CLOSING OF THE BONES
Closing of the Bones is a postpartum healing ceremony designed to nurture and deeply nourish the mother after her journey into motherhood. The mother, (at any stage of her motherhood) is rocked, massaged, bound and soothed from head to toe.
It takes a certain loving care for a postpartum mother to heal deeply, properly. A care that we have lost in our western culture.
I say we bring it back.
In most other cultures, women are given this massage within hours of the birth, and receive it again at least 5 or 6 times during the first 40 days postpartum. The 41 days of the postnatal period represent a sacred time. In this time the woman will have the closing massage at least 5 times, the first being 6 hours after birth, this begins to put the bladder and uterus back into place. Mothers can have this ceremony at any time of their mothering, it's amazing what the pelvis stores and she will feel the benefits no matter how many months or even years since she birthed her last baby.
If we did MRI scans of pregnant women we would see how the hips open during the pregnancy, becoming wider and wider, so by the time she has birthed her baby her pelvis could have increased its width by a third.
The massage stimulates blood flow which in turn; cleans, renews, moves fluids (may help with milk supply/lochia), moving hormones, immune system, toning muscles and tissue.
After birthing mothers often suffer from pelvic instability. In Ecuador these female hip issues in our society are attributed to the lack of Closing the Bones massages post birth in our society.
The actual massage itself has many osteopathic benefits for a postpartum women. It loosens and moves the L4-S1 lower vertebrae area which are submitted to a lot of pressure during pregnancy, removes bladder and uterus tension by removing compression on the bladder and suspensory ligaments of the uterus, loosens gluteal fascia, opens the sacro-iliac joints and mobilises the pubic bone back into position.
The Emotional and the spiritual
In pregnancy, a woman spends a lot of time opening. Her body opens literally, every week of her pregnancy, her mind opens, her whole SELF opens and softens in preparation for motherhood. When her baby is here, with so much attention from family and friends (and so much demand on her body to sustain him or her) often the mother can be left feeling raw, open, empty and vulnerable.
The hips support the weight of the spine and head - they are therefore the seat of unresolved emotions and trauma which can be felt upon the hips as adrenalin crystals, that need to be popped and released during the massage. *This doesn't hurt - and if it does, I stop.
In our culture, we have lost all sense of ceremony and ritual. These things are engrained in us as humans, we need them, we long for them, and they don't have to only be a part of life if we are linked to a religion.
The ceremony provides a safe space, a ritual for the mother to feel nurtured and release emotions associated with the birth and motherhood.
Closing of the Bones Massage
The massage itself includes sifting with a rebozo, using the rebozo for closing the hip bones, and using various hand massage techniques using oil around the pubic bones, belly and around the hips.
The ceremony will be between you and me, in the comfort of your home and will last 90 mins.
I smudge the space for you, lay blankets and prepare the rebozos, burn incense and light candles. I'll also bring my own blend of sweet almond oil with Rosewood, Mandarin, Patchouli, Ginger, Fennel, Cypress, Cinnamon, Black Pepper and Star Anise - diluted for breastfeeding women.
We need phones silenced, curtains closed, children cared for in other rooms or out of the house for the duration, or if the baby is very young it can be done successfully with the baby on the mother's chest.
If you would like to give me a call to chat through any aspect of Closing of the Bones, to talk through please do give me a call on 07784049822 or email me here.
Full Closing Ceremony
A Full Closing ceremony can be attended by your closest female relatives, friends and loved ones who take an active role in the ceremony. If you've had a Blessingway/Mother Blessing, it's often very lovely to invite the same group of women back to your Closing of the Bones.
The same massage will be given and your sisters will kneel by your side for the final closing, and the sealing element of the ceremony. The mother is held and honoured at various points from crown to toe, using the rebozos, holding this space for her to feel, acknowledge and release, allowing as much time as is needed while she integrates her experience. Words and song may be offered. Here she lies, surrounded by her chosen women for as long as is needed. Nothing is rushed; the gift is time, pure intentions and love.
The full closing ceremony can be at your home, mine, or a place of your choice and will last around 2 hours.
For more information on anything on this page, or to get in touch for a chat about the Closing of the Bones Ceremony, email me here.