Postnatal Recovery Massage

A healing and nurturing massage for new mothers, inspired by closing the bones, created by Sophie Messager and osteopath Teddy Brookes

What is the Postnatal Recovery Massage?

Inspired by a traditional postnatal massage ritual called closing the bones, the Postnatal Recovery Massage (PRM) is done on a massage table and involves using rebozo shawls to rock and bind the mother’s body, together with an extensive massage of the abdomen, hips, waist, ribs, chest, shoulders and arms with a special warming oil.

It is designed to help realign and balance a new mother, as well as help her return to her centre, both physically and energetically. It is also suited to support women through life transitions.

This unique technique was developed by doula and healer Sophie Messager (who has been offering and teaching the floor version of the ritual for over 10 years) together with Cambridge osteopath Teddy Brookes.

The technique took over a year and a half to develop over many sessions. Teddy and Sophie have trained over 120 students since they started teaching PRM in 2019.

To ensure good tuition, this workshop is reserved to a small group of up to 14 students.

It is a deeply practical workshop, where you will not only learn this technique in depth, and leave able to offer it to your clients, but you will also experience for yourself how nurturing, powerful and deeply healing this ritual is, as well as learning to provide this treatment as part of a single person or group ceremony.


You will be given an extensive, unique and detailed handout which includes a mix of traditional wisdom and scientific evidence. Each technique is accompanied by a description, a picture, a tutorial video link, and a description of its effects on the various joints, muscles and tissues of the body.

You will also gain access to a private Facebook group for people who have done the closing the bones training, where you can share knowledge and connect with an vibrant group of nearly 400 like minded birthworkers and bodyworkers

Scroll to be bottom of the page to read feedback from previous course attendees.



How did we develop the Postnatal Recovery Massage?

Sophie learnt the closing the bones massage in 2013, and has been offering it to her clients and teaching it since 2014. She has trained over 800 people in offering this massage.

Sophie and Teddy met in 2014, and Teddy provided the anatomical and physiological effects of the techniques for the closing the bones handout.

Closing the bones is done on a mat on the floor. A growing number of stduents approached Sophie, asking if it would be possible to provide a massage table version of closing the bones, because they had issues with their knees, or bad backs, which made working on the floor challenging for them, or because, as massage therapists, packing away their massage tables between clients wasn’t feasible.

Sophie and Teddy started working on developing a massage table version of the technique in 2017. This took over 18 months to develop.

They ended up with a unique massage which is inspired from the original technique but is really quite different.

What are the benefits of the postnatal recovery massage over closing the bones?

  • It is much easier on the body of the therapist. Working on the table allows you to use your body weight to provide the strength needed to rock the body with the rebozo, and to do the massage movements. You can move easily around the table, staying comfortable, without needing to kneel or squat as you do on the floor. Recently, I was delighted to hear from a friend who had a knee injury that learning the ritual meant that she could offer the massage again, much to her delight, and with amazing results.
  • It requires less space than a mat on the floor, making it more suited to a small therapy room.
  • There are more massage techniques than in the original massage, and they are more technical (for example: one is designed to help reduce the rib flare after birth, one to close the diastasis recti and one to pump lymphatic fluid around the chest), and some of the original massage movements have been modified to make them more effective. 
  • Some women may feel more appealing to be massaged on a table rather than on the floor because being massaged on a table is the norm in the Western world. In this respect this massage may appeal to a broader audience than the floor work.


About the Workshop

During this one day workshop you will learn the background behind the technique and get to practise it in steps with plenty of practical support from Sophie and Teddy. There will be an extensive Q&A session after the practise, and we will show you how to make it into a ritual too.

If you’d like to enquire about attending the day, please contact me.

What makes this workshop unique?

This is a small group workshop limited to around 14 people so there is plenty of time for individual attention.

You will receive a unique handout, which not only contains very detailed instructions of each massage stroke, and also a picture, video tutorial links and explanation of the effect of each technique on the body. You will also gain access to a private Facebook group which has over 500 trained closing the bones practitioners-a brilliant space to share knowledge and learn from each other.

This workshop runs from 9h00 to 6pm. It cost £249 per person

Upcoming workshops 

Our Experience with the Postnatal Recovery Massage

 Beyond the physical aspect of closing the bones, there is an emotional and spiritual aspect to the massage, which provide a safe space/ritual for the mother to feel nurtured and release emotions associated with the birth and motherhood.

Having experienced the massage ourselves and given the massage to new and not so new mothers, we have both experienced and witnessed how powerful this ritual can be in releasing birth emotions, even many years after the birth itself.

Not just for new mothers

The main philosophy behind the Postnatal Recovery Massage is to restore and nurture a new mother and to help treat the changes and discomfort brought on through pregnancy.

Whilst these techniques are designed with new mother in mind, they are an effective and relaxing massage for any age, or gender, and we would like to encourage you to use them to for your friends and family as well as your clients.




What a wonderful, professional, well constructed and instructive course with plenty of time for step by step practical, complemented by Teddy’s expertise and Sophie’s organic shamanism and such a wonderful community of like minded body workers. Thank you. Thoroughly recommended” 

Jenni Tribe, Therapist

Amazing workshop! Loved being in a small group to work through techniques in enough details. As an osteopath this experience has been invaluable in improving my practise of postnatal patients , in fact all of my patients!

Rob Ballard, osteopath

This new version of the postnatal ceremony blends effective rebozo (shawl) massage techniques and lymphatic drainage massage to support post natal mamas. Rather fabulous it is too!

Emma Kenny, Massage therapist

The massage is a wonderful reworking of the traditional Ecuadorian Closing The Bones massage performed on a couch rather than the floor. Sophie and Teddy have taken all that is special about it and fused her energy-work approach with his osteopathic technique to create something extraordinary. It incorporates binding, rocking, jiggling and specific tension releases, with massage of the chest, abdomen and pelvis with warming oil. It is truly a celebration of the postpartum body! 

Charlotte Filcek, doula

I think one if the reasons I like the massage that you have developed for the table as it feels like a modern way of adapting the traditional massage. It feels like a new technique, a therapists technique. I also like being able to connect to the anatomical benefits. I want to practise giving the massage and feel newly inspired.

Katie Oliffe, Doula

The course was well organised, very informative and easy to follow. The level of practical support was fantastic and I feel confident to take what I  have learnt and help local women postnatally. Thank you!

Becki Scott, doula and massage therapist

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