Rebozo, wraps and scarves are tools for life not just for supporting birth and the postnatal period.
When I first learnt about the use of the Mexican rebozo as a tool to use during labour, about 6 years ago, it didn't occur to me that its use would not be restricted solely to labour support.
Over the following years I attended various workshops (Closing the bones, Rebozo for malposition, Spinning babies and Diastasis recti, and I also attended several courses about babywearing-which also involved using woven wraps, which are very similar to rebozos). I also attended a course on using long woven wraps to support a pregnant woman's bump. I read everything I could get my hands on this topic, including many articles, Gena Kirby's rebozo ebooks, and a fantastic book in French called "Le rebozo".
In 2014 I started offering closing the bones workshops (a postpartum massage practise from Ecuador which involves rocking the pelvis with a rebozo and a massage of the pelvis and abdomen-read about this here https://www.closingthebonesmassage.com/). What came naturally from these workshops was that, as part of practising their new skills, people would practise on friends and family members who weren't new mothers. People started reporting amazing effects on these people too. For example, the rocking and wrapping was found to be incredibly calming and grounding to children, and it especially helpful to children with sensory processing issues. Soon we realised that this ritual was helpful to support people through life transitions, and through moments of emotional challenges.
The training and the experience with closing the bones started to give me a completely new and much wider perspective on the use of the rebozo and when I created my own rebozo course in 2016, it all came together in the sense that whilst I covered pregnancy, labour and birth, and the postnatal period and use for calming and carrying babies, I also encouraged people to practise with the rebozo for self care, and to use it first and foremost for themselves and their families.
In 2017 I was asked to give a workshop/talk at a babywearing conference about rebozos. Knowing that people presents were unlikely to be birthworkers, I tailored the entire practise towards relaxation and self care. I got incredible feedback and this cemented my belief further, that simple pieces of cloth like rebozos, shawls and scarves, are incredible versatile and powerful tools to promote comfort and relaxation for all ages.
It was also whilst preparing this presentation that I realised that all the rebozo techniques fall within 2 main categories: wrapping and rocking. Both share the same ability to relax and comfort. I believe that this is the case because both elicit primal responses (reminding us of being in the womb).
I also believe that, as a species, we exist in two opposite primal states: the rest and relaxation (our normal state of being) and the fight or flight state. The rocking and wrapping stimulate the parasympathetic system and prime us to return to our normal rest and relaxation state.
I've now been offering my rebozo workshop for 2 years. I have trained nearly 100 doulas, midwives, antenatal teachers and therapists in using this wonderful tool.
My course is very hands on, as I only facilitate small groups of 12 people maximum so that everyone has time to practise each technique in pairs, and experience both it feels like to both do it and receive it, but also because I want to ensure that I can watch and correct each person so they go away from the course feeling confident in their ability to use the rebozo effectively.
It's a real joy to witness people's surprise when they discover for themselves how good the techniques feel, how enjoyable and relaxing being wrapped and rock feels like. As adults, it's very good for us to re-discover the pleasure of being rocked and wrapped, and it really helps to bed down how comforting and effective the techniques are.
This is what has led me to develop my Online Rebozo Course as I want this amazing tool to be available to as many people as possible.
You can learn more about Rebozo and its many wonderful uses in my upcoming course:
"Mindful rebozo: how to use rebozos, scarves and shawls to provide support and comfort through the childbearing year and beyond"