What Is Soul Midwifery?

The Soul Midwife’s most important role is to provide comfort, continuous support and reassurance in helping a dying person to experience the death he or she wants. Soul midwifery aims to take the clinical, institutionalized and soul-less feeling away from modern deaths, and instead, ensure that death is a dignified and peaceful experience.

Trained in a variety of holistic and therapeutic techniques, a Soul Midwife provides loving and compassionate care at all times. Using sound, colour, touch and smell to alleviate pain and anxiety, Soul Midwives help to take care of the body and even work with souls after death; providing support not just to the dying person but also to their families and loved ones.

Soul Midwifery Pastel Art

The Principles Of Soul Midwifery

As a Soul midwife, there are 12 key principles I work to at all times. This ensures that I provide the utmost support and respect to a dying person and their families.

  • To work as non-medical holistic companions who guide and support a dying person in order to facilitate a gentle and tranquil death.
  • To support and recognise the individual needs of the dying person and ensure they feel loved and supported.
  • To create and hold a sacred and healing space for the dying person (whether in a hospital, a hospice or at home).
  • To respect and honour a dying person’s religious/spiritual or atheist/agnostic beliefs and practices.
  • To work as non-denominational, multi-faith practitioners who honour the dying person’s beliefs about life, death or the afterlife.
  • To listen, provide gentle therapeutic techniques, and ensure compassionate care at all times.
  • To ‘serve’ our friend; not aim to ‘fix’ or ‘rescue’.
  • To give healing, using sound, touch, colour, scented oils or other gentle techniques to alleviate pain and anxiety.
  • To keep a loving vigil.
  • To work holistically with the spirit and soul of our friends at all levels and stages of transition.
  • To support families and their loved ones, giving loving care with a human touch
  • To provide comfort, continuous support and reassurance in helping a dying person to experience the death he or she wants.

About Sam Lacey, Soul Midwife

I have trained extensively with The Soul Midwives School .

A soul midwife is a non medical, holistic companion who guides and supports the dying in order to facilitate a gentle and peaceful death.
We are trained in a variety of holistic , therapeutic techniques to ensure loving and compassionate care at all times.
We use sound, colour, touch and smell and other gentle techniques to help alleviate pain and anxiety .
We can help with blessing and balancing rituals, releasing techniques, visualisation, breathing techniques and meditation.
We can help to take care of the body and even work with souls after death (this is called Psychopomp work and is very deep level spiritual work)
One of the most important things we can do is LISTEN… and hold the space for the dying person, to provide comfort and continuous support and reassurance in helping a dying person to experience the death they want.
We not only help with the spiritual aspect, on a practical level we can help to create memory books , and death plans.
We can be called in by the family or the dying person themselves at any stage of the dying process, and even after. We provide support not just for the dying person but also the families and loved ones.
We work wherever we are needed, within the home, hospitals, hospices and care homes.
Years ago people were born and died at home… often there was a community wise woman who was called upon in these situations. Families and the community cared for the sick and the dying, supporting one another ..these processes were (and ARE) a natural part of living.
I began my journey into Soul Midwifery many years ago when I realised that we do not “die well” in the West. I started researching “better ways to die”, really as a way of putting down my own wishes in the event of my death, but, as with so many things in life, that search took me down a path that introduced me to Felicity Warner and the Soul Midwife movement, and called me to become a Soul Midwife. As a fully qualified holistic therapist, Reiki healer (to level 3 Master Teacher) and hedgerow herbalist (AuroraStar Holistic Therapies & Training). I utilise all of the skills and therapies that I have at my disposal into my Soul Midwifery practice. I have much experience within palliative care, having been a Butterfly Volunteer (a companion to the dying) at the Lister Hospital, I currently volunteer at Willen Hospice, and co own a palliative complementary therapy service (Angelic Aurora Palliative Care Therapies) that caters to helping people at end of life and with life limiting illnesses receive access to gentle holistic complementary therapies within their homes.
It IS possible to have a “good” death. Knowledge is power, and we believe in empowering people to make informed choices, not only about their lives, but their deaths, and how they die. Over the year’s that has been lost and we are now all so afraid of getting old, sick, and dying. Much of our work now involves setting up meetings and discussions about death and dying, bringing understanding and awareness to something that we have all been hiding from and fearful of for too long.
Soul Midwifery is about taking some of that fear away, for the person who is dying and also for the families – being with someone in their final hours so they know that they are loved and are not alone.
I am also a certified Soul Midwife TLC Trainer. This means that I can teach some of the more practical ways in which we as Soul Midwives work, to help empower people to support someone who is at the end of life by sharing some of the gentle and compassionate skills that we practice.
TLC stands for Tender Loving Care.
This award winning programme has been developed as a practical-based offshoot of Soul Midwifery. The most recent NICE guidelines for end of life care (December 2015) refer frequently to “individualising” patient care, and TLC can really help with this.
TLC was specially designed to give extra tools in the “caring toolbox” to carers who work with people who are dying. It is aimed enhancing existing caring skills as well as empowering carers to tune into their innate knowing and tap into ancient wisdom once more.
The course is equally suitable for complementary therapists, or for anyone who is interested in finding out how to support a person who is near, or, at the end of life.
I run half day and full day workshops for carers on an individual level, as well as being able to go into care homes, hospices, and organisations and deliver this as a full 1 day course, (max 10 people ). It is very much a “hands on” day. The feedback we have received so far is universally positive, both professionally and on a personal level. (fees for this may vary depending on location, travel costs, accommodation etc.)

 

Sam Lacey

Sam Lacey. VTCT level3, VHMBT Holistic Therapies, Award in Education and Training (AET) level 3, MIPTI, APTL (Reg 004), MAR,  Soul Midwife, Hedgerow Herbalist.