Closing the bones : a male doula’s experience

I (Sophie) first heard of Dr Attila Jonas when he contacted me asking to attend a closing the bones workshop earlier in 2017. Having not heard of him, I had to make sure he was a safe person to work with, so I quickly dropped a message to male midwife Mark Harris to check if he was safe to work with, and Mark had very positive things to say about him.

Attila and I exchanged several online messages, and I was very curious to meet him as he sounded like a very interesting character: a consultant anaesthetist, he also a trained doula UK doula, a birth trauma specialist, and hypnobirthing instructor, as well as being an energy worker. I also listened to him talk about his work on Mark Harris’s sprogcast, which piqued my curiosity further (you can listen to this here)

I then set to organise his attendance at one of the closing the bones workshops.

This was a new experience for me, and I had to make sure that everybody attending the workshop would be comfortable to have a man present (especially as the massage involves exposing the abdomen), but I also needed to make sure at least one of the other attendees would be happy to pair up with Attila for the massage practise too!

Luckily Attila was booked to attend the doula UK conference and I was facilitating the workshop in Manchester the day before the conference, and everybody attending was happy to have him there.

I was a little nervous the day before the workshop, wondering how having a male energy in what had always been a circle of women until then would work out.

I needn’t have worried.

Not only Attila turned to be a lovely person, and the group worked really well, but he also volunteered to be the guinea pig for the demo part of the massage, which was a new and interesting experience for me. I must admit having had a tiny moment of “oh” when he volunteered but quickly got over it.

He was very positive about the experience, giving lots of positive feedback about his impression of the massage as we worked. In fact he has been the most positive guinea pig I have ever worked on!

This is what Attila has to say about his experience of the workshop:

“I had a lovely treatment first as a demonstration from Sophie then from my practicing partner Kati. I am in a unique position as I could have experienced this massage as a man and as a medical doctor. I feel much better: collected, focused, more aware of my environment. I can recommend this treatment as a medical doctor to anyone with an emotional trauma even for men, as we – expectant fathers – all have an impact on our baby’s emotional development.”

 

3 Comments

  1. […] Closing the bones : a male doula’s experience […]

  2. Louise on March 31, 2017 at 6:37 am

    Wow, what a lovely post. The idea of massage for Daddy too is very powerful…..it works very well as a leveller in Infant Massage. Men certainly do need to be able to connect following birth…this is most thought provoking Sophie x

  3. Dr. Attila Jonas on March 31, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Many thanks for this lovely comment Sophie, particularly to my massage partner who kindly agreed for me to practice on her tummy! For me it was a unique experience as I immediately started to make connections between this new technique and my previous medical knowledge.
    It was a great day, thanks for everyone!:)

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