Otona Maki, or ‘adult wrapping’, is a Japanese therapeutic method of correcting posture and alleviating body stiffness by wrapping the human body in a large piece of cloth that emulates the comfortable feel of a mother’s womb.
Well-known for their long work hours, many Japanese people develop posture problems and body stiffness. For a long time, getting massages and stretching have been the most popular ways of dealing with these issues, but now someone claims to have come up with an even better solution. Otona Maki is a new and intriguing way of improving posture and making your body more flexible than ever, while at the same time helping practitioners relax by recreating the comfortable feel of a mother’s womb.
Otona Maki is not a mainstream practice in Japan, but after recently being featured on a popular television program, more and more people are talking about it and giving it a try. The idea behind this bizarre looking therapeutic practice is to tightly wrap the human body (in various poses) in a large piece of breathable cloth for about 15 – 20 minutes per session. Babies are often wrapped the same way to correct minor physical defects and give them a feeling of security, and otona maki aims to do the same for adults.
I’ll be the first to admit that it looks pretty weird, but according to Yayoi Katayama of Japanese blog Vienna-Juku, there are real benefits to practicing adult wrapping. As we all know, babies and young children have very flexible spines, but as we grow up, most of us lose that flexibility. After going through several sessions with your body fixed in a certain position for a short amount of time, you can regain that natural flexibility and improve posture. Yayoi calls the practice a way to reset your body, and claims that after taking part in a session, she also felt relaxed and rejuvenated.
But despite Japan’s appetite for the bizarre, otona maki seems a bit too weird even for them. According to Kotaku, there is a lot of skepticism regarding the practice, at least on Japanese social media, with people comparing it to a mummification technique, or making references to Japanese horror films.
Otona Maki was apparently developed by Professor Nobuko Watanabe, known for creating the Toco Chan maternity belt, a very popular product in Japan. A 30-minute adult wrapping session costs 3240 yen ($28), while 50 minutes inside the cloth womb costs 6480 ($56).