Friday, April 5, 2013

We are doing the MOST!

Philly Trans-Health Conference 

Last year I had the pleasure of presenting twice at the world-renown Philly Trans-Health Conference for the first time. The feedback was so positive that we resubmitted our proposals with some modifications, according to the feedback and we've been invited to return!  This time I will be presenting more formally with Shodhini Institute graduate Kayla DLR, and with two-spirit crystal body/birthworkersibling Rafael(a) for Self-Exam for People with a Cervix.  Life has a beautiful way of presenting opportunities and here we are boldly stepping into our power.  I'm also proud to present again with Ryan, LL, Perez and Kim Murray; Utilizing Midwives and Doulas to Build Health Care Access for Trans and GNC communities, AND, Community Building with Trans and Gender non-conforming doulas, midwives, and reproductive justice activists. 
We are fortunate to have our flights covered by the conference. We are in need of support for the hotel stay. If you are interested in chipping in, you can send it here.

Shodhini Institute's Next Trainings

We have the wonderful opportunity to present our newly revamped and improved 4 week training at the Lullaby Lounge, Lakewood and a private home in Pasadena.

This series will be the 11th Cohort of Shodhini Institute where we train folks in self-help (self-exam), how to understand feminist anatomy and physiology, womb loving ritual, and somatic sex education. With a small group of brilliant students you can embark on a journey of self discovery so deep, it is sure to bring you to center and reclaim your body.  Make sure to join us on our next Online Informational Session to learn all the details and ask all the questions you want before signing up for the May or July class.

Also check out our Big Cartel online store where you could find all the books we use in the training!

San Diego Birth Network Open House/Cesarean Awareness

San Diego Birth Network

SDBN Open House/ Cesarean Awareness

Dear Friends in San Diego, 
I'm honored to be a part of the San Diego Birth Network as a Sexological Bodyworker.  On Friday April 12, I'll be Skyping in from the CLPP Conference to share my knowledge concerning Cervical Scar Tissue and how I address it through Sexological Bodywork. Over the past year I've had the opportunity to work with women in Hillhurst where I maintained a practice on a monthly basis while attending midwifery study group through Birth Roots Midwifery. Please feel free to contact me if you're interested in scheduling sessions. I am planning on being in San Diego in May and July, as long as there is enough interest! 
See you on the 12th!
WhenFri, April 12, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
WhereBirth Education Center of SD, 9845 Erma Road, Ste. 202, San Diego, 92131 (map)
DescriptionPlease join us at the Birth Education Center for VBAC awareness and Cervical Support Our speakers will be Sharon Trom co-leader of ICAN San Diego,{} and Pati Garcia, Trained by DONA, the Shiatsu School of California, and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Human Sexuality, Pati offers a wide knowledge of the body from a holistic feminist bodyworker perspective. Pati will be at another conference in Massachusetts on the day of our Open House but will be skyping in to give her talk and answer questions.Check her out on FaceBook as well at Chula Doula. Our guest midwife will be Heather LeMaster who will be sharing about her work with San Diego County Midwives {} This is a pot luck gathering, so please bring a little something to share. Look forward to seeing you there!

