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What is Closing the Bones?

Closing the Bones is a way to support a woman's recovery after childbirth; a way to celebrate the amazing abilities of her body; and a way to create a moment of stillness, of meditative peace and reflection in the rollercoaster of emotions of new motherhood.

It is a postnatal ritual. It is a ceremony. It is a nurturing massage with a shawl or scarf.

Let us tell you a bit more about it...

We have been on quite a journey learning about this thing called Closing the Bones.

It all started a few years at a study days about rebozos, then at a workshop in a beautiful place called Cae Mabon. Rocio Alarcon, an Ethnobotanist from Ecuador taught us to honour a woman who has just given birth. She reminded us that her mind and body need and deserve to be nourished and nurtured. Her gentle hands  guided us in our learning as she modelled the movements to massage a mother’s body.

With her ‘manta’ or rebozo shawl, she showed us how to rock and relax a new mother. As a baby in the womb we are rocked as our mother walks, as a baby we are rocked in arms or in our cradle, as old people we rock in our chairs. To be held and rocked is deeply relaxing and feels safe at a cellular level.


We learned to gently stroke her with warm oil and to wrap her with the shawl, leaving her feeling soft and warm. To honour her belly and hips, where she grew her baby, is a profound moment, for both giver and receiver.

As we were asked to "take this back to your community" and "share this with as many women as possible", we took the massage back to the local doula community and we practiced. 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 breath, reflect on her journey so far and feel loved and supported by her community.

We began spreading the word. Many women have come to us to learn to close bones, some of whom are listed on this site. We feel driven to do this work for many reasons; mostly because mothers are asking us in greater numbers than we can support alone, but also because during the training, Rocio asked us to spread the work. To:

‘give this back to your culture, because you have lost it. And you need it back.’

This website is for you if you want your bones closed, or know someone who would like their bones closed (we encourage the buying of this ritual as a gift for new mothers). You can find a bone closer on our list

This website is for you if you want to learn to close bones. You can book a workshop or enquire about us coming to your neck of the woods.


Please note: whilst Rocio encouraged us to share this work with as many women as possible, and was aware of our teaching and originally supported it, she appears to have changed her mind and removed her blessing for us to teach it. Because of the amazing healing we have witnessed with this work, we have decided to carry on offering the training. We want to be transparent about this.

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