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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?

postnatal recovery massageInspired by a traditional Ecuadorian postnatal massage called closing the bones, the Postnatal Recovery Massage (PRM) is done on a massage table and involves using a rebozo shawl 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.

This unique technique was developed by doula and healer Sophie Messager (who has been offering and teaching the floor version of closing the bones since 2014) together with Cambridge osteopath Teddy Brookes.

The technique took over a year and a half to develop over many sessions.

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 over 500 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, a postnatal ritual from Ecuador, in 2013, and has been offering it to her clients and teaching it since 2014. Together with fellow doula Maddie McMahon, she has trained over 400 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. Some of the trainees asked Sophie if it would be possible to provide a massage table version of closing the bones, because they knee or bad backs 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.

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 received 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 secret Facebook group which has around 400 trained closing the bones practitioners-a brilliant space to share knowledge and learn from each other.

This workshop runs from 9h30 to 5h30. It cost £180 per person, and includes one year practitioner listing to the website.

Upcoming workshops

  • London School of Capoeira, N4 3RF 12/10/2020 Book Now

Sign up below for updates about the workshops and to receive my guide to 3 techniques for using a Rebozo in pregnancy and labour.

No workshop near you?

If you would like to help organise a workshop in your community, if you can get together a group of at least 8 people, within no more than 3h drive from Cambridge, and a venue big enough for 6 to 7 massage tables, please register your interest below

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.

Comments from previous attendees of the workshop:

“Knowing Sophie and Teddy as I do, I knew they would design something that is both relaxing and effective. I was not prepared for how beautifully the movements flow into each other, and how true to the spirit of Closing the Bones they have stayed. For people who find floor work tiring or painful, I highly recommend learning these new techniques” Maddie McMahon, Doula.

"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

"The tutoring, the technique, the group, just exceptional!" Alison Duff, therapist and therapy centre owner.

” 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.

"I loved this course. It is just as nurturing as the closing the bones massage but much easier to do. Sophie and Teddy worked amazingly well together" Michelle Parkin, doula.

"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

“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.

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.

FREE Rebozo Techniques

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