CLPP Conference 2013

CLPP Conference 

Massachusettes here I come!  For the past 2 years now I've been tweeted at from this conference on Civil LIberty and Public Policy "building the movement for reproductive freedom". Because my practice lays on the edge of the cutting edge, many times I am left out of more mainstream reproductive rights/justice conversations.  Sexological Bodywork is edgy and provocative because it places PLEASURE and AROUSAL front and center to 'reproductive health'. Also as a "self-helper", the notion of taking a speculum into your own hands to get to know your cervix, many times seems like a thing of the past. Let's say it can be seen as old school and irrelevant in the age of the interwebs where we can see millions of pictures of cervix.  But I have to remind you, FROM the conference people would send me tweets, asking, why aren't YOU here CHULA DOULA?  I have been intrigued on how to get in on that conference ever since. Finally the time has come!
THIS year, with the help of Ryan Pryor, a long time birthworker trans midwife friend of mine, Perez aka Radical Doula, and the incredible  LL Gimeno MSW, we submitted a workshop entitled "Birth Work for Activists!"  This collaborative workshop on midwifery and full spectrum doula care is for everyone, including current and future birth workers! We will briefly cover the following areas: abortion care, birth, intrauterine insemination, pelvic self exam, and sexological bodywork! With a historical analysis, we will make explicit the connections between birth work and reproductive justice- how birth work and full spectrum doula care has the potential to interrupt the dynamics of racism, sexism, classism, transphobia, and ableism that are built into the U.S. medical system. We will also collectively share strategies for navigating medical care and holding providers accountable. 

Shodhini Institute will have a vendor table right next to Radical Doula at the conference!!

Sexological Bodyworker and Scar Tissue Remediation Specialist

As a Sexological Bodyworker and Scar Tissue Remediation Specialist I am able to provide bodywork to address genital issues pertaining to pleasure, arousal, pain, and numbness.

Sessions usually last somewhere between 1.5hrs to 2hrs.
The cost is $175 a session including all the materials.
Discounted packages are available, 2, 3, 4 session packages.

For Scar Tissue Remediation Only (Non-Sexological)- $80-$120, Sliding Scale

My office is located in Los Angeles at the Community Birth Center located at 2422 W. Florence Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90043.

Here is a description of the bodywork I offer.

"What is Sexological Bodywork and Scar Tissue Remediation?"
Sexological Bodywork aims to enhance sexual pleasure -- it is a healing modality that develops tools of communication and genital awareness. With breath and hands-on bodywork, I guide you to bring oxygen to scarred/numbed tissue, enhancing physical sensation, and allowing you the potential to heal from trauma.

Sessions are safe and client-guided; For scar tissue remediation I use unbleached cotton flannel, castor oil, and a heating pad/hot water bottle followed by massage. For Sexological bodywork Pati uses nitrile gloves and coconut oil and/or water-based lube for internal work- following your story, staying with the body's tension, and letting it melt. Sessions can be simply working with external anatomy, or a combination of internal and external. Scar tissue remediation helps restore the resiliency of the tissues that have been disrupted. Significant results are felt after one session, such as enhanced breathing, relief of other pain or tightness in the body.

Types of Scar Tissue include but not limited to:

Natural Tears from giving Birth
Cervical Scars from Colposcopy Biopsies/LEEP Procedures
Top Surgery

If you have any questions feel free to contact me and book your appointment- chuladoula at  and 510-363-0160.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Philly Trans-Health Conference 2013

We have been selected to present at the 2013 Philly Trans-Health Conference!!
Topics we are presenting on are as follows: Self-Exam for People with a Cervix, Utilizing Midwives and Doulas to Build Health Care Access for Trans and GNC communities, AND, Community Building with Trans and Gender non-conforming doulas, midwives, and reproductive justice activists.

Last year I had the pleasure of presenting Self-Exam for Folks with a Cervix and we had such a positive response that we are doing it again. This time I hope to bring with me two co-presenters, Kayla De Los Reyes from Shodhini Institute and my dear friend Rafaela, a two spirit bodyworker extraordinaire.

Our panel on Trans and GNC Birthworkers and Accessibility also went so well that we were accepted again, and we will be rearranging the format to make it more interactive. AND we were able to get extra time to community build!! I'm proud to be presenting with Miriam Zoila Perez aka Radical Doula, Ryan Pryor Midwife, Lucia Leandro Gimeno, Abigail Fletcher Midwife and Kim Murray.

