Oketani method

Oketani method

What is the Oketani method?

桶谷式とは 故桶谷そとみ氏によって考案された「乳房マッサージ」です。正式には「桶谷式乳房管理法」と言います。







My first encounter with Teacher Oketani

桶谷先生の治療院の最寄駅にて 25才の頃

Then I heard Teacher Oketani’s angry voice saying ‘Go back home!!’. She had slapped my hand. I was shocked and just stood there. She shouted again ‘That isn’t Oketani technique . I don’t want to teach it to someone who touches a breast like that. Get out!’. I couldn’t bear to be there. I was crying and running to the nearest station to go back home. It was February 1981. This episode occurred when I visited her before starting the training.
At that time, I had copied the unique Oketani breast treatment technique from my seniors who had already trained and practiced it in a hospital where I used to work. Even though I didn’t have a proper train, mothers were pleased with it because there was no pain during the massage and breastfeeding improved compared to the conventional massage. So I believed that my technique was quite good. That’s why I had a confidence to do it in front of her when she asked me to show what I know. Yet it upset her.

I couldn’t stop crying on the way back home on that day, because I was embarrassed to be told off in front of people. Also I was angry with myself for being arrogant and I felt ashamed of my unskilled technique. I think the reason why she got upset at me so much was my unskilled massage, as well as I didn’t take good care of touching a breast. I really wished that I would learn the proper technique and careful touch at that time.

The next day I apologised to her and she allowed me to take her course. I was very pleased at her forgiveness. I had happy tears.
My first encounter with her was the turning point of my life, which was 30 years ago. If I hadn’t met her, I would have become an arrogant and over-confident midwife who would have bothered a lot of people.
I hope that I can keep a generous feeling of love and continue to improve my technique as I remember the feeling of that day, even though it was a long time ago. Also I really hope that our centre is helping to ease mother’s anxiety and their breast’s problems.