Postpartum Mood Disorders

Postpartum Mood Disorders

A big misperception of Postpartum Depression (PPD) is that it only consists of feeling sad and lots of crying. These “baby blues” should go away by 6 weeks after birth.  In fact, the term Postpartum Depression, although a buzz word lately, does not accurately describe the myriad of emotions in the postpartum world.

Crying and sadness are emotions that can be associated with PPD. However, the truth is there are many different ways PPD can present itself.  It can manifest months even a year after child birth. 21% of women are affected with some sort of perinatal mood or anxiety disorder. These symptoms are detectable but sadly, screening for them isn’t happening as much as it should be.

Here are some common symptoms and terms that may help identify a mood disorder.

Postpartum Depression – generally encompasses sadness, irritability, change in eating habits, inability to sleep, feelings of hopelessness, disinterest in the baby.

Postpartum Anxiety – extreme worries and fear of the safety of the baby, panic attacks, dizziness, inability to sleep, racing thoughts

Postpartum Panic Disorder – a specific form of anxiety associated with recurring panic attacks, chest pain, heart palpitations

Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – persistent, repetitive thoughts or mental images of the baby that are typically horrifying; thoughts of harming baby; Hypervigilance, fear of being left alone with baby, Checking and rechecking doing things, obsess about cleanliness

Postpartum Psychosis – the rarest of these disorders.  Common symptoms included delusions, hearing things, hallucinations, inability to sleep, sometimes trouble communicating

This is a very short list of common symptoms.  The important thing to remember is that all of these disorders are treatable.  Seek help and support.

The Nurtured Mama specializes in prenatal and postpartum massage therapy and has been trained in perinatal mood disorders. To participate in a support group in North Scottsdale or to book an appointment please contact Melinda Leon at or view their website   

For more information and symptoms on perinatal moods visit  If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms call the warmline at 800.944.4773.

North Scottsdale Organics delivers to AZ Healing Center

We are so thrilled to be a pick up spot for North Scottsdale Organics.  They have a wonderful weekly pick up either a bag ($25) of fresh produce or a box ($35) if you have a larger crew at home.  

Cathy and her husband Shawn work closely with food distributors for organic produce - the 9xxx number produce not the conventional 4xxx numbers.  Items are fresh and great for the week between.  

Get on their email list to bypass the extra crap at the grocery store that calls out to you but you don't need - email

Orders need to take place before Noon on Tuesdays for pickup at AZ Healing Center between 3:30-5:30 pm.    AZ Healing Center does not take money, it is all handled with North Scottsdale Organics directly.  

View their website!

You Deserve Time for YOU!

As we are about to enter into a New Year - 2018 is going to be about being held accountable.  We all know life happens and things change, but in my 13 years living in Arizona this state has proven to me it doesn't believe in following through.  I have been in the Interior Design industry, the Sustainable Building Industry and the Yoga Industry.  It doesn't matter if it is a professional or personal.  Everyone has an excuse.  I think the older I get the less patience I have toward tardiness and lack of respect in meetings and events.   I know Arizona is a casual environment, however Patanjali's 8 Limbs of Yoga will be an integral part of our classes in 2018. 

So my way to help you be held accountable to attending your yoga classes .... doing a Series Format.  Meaning ... you sign up for the same class every week and you come in knowing you have a space and the time to enjoy your practice!   It also means that we are going to be building on the classes each week and learning more about yoga philosophy (as stated above about Patanjali's 8 Limbs of Yoga) in addition to postures (asanas).  We will also start to review some of the Yoga Sutras and have a better understanding of Yoga as a whole - wholistic approach.  

You can have the option to sign up for once a week for a month, twice a week for a month AND IF you sign up with a buddy you will save some money and be held accountable from them as well.  Maybe you will have a carpool buddy or having someone be there with a friendly smile as you start your yoga practice.

This way, I don't have to hear "I wanted to come but..."

Formats will be created each month and you can attend your format by selecting an intermediate level or Yin/Restorative level or whatever seems to be on schedule for the month. 

