Adult Swaddling (Aka Otonamaki) Becoming Big In Japan

Yep, this is now a thing.

When babies are born, they are wrapped in blankets to help soothe them. Swaddling is said to help calm babies and promote sleep. But in Japan, swaddling doesn’t just stop with babies: Adults are beginning to swaddle themselves as well.

The practice, called otonamaki, which translates as “adult wrapping,” involves being wrapped from head to toe in a white bag and gently rocking from side to side.

It was created by a Kyoto-based midwife, who hoped to ease post-labor shoulder and hip pain in postpartum women by mimicking how children are swaddled at birth. It is meant to help women feel relaxed as well as help loosen up muscles and bones. Each session lasts about 20 minutes.

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“The reason why otonamaki was invented was because some people were worried about babies struggling or feeling claustrophobic while being wrapped up,” Orie Matsuo of Kyoko Proportion said to BBC. “We thought if adults were rolled up like them, they could experience how good it feels.”

Feedback has been positive from some women in Tokyo who have tried adult swaddling, but not everyone is on board with the new trend. Some doctors and physiotherapists say that it might help in the short-term, but it will do nothing to alleviate long-term issues.