One session of The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy, a form of bodywork rooted in traditional Mayan healing techniques left me empowered.
I’m obsessed with my stomach. I don’t have a six-pack. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. When I look in the mirror, often all I see is my bulging tummy, even when it’s at its flattest.
My unhealthy relationship with my stomach isn’t just external; it’s internal too. I suffer from constipation – despite eating a healthy amount of fibre – and in the past year have become prone to bouts of indigestion.
So when I heard that Como Shambhala was hosting Lisa Levine, a certified practitioner of The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy and teacher of the Arvigo Self-Care workshop, I was intrigued. More than just a tummy massage, Arvigo Therapy is also promoted as a form of self-care and said to help with everything from back pain, insomnia and menstrual cramps to constipation and infertility.
(Also read: 5 New Age Healing Methods to Soothe Your Soul)
What is The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy
This particular therapy is a fusion of Mayan shamanic medicine and naprapathy (an off-shoot of chiropractic), and the bodywork is said to gently guide internal organs into their appropriate anatomical positions for optimum health and wellbeing.
The goal here isn’t unlike TCM – improve the flow of blood, lymph, nerve pulses and ch’ulel (Maya for energy). It ultimately cleanses a congested uterine membrane and realigns the reproductive organs like the ovaries and uterus. The treatment can be performed on men too to help with a congested prostate or chronic indigestion.
(Also read: Accupoint Massages to Ease Menstrual Pain)
What it felt like
Unlike most massages where the therapist works silently at releasing knots and aching muscles, my session with Lisa was an interactive, educational one.
We spent the first part of the session discussing various women’s health issues and the importance of nurturing a mind-body connection. For some, this may sound esoteric but if you’ve ever felt butterflies in your tummy, that’s your gut instinct kicking in. Painful period cramps? That’s your body communicating it’s not at its best, and believe it or not, painful periods aren’t a given, you can do something about it.
After the chat, Lisa first used a hand-held infared heat lamp to warm up the stomach area before laying her hands on me. Using a light grapeseed oil, she guided her fingertips around various sections of the abdomen, from the upper portion to the lower pelvic area and around the navel, gently pressing into my stomach or using lymphatic drainage movements to coax out any knots or tension felt. If the idea of exposing one’s abdomen to a stranger’s touch sounds invasive, it’s quite the opposite. In reality, it was one of the most relaxing and soothing massages I’ve ever experienced.
The therapy also included a back massage to complete the realignment, but before that I had to participate in the treatment as well as part of self-care. Lisa guided my hand and fingers through various movements on my core, and I felt my body responding. The big knot in the middle of my abdomen relaxed; and the tension in my lower back gave way as I applied pressure to the groin area.
On a superficial level, I emerged rested, feeling less tense not just in my stomach but all over my body. I had a lot of energy for the rest of the day and somehow I felt like a weight had been lifted. On a deeper level, my time with Lisa gave me a lot to think about.
This was a life-changing experience, not just for the techniques learnt and their potential benefits. I was reminded of the importance of self-care techniques and to commit to carrying them out as a way of saying “I love me”.
Price: $450 for the first session (2.5 hours), $250 (subsequent session, 75 minutes)
Location: #06-01/02, Delfi Orchard
Contact: 6304-3552 or visit the website
(Also read: 4 Simple Ways to Take Care of Your Emotional Health)