Maya Abdominal Massage: Can It Take Away The Pain?
At times, the thought of anyone going near my belly let alone pressing on it, would have sent a tingle of fear up my spine! IBS can be painful enough without someone pushing or touching my abdominal area and making it worse. Yet the more I researched abdominal massage and how it could benefit IBS symptoms, the more it made sense.
Throughout my years with IBS and fluctuating symptoms I've always had a spot that is painful to touch in the right lower side of my abdomen. While my symptoms are pretty good at the moment and my doctor doesn't think there is any cause for the pain, I think it's time that I tried something new!
I've had many sessions of regular remedial massage over the years for muscle aches and pains or injuries, but I've never had an abdominal massage. The practitioners I have seen have told me that abdominal massage is a specialized area because it involves contact with all of the organs in the abdominal cavity and so extra care and knowledge is needed.
So I got onto Google and looked for an abdominal massage practitioner in my area and it was actually quite difficult to find one! But I continued my search and came across the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy.
What is Maya Abdominal Therapy?
According to the Arvigo Therapy website the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy was developed by Dr. Rosita Arvigo based on her training with her mentor Don Elijio Panti, a Maya Sharman in Belize and is based on an ancient Mayan abdominal massage technique. It aims to reposition internal organs, like your bladder, intestines, and uterus (for a woman) in a holistic way that incorporates physical, emotional and spirituals aspects of healing. The premise is that if these organs have shifted out of place, they can restrict the flow of blood, lymph, nerves, and chi and cause digestive and reproductive issues. Makes sense right?!
How can it help with IBS?
It’s noted that if the intestines are twisted or kinked, the movement of food (peristalsis) can be altered, it can stop normal blood flow and the secretion of enzymes needed to digest food. When you think about all the ligaments and muscles in our abdominal area that keep our organs in place, any weakening or misalignment of these muscles and ligaments could potentially put the organs out of place and out of balance and cause issues.
With IBS, the technique aims to treat the cause of the symptoms, to relax tight muscles in the abdomen area, to free up arteries that feed the organs, loosen the diaphragm to help with breathing and allow the movement of food to flow through the intestines.
The website also notes that it has been used to treat many other conditions, like a prolapsed or tilted uterus, infertility or benign prostate enlargement in men. It is reportedly good for treating adhesions that may have stuck organs together that may have occurred from treatment of fibroid tumors, endometriosis, cesarean delivery, or abdominal surgery.
How many visits are needed and is it expensive?
It's noted that one to three sessions can correct any issues, plus you are also provided with instructions on how to continue some of the massage techniques yourself at home for a few minutes a day to aid in the healing process.
When I looked locally (Melbourne, Australia) to find a practitioner, it appeared that sessions can run for 1.5 to 2 hours and were about the same cost of a regular remedial massage (if it were to go for two hours), but of course it may be different where you are located.
Where can I find a trained practitioner if I want to investigate it more?
You can click here to search the list of Arvigo Technique trained Maya abdominal massage practitioners and they are located all over the world.
I've booked myself in for a session and I can't wait to see what they find going on in my belly and whether the technique makes a difference to my symptoms and overall health! Watch this space as I'll be sure to let you know about my experience!
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?