So at the moment I have been quite busy with family life and other aspects of maintaining my massage business that I have neglected my blog a little. It is pleasant to be able to sit down and write when it doesn't feel forced. I often find that I have little time for thoughtful, reflective writing but right now I am able to sit for a while and I have decided to share one of the activities that is currently keeping me busy. This activity is a course in the Scared Art of Belly Binding.
Have you ever heard of this? I hadn't until I was invited to participate. It is a beautiful treatment to be learning about with the aim of giving something special to both the learner and the future receivers. It is through my journey on this course that I will be able to provide a treatment that is unique to me and tailored individually for my clients.
In countries such as China and Malaysia 'belly binding' has been practised for many generations. Simply put it is the process of weaving a long length of fabric around a woman's torso (postnatally) from a little above her pubic bone to just underneath her breasts. The idea behind it is that it enables a woman to maintain good posture after birth, help with the contraction of the uterus and support the musculature of the abdominals. Numerous other benefits have also been noted but I would say that these three are fundamental to a new mother's postnatal care.
As a holistic therapist the course that I am studying incorporates an extra element - the process of ceremony and the celebration of a woman from maiden to mother. It involves nurturing her after 9-10 months of carrying and bringing a new soul into the world. In Western culture the importance of caring for our new mothers has been lost. A great deal of time and energy is focused on the pregnanct woman but once the baby arrives a new mother's emotional and spiritual health is often ignored. Is it any wonder that our rates of postnatal depression are so high? Not all women seek help so the figures could be greater but they currently stand at 1 in 7 mothers diagnosed in Australia with the condition. (See; http://www.panda.org.au/news/panda-news)
From a personal experience I realise how beneficial touch can be after birth. I have written about it's power at any time in a person's life and I advocate the importance of holistic massage rather than always opting for being fine tuned through chiro, osteo and remedial etc. At this particular time in a woman's life the need for receiving touch, feeling loved and honoured is extremely important; if not for the wellbeing of her but the baby and their family as a whole.
The art of sacred belly binding for me is a reminder that it is okay to take time out for one's self, most especially when so much of our own time is taken up with the giving of ourselves for others. That 'giving' needn't be only at home but also in the workplace, our communities or other such daily commitments.
I am very much looking forward to completing this course and being able to offer it to those that will benefit from receiving it. It is essential to remain in the world of education when working as a massage therapist and I will admit that it is no chore to do so. I hope that the time I invest in my studies will be of benefit to you or your loved ones. Please keep an eye out on my blog for future updates regarding the completion of the Belly Binding course.