Definition and History of Maya Abdominal Massage

The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage TM. are founded on the ancient Mayan technique of abdominal massage which is an external non invasive manipulation that repositions internal organs that have shifted, thereby restricting the flow of blood, lymph, nerve and chi. Based on over thirty years of training and experience in massage, naprapathy, herbology, and spiritual healing, Dr. Rosita Arvigo developed these techniques which now bear her name. This modality incorporates a holistic approach to health care which includes massage, anatomy and physiology, herbology, nutrition, and emotional and spiritual healing. Dr. Arvigo believes that with any natural healing technique, these areas must be simultaneously addressed to promote optimal health.

Dr. Arvigo learned these techniques from her mentor, Don Elijio Panti, the great Maya Shaman of Belize, Central America with whom she apprenticed for ten years. Don Elijio believed that a woman's center is her uterus. "If a woman's uterus is out of balance, so is she," he would say. Midwives and healers of Central America agree that most female troubles are caused by the wandering womb. Don Elijio passed away in 1996 at the age of 103. Rosita also studied with Hortence Robinson, a 73 year old herbal midwife of Belize who has been delivering babies since she was 13.

The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage TM address position and health of the pelvic and abdominal organs and improves organ function by releasing physical and emotional congestion from the abdomen.  This massage is effective for both men and women. It is best known for the correction of the prolapsed, fallen, or tilted uterus and for the prevention and treatment of benign prostate enlargement in men, and for relief of many common digestive disorders.

Digestive and Emotional Benefits for Men and Women

Poor diet, lack of exercise, stress and emotions can impede important blood flow and enzyme secretions to the digestive system which can prompt the small intestine and colon to become "twisted or kinked". This can lead to blockages in the flow of peristalsis and create adhesions that mal-position organs. By using the techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage, the entire abdomen is given a deep, thorough massage to loosen the adhesions and tight muscles thereby increasing vital blood supply and lymphatic drainage.

The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage are offered as a supportive modality to enhance health and wellness, and are not meant as an entire approach to health care. If you have any serious medical conditions, please consult your health care provider first. This being said, our techniques support and enhance health and wellness and have been found to provide satisfactory results when compared to alternate treatments.

This list contains the most common symptoms that are improved by incorporating this holistic modality into ones health care.

Possible Benefits for Everyone:

• Headaches/migraines

• Digestive Disorders

• Low energy

• Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

• Gastro Esophogeal Reflux (GERD)

• Crohn's Disease

• Chronic constipation

• Low Back ache

• Chronic indigestion or heartburn

• Gastritis

• Restricted breathing due to tension

Will MAM help with digestion problems following abdominal surgery?

Scar tissue and facial adhesions can often cause problems with digestion after abdominal surgery. Maya Abdominal Massage helps to break down the scar tissue and adhesion from past or present surgeries. A few sessions combined with castor oil packs, diet and self care are often used depending on the restriction for optimal success. MAM is contraindicated immediately following abdominal surgery, allow 4-6 weeks or at the consent of your physician.

Benefits for Women

 Normally the uterus leans slightly over the bladder in the center of the pelvis, about one and a half inches above the pubic bone. It is held in this position by muscles, the vaginal wall and ligaments that attach it to the back, front, and sides of the pelvis. Uterine ligaments are made to stretch to accommodate a growing fetus inside and to move freely when the bladder or bowel is full. The ligaments and muscles can weaken and loosen, causing the uterus to fall downward, forward, backward or to either side. A uterus in any of these positions is called tilted or prolapsed.

Modern medicine has little or nothing to offer women with this problem. Options may include using the birth control pill, muscle relaxants, or surgery and women are generally told, "your uterus is tipped, but that is normal and don't worry about it." Yet women have a laundry list of physical and emotional symptoms that can be addressed and prevented with these simple, noninvasive massage techniques.

When reproductive organs shift, they can constrict normal flow of blood and lymph, and disrupt nerve connections. Just a few extra ounces sitting on blood and lymph vessels can cause havoc throughout the different systems in the body. By shifting the uterus back into place, homeostasis, or the natural balance of the body, is restored in the pelvic area and the surrounding organs. Toxins are flushed and nutrients that help to tone tissue and balance hormones are restored to normal order. This is essential for healthy pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Old adhesions from invasive treatments to the pelvic and abdominal area, including fibroid tumors, endometriosis, and cesarean delivery are diminished when addressed by uterine massage. In addition, digestion, urinary and bladder problems can be helped.

For women, this external massage gently lifts and guides the uterus into its optimal position in the lower pelvis. The uterus is held in position by over 10 ligaments. Ligaments, when stressed or strained cause the uterus to become mal-positioned. If the uterus is mal-positioned, women experience a multitude of symptoms. 

