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Jamu massage (or jamu-anything for that matter) sounds like one of those questionable traditions you would quietly let out a sigh to as your mom or grandmother constantly nags you to take up. Of course, it is normal, especially if you have lower pain tolerance, to cringe at the thought of their flesh being pressed repeatedly after having gone through childbirth. Plus, what’s jamu??
In reality, jamu massage is one of the Javanese traditions many people love, especially mothers – whether or not they are big on the idea of confinement itself. New moms from newer generations like yourself are commonly imposed with the tradition of confinement practices by more conservative moms or grandmothers. In such situations, many would negotiate and end up shortlisting jamu massage as one of the practices they are willing to give a try. For many of them, that decision ironically turned out to be what helped them the most throughout their recovery journey. If you have got to pick only one confinement practice you have to comply with, why not jamu massage?
Jamu got its name from the combination of the word jampi and oesodo. Jampi refers to a type of traditional treatment or healing solution that includes prayer or magic spell while oesodo means health. Do not be intimidated as the whole process and utilisation of jamu has absolutely nothing to do with casting any spell to increase the healing effects! In fact, jamu is simply a traditional herbal medicine made of a certain plant or different plants mixed to produce a concoction or topical remedy.
Jamu is generally referred to as a care product, remedy, or treatment series with the main ingredients being herbal plants. Nowadays, people could be referring to various different kinds of products when they are talking about jamu. Just look around your local herbs market. You will find jamu in the form of food supplements, slimming pills, coffee powder, and even oils. It is not so much that the word jamu is losing its meaning, but more to the fact that jamu has evolved in terms of its meanings and the ways the herbs are formulated for different uses.
While jamu in the context of our topic does not refer to a certain technique used in the massage, it does include the use of jamu oils and ointments. The actual jamu used in this slimming postnatal massage are the tools used during the massage namely the oils, cream, and ointments that will be applied to some parts of your body after the massage.
A slimming jamu massage package would typically come with jamu products in it. Among the common products are lemongrass oil, lemongrass, lemon, and ginger lotion, pilis, and also tapel. The oil will be used throughout the massage session and you would be continuously using the lotion after the massage to keep yourself warm and promote your skin rejuvenation. Pilis is the herbal mixture that will be applied on the forehead while tapel on the tummy during the binding session. Both help to expel wind and binding, especially, can enhance the slimming results.
For people of certain cultures, jamu slimming massage encompasses the full procedure of what is performed during and after the full body massage itself. The procedure typically includes a full body massage using jamu oil, application of jamu paste (pilis and tapel) afterwards, and customizable binding across the abdomen area.
Dated back to 17th century, jamu first surfaced around Southeast Asia, specifically the Javanese society, from whom the term was coined. The word jamu itself is an Indonesian/Malay term for herbs. The concept of jamu as trusted, traditional medicinal aid has been passed down from generation to generation, across regions. While often associated with Javanese and Indonesian cultures, jamu massage has since been assimilated into Chinese, Indian, and other cultures, mainly as a part of the postnatal care or confinement practices.
Although it is only widely called jamu massage in Malay culture, other cultures practically use the same oils and similar methods for processes during and after the massage. Almost all cultures known to you will have their own version of maternal massage with similar herbs but different procedures according to what they inherit from the older generations. Some regard it as a crucial part of their respective traditional confinement practices.
Compared to normal massage that mainly relieves muscle knots, there is more to this massage. It is a body deep tissue massage performed by skilled masseuses, involving deep thumb pressure where slight aching sensations may be felt. This massage particularly targets tension caused by strains you have put on your body throughout pregnancy, alleviating your post-birth pains and discomfort. During pregnancy, you would put a huge amount of stress on several parts of your body, especially your back and legs.
Unlike a healthy person’s body, a new mother’s body is said to have a poorer constitution as she is still healing from delivery wounds during the postpartum period. Massage therapists will normally adjust their technique of massaging to suit every mother’s condition and pain. If needed, several parts of your body might need to be left out to prevent complications. There will also be less pressure placed on sensitive areas like your abdomen.
The main focus on this widely-famous massage is its slimming effect which is the main objective. A postnatal massage is done with the same main objective, hence the use of heaty and comforting jamu products is greatly favoured as well. A lot of pregnancy and post-pregnancy massage therapists choose to incorporate jamu products into their massage therapies. This is due to the fact that the weight gain after birth is not the same as the normal weight you gain during other times. During this period, a huge percentage of the weight gained by the mom is the water weight caused by water retention.
This weight supposedly goes away on its own, but if you do not put any effort to hasten the process, losing weight after birth can take longer than you expect. Worse, it might never leave. A proper massage targeting this issue will promote a better blood flow circulation and expel retained fluids. These, as a result, slim you down and tone your body back to its pre-pregnancy state. Not to mention, the binding process that is done after the massage to shape your body up.
Like normal massages, you can learn the steps on its own and have your partner perform the massage on you. If you wish to go to a professional, keep in mind that not all massage therapists are qualified to perform post-pregnancy jamu massage – and there is a reason for it. A new mom’s body condition is greatly different compared to another fairly healthy person’s body. There are body issues the massage therapist has to be aware of which means they have to be knowledgeable enough to avoid anything risky.
Agencies are required to have their massage therapists be trained and certified to perform this massage. A new mother will normally face issues like breast engorgement and blocked milk ducts. Through training, a postnatal massage therapist will know how to treat these as well.
Its effectiveness is completely up to individuals. It works differently for everyone and so will for you. For some people, the results can be seen very early, after only a few sessions while others start seeing visible changes after they have completed more than 10 sessions. It is better to go get the massage in consecutive days to allow you to see effective changes to your body. It also lets your body to quickly adapt to this routine, speeding up the process to get back into your pre-pregnancy state.
Nevertheless, to say you will certainly experience all the benefits from this after-pregnancy massage is a guarantee no massage therapist can ever make. Even relaxation or calming experience – the one thing all massages claim they offer – cannot be guaranteed. A lot of mothers find themselves feeling anxious or unable to be calm as they lie in an unfamiliar with nothing but a sheet of towel layered on her body at a foreign place.
Many mothers, then, opt for home-based massage service, especially those who are strictly complying with traditional confinement practices. That said, some mothers experience a lot of satisfying results beyond what is listed as the benefits of jamu postnatal massage, while others get lesser. You wouldn’t know how lucky you can get until you receive one yourself!
Certainly. A massage, like many other physical activities, generally do not cause serious adverse events or reactions. Regardless, it is crucial to mention to your therapist if you have a history of nerve injury, bone fracture, and the like.
If you easily feel pain when your body is pressed, inform your therapist and they will adjust the amount of pressure they are putting on your body accordingly. Most of the time, the massage therapist would love hearing you share what you are feeling. And guess what! In regards to the jamu part of the massage, you can opt out of that option as well.
So there you have it! Not all that intimidating now, is it? No matter how far technology has come and the society has modernized, people always seem to go back to their roots. It seems like the act of incorporating jamu in massage has been practised by many generations and will remain cherished by a lot more generations to come. If you still wonder whether you should go for it, simply look up what benefits this jamu massage slimming carry for you as a new mom!