Last month I attended a wisdom sharing day in Cambridge held by Maddie McMahon and Sophie Messenger. The day took place in Sophie’s home, which felt perfect. I Love the simplicity of women coming together in ours homes to teach, learn and share food together.
Closing the bones is a beautiful ceremony conducted after birth, to bring our much needed life-force energy (Chi) back home to us after opening ourselves physical and energetically, during pregnancy and childbirth.
This ancient tradition is being reawakened and reclaimed, to help heal, honour and empower women.
Whilst we may have lost the practice here in the UK, the tradition is still alive and welcomed in many cultures and is being passed on by wise and dedicated women in an attempt to hold onto this important tradition.
In 2013 Ecuadorian Rocio Alarcon shared her wisdom during a Doula retreat here in the UK.
Rocio holds a PhD in ethnobotany and was also trained in traditional midwifery and shamanism by her mother and grandmother.
Our (UK) folklore traditions of honouring childbirth may be lost in time but it was with a grateful heart that I received the training which I will take and add my own wisdom to, before offering it out.
We were 9 women in total, everyone a Doula apart from me, but my massage, healing and experience of sitting in women’s circles meant I fitted in well.
First we learnt abdominal and hip massage before learning techniques with the rebozo (a long piece of cloth) that helps to realign the hips and rebalance the energy.
We took turns practicing on each other before enjoying a bring and share lunch.
After lunch we shared our experiences of giving and receiving, before conducting a ‘closing ceremony’ which included wrapping the women in several, specifically placed rebozos and honouring her with our gently placed hands, presence and songs.
As an energy healer I was able to tune into my own energy to enquire what was happening within my own field as I was receiving the practice.
From my perspective all the techniques shown to us either encouraged the energy flow inwards or they released blockages to the skeletal structure and the energy field allowing balance and flow, which is important for well being, energy levels and good health.
During the securing of the rebozo around the hips I noticed that the physical holding and security the rebozo provided allowed for an energetic release which felt wonderful. Other women experienced emotional release and laughed or cried (which is energy within the aura shifting and rebalancing)
Pregnancy and birth is a major transformation within the cycle of some women’s lives.
Large amounts of energy is needed to grow and nurture the foetus and when the time comes for the tiny being to be born more energy is needed. In a perfect world, this great achievement would be honoured and received with reverence and an understanding of the epic journey both mother and baby have been through.
In honour of the journey, the women would be cared for, held and celebrated during the initial months after delivery. This would help the women with the integration of the birth experience and all the wisdom offered, so that it can be fully digested and of benefit.
Birth stories would be written, healthy food offered, massage and energy healing to help support the new mother.
Maddie McMahon from http://thebirthhub.co.uk writes
“Traditionally women are given this massage within hours of the birth, and receive it again at least 5 or 6 times during the first 40 days postpartum. In some cultures, the 41 days of the postnatal period is seen as sacred time. In this time the woman will have the closing massage at least 5 times, the first being 6 hours after birth, this begins to put the bladder and uterus back into place”.
The intention of honouring women at this time is strong medicine and I feel it has great potential to help prevent postnatal depression as well as healing birth trauma. Elizabeth Duff, Senior Policy Adviser at NCT, the UK’s largest charity for parents, said:
‘Lack of support and isolation are often key causes, as parents come to terms with their new role. We would like to see families well-supported throughout pregnancy, birth and in the early days of being a parent”.
Sadly, it is common for women to not be fully supported during this transitional time, due to outside pressures and influences to return to work, look after other family members, as well as the toxic ‘just get on with it”attitude so often heard and projected onto people.
I am now offering ‘Closing of the bones’ ceremonies to women for more details go to my website.
closing the bones