I’ve offered the Arvigo® Techniques of Mayan Abdominal Therapy as part of my wellness practice for over 6 years. After seeing results and getting feedback from my patients, I can confidently say that this approach is invaluable for all women, at any age or stage of life.
Along with Acupuncture, it is my top natural therapy recommendation for most women’s health issues involving reproductive health, fertility and digestion. Given how everything is often inter-related, stress and emotions can also benefit from this timeless therapy.
What is Arvigo® Therapy?
This gentle massage 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, Dr. Arvigo went on to develop her specific massage protocol. She now teach the skills to other health practitioners worldwide.
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.
One unique aspect of this approach is that a trained Arvigo® Therapist will provide the massage and also teach the patient how to perform a simple self care protocol at home.
Self Care at your Fingertips
This self massage is a favourite of many of my patients, and can easily be incorporated into your daily routine – or just for when you need it. It 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.
What does Arvigo® Therapy help with?
It is often very helpful in issues that are found in the middle body: basically all aspects of reproductive and digestive health. 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.
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.
What to Expect in a Treatment
This type of massage is completely non-invasive, and covers the area just below diaphragm and above pubic bone.
1. You will be lying on a treatment table and draped for privacy.
2. The massage incorporates light strokes on the upper and lower abdomen, working at the level of fascia and also of lymph.
3. A series of shaking moves and skin brushing motions are made in order to help lymph return to homeostasis.
4. The treatment also includes a back massage, with focus on the lower back, hips and sacrum.
5. At all times, you are draped for privacy and the practitioner checks in for your feedback throughout.
6. A demonstration of self care massage is included during your first visit.
In my treatments, Acupuncture as well as other TCM modalities such as Gua Sha or Cupping may also be used in combination with the set protocol of this massage.
As Arvigo® Therapy practitioners come from varied professional backgrounds, each may choose to also incorporate other modalities that are within their scope.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will this work on an old C-section scar?
It is possible to minimize the size and appearance of an old C-section scar with Arvigo® Therapy and adjunct therapies and self care. Boosting circulation with targeted abdominal massage and acupuncture can help increase the body’s natural healing process.
Will this massage help me get pregnant?
Abdominal massage, much like Acupuncture, diet changes, nutritional supplements or any other natural therapy helps to optimize your health and prepare the body for a successful conception and pregnancy. Many women find it to be a relaxing, nourishing treatment that calms and supports them in body and mind.
As with any other method (including IVF or any conventional medical interventions) there is no guarantee of when or if you will get pregnant.
Can I do abdominal massage if I'm in the middle of an IVF cycle?
Yes, Arvigo® Therapy can be safely incorporated into most stages of fertility treatment. We typically modify the massage if you are in the injection stages, and only work with the lightest strokes over abdomen. Abdominal massage is not done AFTER embryo transfer.
Barbara Poczyniak, R.Ac
Registered Acupuncturist, Clinic Founder
Discover 100% natural therapies such as Arvigo® Therapy to help with reproductive, digestive and emotional health.
I’m a Registered Acupuncturist with a Holistic Healthcare practice in Toronto, ON.
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