The “Cerrada” in Spanish, is a Closing Ceremony, a postpartum healing ritual, to nurture the mother after her passage through giving birth, and her journey into motherhood – whether it’s the first baby or not. It is a celebration, a setting of sacred space, and a way to nurture the Mum. Most commonly known in English as “Closing the Bones”.
It is a Latin American tradition where the postpartum mother is bathed in herbs, anointed, massaged and wrapped in the Mayan tradition. The intention is to provide a space as a nurturing and supportive environment in which healing can take place on these many levels. I learnt this ritual from Traditional Mexican Midwife Angelina Martínez Miranda and Rocío Alarcón, ethnobotanist from Ecuador.
This ceremony acknowledges the immense changes a woman has undergone in pregnancy and childbirth and assists in bringing her spirit back into her own body. Physically, it guides bones back into place, helps the uterus shrink back down, and stimulates blood flow. Emotionally, it provides a sense of calm and grounding, and reestablishes a sense of self.
Closing of the Bones is still widely practiced in Latin American and Asian countries. Women are given this massage within hours of the birth, and receive it again around 4-5 times more during the first 40 days postpartum (cuarentena).
There is an introduction and an offering towards creating personal intention. She is nurtured by a warming bath, energy work, aromatherapy, sound healing… There will be a ‘closing’ done by wrapping the cranium, the midsection, pelvic area and feet, helping to facilitate shrinkage of the uterus guide the bones back to their original positioning. Once complete, she is allowed to lie quietly and integrate her experience.
This process literally helps “close” a Mother’s body, which “opens” in so many ways, both in preparation for, and during birth itself. The ritual can also help “close” a new Mother energetically, as both pregnancy, and particularly the intense process of labour and birth, can be very vulnerable times for a woman, psychologically and psychically.
The ceremony is open to all women at any time who wish to find some closure for themselves and wish to take part. It is a practice that can be beneficial for any woman after a rite of passage who is looking to find more peace within. It is truly a powerful healing tool.
While there are unique and individual ceremonies in each culture, many similarities can be drawn when looking at traditional postpartum practices around the world.
This practice varies from county to country, region to region and midwife to midwife. There is no one way of performing these practices. Depending where you live you might have access some some plants and not to others. This period is the remnant of a much deeper postpartum practice. Today in the modern birthing world you may hear of it as Mother Warming, Mother Roasting, Mothering Ceremony, Bone Closing … In Spanish it’s called “Cerrada Postparto,” a postpartum closing. It marks the end of a powerful cycle in our lives.
Energetically bringing warmth back to the mother translates to loving the mother. Hence why some call it a Mothering Ceremony, because it allows us to hold the Mother, mother the mother, love the mother.
£120 – at your home
Session runs for around 90 minutes and includes a bath with herbs, energy work, abdominal-sacral massage and the “Cerrada” wrapping Ceremony with the use of rebozos.
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“I feel honoured to have experienced Closing the Bones from Alexa. It has made a big difference both emotionally and physically. Alexa came and therap’d my birthing body. She started by making herbs for the bath and I got in. Baby B joined me and we had a relaxing soak. Then moved onto navigating a week old babe to sleep so she could perform the Closing the Bones Massage & Ceremony on me. I adore the way she works. She is so good at what she does. I can’t just call it pregnancy massage because she has so much more skill to add. With sound healing, rebozo, shiatsu, acupressure, aromatherapy, Spinning Babies, doula, healing…” – Sophie Louise Kirkham, founder of Calm Hypnobirthing