Massage therapists who specialize in pregnancy massage encounter clients across the spectrum, including those unable to conceive, pregnant women seeking relaxation, and expectant moms enduring difficult pregnancies. When traditional pregnancy massage techniques fail to achieve desired results, the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® might hold the answer.
Rosita Arvigo, N.D., developed these techniques after 30 years of training and experience with Don Elijio Panti, a Mayan shaman in Belize. His philosophy—that a woman’s center is her uterus—influenced Arvigo.
How Arvigo may help
When the uterus is out of position due to weakened ligaments and muscles, it may become tilted, or prolapsed, which can cause a shift in other organs; constrict blood and lymph flow; and disrupt nerve connections, according to Arvigo. Arvigo massage therapy can help bring the uterus back into the correct position, restoring homeostasis in the pelvic area and surrounding organs.
Once the body experiences natural balance again, your client may be better able to enjoy a healthy pregnancy, labor and delivery, as suggested by several case studies in a 2014 book, Journeys in Healing: Inspiring Experiences of Arvigo Practitioners and their Clients.
A compilation of more than 30 clinical cases from Arvigo practitioners around the world, the book offers insight into the potential capabilities of Arvigo techniques in relation to fertility challenges as well as prenatal, birth and postpartum situations; irregular menstrual cycles and ovulation; and miscarriages and difficult pregnancies. (No true experimental research on Arvigo Techniques has taken place.)
To administer Arvigo Techniques, massage therapists must have completed, at a minimum, the Self-Care Training and Professional Care Training workshops; some practitioners also take advanced certification training. Therapists who want to earn a license to use this technique professionally must take Professional Care Training.
A typical Arvigo session
During an Arvigo massage session, the therapist gives abdominal massage that focuses on aligning the reproductive and abdominal organs. She will also evaluate and apply structural spine alignment, paying close attention to the sacrum, lumbar and thoracic spine. One of the most important aspects of the session is instruction in self-care home techniques that enhance professional treatment. (Note: Clients in their first trimester should receive a modified session.)
Donna J. Zubrod, L.M.B.T., C.-A.T.M.A.T., C.D.(D.O.N.A.), owner of Seven Generations Massage and Birth in Cary, North Carolina, and a co-editor of Journeys in Healing, became interested in Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy during a class on fertility massage. At the time, she was unaware that the position of the uterus could impact a woman’s ability to become pregnant. Impressed with the therapy, she completed the Arvigo Preconception Wellness and Advanced Pregnancy Training and attended the certification course so she could become an Arvigo teacher and learn more about the advanced techniques.
“I use the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy every time I work with clients,” Zubrod said. “It has enriched the work I do with my clients and the wellness benefits they receive.
“Who knew that [the] position of the uterus during pregnancy is so important to the comfort of the mom and the position of the baby—and ultimately the birth experience outcome?” she added.
Your pregnant or hoping-to-become-pregnant clients may benefit from this type of massage, and you will also derive some benefits. “The core of Arvigo Therapy is self-care massage,” said Zubrod after taking the level-one course. “I learned so much about my body and beneficial self-care that I needed to incorporate into my lifestyle.”
About the Author
Phyllis Hanlon has written nonfiction articles and book reviews as well as human-interest stories, profiles and award-winning essays. Her specialty areas include health and medicine, religion, education and business. She regularly delights in the joys of massage. She has written many articles for MASSAGE Magazine, including “Sports Massage Contributes to Elite Athletes’ Recovery.”
Neither the author/s nor MASSAGE Magazine assume responsibility for the application of any technique. Readers must ensure they have completed the training necessary to safely and effectively perform any technique mentioned on massagemag.com.