April is a CNY Fertility Center patient and has been on her journey to fertility for approximately two years. April will share candid stories and a unique perspective on the fertility challenges many women and couples face. Week 13: Maya Abdominal Massage – You will have to do some work, too!
When many of us think of a massage, we think of relaxation and escape. The Maya abdominal massage, though it does provide relaxation, is not necessarily an escape and works to re-balance the spiritual center (uterus). According to the article, A Time-Honored Alternative: Mayan Abdominal Massage by Jill DeDominicis, MAM helps treat infertility and other issues (irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts, digestion, headaches, etc.) by “addressing and removing blockages in the abdominal area for better chi flow throughout the body.” MAM also works to correctly position the uterus to ensure there is more blood flow to the area and enhances circulation to the ovaries and fallopian tubes. If any of you have been told you have a tipped uterus, MAM also addresses this issue, which may indirectly impair fertility. Additionally, MAM flushes toxins from the body and aids in digestion and helps restore hormonal balance. (See www.arvigomassage.com for additional information.)
To date, I have received two complete Maya Massages, and one partial treatment because I had a urinary tract infection. (Yes, I was told that perhaps I was a bit too active before ovulation – sometimes we just can’t win, ladies!). Since the actual massage is a deep tissue treatment which works on the abdominal organs, there was a possibility the infection would spread. However, I was able to undergo the meditation part of the treatment, which requires a bit of emotional work on the patient’s end.
From a patient perspective, there are three segments of the MAM treatment. First, the patient lies on her stomach while the therapist massages the back and upper neck and then adjusts the legs and back in a way that reminds me of chiropractic care, but is gentler. Next, the therapist will have you lay on your back so s/he can complete the deep tissue abdominal massage. This includes a series of repeated exercises that work to properly position your uterus and clear any blockages. Obviously, adjusting a uterus’ position is no easy task and requires a skilled MAM professional. Thus, patients must only seek treatment from properly qualified practitioners, especially since part of the therapist’s goal is to teach you to perform MAM self-care independently. Self care requires patient work and commitment. It is recommended that patients perform MAM on themselves from the date their menses stops up to the date of ovulation. Personally, this self care treatment only takes twenty minutes which is not a considerable chunk of time; yet, I have not been as dedicated as I should be, but that is a topic for another week. 🙂
Finally, the meditation segment of the treatment takes place, and your therapist will leave you to listen to a guided meditation for approximately 30 minutes. The guided meditation plays on the stereo and encourages you to focus on what is requested of you for the half hour. Regardless of the specific meditation, the guided exercise fosters spiritual growth by providing a safe and productive outlet to address personal issues that may be interfering with various aspects of your life. While most of us would prefer to pretend as though our emotional baggage is non-existent, the guided meditations do offer an opportunity to let go of fear and negativity and also serve as a way to communicate with one’s inner self. Also, during the meditation segment, your therapist may treat you with castor oil by placing a cloth soaked in castor oil on your stomach and then placing a heat on top of the cloth.
Remember that MAM is about becoming physically healthy and spiritually intact. Both men and women benefit from MAM and should remember to seek out qualified professionals. Overall, it is important to commit to a series of MAM treatments (a minimum of three is recommended) and to perform the self care exercises. Since MAM has been proven to increase fertility along with improving overall health you may want to consider giving this option a try. Call the CNY Healing Arts Center nearest you or visit the website to learn more.
Blessings, April all Year
Below are links to April’s past articles in case you missed any of them: Week twelve: Acupuncture Week eleven: A little bit at a time Week ten: Well-timed reminders Week nine: Summertime Week eight: Resiliency Week seven: Tiny miracles Week six: Bahama Mama Week five: The right path for us Week four: Our fertility treatment “break” Week three: Deliberate choices Week two: This moment Week one: My story