The other day I came across an article in Mothering magazine about Maya Abdominal Massage that really intrigued me. Coming across this article was quite serendipitous as I had just started my first post-partum period, and I was certainly not comfortable! I have always been told my uterus is "tilted" towards the back, so reading about how this massage technique has been shown to correct the incorrect alignment of the uterus came as welcome news. It has also been shown to help with so many of the things that makes us dread that time of month: headaches, cramping, bloating, digestive disturbances...the list goes on. Another benefit is that it has been shown to help some women who are experiencing infertility get pregnant. And during pregnancy it helps keep the uterus properly aligned so that the birth is effective and smooth.
The thing that really intrigued me was that this massage technique can also help the uterus heal after birth and if the woman has had a c-section it can help heal and soften the scar tissue. I'm all for doing whatever I can to help in that area! I still shudder when I think about my poor uterus being cut open!
Anyways, this technique is based on the Mayan belief that the uterus is the core of a woman's body, and if it is off-centre or unbalanced it can cause disturbances in other areas of the body. Pretty interesting stuff. I want to do everything possible to help that area of my body heal, so I was convinced to give it a try. I asked my Naturopath for a recommendation and I booked an appointment with one of the 2 certified practitioners here in Nova Scotia. Luckily, they called me off the cancellation list and I got to experience my first Maya Massage today and it was amazing. I have to admit that I wasn't sure what the massage itself would be like...but it was very low key and not intrusive at all. I wore comfy, loose fitting clothes (a long sleeved shirt and my yoga pants). I laid down on a massage table with a pillow propped under my knees and the practitioner massaged my abdomen and my back.
It was very strange to have a massage focused around the uterus, it made me realize that we really do not pay it as much undivided attention as it deserves. The only attention the poor uterus gets is either during our period (where we usually complain about the pain it's causing us) or during pregnancy (but then the attention is actually mostly towards the little baby growing inside and the poor uterus gets pushed to the back burner!). I really enjoyed the experience and found it very relaxing. My uterus is in fact tilted back and actually leaning towards my right side, so I am glad I am doing this to help. One of the cool things about this technique is that there is a self-care component. Dr. Joshi taught me how to do a basic daily massage to improve and quicken the process. I hope to see improvements sooner than later.
Oh and I can't run anymore. Instead, biking, walking or swimming are better alternatives. Running is just too strenuous and causes too much impact on the ligaments and tendons that hold everything in place, so it can prevent or hinder any progress. I do enjoy running, but I'm OK with it if it means seeing improvements. I am actually looking forward to cleaning off my bike and getting it back on the road! Plus, it's something Ken and I can do together too. Plus, I do love yoga as well, so I would love to get into practicing yoga more.
Well, if you've managed to read this far, kudos! I wanted to share this info in case there was someone else out there who is experiencing some of the issues listed above and looking for some solutions, hopefully this has helped! If you're interested in learning more or giving it a try check out the Maya Abdominal Massage website for more details and a listing of registered practitioners.
Photo: The Mayan goddess Ixchel surrounded by the different moon phases. Photo from Birth Wisdom.