I’m blessed to have studied abdominal massage in Belize and the US for the past 12 years directly with Dr. Rosita Arvigo, the founder of Abdominal Therapy.
Rosita has over 50 years experience in massage, naprapathy, herbology, and spiritual healing and she mentored directly for many years with Don Elijio Panti (1893-1996), the great Maya Shaman of Belize.
Abdominal massage addresses the position and health of the pelvic and abdominal organs. The work is best known for correction of the fallen or tilted uterus, addressing reproductive system dysfunction, addressing hip and low back pain, and for the relief of many common digestive disorders.
Benefits for Women
A displaced, tipped, or prolapsed uterus is extremely common, yet modern medicine has little to offer women with what we call a “wandering womb”. Options may include using birth control pills, muscle relaxants, or surgery, and women are generally told, “Your uterus is tipped, but that is normal and don’t worry about it.” Or worse, a slightly tipped uterus is seen as normal and never diagnosed.
Rosita’s mentor, Don Elijio, believed that a woman’s center is her uterus. “If a woman’s uterus is out of balance, she will be physically, emotionally, and spiritually out of balance,” he would say.
It is estimated that as many as 75% of women have a wandering womb that obstructs the free flow of energy, lymph, blood, hormones, and nerves through the uterus, ovaries, bladder, bowel, and into the legs. In fact, a displaced uterus is so common that many of my college anatomy books depicted a tipped uterus as normal anatomy when it should be considered a serious, yet easily corrected problem.
You might suspect a displaced uterus, likely treatable with abdominal massage, if you’ve experienced any of the following:
- Repeat pregnancies close together
- Less than desirable professional care during pregnancy, delivery, postpartum
- Carrying heavy burdens just before or during menstruation and too soon after childbirth
- Walking barefoot on cold floors or wet grass
- Wearing high heel shoes
- Running on cement surfaces
- Injury to the sacrum or tailbone from a fall, blow, or accident
- Poor alignment of pelvic bones with the spinal column
- Chronic spasms around the low back and sacrum
- Chronic constipation, straining during bowel movements
- Carrying your children on the hip for prolonged periods of time
- Emotional armoring from rape, sexual abuse, or incest
- Excess stress
- Aging and the pull of gravity on ligaments
- Weak pelvic floor muscles
- Career in high impact dancing, aerobics, or sports
- Chronic cough
- Surgical errors
- Carrying extra body weight
Though the above list includes everyday activities, and a displaced uterus is seldom treated or taken seriously, women have a laundry list of physical and emotional symptoms that can be addressed and prevented with these simple, noninvasive massage techniques.
When reproductive organs shift out of place they can constrict normal flow of blood and lymph, and disrupt nerve connections. Just a few extra ounces sitting on blood or lymph vessels can cause havoc throughout the different systems in the body.
Old adhesions from invasive treatments to the pelvic and abdominal area, including fibroid tumors, endometriosis, and cesarean delivery are diminished when addressed by uterine massage. In addition, Abdominal Massage helps digestion, urinary and bladder problems.
The following is a list of some of the symptoms that can be attributed to a displaced uterus and treated with abdominal massage:
- Dysmenorrhea or painful periods
- Late, early, or irregular periods
- Dark, thick blood at onset or end of menstruation
- Headache or migraine with menses
- Dizziness with menses
- Blood clots during menstruation and excessive bleeding
- Uterine polyps
- Uterine fibroids
- Uterine infections
- Vaginal yeast conditions
- Painful intercourse
- Non-specific pelvic pain
- Bloating or pelvic pressure
- Failure to ovulate, irregular ovulation
- Painful ovulation
- Chronic miscarriages
- Premature deliveries
- Weak or sickly newborn infants
- False pregnancies
- Difficult pregnancy
- Incompetent uterus
- Frequent urination
- Bladder infections
- Pencil thin stools during menses
- Varicose veins of the legs
- Tired, weak legs
- Numb legs and feet
- Cold legs and feet
- Sore heels when walking
- Low back ache
- Hip pain
Abdominal massage is gentle, external work on the abdomen from just above the pubic bone to your rib cage. Posterior treatment addresses imbalances and tension in your lumbar and sacral area. Your uterine ligaments attach directly to your sacrum.
Your first abdominal massage appointment will last 90 minutes to 2 hours and includes detailed home instruction. Follow up appointments last about an hour.
Best results are achieved when you to commit to 5 visits over 3 months and complete daily home abdominal massage.