The Arvigo Techniques
Maya Abdominal Massage

Lizzie Ruffell is based in Oxford, UK
To find a practitioner in your area or to get information about training in The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage, please go to

What is Maya Abdominal Massage?
The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage is a non-invasive external massage technique to the abdomen and pelvis that helps to guide to the internal reproductive organs into their proper position, and relieve tension in the diaphragm. The massage improves organ function by releasing physical and emotional congestion, thereby helping to re-establish health in the pelvic region.
Ixchel, Maya Goddess of healing
A History of Maya Abdominal Massage

Rosita Arvigo with Don Elijio Panti
Maya abdominal massage for the reproductive and digestive systems has been known and practiced for thousands of years, the technique having been passed down through an unbroken chain of midwives, healers and shaman, generation after generation, all over the world from Central America to Africa, Egypt and China. Sadly, this knowledge has largely been forgotten or suppressed in this century. The technique, as practiced today, was developed by Dr Rosita Arvigo. Rosita moved to Belize from America in 1981 and set up a naprapathic (a branch of chiropractic) clinic with her husband. Two years later, she met and befriended one of the last of the traditional Maya shaman, Don Elijio Panti. After some persuasion, he agreed to take her on as his apprentice and over the next 10 years, imparted to her his wisdom of the healing plants of the rainforest, traditional massage, including the abdominal techniques and spiritual healing. Don Elijio passed away in 1996, aged 103. Since this time Rosita has taken the knowledge she learned from him, and combined it with her Western naprapathic and herbal training to form the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage.
The Benefits of Maya Abdominal Massage
When the uterus is out of position the vital flow of blood, lymph, nerve impulse and chi to the pelvic area is compromised. It can also cause pooling of blood and uterine lining within the womb, which would normally be expelled during menstruation. This pooling can lead to abnormal growth within the uterus and menstrual cramping.
The technique is performed on the abdomen and pelvis to help bring the uterus into its proper position, soften musculature, release tension in the diaphragm, align the pelvis and release muscular armouring in the trunk. This has the effect of enhancing the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids, and the elimination and secretion of hormones, thereby re-establishing homeostasis in the pelvic area and surrounding organs. All of these are essential for genreal pelvic health as well as healthy conception, pregnancy and delivery. When the diaphragm is tight it can constrict blood flow to the lower half of the body by as much as 40% which is a factor in varicose veins, aching, tingling legs and sore feet and heels. As the oesophagus passes through the diaphragm, constriction will also lead to digestive problems including chronic indigestion and heartburn. If the pelvis is misaligned it will be hampering the flow of nerve impulse to the lower abdominal area as the main nerves, which enervate the pelvic area, pass through the sacral foramen. When the pelvis is misaligned it can also affect the position that the baby will find it comfortable to lie in during pregnancy.
The massage is very comprehensive and works on the physical, emotional and spiritual level helping bring the body back into balance and harmony. Practitioners have reported as much as 50% success rate for natural conception when working with couples experiencing fertility problems and many a woman has managed to save her uterus from hysterectomy through rigorous self-care and professional treatment. There is a big emphasis on clients doing self–care – massaging their own belly on a daily basis to aid healing with support from professional instruction. This enables women to empower themselves around their health and not just pass it over to others. The abdomen has been ignored for too long and it is time that as a society we start to recognise the importance of health within this area. The technique is also useful for men as it helps to guard against prostate cancer and protects their pelvic and sexual health.

Symptoms of a Displaced Uterus

Retroverted Uterus Retroflexed Uterus

Anteflexed Uterus Retrocessed Uterus
Some of the common symptoms, which can be helped by Maya Abdominal Massage and may indicate a displaced uterus, tight diaphragm or twisted pelvis include the following:
  • Painful or irregular periods and ovulation
  • Dark, thick fluids at the beginning & end of menses
  • Amenorrhoea/Dismenorrhoea
  • Headaches/ Dizziness with menses
  • PMS
  • Endometriosis/Endometritis
  • Uterine polyps
  • Ovarian cysts/Fibroids
  • Vaginitis
  • Uterine infections
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Difficult menopause
  • Painful intercourse
  • Infertility
  • Difficult pregnancy & delivery
  • Premature deliveries
  • Weak newborn infants
  • Lower back ache
  • Tired legs, numb feet/ Sore heals
  • Varicose veins
  • Chronic indigestion/Heartburn
  • Chronic constipation
  • Gastritis
  • Frequent or painful urination
  • Bladder infections
  • Causes of a Displaced Uterus
    Western medicine has not recognised as yet how important the health of the abdomen, and in particular the positioning of the uterus, is to women’s health and has little to offer. It is estimated that as many as 80% of women have a displaced or fallen uterus. The uterus is suspended by ligaments, which allow it to stretch and grow during pregnancy and move freely when the bladder and bowel become full. These ligaments can weaken and loosen causing the uterus to move out of position. Some common reasons for a uterus becoming displaced include falls at any time of life, car accidents, wearing high heels, walking barefoot on cold floors, running on cement surfaces, high-impact aerobics, dancing, horse-riding and gymnastics, carrying heavy burdens during menstruation and too soon after childbirth, difficult labour and birth, weak pelvic floor, surgery to the pelvic region, chronic constipation and emotional armouring from rape or sexual abuse.
    Contra-indications to Treatment
    This treatment is not recommended during menses, where an IUD is present, during the first 19wks of pregnancy, immediately after abdominal surgery, or where an active infection or cancer is present in the pelvic region.
    Cost and What to Expect in a Session
    Once you have booked a session you will be sent a consultation form to fill in and send back. The first session will last around 2 hours and will include a comprehensive review of your consultation form, the abdominal massage which focuses on aligning your abdominal/ reproductive organs and pelvis (additional complementary techniques such as massage and spiritual healing may also be used), instruction in self care techniques which can be used at home to enhances the treatment and possible recommendations for lifestyle/ dietary changes and herbal remedies/other natural products that may enhance the effect of treatment. Follow-up care depends on your individual goals and the results from treatments. You can expect to need from 2 to 4 treatments or more. In some women damage to the ligaments is so severe that correction by this method is no longer possible. We will work together to ensure that your individual health care needs are addressed.
    Cost of first session - £70 (2 hours)
    Cost of subsequent sessions - £45 (1.5 hours)

    Lizzie Ruffell with Rosita Arvigo

    More information about the Arvigo Techniques of Abdominal Massage can be found at

    To book a treatment please contact
    Lizzie Ruffell on Oxford (01865)-725776
    or e-mail