The other bonus is ... drum roll please ... classes will be 75 minutes long!   That's right, you earned that 15 minute Savasana -- so take it!    I am going back to my roots in teaching from 20 years ago and this disciplined format will be of great love to you ... I promise! 

You will be posted on the new schedule coming up for January 2018 and in the meantime, know that you are worth it to take some time out of your busy schedule to keep on track! 

Why Savasana is Important End to Your Yoga Class

written by Amy Stephens

At the end of a yoga practice you should feel like you are ready to just lay down and rest, cuz  you have been moving and cranking out yoga postures that you are not use to doing.

Thus, Savasana (sha-va-san-ah) was created!  I refer to Savasana as Nap Time because the goal is to lay down and rest.  The literal Sanskrit transition is Corpse Pose, to lay still, to be still. 

Note I said Goal!

For many it is a time to do just that, for others it is the time they look at their watch or tap their fingernails or feel absolutely tortured!  

I personally love the time at the end to reconnect to my mat and feel all those muscles and joints that have lengthened and opened up.   The time to listen to the fullness of my breath and feel the beat of my heart.   It slows down the nervous system and my mind.

But again there are those who are about to leap off their mat to race out of the studio space!

Instead of fighting the mind – ride the breath.

Instead of fighting with relaxation – give thanks to body.

So many things rise up during yoga and really your body needs that down time to realign and rejuvenate.  Next time you wind down your yoga practice, embrace your Nap Time!  I never did as a kid so I take full advantage as an adult!

When I first started teaching yoga in 1998 I did a 10-15 minute Savasana for my students and they really sunk deep into relaxation, some even snored.   Nowadays, you are lucky to get a 5 minute block of time in an active practice to rest up.  That is why I enjoy teaching Yin and Restorative classes, even though you are in a posture hanging out over your props you get to slow down the nervous system and listen to breath.   The simple act of breathing in and breathing out is something we take for granted so find a mantra (repetition of words) best for you –

  • Inhale – peacefulness         Exhale – peacefulness
  • Breathing in love                Exhaling love
  • I am light                             I am releasing light
  • Count slowly to 4 as you inhale and slowly to 8 as you exhale

Enjoy some extra naps during the online yoga classes offered through and take a journey to a quiet far off land on your own by listening to your beautiful breath!  Or join us in person for our Yoga Nidra practice at AZ Healing Center, view schedule here. 

Call In Your Angels - You Are Not Alone!

written by Amy Stephens

Recently I have been calling in my Angels for support and been reviewing my favorite book (shown above) to give me better guidance in this thing we call Life!   When I do my healing touch sessions I call upon God first, and Archangel Michael to help provide support and protection in the room, so my client can rest and allow the healing to be very comforting.  I also call upon my own guide, Archangel Raphael, to be his charismatic self in the healing session and it is amazing when he steps up I feel energy in my arms, like I am gently rocking the individual and they don’t always feel it.

When you become alert to energy that surrounds you and take notice of that feeling; you become more in tune to what direction you need to take.  Learning to quiet the “mind chatter” is a difficult thing.

With the recent loss of income, I have been calling up Abundantia; a beautiful Goddess of success and prosperity.   In Doreen Virtue’s book Archangels & Ascended Masters she provides a prayer of awareness to help an individual call upon the guidance needed in the moment.

I have been working with my clients on a variety of issues lately and something came to me about the “loss” in my own life.  So I began to write things down and I can remember loss starting at age 15, with the loss of my maternal grandfather who was my “everything”.  Even after his passing his loved continued to pour in to me.   The “loss” of a relationship with my father started at age 18 and continues to this day.  My intuition knew something was not right and it continued to show up and when I voiced my thoughts of “knowing” something was off, he became more angry.  The “loss” of my first love, no sense of closure was provided in that relationship at age 18 so I lived in the “what the hell happened” mode of my existence and tried to plow through.   Majority of my loss has brought great insight and some just damn bitterness.