Philly Trans-Health is covering some travel costs, which we are so thankful for. We definitely need support to cover our housing and expenses. If you are interested in supporting us in our journey please consider clicking the donate button below. We are making grandiose efforts to create a national network of resources for Trans and GNC folks in the big world of reproductive justice and birth justice. That's what WE ARE DOING!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

BIRTH #8- A Throwback blogpost from MySpace! 2/11/2009

Chula Doula BIRTH #8- A Throwback blogpost from MySpace! 2/11/2009

Current mood: catalyzed

Yesterday I had the pleasure of Doula-ing again. This was a first time single mama who's
main goal in hiring a doula was to avoid an unnecessary caesarean. Mission

The first call was around 1am. She called to let me know that her bag of waters had
begun to break. Water was clear, no foul scent, so she was in the clear to labor at home.
No surges as of yet, so she decided to go back to sleep and wait for the surges to come

I was definitely on call at this point. I happened to be at the 24hr Korean Spa. Something
in me had lead me there, to replenish, refresh, and rest. Maybe it was the full moon on
the 9th. I was definitely in the space to gear up for a day of doula-ing.
At 6am she called to let me know that she was beginning to feel labor. No set pattern of
surges just yet, but at least they were not stopping. They were lasting about 30 to 40 seconds,
and were 6/5/4 minutes apart. I assured her that she was in early labor and to let me
know when they got longer and closer together and I'd come to join her.

I went home, packed my doula supplies, and took a nap. At 9am I called to check in and
she was feeling ready to go to the hospital and wanted me to meet her at her home.
I drove to her home and met her in her bedroom. She shared that she had gone on a
long walk with her mother the day before and felt that this is what brought on her labor.
Wise move! So we began to talk about her surges, she showed me how she kept track
on a wesbite called It's such a handy tool! I could
see right off the bat that she was still in early labor, so I shared with her the pro's and
cons of heading to the hospital at that very moment. She thought of her options and
decided to stay home until her surges were at least 60 seconds and within 5 minutes of
each other.

To cope with each surge we used different positions. One leg on the bed, like a lunge,
then on her hands and knees to relieve the back, slow dancing with pressure on her
low-back from her mother. We focused on using the surge to allow opening, I asked her
to visualize herself opening with each in breath, taking the breath down to her crotch.
Lots of crotch opening visualization!

She handled each surge earnestly, with fear, with peace, with calmness, with disbelief.
It's amazing the range of emotions and varying degrees of faith in oneself- all a woman
goes through in this intense process. My role is to reassure her strength, never giving
up on her power.

Towards the end of laboring at home I suggested that she squat during her next surge.
She felt an extreme amount of pressure in her crotch, she expressed that she felt like
her pelvic floor was being smashed. She went through about 2 or 3 surges this way.
When she got up her surges were stronger than ever. We went back to the computer to
track the next 6 surges. BAM! Out of 8 surges six were well over a minute, and ocurring
between every 3-5 minutes. She was beginning to give in to the idea that she couldn't
do it anymore, that she wanted medication. So we would focus on just getting through
the next one.

We grabbed our things and headed out to the hospital. On the way there her surges were
so strong she would tense up and yell out. Limp and Loose became the mantra. Pretty
soon she got the hang of her breathing and began to use the energy of yelling out,
inward. She began to focus on making deeper sounds and allowing her jaw to open.
We arrived at the hospital at 12:30p and she was at 7cm. The nurses offered medication
(epidural) and she definitely considered it. I just reminded her that she was almost done,
and when she's done, she's completely done. I guess it sounded okay for her to
continue, and she passed on the drugs. By 1:30p she was 9.5cm with an anterior lip. I
suggested she wiggle her hips around and around to get the cervical lip moved out of the
way. At 2pm she was 10cm and ready to push. She pushed until 2:21p and her lovely
daughter was born. A healthy girl. 7lbs 8oz, 19 3/4 in. 2/10/09.

Afterwards, mama was elated that she had accomplished such a challenging feat. She
was amazed that she got through it. She was glowing with pride and astonishment. I
was so happy to have been able to assist and be a witness to a woman's natural power.