In Thailand, there is a traditional massage that is given to new mothers who just went through delivery. The massage is called “Yoo Fai”, if translated it is somehow like staying in a heated environment. This massage involves a series of steps that have been prepared to heal a woman’s body and regain balance. During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through a tremendous amount of changes in all aspects of physical, mental, emotional health. Even another woman wouldn’t understand unless you have walked the same path. Your body might never be the same as how it was pre pregnancy, or it might to a certain degree. I would like to emphasize the methodologies of this particular massage and highlight the benefits of this approach. You may be very tempted to see how it is carried as there are many steps involved and a lot of herbs in use. It goes as follows :
- The hot compress :This method uses hot compress wrapped with more than 10 different herbs such as turmeric, lemongrass, camphor, citrus leaves, vine, eucaliptus etc. to massage the body and breast area. Sometimes sitting on one compress will help reduce pain and accelerate postpartum healing.
- Herbal steam: This is considered as the main step of “Yoo Fai”. You would be surprised to learn about the numerous amount of herbs used for this procedure. Steaming with a variety of herbs will help the pores to expel waste and clean the skin. In this process, the steam is heated and the mother sits on a chair covered with a blanket until your neck or head. The boiling pot of water containing all the herbs is placed inside the tent. The steam produced from it is just consequential.
- Clay pot used for steaming contains volatile herbal water such as bergamot, lemongrass (helps the respiratory system to flow more smoothly), pri (helps reduce aches), turmeric (reduces sprains), camphor borneol (helps to breathe freshness ), Red morning glory (helps to nourish the eyes), red onion, tamarind leaf, saffron leaf, pomegranate leaf, grapefruit peel and other herbs.
However, if you do not have this service in your country, you can perform a simplified version of this at home. There is an electric sauna which is portable and easy to use at home.
Benefits of traditional postpartum care
- Helps the body recover from pregnancy fatigue as the massage focuses on releasing the pressure and loosening of tendons and muscles.
- Helps the body return to normal quickly.
- Reduces pains and aches in neck, back, hip, waist, ankles, legs.
- Reduces chills in the body after losing a lot of water and blood during childbirth.
- Increase the supply of breast milk.
- Boost blood circulation.
- Helps in tightening the cervix and normalizing the uterus.
- Reduces infection in the cervix through salt pot steam, since salt is a sterilizing agent.
This type of massage is not completed in just one day. It takes a course of at least 4-7 days by repeatedly performing the same massage daily. You can hire a professional masseur who is experienced with this particular practice to do it for you or apply some of the methods on your own.