A Balm for Belly Blues: Maya Abdominal Massage and Gynecological Health

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A Balm for Belly Blues: Maya Abdominal Massage and Gynecological Health

When is the last time you rubbed your belly?    For many of us the answer is, “ Um, what?”

When is the last time you experienced discomfort or dysfunction related to digestion, menstruation, fertility, or injury in the pelvis or lower back?  Unfortunately, the answer for many of us sounds more like, “Um, yesterday.”

These two questions are not unrelated.  It would not be an exaggeration to say that we live in a time in which issues with digestive and gynecological functions run rampant amongst women of all ages.  We also live in a culture in which we are often out of touch, both literally and figuratively, with our bellies.

The abdomen and pelvis are the source of creativity, nourishment and intuition.  In Chinese medicine theory, many of the body’s major meridians – pathways of circulation – pass through the belly.  Not surprisingly, meridians closely associated with reproductive health such as the Chong, Ren, Kidney and Liver chart a path through the abdomen.  Powerhouse meridians for digestion such as the Spleen and Stomach channels follow suite.  Furthermore, Chinese medicine and martial arts traditions locate the dan tian (“elixir field”) in the lower abdomen, and regard it as the center of power and vitality in the body.

But for all their strength and generative potential, the abdomen and pelvis are also vulnerable to injury from physical and emotional trauma, disease and dietary stress.  Based on the traditional techniques of Maya midwives and healers, as taught by Dr. Rosita Arvigo, DN, Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy reduce pain and encourage healthy function of organs in the abdomen and pelvis.  Maya Abdominal Therapy -also known as Maya abdominal or uterine massage- draws upon ancient wisdom to address a range of digestive, reproductive and musculoskeletal issues including:

  • Gynecological pain
  • Fertility
  • PMS
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Painful intercourse
  • Prolapse or displacement of pelvic organs
  • Gas, bloating and constipation
  • Lower back and hip pain

Maya Abdominal Therapy honors the connection of mind, body and spirit. Therefore, it not only addresses physical symptoms, but may also inspire a more caring relationship with the belly and all that it holds.

Uterine position, in particular, is important for gynecological health and fertility.  When the uterus is displaced (i.e. straying too far away in any direction from front and center), it can compromise the circulation of blood, lymph, conduction of nerve impulses, and flow of qi- the body’s vital energy. And when circulation is compromised, our cells are not properly nourished, toxins accumulate, and eventually pain and dysfunction follow.    Maya Abdominal Therapy consists of non-invasive, external massage on the abdomen and lower back to stimulate circulation of blood, lymph and qi, and includes specialized techniques to guide the uterus into optimal anatomical position.

This work is renowned for its help enhancing fertility, and can be applied as a stand-alone treatment, or in combination with other modalities such as Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) and Chinese medicine.   This safe, empowering technique may support conception and feels great, too.

While practitioners may vary slightly in style and structure of a Maya Abdominal Therapy session, most adhere to the following guidelines.  Initial sessions last 90-120 minutes, and include a thorough health history and intake, treatment, as well as patient education for self-care between sessions.  Follow-up treatments last 60-90 minutes and may be combined with other bodywork techniques, acupuncture and discussion of herbal supplements and nutrition as appropriate.

Most recipients of this technique leave the session feeling relaxed, and with a sense of greater ease and circulation in the abdomen.  Many experience noticeable relief from digestive and/or reproductive health issues within the first three treatments, which are generally scheduled every two weeks or once per month.  Some women experience an emotional release as the work can be deep, and may access patterns of holding in the body. Furthermore, the self-massage protocol can help recipients continue and deepen healing between sessions.

For more information about Maya Abdominal Therapy visit the Arvigo Institute’s website https://arvigotherapy.com/.   For a complimentary 15 min phone consultation about how this work may help you, please contact Bria Larson, L.Ac. larsonacupuncture@gmail.com or visit her website http://larsonacupuncture.com/

Bria Larson, MS, LAc, specializes in treating women’s health using the time-tested tools of Chinese medicine and Maya Abdominal Therapy in San Francisco.  She completed her Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is licensed as an acupuncturist and herbalist by the state of California and the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.  Bria is also a trained practitioner of Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy as taught by Dr. Rosita Arvigo, DN.

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