unlock so many areas of the body.

One precept says “the way you do one thing, is the way you do everything” so we touch with awareness of the tissue, bone, blood and spirit and all the impeccable fabric in between which allows the body to give way and yield into the practitioners touch.

What downloads have come through for you during pregnancy?

I’ve had a wonderful pregnancy, one where I’ve been really supported by friends, family and the community of Ojai which has meant that I can rest, nourish, spend time in my garden, with nature, slowing down. I teach yin yoga twice a week and that has been very grounding for me as well — to locate a sense of peace within myself and share from that space.

This last weekend, I did my last catering job before giving birth (which I just realized today is apparently around 3 weeks away!!!) and I totally over did it. It was a beautiful job, but chaotic….for around 40 people. And this has so far been one of the biggest lessons of energy conservation. As someone with quite a lot of energy, and extremely capable of doing many things at once, this was a lesson about boundaries. Of taking care of and tending to my needs, of using my discernment to really nut something out before committing to it.

I think it’s very easy to be over zealous in a world that perpetuates going all the time. I’m lucky that my work is mostly centered around pausing and facilitating rest for others and my community at large — however, taking the time to center myself to my own needs which change daily is possibly the biggest lesson I have come to realize so far in the pregnancy, and something that I hope to carry on throughout the rest of my life and the way that I show up for myself and my family.

What are your favorite ways to move your body in pregnancy?

I’ve been experiencing round ligament pain on and off throughout the pregnancy so interestingly, it hasn’t been yoga or swimming that has felt best for my body (something which has bolstered most of my adult life), but doing weights and some pilates. Over the last week, I’ve returned to the sculpt society, with Megan Roup. I like her cueing and I also like that I can move along with her through her pregnant pace.

I love to dance and the baby does too, so we bounce about in the mornings or out on an empty street.

Practicing zen Thai has also felt phenomenal throughout my pregnancy, the therapy often requires me on all fours and making creature like movements with my body. I’m grateful to have a job that feels really good in my body especially throughout this period!

What foods are you craving?

I haven’t had that many cravings but over the last week, I think I’ve eaten about 3 blocks of goats cheese, so perhaps I am experiencing cravings!

I remember years ago, having adrenal fatigue and my herbalist recommended me eat goats cheese because it builds blood and chi so I like to think that that’s what my body is using the goats cheese for this time around.

I’ve certainly been eating about a record amount of carbs, pastries, pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, give it to me, meanwhile trying to commit to eating really nutrient dense foods like nettle, legumes, eggs and black sesame.

What does your self-reiki practice look like during pregnancy?

At this stage, I’m working with reiki to unravel the round ligament pain and the tension in my pelvis. Being curious as to the root of this pain and how reiki can support me in challenging the fears that my subconscious might have around letting go, giving birth, opening up to the big inconceivable void that giving birth is. 


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