Last Tuesday I attended a Rebozo workshop run by the School of Babywearing.  It was a perfect opportunity to get hands on with rebozos and find out how beneficial their use is in massage and how they can be useful during birth (hospital or home birth). I love finding out and trying out traditional methods that can help people obtain maximum health from various massage techniques to different uses and types of slings. The use of rebozos encompasses both these things.

I love this quote from ‘The Rebozo Technique Unfolded’ by de Keijzer and van Tuyl

” Women who became pregnant expand their bodies, hearts and souls for the sake of their new child. …The rebozo, as applied through the loving hands of their doulas, midwives and other caregivers, helps the woman and the baby inside, by offering support, adjustment, soothing relief and in the case of post partum period, a return to its pre-pregnant state of wholesomeness and integrity.’ Naoli Vinaver, Mexicna Midwife, anthropologist and author.

It’s easy enough to read about techniques but actually experiencing them is a different matter. Our favourite technique was the closing massage – a technique traditionally used in Mexico 40 days post partum to help the new mother both in starting to close her body but also give her the chance to truly relax and focus on the new role she finds herself in.

I can imagine this would be a lovely as a stand alone treatment but after a relaxing massage it would be true bliss.

As someone who tends to have very stiff lower back I really enjoyed some of the sifting techniques – a way of helping loosen up tight muscles but also great as a way of helping a mum (or any stiff person) to start being able to separate lower back from pelvis and start being able to focus on how they move separately from each other.

It was also interesting to actually put the different types of rebozo to use and see what would make a better tool to use as a massage tool.

We practiced the various positions for labour and could certainly feel the effect the next day. BUt also gave me ideas of how regular practice using these techniques can help to practice stretches that would help your body and uterus be in balance that in turn can help your baby achieve the optimal position for birth, reduce pregnancy related ailments and achieve the strength and tone needed for a more active and empowered birth.

The rebozo is used by wrapping it round the area to be massage (so back, shoulders, pelvis, legs) and then used to wrap and slowly and firmly moved backwards and forwards across the area, or used to support the woman in a beautiful supported stretch. By crossing the arms as the care giver is using the rebozo a different pressure can be applied, or working from behind in front or above (with the woman laying down or sitting) a wider area can be massaged at a time which can create a truly wonderful treatment. Some treatments involve wrapping the rebozo around the mother which creates a calm and tranquil cocoon like feel or used to support feet or head to allow a floating feeling while easing out tensions.

I am looking forward to incorporating these techniques into my regular massage treatments and as part of a new venture here at Nature and Nurture.

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