I first had the pleasure of meeting Danielle a few years ago. We met over coffee having been 'insta-duced' by a mutual friend. We chatted all things luna lovely and found we had a joint passion. A calling to help women live an empowered and joyful life by being fully present through self care, ritual and connection with nature's cycles, be it the seasonal wheel, the waxing and waning of mother moon or our own bodily ebbing and flowing.
Danielle practises a unique form of Mayan Abdominal Therapy and supports women across the UK and Australia. Through her hands on clinic sessions as well as workshops and other resources and tools, Danielle helps her clients and customers to get back in touch with their menstrual cycles and luna loveliness. I'm delighted to be sharing her story with you.
How long have you been practising as an Abdominal Therapist?
I qualified in The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® nearly a decade ago following studies and training with Dr Rosita Arvigo herself.
What was it about the industry that first attracted you?
I had suffered from abdominal health issues since I was teenager which only became exasperated when I started my periods. I finally took charge of my health in 2003 when I decided to study Nutritional Therapy at ACNT in Sydney.
How has the industry changed since you first began this journey?
The wellness industry as a whole has a very different landscape compared to when I started out. There is a wealth of information now readily available via the internet and it is becoming even more important to ensure you are tapped into good resources as there is a lot of ‘noise’ out there. Social media has become a predominant and popular source for wellness information and inspiration. I would always advise people to ‘go with their gut’ when choosing who to align themselves with for guidance and advice whether that be within the medical world or the natural therapy world. Combine this with some good ol’ fashion research or study if there is a particular health issue or area of wellness you are interested in and you will have a pretty good foundation to build on.
How have you changed since you first began this journey?
I have been gently and sometimes not so gently encouraged to look at the root cause of any imbalance I may feel in my mind and body by supporting the heart and soul which are often the more deeply wounded aspects of myself that have then manifested as a physical health issue. As a health practitioner this is an integral part of any client session, the acknowledgement that as human beings we are the custodians of a unique mind, body and spirit which all need to be loved, honoured and cherished in equal measure. Sessions often highlight which one of these needs more focus and offers and shares ways into how this may look in your day to day life. This can often be the missing piece of the health puzzle and often sees clients begin to see symptoms shift and diminish and/or health challenges become less of a challenge as life takes on a new and vibrant energy and outlook.
What makes your services unique?
I have created a unique fusion of all the modalities I am trained and qualified in that have assisted and supported me over the years as it is important for me to practice with authenticity when it comes to addressing the underlying causes of health issues. I have then been able to hand on heart (or rather belly!) share these healing experiences with clients who come to see me with similar health issues or indeed any issues effecting the happy and healthy functioning of the digestive and reproductive systems and their associated organs.
Tell us about Living the Luna Life?
Living the Luna Life™ was created in response to a growing number of my clients, colleagues and friends asking for ways to better connect and understand the more feminine aspects of themselves in practical tangible ways. This has led to the creation of three core products that offer a subtle yet powerful reminder as to where one is within their menstrual month and to check in and make sure that what we have planned in our day to day, week to week is in alignment to the changing needs of mind, body and spirit within each 4 key phases of our menstrual cycle.
Tell us about your newly launched Monthly Planner? How does it work and what do you hope people will gain from using it?
I have been working on a template for the monthly planner for a couple of years following further studies in menstrual cycle awareness. In clinic it would make me smile when I would ask clients where they were in their cycle and without fail most would dive into their handbag and pull out the phone, swipe, tap and open an app that would know more about their body than they do! I am happy to say that many of these women now own a planner which rather than having the fingers tied up all the time in swiping, clicking and tapping, hands and fingers are being used in much more creative ways that are free from technology creating time and space to connect to their own natural rhythms and express that through more natural processes such as working with the planner in delightfully imaginative ways. Less screen time hopefully equates to more real connection with natural resources and actual humans.
It is proving to be a handy tool to get you started in forging a more supportive relationship with your cycle teaching you how to get the best out of mind, body and spirit during each of the 4 key phases. It is also a popular addition for those looking for new and fun ways to practice self care. My hope is that menstrual self care becomes more and more a part of the day to day ritual as much as cleaning your teeth or taking a shower. The planner allows us to easily make the changes necessary by gently reminding us of the most supportive self care practices applicable that day of your cycle. The creative process for Living the Luna Life has been fantastic as has the research and time taken to find materials that align with Living the Luna Life’s ethical, environmental and sustainable approach to product development and collaborations.
What is your favourite self care ritual (in your own personal life)?
I love to witness and engage with the seasons on the outside so that I may follow their cues when they occur within the seasons of my own menstrual cycle. My self care is very much aligned with living in a seasonal way honouring the changing needs of mind, body, heart and soul as I move through my menstrual month.
What does the word 'sacred' mean to you?
Sacred represents to me the need to honour and cherish something that resonates deeply with your soul. It can be a particular time or a particular place that requires your total presence, focus and energy.
Why do you think self care is so important?
Because no one else will do it for you! ;-)
Why do you think people are feeling the need to simplify and ritualise their daily routines?
Life today is lived at a rate we can no longer keep up with. By simplifying and having little rituals means that we have to pause, stop, take a breath, take a moment.
What is your favourite Alyssum Alchemy product and why?
I absolutely love the Sacred Space Meditation Mist. I use it in my office space at the start and end of my day and also to clear and re-energise the space between client sessions.
What do you think 2019 holds for you and your offerings?
2019 is going to be a big year in the sense that people are going to actually get to use the Living the Luna Life™ products and hopefully make them an integral part of their ongoing approach to self care or provide those new to the idea of self care with the inspiration to begin a self care practice. Education will play a major role so that women feel informed, inspired and empowered with wonderful ripple effects not just into their personal lives but spilling out into their local community and global communities as we continue to understand ourselves and each other on a deeper level.
How can we stay in touch and how can we find out more?
You can start living a luna life straight away by joining this moonlit movement with a growing number of luna lovelies connected in online via the website www.livingthelunalife.com / Instagram @living_the_luna_life / New Moon Mail subscription or my preferred option of connecting with others via the ‘offline life’ at one of Living the Luna Life’s workshops or retreats that are being organised in both Australia and UK. If you and your tum are struggling with any kind of health issue then head to www.daniellerickwood.com for more info.