A Balm for Belly Blues: Maya Abdominal Massage & Gynecological Health

In Female Pelvic Pain by Stephanie Prendergast6 Comments

This week, our guest blogger Bria Larson, MS, LAc, FABORM  will discuss The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy.

By Bria Larson

The abdomen and pelvis are the source of our creativity and nourishment.  They are also vulnerable to injury from physical and emotional trauma, disease and dietary stressors.  Based on the healing traditions of the Maya, as taught by Dr. Rosita Arvigo, DN, Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy reduce pain and encourage healthy function of organs in the abdomen and pelvis.

When is the last time you rubbed your belly? For many of us the answer is, “ Um, what?”

When is the last time you experienced discomfort or dysfunction related to digestion, menstruation, fertility, or injury in the pelvis or lower back?  Unfortunately, the answer for many of us sounds more like, “Um, yesterday.”


Maya Abdominal Therapy, Chinese medicine, for menstrual health, fertility, digestive, health

These two questions are not unrelated.  It would not be an exaggeration to say that we live in a time in which issues with digestive and gynecological functions run rampant amongst women of all ages.  We also live in a culture in which we are often out of touch, both literally and figuratively, with our bellies.

The abdomen and pelvis are the source of creativity, nourishment and intuition.  In Chinese medicine theory, many of the body’s major meridians- pathways of circulation-  pass through the belly.  Not surprisingly, meridians closely associated with reproductive health such as the Chong, Ren, Kidney and Liver chart a path through the abdomen.  Powerhouse meridians for digestion such as the Spleen and Stomach channels follow suite.  Furthermore, Chinese medicine and martial arts traditions locate the dan tian(“elixir field”) in the lower abdomen, and regard it as the center of power and vitality in the body.


But for all their strength and generative potential, the abdomen and pelvis are also vulnerable to injury from physical and emotional trauma, disease and dietary stressors.  Based on the traditional techniques of Maya midwives and healers, as taught by Dr. Rosita Arvigo, DN, Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy reduce pain and encourage healthy function of organs in the abdomen and pelvis.  Maya Abdominal Therapy -also known as Maya abdominal or uterine massage- draws upon ancient wisdom to address a range of digestive, reproductive and musculoskeletal issues including:

    • Gynecological pain
    • Fertility
    • PMS
    • Urinary incontinence
    • Painful intercourse
    • Prolapse or displacement of pelvic organs
    • Gas, bloating and constipation
    • Lower back and hip pain


Maya Abdominal Therapy honors the connection of mind, body and spirit. Therefore, it not only addresses physical symptoms, but may also inspire a more caring relationship with the belly and all that it holds.


Uterine position, in particular, is important for gynecological health and fertility.  When the uterus is displaced (i.e. straying too far away in any direction from front and center), it can compromise the circulation of blood, lymph, conduction of nerve impulses, and flow of qi- the body’s vital energy. And when circulation is compromised, our cells are not properly nourished, toxins accumulate, and eventually pain and dysfunction follow.    Maya Abdominal Therapy consists of non-invasive, external massage on the abdomen and lower back to stimulate circulation of blood, lymph and qi, and includes specialized techniques to guide the uterus into optimal anatomical position.

Maya Abdominal Therapy is renowned for its help enhancing fertility, and can be applied as a stand-alone treatment, or in combination with other modalities such as Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) and Chinese medicine.   This safe, empowering technique may support conception and feels great, too.


While practitioners may vary slightly in style and structure of a Maya Abdominal Therapy session, most adhere to the following guidelines.  Initial sessions last 90-120 minutes, and include a thorough health history and intake, treatment, as well as education for self-care between sessions.  Follow-up treatments last 60-90 minutes and may be combined with other body-work techniques, acupuncture and discussion of herbal supplements and nutrition as appropriate.

Most recipients of this technique leave the session feeling relaxed, and with a sense of greater ease and circulation in the abdomen.  Many experience noticeable relief from digestive and/or reproductive health issues within the first three treatments, which are generally scheduled every two weeks or once per month.  Some women experience an emotional release as the work can be deep, and may access patterns of holding in the body. Furthermore, the self-massage protocol can help recipients continue and deepen healing between sessions.

For more information about Maya Abdominal Therapy visit the Arvigo Institute’s websitehttps://arvigotherapy.com/.


Wishing you a very happy belly,

Bria Larson, L.Ac.


For more information about Bria, or to schedule an evaluation (We LOVE her!!)  click here. * Please note appointments may not be available until February.


menstrual pain, hormonal imbalances, fertility challenges, pregnancy , postpartum, digestive disorders, pelvic ,lower back pain, symptoms, stress, anxiety

Bria Larson, MS, LAc, FABORM is an ally in wellness and healing. Using the time-tested tools of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and Maya Abdominal Therapy, her practice specializes in women’s health from adolescence through menopause and beyond.

Bria’s interest in women’s health began with her work with adolescent girls and women in her former career as an outdoor educator and back country guide, and her passion for helping women find their healthiest and most complete selves continues to grow each year.

Bria completed her Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) in San Francisco, and is licensed as an acupuncturist in the state of California. Bria also holds national certification in acupuncture and Chinese herbology from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). She earned her BA in Art History from Williams College, MA.

Clinical training includes internships at the California Pacific Medical Center’s Stroke and Rehabilitation Center as well as the ACTCM Community Clinics. Advanced studies include Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal with Mary Elizabeth Wakefield, and a two-year post-graduate specialization certificate in Traditional Chinese Medicine Dermatology with Dr Jialing Yu.

Bria is a Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM), a certification held by only a small number of acupuncturists throughout the country.  She is also a member of the Northern California Fertility Group, a coalition of Chinese Medicine practitioners who focus on fertility and reproductive health.

In addition to her Chinese medicine training, Bria is also a trained practitioner of Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy as taught by Dr. Rosita Arvigo, DN.

When not in clinic, Bria enjoys spending time hiking, dancing or in the garden with her family.




  1. Do you know of anyone in West Michigan who can do this? I have Crohns disease, PFD, prolapse, and pudendal entrapment/neuropathy?

    Thank you! Your article gives me hope.


    1. Hello Brenda,

      Here are two pelvic floor therapists near you. Although they may not offer Maya Abdominal massage, they will still be able to help you.

      Miles Kristen PT Royal Oak MI (248) 655-3011 [email protected] Women’s Urology Center
      Veeser Catherine PT Ferndale MI (248) 655-3000 [email protected] William Beaumont Hospital

      All my best,


  2. Do you know of anyone in the Philadelphia area. I have IC, PFD (hyper toned)with trigger points and pudendal neuralgia. My trigger points were reactivated by a routine pap test. Thank you

    1. Hello Kerri,

      Below are our recommendations for your area:

      Sheth Hina PT Philadelphia PA 267-282-1301 [email protected] Rebalance Physical Therapy
      Rejba Amy MSN, CRNP Philadelphia PA 2158638100 Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute



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