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The Healing Power of Rebozo Massage in Postpartum Care

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Written by Ysaline Godet


Discover the Ancient Art of Rebozo Massage for Postpartum Recovery

 

The Rebozo: its origin & use 

The Rebozo is an ancestral and noble fabric originating from Mexico, also widely used in Central and South America. It is a rectangular-shaped piece, woven in one continuous length ranging from 1.5 to over 3 meters, crafted from cotton, wool, or silk depending on the region. Traditionally used in rituals and daily life as a shawl or baby carrier, this sacred cloth holds deep significance in Mexican midwifery, symbolizing infinite wisdom. It provides profound physical, emotional, and energetic effects, enveloping women in comfort and connection.The Rebozo stands as a testament to enduring cultural heritage and resilience. 

Rebozo in Traditional Rituals

In addition to its daily uses, the Rebozo is integral to traditional rituals such as the "Closing the Bone" ceremony. This postpartum ritual, lasting 3 to 4 hours, involves four main steps: full-body massage, an herbal bath for detoxification, a sweating session, and Rebozo wrapping at seven points. This ceremony symbolizes a closing and healing process for women after childbirth.

Rebozo as a Massage Tool: Various Techniques

The Rebozo is a versatile tool to support women. Various techniques utilize the Rebozo for different purposes, such as aiding in childbirth, relieving pregnancy-related discomforts, and providing general support and relaxation. Each method offers unique benefits, adapting to the needs of women at different life stages.

Among these techniques, the Slow Rebozo massage stands out. Developed by a French Doula Anne Belargent, this approach emphasizes slowness, depth, and attentive listening. It guides you through a gentle yet profound sensory experience, distinct from traditional massage practices. . For the Slow Rebozo massage, simpler Rebozos are used, which, while not crafted from the more elaborate noble fabrics, still provide a nurturing and effective experience. 

Throughout this article when talking about Rebozo massage it will refer to the ‘Slow Rebozo approach’ that I offer in Sydney.  

Rebozo session Rebozo session

The Slow Rebozo massage: A non traditional massage 

The Slow Rebozo massage offers unique sensations distinct from traditional massages. It encourages women to refocus and slow down, with Rebozos placed from head to toe, enveloping, touching, lifting, and cradling the body in a nurturing embrace. This gentle and slow movement creates a cocoon-like sensation that promotes physical and emotional well-being.

Its benefits are multifaceted:

  • Physical Effects: The gentle pressure of the rebozos helps to relieve physical tension, allowing the body to relax deeply.

  • Emotional and Energetic Effects: Facilitates emotional release and inner reconnection.

Additionally, it invites women to:

  • Slow down and be more present

  • Reconnect with their bodies

  • Cultivate a profound sense of gentleness and warmth

  • Experience openness, lightness, and movement

  • Awaken a sense of vitality and life

While the Slow Rebozo massage fosters well-being and relaxation, it can also bring discomfort. This may be physical, like back pain, or emotional, as deep-seated feelings may surface. Each person will react differently, and it’s important to understand that discomfort can occur.

In essence, the Slow Rebozo massage is more than just a physical treatment; it is a holistic experience that fosters well-being and relaxation, even as it sometimes brings challenging sensations to the surface.

Slow Rebozo massage: for who & when

Traditionally, when people hear "rebozo," they often think of its use in postpartum care. As mentioned earlier, Rebozo can be used for different purposes. 

The Slow Rebozo massage offers profound reconnection and rejuvenation, ideal for women at various life stages. Its benefits extend to menstruation, menopause, and any significant or meaningful life changes. This massage provides a pause amidst life's challenges, fostering self-care and introspection. It offers physical relief and emotional nourishment, encouraging women to slow down, reconnect, and find tranquility in their journey.

Additionally, Rebozos can be used as a relaxation technique at home. They can be applied on yourself to soothe the shoulders and hips, or used on your children to provide comfort and relaxation.

How long does a slow rebozo massage session typically last?  How frequently should I get rebozo massage sessions?

A Slow Rebozo massage typically lasts between 60 and 90 minutes and can be received as frequently as desired, especially during significant life transitions or recovery phases. There is no limit to how often one can receive a Rebozo massage; it’s a precious gift of relaxation and self-care. The massage is conducted with clothing on. 

Each session is unique and deeply personal and may include the following elements:

  • Meaningful exchange: at the start of the session, there is a focus on establishing a space where the woman can share her intentions and feelings, ensuring she feels heard and supported on her journey.

  • Rebozo wrapping: during the massage, the woman is gently cuddled, wrapped, and enveloped in a sensory journey with the Rebozos, covering her from head to toes. This experience may also include a light hand and feet massage.

  • Time for reflection: following the massage, there is a period designated for self-reflection and sharing in a warm and supportive environment.

Throughout the session, relaxing music and low lights are used to enhance relaxation, promoting a deeper sense of letting go. 

It is recommended to maintain a slow pace after the session, allowing oneself to absorb and observe each sensation, embracing the slowness and depth of the treatment.

Slow Rebozo Massage: A Vital Support for Postpartum Recovery

The Rebozo is a powerful tool for honoring women on their motherhood journey. In Western cultures, postpartum recovery is often overlooked, with an expectation for mothers to quickly return to their routines. However, becoming a mother is a significant transition that deserves care and attention, including for women who experience the loss of a baby.

Rebozo massage supports women during pregnancy by offering a safe, emotionally supportive sensory experience. Acting as an extension of the practitioner's hands, it helps women slow down in our fast-paced lives. The massage relieves tension, promotes inner peace, and prepares the body for birth by stretching the back, lifting the shoulders, gently rocking the belly, and opening the hips, while also increasing oxytocin, essential for birth.

After childbirth, Rebozo massage aids in physical and emotional recovery. It marks the transition from pregnancy to motherhood by replenishing energy and supporting overall body recovery. It helps women reconnect with themselves and embrace their new role as mothers, providing a cocoon of care and reflection. Additionally, it supports the process of closing and healing the body.

You can enjoy this massage with your baby by your side (having someone close by to help with your baby is always beneficial to make this experience fully yours). Sometimes, babies even find themselves comforted in the Rebozos. 

Any precautions

Receiving a Rebozo massage is a nurturing and self-connecting practice. It is important to note that it does not replace medical care provided by your healthcare provider. 

Here are some important precautions:

  • Emotional release during the massage is common and welcomed with kindness

  • Rebozo massage can be adaptable to your sensations

  • Consult your healthcare provider if you have high or low blood pressure.

  • The Rebozo massage can be given before, during, or the day after childbirth 

  • It is also beneficial for those who do not like to be touched but feel the need for a massage. 

 

For  more information, you can book a session with me. I offer a 30-min discovery call. 

 

About the Author

Ysaline Godet

Ysaline is a Doula and Life Coach, supporting women on their parenting journey from conception all the way through the postpartum period and beyond. She is here to provide a safe and nurturing space for women to discover and explore one of the most important transitions in their life. Being a mother to Anaïs & Florent inspired her to change careers in order to passionately support other women through the transformative experience of motherhood Ysaline wanted to join Bodhi because being part of a community and working together to better support our community is so essential

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