I had this conversation today with a pregnant mom who in only 10 days/ish will be giving birth to her third. Her experience, like so many others has not been linear.
The emotional closure...
While some have a very straightforward childbearing experience, many women have one that is up & down & all over the place. Filled with joy & loss & countless emotions during years of trials & errors before the miracles & rainbows arrive.
This is definitely a reason to close the body with a Rebozo session.
As the bodyworker or birth worker rocks the hips, a closure takes place in the mothers emotional womb.
Closing of a time.
Closing of a chapter.
Closing of a journey.
Closing of a mindset.
Closing of endless interventions.
Closing of years of hopes & dreams.
Closing a journey that hopefully, although not always, is ending after a bright rainbow.
Closing & starting anew
This is reason enough to ceremonially perform a closing the bones Rebozo session & experience the emotional benefits of Rebozo “healing” at its best.
Rebozo is an emotional experience.
This is what most birth-workers & doulas will offer a new mother.
And that is amazing.
But why should it stop there?
The physical shift. Does it happen?...
As a massage therapist I have added a whole sequence that takes this ceremony beyond the emotional plane & into a tangible, physically rewarding experience as well.
While a tightening of the bones will definitely help “put the hips back in place” — full disclosure— for a real pelvic shift to happen, the closing would need to be repeated daily or weekly for several sessions in a row, while the mother remains resting in a warm & nourishing environment, like the setting called upon for adequate postpartum care in traditional cultures; where parteras come & care for the mother on a daily basis.
The physical shift will not take place on a home visit by a doula. Nor in two visits.
The reality today is that most women can’t afford a full regime & those who can, normally do not prioritize it & that is their right.
Achieving the physical shift through therapeutic bodywork...
I have had the luck to work with multiple women who have taken the multiple/consecutive session journey & although we see the benefits from the first visit, we need many more to achieve a real “this is really doing something” experience. By many I mean 8-10 sessions, or more, like a traditional protocol demands.
Most providers will not tell you this because they won't sell many sessions if they tell you "it won't work as you read it in Social Media"
I'm not afraid to say it. Because my job is to do the physical work & the work is to help you feel better. That takes time.
There is a reason why postpartum care takes 40-60 days to begin with.
And just like the universe wasn't built in a day, one Rebozo session will not undo the doings of nine months of physiological transformation.
Emotional & physical impactful bodywork; mindful, magical, transformative & therapeutic in nature.
But not all is lost because there's other forms of bodywork with a more immediate physical impact.
When I realized many cannot, and many will not, go through with the full regime, I focused on developing a more therapeutic approach to the Rebozo closing & developed a more complete massage that may include all or some of the following:
😀 A deep hip/gluteus bodywork
😀 Lower back therapeutic massage with specific focus on the QL muscles (the mommy muscles)
😀 A profound neck & shoulder post-pregnancy release
😀 Careful abdominal work that supports any abs separation & diaphragm tenderness.
This in addition to the gentle rocking & the firm tightening of a rebozo around the hips & torso.
While the massage is performed in its entirety with the same professionalism & thorough care of a professional pregnancy massage, with specific attention to hormonal fluctuations, joint sensitivities & need for a firm yet gentle touch; the Rebozo part is performed as a bodywork session or a ceremonial experience, according to the mother’s wishes.
This means mother may chose to have guests participate in her closing, help tighten her up, include a tea session or a birth story process together with her massage. The sky's the limit!
While she still goes through a mindful, soul nourishing closing journey during the Rebozo segment , my work as a therapist completes the emotional support part with a physical care one that actually feels like "something shifted".
Full disclosure, I leave many moms happy with one session but I will always recommend a follow up. Or two. Or ten.
So is that a yes or a no?
The short answer is, while some providers offer a ceremonial experience with limited physical benefits —which we love & we wish everyone goes through — as a therapist, I strive to give my clients a session that is not only good for the soul but also tangibly beneficial for the body at the specific stage they are at, from one day to several years post pregnancy.
Massage therapists are not “allowed/advised” to say a session or type of bodywork is “healing” but I can say this:
The Rebozo sessions I offer show both, emotional & physical tangible improvements that allow new mothers to feel ready to move-on in their mind & on their feet 👣 😉, while more experienced mothers get to fulfill an emotional & physical void they’ve been unable to explain for years, or even decades.
My wish is to support as many women as I can. To let them experience both sides, the mystical & the therapeutic, & be touched by this two sided bodywork.
Yet, since not everyone will choose me —because energy & compatibility matters — or have access to what I offer —because location & money matter — my second wish is that all mothers get to experience a closing session when the time is right; with whatever provider can give them what they need; in a space where they feel safe; with an energy that is both warm & nourishing.
That is always the endgame.
*To book a session visit the website www.themilkandoilcompany.com and explore the Motherhood Massage Session on the Massage Therapy page.
*Motherhood Rebozo massages (The Core, The Restoration & The Healing) include traits of Ayurvedic, Deep Tissue & Thai Massage adapted to the specific needs of the postpartum body & they are a creation of my own.