Otonamaki, the "adult-wrapping" therapy

Otonamaki, a Japanese way of therapy: "adult-wrapping"

Otonamaki, a Japanese way of therapy: "adult-wrapping"

Otonamaki, which roughly translates to "adult wrapping" in English, is a distinctive and somewhat controversial Japanese therapy that has gathered worldwide attention. It is a therapeutic method for relieving muscle stiffness, and correcting posture.

This practice consists of wrapping adults in large swaths of cloth or stretchy material, similar to the swaddling of infants, and kindly leave them for a few minutes while the muscles relax as people feel more and more comfortable, with the aim of relieving stress and muscle tension. While it may seem unusual to some, otonamaki has gained popularity in Japan and raises intriguing questions about tradition, well-being, and cultural expression.

You probably have read about this strange relaxation practice in the news: it gained popularity in part due to media coverage and the allure of experiencing something novel. It is indeed a new, bizarre way of wellness in Japan. We already know how Japanese people are keen on massages of all types: Shiatsu, Thai massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, etc., otanamaki is the next trend. It is not a mainstream therapy yet even in Japan, but it is surely interesting looking.


The origins of Otonamaki

Otonamaki's origins are still partly a mystery. According to some reports, it might have developed from the traditional Japanese binding techniques intended to quiet and comfort infants. Yet, its evolution as an adult therapy dates back to the early 2000s, making its transformation quite recent.

Otonamaki has gained popularity to the point where several health centers outside of Japan are now providing services akin to otonamaki. Its origins in conventional infant swaddling techniques have spawned a cutting-edge strategy for stress alleviation and relaxation in adults, and has attracted both interest and skepticism.

Indeed, otonamaki serves as a reminder of the varied and ever-evolving landscape of well-being practices around the world, regardless of whether one views it as a valid therapeutic approach or a quirky curiosity. Otonamaki stands as a distinct and perplexing chapter in this continuous saga as we continue to explore the frontiers of tradition, creativity, and human experience.


Recreating the feeling of inside the womb

During an otonamaki session, you will typically spend around 15 or 20 minutes lying on a mat or futon, with your arms crossed over their chests and their knees bent over your torso, while being completely covered from head to toe in a stretchy, breathable cloth. The idea is to imitate the safe environment of the womb, which is thought to promote relaxation and relieve mental and emotional stress.

While you remember what it was like to be a baby, our host will use different color cloth that she will place on top of you to recreate different light atmosphere and relax your mind as well as your body. The ultimate goal is to improve flexibility of your spine. As we all know, when young our spine is very flexible, but as we age it loses its flexibility and the otonamaki swaddling practice helps you regain a little of this original flexibility. You will feel energized and comfortable again in your body.

Otonamaki proponents assert that the practice has a variety of advantages, including better posture, reduced stress, better sleep, and alleviation from chronic pain. They contend that the experience of being firmly enveloped in a cocoon-like embrace might foster a sense of security and mindfulness, assisting people in re-establishing contact with their inner selves and disengaging from the outside world.


Book your otonamaki session one train journey from central Tokyo

Your otonamaki instructor will welcome you in her studio in Saitama, Tokyo's suburb, about 30 min from Ikebukuro station on the Yamanote line.

The activity takes place every Tuesday morning for a little more than an hour. During the course of the activity, not only you will be wrapped into the otonamaki cloth, but also, you will take before and after pictures to compare the images and see how your back, your neck, and your spine's flexibility has improved.

Make sure not to miss this new trendy physical therapy method in Japan.


Otonamaki, the "adult-wrapping" therapy

$75 per person