My freshman year in college I met a great woman who lived across the hall from me and my roommate. Her nickname was “Bob” and we got along great.  It was time to leave to go home for Thanksgiving break and I had this urge to continue to talk to her and she was lingering as well and told me to hit the road.  So I did and I felt very uneasy about leaving.  Bob didn’t return to school; instead her mother took her life and her sister’s as well as her own.  A family suicide!  To sit here and read those words now some 20 years later it still brings tears to my eyes and heart ache.  It was like losing a sister!  I sat in my room thinking she would be arriving and never did.    My 3 years of college I was in the same dorm room and each year I came back I felt her presence around the halls.  It was hard to see someone else actually living in the room; Bob could never be replaced!

Loss is tragic!   Loss is painful!  Loss provides lessons!  Loss keeps showing up in my life and for some who feel I am weak — no, I just feel things times 100!  And need to process it, and sometimes I process much slower, like molasses leaving the jar.

In a recent client appointment I needed to share the acryonm of FEAR

  • False
  • Evidence
  • Appearing
  • Real

Some of us make up this scenerio that is the “what if” and not reality.  And our minds just go to that dark space and the worry that shows up just creates so much internal ick!  As a yoga instructor all I ask is … if it ain’t real then do your best in the moment to breathe deeply and move out of that thought process!

Anxiety is something that I am familiar with; when changes occur quickly in my life I have panic that fills me to the brim and I retreat inward to handle it.  Most of my day I am “on” with others and making them feel awesome (which is VERY rewarding).  However, when FEAR shows up for me it is like a destructive internal battle.  Then I plow through it on my own and Viola … life is balanced again.

Training with Anodea Judith & Lessons Learned

In the last year and a half Amy has studied with Anodea Judith, putting a variety of the tools into motion working with her clients.  Amy found that all of Anodea's classes provide beautiful ways of getting to the CORE of the problem that keeps us stuck in a place and we need assistance to dig out.  However, do you feel like you are alone and can’t get a foot to move forward to take you out of that hole that you have dug your heals in even deeper just reading this?

Well great news — the choice is yours to dig out of the hole and ask for help!   

“WHAT, I can’t be vulnerable!”

These were words that came out of Amy's mouth at the last part of her training with Anodea.  This being vulnerable was not an easy task; Amy has been the strength for numerous people, she's that person that strangers walk up to and tell their deepest secrets to or ask for decorating help at the store. 

Well let me tell you … doing this work with Anodea has allowed Amy the opportunity to understand so much more about herself to be able to assist her clients. 

We can get wrapped up in what others think.  But the reality is they have so much more crap they are dealing with that the surface can’t even be scratched for your stuff!   Really, you have made up a story and exaggerated it so often in your head you don’t even know the reality any more of the situation.

So step back and look at the CORE issue and Amy can help you dig out of the hole you have created!

Amy's studies with Anodea have allowed her to be a better Energy Intuitive and feels so blessed with these gifts!  Her soul loves Invoking Awareness and she looks forward to sharing your journey with you!

If you want to schedule an appointment with Amy geared toward your healing path, please go to this link.

Why Is Fat Important?

Why is Fat Important?

May 19, 2017

Jill Maher

For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by video chat with my clients. 

I provide links to my favorite tried and tested products throughout my blog and am a paid Amazon affiliate. 

I wish the macronutrient we call fat was not the same word used to describe adipose tissue stored in our bodies. This tissue is necessary for survival, but when we store too much, it is detrimental to our health. Since we also refer to this tissue as fat, many people believe that the macronutrient/dietary fat and adipose tissue (fat) are one and the same. They are not!

Fat is a macronutrient, along with carbohydrates and protein. Fat is essential to many bodily functions, including producing hormones, providing energy, and absorbing certain nutrients to name a few. 

Fat is the most nutrient dense macronutrient, as it contains nine calories per gram, whereas protein and carbohydrates contain four calories per gram. From a strictly caloric perspective, one might think that eating mostly carbohydrates would lead to weight-loss, but this is not so.

