The Massage That Just Might Fix Your Lady Bits (and for men too): Maya Abdominal Therapy

by Dr. Jennifer Karon-Flores


I first heard of Dr. Rosita Arvigo in 1994, soon after her book Sastun was published. Recommended by my herbal teacher at the time, I read the book and was enraptured by Rosita’s tales of rural Belize, where she apprenticed with Maya healer Don Elijio Panti and learned the ancient techniques of Maya abdominal massage

Dr. Rosita Arvigo was a naprapathic physician at the time, the soft-tissue equivalent of an osteopath, and she had heard about a type of belly massage that was used by local midwives, herbalists, and shamans to assist women, men, and children with abdominal and pelvic issues. After studying with Don Elijio, she searched far and wide in Central America and studied with many midwives, who added to the abdominal therapy techniques she had learned in Belize.

Dr. Arvigo added to the techniques as she realized that problems with the mid and low back, sacrum, and tailbone also contribute to abdominal and pelvic issues. For instance, the ligaments that attach to the ovaries also attach to the lumbar vertebrae, so a tight muscle in the back could pull on the vertebrae, displacing an ovary and causing pain, infertility, or irregular menstrual cycles. 

Improper nerve and blood circulation to the sacrum can be due to scar tissue, which can contribute to menstrual cramps or low libido. As Dr. Arvigo treated hundreds of patients in her clinic in Belize, she refined the techniques and developed The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®, which is now practiced around the world by healthcare providers who have trained with the Arvigo™ Institute. 

The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® are used to treat many common conditions, including digestive disorders, abdominal pain, pelvic pain, infertility, painful menses, frequent urination, incontinence, prolapse, tilted uterus, vulvodynia, painful intercourse, back pain, fibroids, SI joint dysfunction, tailbone pain, prostate issues, and many more. 

During the second half of pregnancy, specially designed techniques are used to encourage blood flow and uterine tone, as well as reduce pain and discomfort associated with pregnancy. The Arvigo™ treatments include external bodywork techniques, applied to the upper and lower abdomen, mid and low back, sacrum, and tailbone. 

Each treatment is customized to the person and their specific health concerns. Self-care “homework” is encouraged to maintain and further the benefits of treatments with The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® practitioner. Herbs, diet changes, castor oil packs and other treatments may be recommended, depending on the type of provider and scope of practice. 

There are a few contraindications, including active cancer, current IUD, pelvic mesh implants, or during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. A qualified practitioner can guide you to deciding whether The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® are right for you. 

I have seen in my own practice that regular use of these techniques relieves all manner of abdominal, pelvic, and back problems, often to the point of saving the patient from invasive procedures and surgery. 

In addition, restoration of blood flow, lymphatic flow, homeostasis, and detoxification of the abdomen and pelvis creates energy, clarity, and centeredness for patients. The pelvis is our center, our creative source, and our plumb line. When the abdominal and pelvic organs are in place and functioning optimally, everything feels and works better. 



Dr. Jennifer Karon-Flores is a licensed naturopathic physician in Portland, OR. She owns TrueHealth Programs, a premier online resource for natural health information and programs. Subscribe to her newsletter for free natural health information delivered to your in-box!


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