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A Japanese treatment called “Otonamaki”, New way of therapy practice derived from Ohinamaki


A Japanese treatment called “Otonamaki” or “adult wrapping” is a physical therapy method aiming to correct body posture problems and stiffness and it is gaining popularity across the country.

This new way of therapy practice was derived from Ohinamaki, which is wrapping up a baby using a cloth similarly to help with their physical development.

Otonomaki therapy would last around 20 minutes for each session.

“The reason why Otonamaki was invented was because some people were worried about babies struggling or feeling claustrophobic while being wrapped up,” says Orie Matsuo of Kyoko Proportion, one of the several companies that offer Otonamaki to its customers.

“We thought if adults were rolled up like them, they could experience how good it feels.”

Based on the customer’s experience and feedback, it seems that Otonamaki therapy is definitely proving successful.

“It looks cramped but it doesn’t feel tight at all,” said a 40-year-old customer of Kyoko Proportion. “It’s the opposite of that. Afterward, I felt an improvement in my shoulders and back.”

“It felt so good I almost fell asleep. My neck and lower back were relaxed, “said another customer. ”I want my husband to learn [how to do] it.”

However, some people look at it as a bit too ‘weird’ and ‘creepy’.

One Twitter user tweeted, “This looks so creepy,” while another user said, “This looks like the horror movie ‘Audition’”.

This bizarre-looking physical therapy was invented by the Japanese midwife Nobuko Watanabe, who is also the creator of the top maternity belt – a product that is popularly used in Japan.

Otonomaki mainly targets women and some of them see it as an alternative to the normal practice of massage or physical therapy.

According to Ms. Matsuo, Otonamaki makes the user’s hips, leg and shoulder muscles more flexible.

“By pushing your shoulders and legs together, your body gets straightened and removes the pain of your back, lower back, and hip joint,” she told the news.

“Some of our clients come to treat their pelvis after childbirth, or others to fix bow legs,” she added.

The company first launched the therapeutic practice in 2015, and so far, around 70 people have experienced the therapy offered by them. But this therapy is still not being practiced by most Japanese.

Shimpei Fukumoto, the Director of the Fukumoto Japanese Holistic Clinic said, “I’ve never heard of Otonamaki or tried it myself”.

“I understand what they are trying to do but it’s not traditional physiotherapy.” Dr. Fukumoto added.

‘This treatment is not advisable’

This new method of therapy is being used as an anti-stress technique, and many who have experienced it said it is very effective. However, many people still think this new technique is part of established physical therapy procedure.

“I totally disagree with the treatment method,” said Mr. Visvanathan Ravi, Senior Physiotherapist at Hallmark Physiotherapy. “The way they were wrapped up may lead to muscle strains if not in the short-term, but the long-term.

“If a person stays in the position for 30 minutes, I’m sure there will be spine problems. It’s not advisable to do this treatment.”