What are the Argivo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage?

The Origin of the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage

The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage were developed by Dr. Rosita Arvigo, a Naprapathic physician (someone who specializes in realigning connective tissue),  originally from Chicago. Dr.  Arvigo has lived in Central America for 30 years and studied with Don Elijio Panti, a famous Maya shaman, as well as Hortence Robinson, a well known Maya midwife.  She combined and bridged the traditional Maya healing methods with her medical background and established the Arvigo Foundation in 2000. She has trained practitioners in every continent and has brought these healing techniques to women and men around the world.  

What are the Massage Techniques?

The massage is a non-invasive external technique using gentle pressure that allows for an increase in the flow of blood, vital energy, lymph, and nerves in the abdomen, sacrum, and lumbar. The massage is designed to assist the body in releasing physical and emotional congestion as well as to relax tendons and ligaments to improve the the body's ability to self regulate, repair, and balance. The massage is appropriate for men and women and is performed on the back, upper, and lower abdomen. 

What are the Benefits of the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage?

There are many benefits of this work. For women, the massage is best known for its success in improving reproductive health, fertility, and relieving symptoms associated with the uterus and bladder such as prolapse, fibroids, irregular menses, and painful periods. This is accomplished by guiding reproductive organs into optimal position and relieving tension in the diaphragm and abdominal musculature. Men also benefit from the massage and can experience relief in symptoms related to enlarged prostate including frequent urination.  When the massage is applied to the upper abdomen both men and women can experience improvement in digestion and conditions such as irritable bowel,  constipation, heartburn, and acid reflux.

Are there Contraindications of the Maya Abdominal Massage?

The massage techniques can help men and women of all ages except for the following:

  • It is not performed during menses.

  • Not performed with an IUD

  • Not performed immediately after abdominal surgery

  • Not performed when there is an active infection or cancer

  • Not performed during the first trimester but there are techniques to support pregnancy

  • Caution is exercised with hiatal hernia

What is a Retroverted Uterus and How can the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Massage help?

Normally the uterus leans slightly over the bladder in the center of the pelvis and is held in place by muscles, the vaginal wall, and ligaments. Uterine ligaments are made to stretch in order to hold a growing fetus and to move freely when the bladder is full. The ligaments can weaken and loosen, causing the uterus to fall downward, forward, backward, or to either side. This is called a tilted, prolapsed, or retro uterus. Conventional medicine has little to offer women for this problem and they are often told that is normal. However, there are many symptoms that can be improved or prevented with these simple massage techniques. When organs shift out of position, they constrict flow of blood, lymph, and they disrupt nerve connections. Just a few extra ounces of blood sitting on a vessel can cause havoc. By shifting the uterus the natural balance can be restored.

How Many Sessions and What is the Course of Treatment?

During the first session the following will occur:

  • A comprehensive review of your health history and current health concerns

  • Evaluation of alignment of sacrum, hips, and reproductive organs

  • Gentle massage of abdomen while you are carefully draped to provide privacy and comfort

  • Instruction of Self Care (may be taught on second session depending on menstrual cycle)

  • Recommendation for Complementary Modalities (herbal medicine, castor oil pack, acupuncture, and/or dietary changes)

Most conditions require 3-5 professional sessions. Fertility treatment is often enhanced with the use of massage, herbs, and acupuncture together. Fertility treatment can take 3-9 months and a plan will be discussed based on individual needs. 

What is Susannah's Training in the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Massage?

Susannah began her training with Dr. Arvigo in 2002 when she attended Self Care training at Dr. Arvigo's Ixchel Farm in Belize. She began offering the massage techniques to her acupuncture clients during her apprenticeship and in 2003 she attended Professional Training in New Hampshire with Dr. Arvigo. During this time Susannah was in private practice and working as an acupuncturist at the McKee Center for Holistic Medicine of the McKee Hospital in Loveland, CO. The hospital sponsored her final visit to Belize in 2005 when Susannah became a Certified Practitioner. She was extremely fortunate to have met and studied with the Maya elder and midwife Hortence Robinson during both Belize trips. Susannah has focused on assisting her clients with fertility and completed Advanced Pregnancy training in 2018. Susannah is also trained in Asian bodywork techniques called Chi Nei Tsang which translates as "healthy organ massage". She received 40 hours of training from Giles Marin in Chi Nei Tsang in 2010.


Conditions Treated with Abdominal Massage

Susannah uses her skills and training to gently guide her patients back to a state of restored health and balance. She has worked with patients who seek treatment for a variety of problems, some of which are listed below.

  • Painful periods

  • Infertility

  • Irregular menstrual cycle

  • Uterine Prolapse

  • Retro or inverted uterus

  • Emotional stress

  • Headaches

  • Abdominal pain

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Constipation

  • Acid Reflux


What to Expect during and After a Session

During the Session

A treatment session begins with a dialogue between the patient and Susannah which includes health history and current health concerns. It is good to share as much information as you can during this time, even if you do not think it is relevant. Susannah is looking for patterns and is trained to think holistically about how all of your symptoms fit together. Plan to wear comfortable clothing and to eat normally before a session. Do not come to a treatment hungry! Susannah will assist you getting onto the table and will provide you with pillows, bolsters, and blankets so that you are warm and comfortable.  The session will begin with gentle and precise touches to your abdomen and she will guide you in breathwork.  The session typically lasts approximately 45 minutes and it is not uncommon to gently relax and even nod off.  After the session Susannah  may recommend diet, herbs, or home practices to assist in your healing.  It is recommended that you drink plenty of water and refrain from vigorous exercise for 24 hours. Light exercise and normal every day activities are fine.  

After the Session

As stress is released from the abdomen it is possible to feel slightly more emotional than usual and to feel a bit tired after a session. This is a normal response to treatment and may be accompanied with a bit of digestive upset as the body rebalances. The first menstrual cycle after a session may be slightly heavier as toxins are discharged. After the first 1-2 sessions these releases will subside as the body rebalances. It is best to be gentle with yourself, drink plenty of fluids, and take extra time for rest.



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