I am located within easy reach of Dulwich, Sydenham, Forest Hill, Crystal Palace and Beckenham. I generally work across South East and Central London
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“RITUAL HONOURS OUR TRANSITIONS AND BINDS US TO OUR STORY. IT CREATES CONNECTION, SERVES OUR SPIRITUALITY AND CELEBRATES OUR HUMANITY ”
Closing the Bones is a healing ceremony from the Ecuadorian tradition. It tends to have a particular focus post-partum when the new mother is massaged, rocked, wrapped and nurtured after birth. Closing the Bones is open to mothers immediately post partum (following a Cesarean birth – 6 weeks to heal scar tissue is recommended). However, it is not only limited to this time of life. It is a powerful tool, open and recommended to all women. The ceremony is particularly potent for women’s transitionary stages: from the beginning of periods, for fertility issues, following birth trauma or loss and as woman enter into the menopause. It is a special form of self care offered from one woman to another.
It is a physical and metaphorical closure after the immense physical, emotional and spiritual opening and expansion of pregnancy and labour. You could consider it as a Closing of Birth – allowing the new mother to experience deep rest and yielding after her birth experience so that she can move forward. Literally sealing the huge emotional and physical expansion she has gone through in her pregnancy journey to motherhood.
This not only helps to reintegrate the woman’s sense of containment and centreing after the profound and beautiful opening during pregnancy and labour but is also a sacred celebration acknowledging the journey they have been on to become a mother and helping them to return to a sense of wholeness.
As with any bodywork I find that it is best to allow the ritual to unfold. The elements come together to form a unique ceremony every time it is performed but the ‘bones’ of what you can expect are below:
I create a deeply nurturing and safely cocooned space for the mother – giving her permission to work through any emotions, reconcile feelings around her experience and release anything residual held in her body.
The closing space is energetically cleansed with a smudging stick – my person preference is Palo Santo (Holy Wood for its woody, grounding yet purifying scent). There is also the option to choose an essential oil to use that resonates with you. The space is bathed in warmth, candle-light and if preferred gentle music.
Initially we share some tea and spend some time together so that if you feel inclined you can share your personal birth story and anything else that is coming up for you at this time. When you feel ready we will take a moment to set an intention for the closing and a few moments grounding in meditation.
To begin a specifically tailored massage will stimulate the blood flow, cleansing any blocks and flows of energy in the body. It also helps to tone muscle and tissue and may help in aiding a woman’s healing process post birth. For the massage I use a warm oil blended with essential oils each carefully selected for their healing qualities post partum. The massage can incorporate the torso, back and abdomen however, it is totally guided by you.
The closing is done by gently rocking the hips within a rebozo scarf, more of which are then used to gently rock and wrap key areas of the body. This can help with alignment issues and encouraging the abdominal organs to settle and return to their original position.
It is not unusual for you to experience a release of emotion and the space will be held for you to feel comfortable to do so. This is an important part of the process in shifting old energy so that you can make space for a renewed sense of yourself having moved forward.
Once the wrapping is completed you are left to surrender into deep relaxation in your cocoon. A gong will herald the end of the treatment and you will be gently helped to unwrap. This soothing experience will leave you feeling deeply restored and rested.
It can be very helpful to spend some time reflecting and journalling on your experience as a way to further allow you to move forward.
Traditionally, Closing The Bones is a deeply nurturing postpartum ritual which is carried out several times over within the first few days and weeks postnatally. You may feel that you would like it more than once – there is no limit – just that you are guided by your own body and process. Some time to integrate the process is recommended
Closing the Bones can be a 1:1 session in your home or a place of your choosing – alternatively you may invite your own sisterhood, perhaps those who supported you the most or you had present for your mothers blessing or baby shower, for which I can facilitate a group Closing the Bones ceremony.
I tithe a percentage of my earnings back to the community project of Rocio Alarcon in Ecuador who has passed on her knowledge in the hope of preserving this sacred ritual
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss it further
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