motherhood, our work, postpartum

‘Closing the Bones’ – Every mother’s birthright

My first experience of having my ‘bones closed‘ after the birth of my daughter was with Rocio, a shaman, healer and ethnobotanist from Ecuador, who touched my body and could feel straight away how my energy was both blocked and leaking out of me. It is a bit of blur what followed but suffice to say I felt quite different when I left the clinic that day after having been jiggled and massaged by Rocio’s warm healing hands. Some years later, as a doula, I heard about a technique called ‘Closing the Bones’ being taught by two doulas, Maddie and Sophie. At the time I didn’t realise it was the same technique that Rocio had given to me, but I felt drawn to the idea of closing the body after birth so decided to learn in order to offer it to birth clients postpartum.

It turned out that Maddie and Sophie had been trained by Rocio to pass on the techniques. During the workshop I had a profound experience with the woman I was working with. As she rocked my pelvis with a rebozo in a technique called sifting, I felt held and nurtured. I went back to a memory of myself in my own mother’s womb; energy started to flow throughout my body and I experienced something similar to a full body orgasm. I wasn’t able to formulate any words for several minutes after. It felt like my whole body had been bathed in a healing light. I continued to experience the effects of what we had experientially learnt during that workshop for several days. One of the most poignant realisations was of feeling like I had come back home to myself. I felt centred and complete, which meant that I was able to be with my daughter in a completely different way.

I have since given ‘Closing the Bones’ to many doula clients and other women who have sought me out. Each time I give it, I feel this sense of deep nurture and giving what is so deserved to each one of these women. Several women have fed back to me that as a result they feel more connected to their creativity and sense of themselves as women in their own right.

I feel that we give so much as mothers. We want to give of course, but sometimes we lose the edges of ourselves. ‘Closing the Bones’ feels like a way to define our edges again. To come back to who we deeply are. To bring our energy back towards ourselves.

In pregnancy, our bodies naturally open in preparation for birth. Rocio refers to ‘Closing the Bones’ as a way of closing the birth cycle and closing the body to prevent energy leaking away from us, so as to regain our full energy, vitality and health. I believe it works on many levels. On the physical plane it helps stimulate, cleanse and renew blood flow and other fluids such as lymph in the body, it tones and stimulates muscle and our soft tissue structures such as fascia.  However, on a more emotional and spiritual level it creates a sacred space for women to process their pregnancy, birth and experiences of motherhood, releasing any residing trauma in the body.

I feel like all women have the right to experience this profound nurturing ritual. There are many cultures in which the concept of nurturing and ‘closing‘ women directly after birth is still present but, in the West, we seem to have lost this desperately needed tradition. I am very grateful to Rocio for sharing her skills and knowledge so openly with a desire for us as women to reclaim our power after birth. And to Sophie and Maddie for being on a mission to spread it as far and wide as they possibly can. This is our birthright, women. We deserve it.

Roshnii and I are now offering ‘Closing the Bones’ together and we hope to reach as many women as possible in Portugal. If you would like to book a session or have further questions please contact us.

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