Symptoms that may be helped by this massage include:

• Displaced or prolapsed uterus and or bladder

• Painful periods and ovulation

• Irregular menstrual cycles and ovulation

• Bladder or yeast infections

• Miscarriages, difficult pregnancies

• Endometriosis

• Peri menopause, menopausal symptoms

• Infertility

• PMS/Depression with menstruation

• Ovarian cysts

• Uterine fibroids

• Abnormal uterine bleeding

• Enhances Pregnancy, aids in labor and delivery

A displaced uterus could be caused by:

• Injury to the sacrum or tailbone from a fall, car accidents, etc

• Pelvic ligaments that have weakened due to overstretching during pregnancy      and birth

• High Impact exercise, running on cement surfaces, high impact aerobics, etc

• Lifting & carrying heavy objects before or during menstruation and too soon     after childbirth

• Time and gravity

• Past surgeries

• Weak pelvic floor muscles

• Chronic muscle spasm around the low back and sacrum

• Emotional armoring from abuse at anytime in life

Symptoms of a displaced uterus:

• Painful or irregular periods; painful or irregular ovulation

• Dark or brown blood at the onset and at the end of menstruation

• Headache or migraine with period

• Varicose veins of the legs and/or tired, weak or numb legs

• Low backache; back pain with period

• More serious imbalances including: Endometriosis, Uterine Fibroids and             Uterine Polyps

• PMS/ depression

• Frequent urination; bladder infections, incontinence

• Recurrent vaginal infections

• Chronic miscarriages

• Difficulty getting pregnant/Infertility

• Painful intercourse

• Chronic constipation

• Difficult menopause

How quickly should I expect a change?

Depending on the severity of the problem, it may take as little as one session and as long as many months for the uterine position to be corrected and for the ligaments to gain enough strength and elasticity for it to stay in place. 3 sessions are usually the minimum. Women often report a rapid improvement in symptoms and sense of wellbeing when self-care is performed regularly.

Is Uterine Massage recommended for all women?

Almost every woman, even those who have had hysterectomies can benefit greatly from Maya Uterine Massage through improved circulation, lymphatic drainage and a decrease in the formation of scar tissue.

Uterine massage is not performed:

• During menstrual bleeding

• Within the first 6 weeks following a normal vaginal delivery or the first 3 months after a c-section

• For a woman using an IUD for birth control

• If cancer is present or suspected anywhere in the pelvis, or the client is undergoing chemotherapy for this condition

• During the first trimester of pregnancy

• Hiatal Hernia - gentle touch only

Does MAM support fertility?

It has been estimated that approx 30 % of woman who have been unsuccessful in conceiving eventually conceive after a succession of MAM treatments. Treatments generally consist of massage, diet and lifestyle modifications, herbal therapies to enhance fertility. Once the uterus is in its optimal position, there is improved hemo dynamics and homeostasis to support and enhance fertility. When including the partner in the process, we find fertility is increased! After all, men need this work as much as women do.

I've had a Hysterectomy - how does MAM help?

Women who have had hysterectomies benefit greatly from Maya Abdominal Massage as well. The technique improves circulation in and around the area of the scar and allows for proper flow of the lymph, which often becomes blocked after surgery, resulting in swelling, burning and deep aching pains in the pelvis. By using MAM techniques on a regular basis, scar tissue will be prevented from forming in the pelvis after surgery. Ligaments and other remaining organs are benefited from improving circulatory flow to the pelvis.

How does MAM help with Ceasarian sections?

Untold numbers of Caesarian births could be prevented with this simple, safe, easy to learn massage technique. Our practitioners use this to prevent the need for a C-Section. By strengthening and toning the uterus, ligaments and other pelvic organs, the massage helps to place and maintain the uterus in her optimal position for giving birth. Well being of the mother and baby are improved as they prepare for labor and delivery. Our midwife practitioners apply this technique during labor and delivery and report a decrease in laboring and easy delivery for mom and baby. For women who have had a C-section, this technique is beneficial for breaking up scar tissue in the same way it works for women who have had hysterectomies

Benefits for Men

Men benefit greatly from Maya Abdominal Massage techniques as well. By ensuring a full blood supply to the prostate, the abdominal massage helps to prevent swelling and inflammation. Men report that they can feel a distinct difference in blood flow after a treatment. Not only does the massage relieve prostate swelling, but it also helps alleviate the following:

• Early stages of prostate swelling
Frequent urination
Varicose veins
• Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
• Prostatitis (mild)
• Impotence, Erectile Dysfunction (depending on cause)

What is "Self Care" and why does it help ?

Each client is instructed in performing the abdominal massage for themselves. By doing self care massage daily for 5-10 minutes of daily massage, it provides the individual with the ability to improve their symptoms while working with their practitioner.

What to expect during a session:

• Comprehensive review of your personal health history and current health care needs.
• Abdominal massage focused on aligning reproductive and abdominal organs
• Evaluation and application of structural alignment of spine with attention to the sacrum, lumbar and thoracic spine.
• Instruction in Self Care Home techniques to enhance your professional treatment session

Recommendation of complementary modalities:
o Herbal remedies
o Castor oil packs
o Faja (organ support wrap)
o Bajos (traditional vaginal steam bath of the Mayas - pronounced ba-hos)
o Nutritional and or lifestyle education and adaptations

What part of my body will you be working on?

Because the lower back, hips, sacrum and tailbone are so interconnected with the abdomen, we will do specific massage work on the muscles and ligamentous attachments in these areas. You will be professionally draped at all times. To address the abdomen, we will work from your ribs to the upper part of your pubic bone, and only your belly will be exposed. The massage is done at your pace, and while the treatment may be “goal-oriented,” the highest goal is your comfort and ease!

In preparation for your session:

Please plan to drink extra water before and after your session. Abdominal massage releases waste products that may have accumulated in your body, and it’s a good idea to help your system flush these out by remaining well hydrated. It’s completely fine to have a snack before coming in, or a light meal a couple hours beforehand.

Most of the information on this page is courtesy of the Arvigo website.

Keywords: Maya Abdominal Massage, Fertility, Infertility, Cramps, PMS