Ever heard of an adult crawling back into a womb? Otona Maki, or ‘adult wrapping’, is a Japanese therapeutic method to beat stress, based on that rather imaginative idea.

It is being popularised as a way to experience the soothing feeling of being in one’s mother’s womb, and also for correcting posture and relaxing the muscles. A large piece of cloth is wrapped tightly around the body for a session of about 20 minutes, and the person is gently rocked from side to side as they lie on their backs.

The technique was developed by a Japanese midwife, Nobuko Watanabe, as part of post-natal care for women who suffer from stiffness in their hips and shoulders. It has since become a trend in Japan, even though health care professionals are sceptical of long-term benefits, and cite a possible risk of spine damage.