Closing The Bones (Postnatal Abdominal Massage)

Hi, I’m Liana van Zyl from Liana Doula And today I’m going to talk about a postnatal abdominal massage called Closing The Bones

In this session, I’ll explain a bit more about what you can expect from this massage and the benefits of having it done If we did an MRI scan of pregnant women, which hopefully we'll never do, but we would see how the hips open during the pregnancy the pubic sumphysis is already quite flexible and with the combination of the hormone relaxin being released during pregnancy your hips are becoming wider and wider That’s why after the birth it is paramount to help close them back to their normal, pre-pregnancy width, otherwise mothers might suffer from pelvic instability Closing of the Bones is a post-partum healing ceremony, it originated from a Mexican tradition where the post-partum mother was and still is anointed, massaged and wrapped It helps to nurture the mother after her birth journey into motherhood

It is also a celebration, a setting of sacred space, and a way to nurture mother & baby In traditional cultures like in Ecuador for example, the 41 days of the postnatal period represent a sacred time In this time, the woman will have the closing the bones massage at least 5 times, the first being 6 hours after birth, this begins to put the bladder and uterus back into place The massage stimulates blood flow which in turn; cleans, renews, moves fluids (which may help with your milk supply and lochia), moving hormones, helping your immune system, toning muscles and tissue around your abdomen As women go through Childbirth, it is quite an ‘open’ experience

Everything during labour is about opening, opening physically, emotionally, spiritually but once the baby is born, the body requires sealing or closing of that which has been opened and is raw and vulnerable Birth is an amazing experience but afterwards that openness can leave us feeling a bit empty On a purely physical level, the sifting of the hips with the Rebozo- which is a Mexican term for scarf- and the subsequent oil massage of the abdominal area help to loosen the lower vertebrae (which have been compressed during pregnancy) and release tension and stagnant energy that has built up during pregnancy in the hip area The technique also offers an effective way to help mobilise the pubic bone back into the correct position whilst stimulating shrinkage of the uterus and helping to move the uterus and bladder back into their pre-pregnant place All this can prevent serious hip problems in older age (hip dislocations, hip replacements, pelvic instability and having to use a walking frame)

The massage takes about an hour and a half to two hours After your booking is confirmed we will have an initial phone consult I will come over to your home and bring all my equipment with me The massage is done lying on a yoga mat on the floor just like it’s done traditionally, so you would have to find a space in your home suitable and preferably undisturbed for this time The “closing” space would be filled with petals, candles and soft music playing creating a nice oxytocin rich space for you to fully let go and relax in

I would start off with a warm essential oil back rub to ease the pressure and to get you to relax You’ll then be laid down on the rebozos or scarves Followed by using the rebozo to ease any tension in your lower back and pelvis area We’ll spend quite some time on your abdominal area before there will be a ‘closing’ done by gently wrapping key areas of the body to help facilitate shrinkage of the uterus, guide the bones back to their original position Once closed the mother is able to lie quietly and enjoy her time and her experience

The firm hold of the rebozo on your hips allows you to let go and go deep inside Beautiful sayings would be read as she is gently closed and tucked in You will be able to rest in this peaceful state for a while before being quietly unwrapped The ritual can also help “close” a new Mother energetically, as both pregnancy, and particularly the intense process of labour and birth, can be very vulnerable times for a woman, psychologically and physically After the massage, I will prepare some herbal tea for you and if you’d like we can discuss your experience or anything that you would like to talk about at that time

The Closing of the Bones is ideally for mothers in their post-partum stage and beyond However, it is open to all mothers and women at any time that wish to find some closure for themselves Closing the bones is great for any situation that has been an overwhelming experience It will help you to feel safe, quieten your mind and allow you to regather your energy I am honouring new mothers, all women, I honour your journey, I hold your space …

be held, honoured, warmed and loved Thank you

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