As we have seen in the past 30 years since the dietary recommendations switched to eating 55-60% of your daily calories as carbohydrates, the rates of obesity have skyrocketed. Much of this is due to the fact that people are consuming way too many processed carbohydrates - many of which are marketed as being "healthy" and "nutritious." 

Not to name names, but here are a couple of the not so obvious worst offenders:

worst offenders.JPG

That's right...many "healthy" energy/protein/granola bars likely have more processed junk and different versions of sugar in them than anything else! And, that bowl of "whole grain" cereal? Well, most servings of cereal are 1/2-3/4 cup...who eats 1/2 cup of cereal? Some cereals contain upwards of 10+ grams of sugar per serving. If you pour two cups of cereal in your bowl, which is the more likely serving for most people, that's 40 grams of sugar! You might as well have some cookies and ice cream for breakfast :) 

I believe eating clean, unprocessed foods in the correct amounts impacts everything,including hormones levels, energy levels, and weight gain. Foods containing healthy proteins and fats (and unprocessed carbohydrates) are so much more satiating than processed carbohydrates.

Eat mostly whole foods in their original state, not in a package. And, do not be afraid to incorporate fats like organic grassfed butter, olive oil, avocado, organic nuts, etc. They are good for your body! Just make sure that you are mindful of the portions of these foods, as they are very nutrient dense. For example, eight walnut halves equals 10 grams of fat! Depending on an individual's needs, that could be 1/4-1/6 of their daily fat requirement!

Here's one of my favorite salmon recipes that I learned from a friend! Sockeye salmon is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat :) It contains the healthy Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. These are associated with reduced overall inflammation in the body, which improves heart, brain, and joint health!

Grilled Asian Citrus Salmon 

Servings: 4


  • 4 wild caught sockeye salmon fillets

  • 1 Tbsp organic toasted sesame oil

  • 1/3 c organic coconut aminos (tastes like soy sauce) 

  • 3 minced garlic cloves

  • 1 Tbsp powdered ginger

  • Juice from 1 orange and 1 Tbsp of the orange rind


  • Whisk all of the ingredients and pour over the salmon fillets and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. 

  • Turn the grill up to the highest setting and spray the grill with a nonstick spray.

  • Put the marinated salmon meat side down for five minutes on the high heat with the grill lid open.

  • After 5 minutes, flip the salmon to the skin side and lower the temperature to the lowest setting and close the lid for 1-2 minutes depending on how well done you prefer your salmon.

  • I served the salmon with stir fried cauliflower "rice" made with the same spices (garlic, ginger, and sesame oil). I also made butternut squash for some starch! ENJOY!

For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by video chat with my clients. 

Jill has an office in Scottsdale, AZ located at the AZ Healing Center.

[Tuesday Topics Free Lecture] August 29 - Anger Building Up?

Our world is crazy with negativity and if you are one to "take on" the negativity are you starting to feel closed off and isolating yourself from the rest of the world?  

This one hour discussion will help provide you with tools and resources to provide you strength to support  you on a daily basis.  Learn how to feel anger within your body and what you can do if presented with anger at work, at home or even driving.  

Tuesday, August 29

6:30-7:30 pm

Presenter: Amy Stephens 

[Tuesday Topics Free Lecture] August 22 Essential Oils 101: The Trilogy

Essential Oils 101:  The Trilogy

The use of Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint to help support seasonal allergies.   As we kick off with the kids going back to school and parents back into their routine at work.  Have some basic knowledge of essential oils for your health and well-being. 

Complimentary discussion on Tuesday, August 22 from 6:30-7:30 pm, about doTERRA essential oils to also include OnGuard and Melaleuca in addition to Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint.

If you are interested in the sample packet (5 oil samples) to use for a week = $10 fee 

Preorder the samples to make sure you have yours ready after the lecture. 

Presenter: Amy Stephens




Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint