If you’ve never heard of Maya Abdominal Massage, it’s time to learn. This is an ancient Latin American technique of bodywork that uses slow, deep, penetrating movements and pressure that can release deep muscle tissue spasms in the entire abdominal area.
This massage technique was reportedly handed down over the generations by a shaman and didn’t become popular in the United States until a few decades ago. In 1983, Dr. Rosita Arvigo, a naprapath, from Chicago, started a 12-year period of apprenticeship with one of the last living Mayan shamans, Don Elijio Panti, in Belize. According to Dr. Arvigo’s website, she watched the revered man in his 90s massage his patients to relieve them of menstrual cramps, headaches, tired legs, infertility, and digestive issues.
“Ancient Mayan healers and midwives throughout Latin America would use specific massage techniques to support fertility, pregnancy, creativity and libido in women,” says Jamie Lashbrook of Well Belly Healing, who practices Maya Abdominal Massage.
“What fascinates me most is their intuition concerning the position of the uterus and other pelvic organs in relation to mental, physical and hormonal discomfort and imbalance,” Lashbrook continues. “They understood that the uterus, an organ that can move and stretch and grow during childbirth and menstruation, can be susceptible to moving or tipping into a position that is suboptimal at any time.”
But Maya Abdominal Massage isn’t just for women. Male believers in this practice have experienced relief in the following ways:
- Prevents swelling and congestion of the prostate
- Relieves headaches/migraines
- Improves medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastro-esophogeal reflux disease (GERD),
- Crohn’s disease, and gastritis
- Improves chronic constipation
- Improves indigestion/heartburn
- Improves premature ejaculation
- Addresses impotency problems
- Improves frequent urination
While Maya massage therapists don’t recommend you self-massage unless you are working with, and can be guided by a Arvigo-trained therapist, Lashbrook says this, “When beginning to awaken to your womb wisdom there are some beautiful at home self-care techniques that can bring you deeper into your process. I strongly encourage you find an Arvigo practitioner. They will guide you through self-care massage for YOUR body.” Though if you don’t have access to a practitioner, Lashbrook suggests you begin by making yourself familiar with your womb space. Place your hands over your womb and simply breathe and listen. You can begin to feel around from hip bone to hip bone and down around your pubic bone. Just notice where there is space and softness and where there may be resistance and/or pain and tenderness. Breathe into these areas. Simply tuning in throughout your monthly cycle at how your belly changes and bringing love and awareness to your pelvic bowl will begin a profound healing process.
We all go through times when we have digestive issues, feel our hormones are out of whack, have pains, or hold on to too much stress and tension. This is why Maya Abdominal Massage is beneficial for everyone.
Jill L. Ferguson is the founder and CEO of Women’s Wellness Weekends, an artist, author, consultant, entrepreneur, and blogger for HuffingtonPost on healthy living. Her website is Jill L. Ferguson.