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Culture Swap

Women in cultures that celebrate menopause report a positive perimenopause with little problematic symptoms

Let's travel to Mexico and I can introduce you to the Rebozo, a cotton Mexican shawl which accompanies a woman during her life & through her major life cycle events. When a baby is born, the mother uses a Rebozo to carry and swaddle the child. As the daughter enters womanhood, the Rebozo is used to provide comfort during menstruation and sometimes used to give an abdomen massage to soothe her cramps which is performed by two women, usually the mother and grandmother. The Rebozo is tied around woman in her fertile years, in a belt that supports her pelvic floor, whether she is pregnant or not. After childbirth, the Rebozo is used in a ceremony called Closing of the Bones where 7 weaves are wrapped around her body to help with the healing process, performed by a community of women.

How can we use the Rebozo for a modern menopause ritual?

The Rebozo is also perfect to mark a woman's menopause. During this meaningful feminine ritual, the Rebozo fabric is used to envelop and connect us with our changing body and to embrace a new chapter in our life. It allows us to:

  • Move on to the next level in our life

  • Receive loving, feminine energy from other women in our community

  • Let go, ground us, release tension and affirm new territory

The Rebozo massage is given with one or more cloths, wrapped around a body part and tightened so that it provides support and enclosure. Using the Rebozo, small or larger movements are made, so that the woman is rocked and moved into the cloth. This provides a relaxing massage and is also good for treating menopause associated joint or muscle pain. The massage usually lasts approximately two and a half hours and takes place in three phases:

  • Holistic massage in essential oils to become aware of out body and relax

  • A sweating hut, steam bath or hammam with herbal plants, which allows us to return to a cocoon of wet heat that is almost womb-like

  • The wrapping of the body with the Rebozo fabric in seven key points of the body to refocus the body and spirit

Doesn't this sound like a brilliant way to mark our menopause? Now we just need to find someone that practices Rebozo massage. Any volunteers?!

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