Traditionally referred to as Closing the Bones, this postnatal massage is a way to physically and emotionally nurture and heal a woman after birth.
Where does Closing the Bones Postnatal Massage come from?
In traditional cultures all over the world there is a deep understanding of the need for a new mother to be nurtured, honoured and cared for as she recovers from growing and birthing a baby. This can involve a range of rituals and ceremonies such as providing nourishment, initiating a period of confinement and massage. In modern society these practices have become lost.
The form of Closing the Bones Postnatal Massage I offer originates from Ecuador, taught by Sophie Messager and Maddie McMahon, based on the inspiration and teachings of Rocio Alarcon, an ethnobotanist who also trained in midwifery, and shamanism. In Ecuador the Closing the Bones Postnatal Massage is given to a mother within hours of giving birth and she will receive it a number of times in the first 40 days.
What is involved?
I use a traditional shawl (Manta in Ecuador, Rebozo in Mexico) like a hammock to rock and relax you in a process called ‘sifting’, which encourages movement and releasing of the lower back and hip area. This rocking motion is incredibly soothing and deeply relaxing. This is followed by an abdominal and hip massage using a blend of essential oils to enhance relaxation through aromatherapy.
The treatment concludes with more sifting and the final closing through wrapping the hips and abdomen using the Rebozo/Manta. You are then able to lie in peace and calm, deciding for yourself when you are ready to be unwrapped. Throughout the process you are in full control of the pace, rhythm and intensity of each movement and touch.
Why is Closing the Bones needed?
Rocio Alarcon explains that MRI scans of pregnant women would show how the hips progressively open during pregnancy and that after the birth it is important to help close them back to their normal width. Without this process women can suffer from pelvic instability. Closing the Bones Postnatal Massage can help you physically, spiritually and emotionally since pregnancy and birth can be highly vulnerable times and this ritual provides a nurturing and supportive space for healing.
Everything around pregnancy, labour and birth revolves around the body opening up. A Closing the Bones Postnatal Massage can leave you feeling closed (physically and energetically) sealed and empowered for the rest of your journey through motherhood.
What are the benefits?
This relaxing and nurturing ritual is restorative and meditative. It provides an opportunity to celebrate your body and reflect on the journey you have taken into motherhood so far in an environment of peace and stillness. This can encourage a powerful release of emotions associated with birth, even many years after the birth itself.
The movements of sifting helps to loosen the lower vertebrae and mobilise the pubic bone, stimulating shrinkage of the uterus and helping to move the uterus and bladder into their pre-pregnancy position.
The massage stimulates blood flow, which cleans and renews, and removes tension in the uterus and bladder releasing blocked and stagnated energy. The massage encourages the release of adrenalin crystals that have formed on the hip bones and can indicate unresolved emotion and trauma.
The safe and nurturing space can also give you an opportunity to share your birth story should you wish to, to reflect and release any stored emotions or trauma.
Who is it for?
The ritual is traditionally designed for women in the time immediately after birth (and is ideally done in the first hours, days or weeks) but it is open to all mothers, at any time since having a child or children, and can have wonderful benefits even decades on. It can support in times of transition whether or not you have given birth at all.
Closing the Bones Postnatal Massage can be particularly healing if you have experienced loss, or if you suffer from anxiety, trauma or a feeling of being overwhelmed.
Closing the Bones Postnatal Massage - £50
- A Closing the Bones Postnatal Massage session lasting between 2 – 2.5 hours
- Rebozo sifting, abdominal massage and therapeutic wrapping of the hips and abdomen
- An opportunity to debrief your birth experiences in a safe, nurturing and healing environment
*Additional mileage will be charged at 45p/mile at distances over 10 miles