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Adult swaddling, the latest health trend from Japan, aims to help new mothers with postpartum stress and pain by wrapping them head-to-toe in a blanket, and then gently rocking them back and forth.
Otonamaki, translated as “adult wrapping,” was created by a midwife in Kyoto, who thought that wrapping up new mothers, essentially replicating how children are swaddled at birth, could help new mothers with post-labor pains and anxiety.
Reuters was able to capture this strange — and sometimes terrifying — looking practice on video.
“It felt warm and there was this feeling with my body,” one mother who tried the 20 minute session told Reuters. “I have never experienced this before so it’s quite hard to describe properly.”
However, critics like chiropractor Shiro Oba of Akasaka Chiropractics, remain skeptical.
“There may be cases where people with asthma may find it easier to breathe (in that position), but once the cloth is off it’s the same thing,” said Oba. “But apart from that, I just can’t think of how people can benefit from this even as a form of reflexology or exercise.”
Danielle Tarasiuk is a multimedia journalist based in Los Angeles. Her work has been published on AllDay.com, Yahoo! Sports, KCET, and NPR-affiliate stations KPCC and KCRW. She’s a proud Sarah Lawrence College and USC Annenberg alumn.