I have been privileged and honored to spend the time since July of 2013 studying and becoming part of the Arvigo® community. The Arvigo® Techniques of Mayan Abdominal Therapy (ATMAT®) are derived from ancient techniques of abdominal massage from the dear people of Central America. Dr. Rosita Arvigo is a doctor of napropathy, and at the age of 44, walked through the jungle of Belize with a machete in search of the Mayan shaman, Don Elijio Panti. Don Elijio initially was not interested in working with a gringa, but he eventually recognized Dr. Arvigo’s sharp mind, generous heart, and deep respect for the knowledge of traditional healers. Dr. Arvigo learned the abdominal massage and added several protocols for working on the client’s back. She codified it and, with the blessing of Don Elijio began teaching to other licensed health care providers. Today, the community of ATMAT® practitioners is worldwide, and filled with generous and knowledgeable care givers, and I am a proud member of this vibrant and diverse community.
The therapy usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour and focuses on the structures of the abdomen and the pelvic region. The work seeks to free blockages in the pelvic bowl, and increase blood, nervous system, and lymph flow through the area. It is ideal for pre-conception, pregnancy, and postpartum recovery, as it helps to gently realign the uterus in the pelvis, ease congestion, and gently stretch hips and sacrum back into balance. Many women report easing of typical symptoms of pregnancy and postpartum (digestive distress, pelvic pain, low back pain, etc.), as well as experiencing less bleeding and faster recovery from birth.
A key component of the therapy is the teaching of self-care techniques. This moves the power of the techniques right into the hands of the clients, and they can continue the benefits of the therapy on their own, in between sessions with a professional care provider.
I offer Arvigo® sessions for any pregnant or postpartum clients, regardless of their planned place of birth. My own home birth clients receive multiple sessions throughout their pregnancies, and postpartum, as well as encouragement and instruction in using the self-care techniques. I am one of only a small handful of practitioners in the state, and have completed the entire series of classes and am now fully certified. Additionally, I offer a free session to anyone who is within six weeks of a pregnancy loss.