Last week we discussed the signs of a happy period. While an ideal world would automatically come with the perfect menses for every woman, in this one we might have to work a little bit for it!
Different menstrual dysfunctions have different causes and therefore will have different treatment needs. However, all of these problems can basically be split into one of two categories: structural dysfunction or hormonal imbalance. Though these might seem like unreachable, unchangeable disruptions to your system, there is a very simple, gentle self care tool you can learn and use on yourself. Enter abdominal massage!
Performing basic ab massage can be done in the style of a traditional protocol (one of which I suggest at the end of the article) or through intuitive touch and exploration of what feels good for yourself. Basic How To:
Lay comfortably on your back with your knees bent so they are flat on the floor. It should not take any effort to keep your legs in this position.
Use a small amount of oil/lotion and spread it in clockwise circles around your belly. If you do not want to use any lubricant, you can do the massage over clothes.
Press gently around your stomach to find any places that might be more tender than others or areas that feel as if they could use attention.
Linger on those areas using clockwise circles, back and forth rubbing, up and down rubbing, and/or squeezing of the skin to massage until the tenderness has lessened or dissipated or it feels appropriate to move on.
Repeat at last once per day.
Good areas to check for tension: around your belly button, near your hip bones, under your rib cage, and the linea alba - the line of fascia situated directly down the center of your stomach from the middle of your ribs to the middle of your pubic bone.
Always move in a clockwise direction to keep with the flow of your gastrointestinal system.
This is not an exercise of force. You never want to cause yourself undue or intolerable amounts of pain. How do you know if you’ve exceeded your limit? You’ll feel yourself tensing, flinching, and grimacing.
Trust yourself. You know your body and what feels good.
Hard, round balls or bumps near your hip bones might be lymph nodes. Do not push on or rub these!
If you have a diastasis recti, do not rub inside that area! Gently encourage healing by placing your hands on either side of the division and pushing the tissues closer together. Repeat several times.
Important note: if you experience any menstrual irregularities or pelvic pain, it is highly important to see your doctor to rule out any serious underlying conditions!
Though the current scientific evidence is scarce (mainly due to the lack of research), there are a few studies which shine favorably on abdominal massage and improved menstrual health. (Check out the links below!) Abdominal massage is also a standard part of many ancient cultures; Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Central American, and numerous indigenous cultures to name a few. And we cannot ignore the scores of positive anecdotal evidence. Abdominal massage can be approached via many methods. I recommend the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®. This massage was globalized by Rosita Arvigo, who learned the techniques from Don Elijio Ponte whose knowledge lineage can be traced back directly to the ancient Maya civilization. Gentle and profound, the Arvigo® protocol is designed to stimulate digestion, reduce lymphatic congestion, and, most importantly, center your uterus. A properly aligned uterus not only improves menstrual health, but also helps to optimize overall health by improving circulatory, lymphatic, nerve signal, endocrine, and energetic flow through the body. Women attribute improved fertility and conception, relieved period pain, decreased endometriosis symptoms, improved bowel movements, eliminated menopausal symptoms, relieved incontinence and much more to Arvigo® massage!
In your first Arvigo® Maya Abdominal Massage your therapist goes through a detailed intake form with you. This is designed to help the therapist determine what physical, emotional, dietary, and activity related elements might be contributing to your pelvic dysfunction. Next comes the massage. (Yay!!!) During the session, your Arvigo® practitioner will assess your uterine position, bone alignment, muscle tension, lymph congestion, and scar tissue formation from your rib cage to your pubic bone in the front of your body, and through your lumbar area to the tip of your tailbone and onto your glutes and thighs with some attention to the muscles around your spine on the back of your body. Gentle massage and stretching is used to lessen these imbalances. Your session concludes with a lesson on how to perform the abdominal massage protocol for yourself at home to you can be your own healer! If you live in the Haddonfield, South Jersey, or Philadelphia areas and would like to schedule an Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® session with me, click here and book your Women’s Health Massage Intro today! Or call (856) 857-7535 if you have more questions. Don’t live in my area? Click here to search for Arvigo® Practitioners near you. Have you ever experienced Arvigo®? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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