Post Pregnancy

What is a Traditional Jamu Massage?

What is a Traditional Jamu Massage

If you have recently given birth, you may very well be experiencing bloating and general aches and pains. If that’s the case, then a Jamu Massage may be just what you need. The traditional Jamu technique comes from the Javanese people of the Indonesian region. It’s primarily used as a therapeutic and healing massage for new mothers and .

Curious if this full body massage after giving birth is right for you? Read on, and we will walk you through what a Jamu massage is, how it works, and how it differs from other popular types of massages.

What exactly is Jamu?

 The word Jamu refers to traditional herbal medicines or drinks which come from Java, Indonesia. Like the Chinese liang teh, a Jamu drink is your general, cure-all medicinal drink.

For example, the Jamu Kunir Asam is a mixture of turmeric and tamarind and it often used to fight off fever and sore throat. Herbal physicians will sometimes prescribe Jamu capsules as a way to cure more serious illnesses. Modern-day Jamu exists in a plethora of options such as raw herbs, pills, beverages, powders and even creams to meet the demands and expectations of a more well-informed consumer market. Jamu postnatal massage by Theraply

How Does a Jamu Massage Work?

 A standard Jamu massage has three basic parts to it. The first part involves a full body oil massage. The purpose of this is to help the body expel any remaining lymphatic fluids as well as lochia. Lochia is the normal discharge from the uterus that women experience after childbirth.

During this part of the massage, your masseuse will give you a full body massage for around 45 minutes to one hour. This includes working the legs, back, stomach, shoulder, neck, and chest area. Hot stones may or may not be used( this isn’t a traditional aspect of jamu massage).

Like most other body massages, this practice does wonders for increasing blood flow and getting rid of knots. By massaging the breasts, it can prevent engorgement of lactation glands and blocked ducts, making breastfeeding a more pleasant and comfortable experience. By paying particular attention to the mid-section, your masseuse will help you expel wind or, which is seen as toxic in the Javanese tradition as well as traditional Chinese medicine(TCM) practices. It can also help relieve your body of blood clots which are a common occurrence after childbirth.

Jamu massage with Pilis herbs by Theraply

Jamu Pilis being applied to the forehead

              Following the first part of the massage, your masseuse will then apply the Jamu herbs. There are two herbal pastes used in this process.

There is pilis which they will apply to the forehead and it’s used to release tension. The other herb – tapel – is applied to the stomach and used to release the “wind”.

Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Postpartum Care: What to Do After Giving Birth

The third and final portion of this postpartum massage is the use of a bengkung wrap(a traditional type of corset) to bind the abdomen. This binding is firm and secure but not too tight. It’s designed to help shrink your stomach back into place over a very short amount of time.

Some massage therapists recommend wearing the corset for up to 23 hours a day. It’s generally agreed that a woman should wear it for at least 6 to 10 hours per day to achieve effective results. You will wear your herbs under this corset. Theraply has a distinctively different wrap which was designed by Dr. Dewi, a prominent figure in Indonesia’s postnatal massage practice. These wraps have a more comfortable fabric and are used on arms, thighs as well as the abdomen, and they do not require to be left on for the entire day to be effective.

swedish massage

An example of Swedish massage

How Does Jamu Differ from Other Massages?

 One of the most popular massages out there is the Swedish massage. This technique is relatively gentle and makes use of long strokes, kneading, circular movements, and passive joint movements. It’s generally meant to be relaxing as well as increase blood flow.

The Jamu massage differs from the Swedish massage mainly due to its specificity. The Swedish massage is rather basic and can be used for all types of scenarios.

The Jamu post-pregnancy massage, on the other hand, is meant for women who have just given birth. Because of this, it specifically targets the areas and postnatal issues that affect women post-birth. This style of massage is suitable even for women who delivered their baby through a cesarean procedure.

Another popular massage is Shiatsu. This technique developed primarily in Japan. Practitioners of Shiatsu will use their fingers to apply pressure to points of the body. By massaging these points, massage therapists aim to increase the flow of vital energy or chi. Shiatsu is commonly used to combat stress.

And while both shiatsu and Jamu styles of massage work to increase blood flow, the Jamu massage techniques also aims to remove toxins from the body and help it heal and recover. Also, unlike most other forms of massage therapy, Jamu massage is performed over the course of several days. It usually goes on for about a week as a way to increase its effects.

Is Jamu Massage Right for You?

 If you are experiencing postpartum aches and pains, consider getting a Jamu massage. It is a powerfully natural way to heal your body, relieve stress, and increase your blood flow all at the same time.


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