Pelvic Wellness & Fertility
Massage for Optimum Pelvic Wellness
Massage aimed at fostering optimum pelvic wellness incorporates non-invasive, external abdominal and low back manual techniques. When applied, these techniques work to relieve congestion and blockages in the abdomen and improve the flow of chi and the circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems throughout the body. Internal abdominal organs are guided into their proper position, resulting in improved organ function for optimum health and well being. With pelvic massage therapy, a variety of health symptoms can be addressed and the progression of chronic disease pathology can be prevented.
There are a variety of pelvic wellness massage protocols developed by leaders in the field. Two of the most promising are the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® and Mercier Therapy for Optimum Pelvic Health. Both of these therapeutic modalities are available at Seven Generations Massage & Birth.
Dr. Rosita Arvigo lived and studied with traditional healers in Central America for over 30 years. She combined her knowledge of anatomy, physiology, naprapathy (study of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue) with these traditional healing methods to formulate Arvigo® Therapy.
With a long history of working closely alongside medical doctors as a fertility clinician, Dr. Jennifer Mercier, naturopath, massage therapist and midwife, developed abdominal massage techniques to help ameliorate pelvic pain and dysfunction called Mercier Therapy. Dr. Mercier has a broad womens wellness perspective and her fertility massage approach encompasses both women undergoing medically assisted fertility regimens such as IUI and IVF and women seeking a more natural less invasive route.
“Research shows that every aspect of our reproduction is adversely affected in some way by our sedentary and stressful 20th century lifestyle, diet, and living conditions.” (Naish, Francesca, and Janette Roberts. Healthy Parents, Better Babies. California: The Crossing Press,1999. Print.)
Attention to preconception wellness plays an important role in ensuring a couple’s optimal reproductive health and the health of their child. Fertility Massage therapy addresses preconception care and helps to create an optimum environment for conception.
Fertility Massage is a specialized and holistic application of pelvic massage therapy that is designed to help optimize a couple’s body wellness and enhance their opportunity for conception. Fertility massage therapy incorporates techniques for:
- Increasing pelvic blood flow and circulation and cleansing the body’s cells of metabolic waste products that cause harmful side-effects when they are trapped in a body’s congested tissues.
- Fertility awareness and preconception wellness education, including nutrition support.
- Balancing and opening up the body’s conception energy both physically and spiritually.
A Fertility Massage is beneficial for anyone who is currently trying to conceive or is in the preparatory stages leading up to the conception period. It is complementary to both medical fertility care (Assisted Reproductive Technology) and alternative therapies (chiropractic, acupuncture, herbal, etc.).
If you are planning to conceive, having difficulties conceiving, or are currently receiving Assisted Reproductive Technology care to help you conceive, then Fertility Massage may be an option for you.
Massage to Support Fertility & Conception, Massage Magazine, March 2014
Frequently Asked Questions About Fertility Massage
Frequently Asked Questions About the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®
Pregnancy & Childbirth
Pre & Peri-natal, Postpartum & Infant Massage
Pregnancy, or pre-natal massage, is specifically tailored for the expectant mother’s needs, and can reduce pregnancy discomforts and concerns and enhance the physiological and emotional well-being of both mother and fetus. It helps prepare the mother’s body to cope with the demands of labor and delivery.
The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® are very supportive of the physical changes experienced by women during pregnancy. As the baby and uterus grow, additional strain is put on the uterine ligaments, pelvic floor muscles and pelvic ligaments. With regular Arvigo® prenatal massage, the uterus stays well-positioned, receives good blood supply, and grows strong and resilient. Arvigo® prenatal massage helps normalize pelvic alignment which guides the uterus into a more neutral position – helping to relieve pregnancy discomforts for the mother-to-be and to allow for optimal fetal positioning of baby before labor. Digestion is also improved. Pregnant women are also taught how to do a special self care abdominal massage routine so that they can continue their therapy at home while relaxing and connecting deeper with their body and growing baby. The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® can safely be performed on pregnant women starting in early pregnancy.
Massage can be a great tool to help a mother during labor. Skilled, appropriate touch facilitates labor, shortening labor times and easing pain and anxiety. During labor, many women experience intense lower back pain. Massage which focuses on the lower back, and counterpressure are extremely helpful in providing pain relief, allowing the mother to focus on maintaining her composure and ability to utilize breathing techniques.
