Closing the Bones


I’ve trained with Sophie in january 2017 as a Bone Closer, I feel very connected to this ritual and I love it. It merges many of my passions: energies, sacred rituals, and the journey of motherhood. When I’ve offered this massage I felt whole and connected to the Healing Mothers as never before.

Closing the bones is a loving and special time to honour a mother. Its a time when she can finally let go, be held, receive, rest, be extra loved.

Closing the Bones is a ceremonial ritual to facilitate the woman into the process of reconnecting with their new mother’s body and soul, and It serves their physical and energetic body. It is is a traditional ritual from Ecuador where a Mother is honoured, massaged, blessed and held and wrapped with a Manta or rebozo (a traditional piece of long fabric) after childbirth. This ritual is done many times during the 40 days after birth, performed by the wisest woman of the community, it is a way to take care of new mothers.

It can be done after pregnancy and childbirth at any time, after days, months or even years, and it is a way of healing after miscarriages or stillbirth and even in cases of fertility problems. It can be done on women at any point in their life, who haven’t given Birth but wish to close something else in their life.

The mother’s spirit and soul during labour is known to be travelling in the universe to find and collect her baby’s soul, and then birth together.
During Closing the bones ceremony, her spirit is called back to her body. The mother travels between worlds, Birth is a rite of passage, a deep transformational journey, that continues into motherhood. The intention of closing the bones is to hold the space for this new mother and facilitate the transformation and the healing of her “bones” on many levels.

The ritual encourages a new Mother to close energetically:

The journey of a mother during pregnancy and birth can be energetically challenging; The focus in these phases is opening and making space for a new baby in her body, in her life, in her soul and in her heart. It is a natural process, but sometimes it can be challenging. A lot happens after birth, mother has been opening, sharing and giving to this new life and now is time to Close, Connect with her own “new” body. It is normal to feel empty at this time, and love and care are needed to process the letting go of her baby.

A woman’s body changes and opens during pregnancy even physically, especially in her hips and pelvis, the benefits of the massage are that it stimulates blood flow and it helps with recovery and healing tissue, improve the tones muscles, increase hormone levels, and immune cells. It also helps the uterus and the bladder to return to their normal size and back to their original place in the pelvis.

The hips are known be area of the body where unresolved emotions and trauma are held, this causes blockages of energy’s channel and sometimes pelvic instability and lower back pain. Colsing the bones can help to release these emotions.


Closing the bones involves:

Creating a sacred space, cleansing and blessing of the space and the mother.

Ceremonies helps us to create a connection between mind and soul: a ceremony is a way to enter our soul and honour it. Life is sacred and so is a mother and her baby and their journey together. The Western world is sending the wrong message and wants them to be active and ready to be part of the society straightaway. Whereas a woman needs time to process her transition into becoming a mother.

Even if you don’t have any religious background, the ceremony provides an experience that our mind and our rational brain interprets as something meaningfull and can be transformative and bring about healing.

A Ceremony can include some of these aspects: setting intentions, releasing fears, rebirth bath, intuitive drawings, burn special cleansing herbs, smudging, tea ceremony, ..

The Massage commences with shifting and rocking the mother’s hips with a rebozo, continues with and hands-on massage on mother’s belly, around the pubic bones, the belly button, the solar plexus, and the hips. This will bring the woman’s energy back to her creative centre, awake and activate the lower body chakras. It will also encourage the hips and pelvic bones to find the optimal alignment ( the shape them has changed, and all the body needs to re-align again to this new pelvis)


Body energy work such as reiki and craniosacral therapy can also be incorporated into the ceremony.

At the end you can experience the final Ceremony, where the woman is wrapped and gently swaddled using the rebozo around her head, shoulders, pelvis, knees and feet. Here, the healing and all the energy work done can be processed, and the mother can rest for as long as she needs until it feels enough.

You can decide what is best for you during this ceremony,

It can be as spiritual and sacred as you desire; you can have the all packet just keep it simple. My intention will always be to bring love, healing and extra care to the woman I’m working with.

It is also possible to include a re-birth bath before the ceremony, especially if you need to recreate your birth experience following a traumatic birth, or maybe a birth that didn’t meet your expectations or perhaps you need to reconnect your your baby.

Photo credit:
Doula Ana Cardetas
Doula Sophie Messager

Closing the bones massage