Closing the Bones
What is Closing the Bones ?
Closing the Bones is a way to support a woman's recovery after birth, to allow her to connect to her body that has carried her through pregnancy and the birth of her baby, and to give her a moment of peace, deep rest and reflection in the middle of the emotional overwhelm that is early motherhood.
It's a massage and it is a ceremony. Many cultures use massage and wrapping of the abdomen and the hips to support women post partum. This technique has been taught to western practitioners by Rocio Alarcon, an ethnobotanist from Ecuador. We use traditionally woven shawls, called “Rebozos”, to wrap and rock the body of the woman.
What happens during a Closing the Bones massage ?
Before the session, we will have a chat about the structure of the massage, and your preferences. The massage is done at your house. When I arrive, we will have a chat to get to know each other, and for you to share your expectations for the massage. You can share your birth story as well, if you wish.
I will prepare a space for the massage : usually a thin mattress on the floor, and several rebozos laid flat. I can bring candles, lovely oils, put on music and make the room darker if that is your preference. You'll be lying down on your back.
First, I will rock your hips using the shawls. Then I will massage your abdomen and hips, and then follow with more rocking. I will then wrap your body with the shawls and leave you to rest for a little bit, so you can feel your body being held, and your mind relaxing.
Afterwards, we could have a warm drink together and share a bit more about the experience, if you wish. The whole process takes about 2 hours.
“And women came. Many women. Knowing they needed this ceremony to close the circle of pregnancy and birth. Rituals that are the punctuation of our lives; baptism, weddings, funerals. Yet we have nothing to mark the supreme achievement that is motherhood. Through Closing the Bones, we aim to celebrate motherhood and draw attention to the perfection that is a mother’s body. However she birthed her child, this is a time to breathe, reflect on her journey so far and feel loved and supported by her community.”
Can I have several Closing the Bones ?
Yes, you can. In fact in many cultures, it is very common for the woman to be massaged and wrapped several times in the weeks after her birth.
Can I have my bones closed if I had children a long time ago/ don't have children ?
Yes, absolutely ! Women find Closing the Bones to be a wonderful ritual to honour the end of their childbearing years, or any transition in their life, whether it is their first period, or their last.
Is Closing the Bones a therapy ?
No. It is a meditative ceremony that women find restorative and calming, but it has no claims of being therapeutic. This technique has been deemed gentle and safe by a osteopath.
Is there any time I shouldn't have my bones closed ?
Closing the Bones is about wrapping your hips tight, and pregnancy is a expanding time for your pelvis and hips, so I wouldn't recommend it when pregnant. I would not do it if you're suffering from a serious illness. If you have back pain and struggle to lie flat on your back, you might find it uncomfortable.
Can I have my bones closed if I had a cesarean birth ?
Yes, but I will want to make sure your wound is healed and I will let you lead to make sure you are completely comfortable.