Updated: Mar 30
By Barbara Poczyniak, R.Ac
After offering the Arvigo® Techniques of Mayan Abdominal Therapy in my practice for over 6 years, I can confidently say that this approach is invaluable for all women, at any age or stage of life. Women’s health issues involving reproductive health, fertility, digestion and even stress and emotions can all benefit from this timeless therapy.
What is Arvigo® Therapy?
This gentle therapy is based on the abdominal massage that is a key part of traditional Mayan medicine. It was adapted by an American naprapath, Dr. Rosita Arvigo, after she studied and apprenticed with local healers in Belize for most of her life. Combining this experience with her own training, she went on to develop her specific massage protocol and teach the skills to other health practitioners.
Arvigo® Therapy is an external, non-invasive massage for the abdomen and lower back. The aim is to gently stimulate the circulation of lymph, nerve and fresh blood flow to the reproductive and digestive organs. The fresh circulation helps bring the body’s core back to homeostasis and balance. It also encourages the alignment of reproductive and digestive organs.
Self Care is in Your Hands
One unique aspect of this approach is that a trained Arvigo® Therapist will provide the massage and also teach the patient to perform a simple self care protocol at home. The self massage is meant to prolong the effect of the professional treatment, but also act as a nurturing, meditative self treatment any time it is needed. You’ll feel more in control of your well being and physically and emotionally connected to the healing process. I’ve seen this benefit many patients, leading them to reconnect with their own body and heal at a much deeper level.
Arvigo® Therapy can often help in the following situations:
1. Menstrual Pain
In traditional medicine, menstrual pain is often linked with ‘stagnation’ of energy and blood flow in the core of the body. Arvigo® Therapy encourages a healthy clearing of both physical and emotional congestion, resulting in an easier, less painful period.
2. Optimizing Fertility
Whether preparing for a healthy conception, trying to conceive naturally or working with a Fertility Clinic, this massage therapy can safely help during any fertility journey. The goal is to optimize digestion, nutrient assimilation and healthy elimination as well as bring fresh energy and blood flow to the reproductive organs. If you’re specifically concerned with improving health of ovaries or uterine lining, this protocol has recommended treatment plans.
3. Digestive Issues
A belly massage is intuitive when we are in pain, bloated or our digestion just feels ‘off’. Issues such as IBS, gastritis or dysbiosis can all benefit from relaxing tense abdominal muscles, improving circulation, and helping the body better digest and process nutrients.
Endometriosis is different for every woman, but it often means discomfort from adhesions or cysts combined with digestive symptoms, fatigue and body malaise. Improving circulation in the abdominal area can bring relief and an overall improved mood and energy. Whether you are taking pain medication, or are considering surgery, this gentle massage can help naturally manage the symptoms of endometriosis.
5. Pain or Numbness from Old Scars
Scar tissue from previous abdominal surgeries or c-sections may cause numbness, pain or a pulling sensation – sometimes quite far from the original scar! Arvigo® Therapy can be part of a recovery plan to help the body effectively break down and dissolve old scar tissue.
6. Frequent or Chronic Constipation
Constipation can happen for many reasons, but even with more complex or chronic cases this therapy can help gently improve gut health, motility and reduce stress around these issues.
7. Post Partum Healing
Taking special care of a new mom is an essential concept in most traditional cultures, but not yet as widely practiced in our modern society. Arvigo® Therapy is a wonderful tool for helping a woman’s body recover and re-balance after child bearing.
8. Difficult Perimenopausal and Menopausal Symptoms
While not a dis-ease, the life stages of perimenopause and menopause can bring on uncomfortable issues that last for months or for years. Arvigo® Therapy can help relieve the stress and discomfort that come about with hormonal and body changes.
9. Displaced or Prolapsed uterus
A key concept in Arvigo® Therapy is that the uterus is meant to be a woman’s centre (even if there is no longer a uterus present, that uterine energy still exists at a woman’s centre). Shifts in organ position can happen for various reasons, and the aim of each treatment is to gently help realign uterine position to the healthiest it can be.
10. Anxiety (especially relating to PMS or PMDD)
Both Premenstrual Syndrome and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder will often appear with feelings of depression and/or anxiety. Women who dread “that part” of their monthly cycle, may find relief with regular professional treatments and having access to easy self care options as they are needed. Arvigo® Therapy includes massaging the upper abdomen, which corresponds to the area of the vagus nerve. Gentle stimulation of the vagus nerve can help bring on the “rest and digest” response of the parasympathetic nervous system, which may greatly help feelings of anxiety and unease.
Interested in Arvigo® Therapy? I’m a Registered Acupuncturist + Arvigo® Practitioner with extensive training and experience in Holistic Women’s Health. I offer treatments to support fertility, reproductive, digestive and emotional health. Your first visit includes a full intake of health history and present goals, as well as abdominal massage and acupuncture (or the option of acupressure without needles). I also show you how to do the self massage at home, along with offering other self care suggestions that may be appropriate.
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