Postpartum massage helps to realign the spine, restore the abdomen, soothe sore muscles and relax the new mother – all which help her to bond with and care for her infant. Many doctors and midwives are recommending prenatal, labor and postpartum massage as part of a well-rounded prenatal regimen.
The benefits of massage during pregnancy are well documented and researched — women who receive regular massage by a certified pre-natal massage therapist are typically more relaxed with less depression and anxiety, have less swelling, less muscle tension, and less leg, back and hip pain. Women who received massage experienced significantly less pain during labor, and their labors were shown to be on average 3 hours shorter with less need for medication.
Most new parents are sleep deprived. Did you know one of the best benefits for regular infant massage with your baby is deeper more restful sleep? The other great benefit is to help smooth out those fussy and gassy episodes as your baby’s digestive system gets used to life on the outside. Infant massage is particularly good for fussy or gassy babies, even those with colic, because it can help with digestion and forces gas out of the stomach. What’s more, researchers are finding that babies who receive regular massage often have better muscle tone, coordination and cognition thanks to stimulation of the nervous system. Circulation is improved, and sleep is more restful. A baby’s immune function may also get a boost from the stimulation of the skin. And finally, most importantly, parents and their baby get a unique chance to bond.
Infant massage is simple, easy to learn, and fun. Instructive in-home sessions are available and can be scheduled by request.
Read more on the supportive research documenting the benefits of pre and peri natal, postpartum and infant massage at Expert Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2010.
Birth Doula Services
The word doula originates from the Ancient Greek word δούλη meaning women’s servant. Women have been serving other women in childbirth for many centuries and have proven that support from another woman has a positive impact on the labor process.
A doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical and informational support to the mother who is expecting, is experiencing labor, or has recently given birth. The doula’s purpose is to help women have a safe, memorable and empowering birthing experience.
Given my background in scientific research, I am always compelled to share research studies with my clients. If you would like to know more about the role of a birth doula and what the research states about the birth doula’s contribution towards the modern birthing experience, read this position paper published by DONA International (the Doula certifying organization).
What I offer as a DONA certified birth doula:
- An initial complimentary consultation and interview
- 2 Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® prenatal massage sessions including prenatal consultation – I will teach you the Arvigo® pregnancy self care massage routine which will help you maintain a balanced uterus as your baby grows.
- Unlimited pre and peri natal/postpartum email and phone support
- Resource lending library of books, cds and dvds
- A prenatal visit in your home that includes a “Massage for the Expecting Couple” hands-on instruction session
- Assistance with preparing your “Birth Preferences & Newborn Care Plan”
- Available to you 24/7 on call from 38 weeks until your birth
- Backup support if needed, in the event of my illness or injury
- Support for home, Women’s Birth & Wellness Center, and hospital births
- Initial lactation support
- Newborn CranioSacral therapy session
- A postpartum at home visit including your postpartum massage and instruction on infant massage
My birth doula services are integrated with pregnancy and postpartum massage and I do not offer standalone doula services without therapeutic massage. Kindly contact me directly for pricing specifics.
Aches & Pains
Medical massage is a general term which is used for massage therapy aimed at addressing medical conditions. It is different in its aims from relaxation massage. It is much more of an option to consider when you have a chronic or persistent pain or have sustained an injury and would like help and support in finding ways for it to heal.
Medical massage is a unique multidisciplinary approach that helps restore structural balance throughout the body, which in turn allows focus on prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal dysfunctions, chronic pain and sports injuries. Your massage therapist draws from their training in a wide variety of modalities and procedures to select the methods which seem most appropriate for your individual case and diagnosed condition. This could include a combination of functional assessment, deep tissue massage, myofascial release, neuromuscular and trigger point therapy, craniosacral therapy, neuromuscular re-education, PNF stretching, and recommendations for specific client home-care protocols.
Medical massage can be an effective treatment for many conditions, including back pain, neck pain, repetitive strain injury, sciatica, migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain and dysfunction, movement and motion issues, swelling, sports injuries, postural issues, digestive issues, anxiety, and other conditions involving chronic pain or fatigue as well as injuries sustained from accidents and other incidents.
Definitive research has just recently been published in peer reviewed scientific journals showing the physiological benefits of massage on our bodies and wellness. This article published in the Wall Street Journal on March 13, 2012 says it all: Don’t Call It Pampering: Massage Wants To Be Medicine.