Maya massage originates from thousands of years of shaman healing in Belize and claims to help with infertility, GI issues, surgery recovery, and more!
By Miranda Guilamo, Contributing Writer
What is a Maya Massage?
A Maya massage is an external abdominal massage therapy based on ancient Maya techniques. Maya massage can be beneficial for both men and women. It can help address a myriad of issues, ranging from infertility to digestive discomfort to C-section and hysterectomy recovery.
My personal Experience with Maya Massage
My Maya massage experience began in the suburbs of Chicago a few years ago. I somehow seem to find the right natural remedies and treatments exactly when I need them. My three-year-old son was complaining regularly about his “tummy hurting”. After several weeks, there was only one explanation I could think of — he was experiencing lingering effects of a bad stomach bug he had gotten several months before. That’s when I found a local health practitioner who practiced Maya Abdominal Massage. Naturally skeptical, I kept reading and researching until my son and I both eventually gave Maya massage a try.
The first session was long as there was a detailed medical history and lifestyle questionnaire. We verbally conversed about diet, family history, exercise, symptoms, and more. Eventually, it was time to lie down on the massage table.
You can envision this almost like any other massage room and therapist. The main difference was the sole focus on the abdomen. Our massage therapist would gently push down and sweep her fingers across the skin. She explained the different organs she was touching and spent more time massaging certain areas where she felt congestion. She taught us how we could do “self-massage” at home too.
The one hour massage was very relaxing and although there was no immediate “ah-ha” feeling, there was an overall sense that something beneficial had been accomplished during that session. I can also tell you that our massage therapist had a “healing aura”. She knew about the body, and not just in an anatomical sense. Her massage was intuitive and her hands seemed to emanate a warm, positive energy.
We had a second session weeks later and after that my son never complained about stomach pains. Personally, I had been suffering from hip pain and tight pelvic muscles at around 9 months postpartum. The two massages did the trick and my body just felt more symmetrical after the treatments I received.
The History of This Ancient Belize Healing Technique
The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® were founded by Dr. Rosita Arvigo. She is a doctor of Naprapathy, a science focused on the ligaments, muscles, and joints that is comparable to Chiropractic work. However, much of her knowledge and experience comes from apprenticing for two extraordinary individuals in Belize for over a decade: Don Elijio Panti and Hortence Robinson.
Don Elijio Panti was an 87-year old master Maya Shaman who learned the spiritual and physical teachings passed down for more than 5,000 years about medicinal plants and healing. Hortence Robinson was an herbal midwife healer who practiced midwifery for over 60 years.
In 2000, Dr. Arvigo founded the Arvigo Institute with a passion for preserving the traditional Maya healing and to teach others the techniques of the Maya Abdominal Massage.
Why Consider a Maya Massage?
This technique focuses on the proper positioning of abdominal organs for better overall health. It is believed that physical and emotional congestion can occur in your digestive and reproductive organs. Have you ever heard people say “I have butterflies in my stomach.” or “It’s a gut feeling”? These sayings reflect the same thinking about the importance of the abdomen and how easily it can be affected by physical and emotional stress.
“Blockage” in the abdominal area can affect the flow of fluids and proper Chi in your lymphatic, circulatory, and nervous system. So, the massage helps align the internal abdominal organs so the body can function at its best. It is non-invasive. Maya massage therapists are holistic healers, who will likely offer suggestions and treatments in addition to the massage, such as diet modifications, herbal remedies, etc.
Could Maya Massage Help You?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may be a good candidate for this type of massage therapy:
For Men & Women
- Have you had trouble with fertility?
- Do you have any abdominal scars from past surgeries?
- Do you suffer from digestive issues like IBS or Crohn’s Disease or regular abdominal pain?
- Have you had parasitic infections?
- Are you thinking of or trying to conceive?
- Does stress affect you mainly in digestive ways?
- Have you had a C-section?
- Have you had a hysterectomy?
- Do you an irregular menstrual cycle or painful periods?
- Have you experienced past miscarriages?
- Have you experienced cysts in your uterus or ovaries?
- Have you been told that your uterus is “tilted” or prolapsed?
- Have you suffered from endometriosis?
- Do you have an enlarged prostate?
- Are you looking for sperm support (count, mobility, etc.)?
Maya Massage for Reproductive Issues
Don Elijio was a believer that “The uterus is the woman’s center. If her uterus is not in proper position and in good health, nothing in her life will be right. She will be as out of balance as her uterus.”
Don Elijio was not alone in his thinking. “Midwives and healers of Central America agree that most female troubles are caused by the wandering womb.” Did you know that there are 14 ligaments holding the uterus in place like a hammock? If these ligaments are not holding the uterus in the optimal position, the rest of the organs around the uterus can be impacted too. I envision this like a puzzle that just isn’t quite put together right.
In regards to infertility, the Arvigo Institute says that “it has been estimated that approximately 30% of women who had been unsuccessful in conceiving eventually conceive after a succession of Arvigo sessions.”
Since the body is one holistic system, blockages in the middle of the body can manifest themselves in many different ways. Tight ligaments and muscles can put unhealthy pressure on organs. Surgeries and injuries can cause scar tissue to build up. Past diet choices or genetics can cause congestion in the intestines. The list goes on and on.
Maya Massage is specifically said to help with the following:
- Increase blood flow to the reproductive organs to help with infertility
- Improve digestion and nutrient absorption
- Break down scar tissue
- Help dissolve cysts
- Aid in recovery from surgery
- Regulate menstruation
- Prepare the body for a pregnancy
- Re-align uterus and other abdominal organs
- Address sperm concerns
- Regulate an enlarged prostate
If any of this sounds like it is speaking to you, then maybe it’s time to try The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®.
Find a Practitioner
There are various levels of certification in this massage technique. You can find a certified practitioner here. If you know a naturopath, chiropractor or acupuncturist, they may also be a good place to get a referral.
Practitioners of Maya massage will likely need to see you more than once. Similar to physical therapy or appointments with a medical specialist, the technique is not a “one and done” approach. Be prepared to give Maya massage a chance and invest in your health.
- you recently had a baby
- less than 6 weeks after a vaginal birth
- less than 3 months after a cesarian birth
- you have an IUD
- it is currently your “time of the month”
- you are undergoing chemotherapy or have cancer present in the pelvic area
- you are in your first trimester of pregnancy
- you just had abdominal surgery
When in doubt, feel free to ask your Maya massage practitioner for more advice or seek a medical expert.