Aligning the Source: Specialized Pelvic Therapies for Women
What can menstrual pains, infertility, bladder incontinence and painful intercourse all have in common?
“A malpositioned, or tipped, uterus,” says local Arvigo Practitioner and Certified Massage Therapist Megan Assaf. When the uterus leans out of place it can press into other organs and cause problems.
In fact, these symptoms are a part of a longer list which hundreds of Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy™ practitioners worldwide have reported to be consistently helped as a result of repositioning the uterus in the belly, and teaching clients how to maintain the position on their own. “It’s surprising perhaps,” says Assaf, “as we typically don’t have a cultural understanding of the concept of mal position in the West, but our modern anatomical understanding of the traditional Maya technique shows that when the uterus is out of place it can lean into blood, lymph and nerve vessels, thereby constricting their flows through the body.” Assaf goes on to state that poor flows can mean a progression of side effects such as local inflammation/acidity, reduced organ function, and possible pathology over time.
Assaf reports that in her 6 years of offering the therapy, she’s seen women shift a variety of common female complaints. “I’m not treating their pain or condition,” she says “but instead am repositioning shifted organs, stretching pelvic ligaments to support proper hip balance, and restoring proper abdominal blood and fluid circulation so that the body can become more vital.” Put simply, this work moves obstacles out of the way for the body to help itself, and as a result, symptoms can improve on their own. “My experience is that our bodies really do want to heal.”
Assaf states that the advanced technique is done externally, is non-invasive and gentle, and can be done on females in any stage of life between childhood and senior years. On occasion she has heard results which surprise her: “Once when I worked on a 5 year old girl who’d taken a bad fall, she reported her left leg pain was gone right as her uterus moved back into place.” And what if a client doesn’t have a uterus? According to Assaf, women who’ve had hysterectomies can still benefit from the same therapy to soften scar tissue and help lift the intestines off the bladder.
Additional therapies may be beneficial as well for improving internal health and the strength of abdominal and pelvic muscles. Women’s Health Physical Therapists (WHPT) who have attended extensive continuing education post graduation are in a unique position to evaluate and treat pelvic conditions.
Amy Robinson, a WHPT with 15 years of experience, agrees with Assaf that a malpositioned uterus can have devastating consequences and contribute to a myriad of seemingly unrelated symptoms. Robinson states that one of the most important areas to be evaluated first is alignment of the pelvis, hips, and lumbar regions.
Robinson states that an area that very often goes unnoticed is the pelvic floor musculature also known as the “Kegel” muscles. WHPT are able to assess the pelvic muscles and pelvic organs via an examination. It is a quick and painless examination that does not include the use of a speculum or stirrups as one would utilize at a yearly gynecology appointment. The pelvic assessment allows for identification of trigger points, increased muscle tone, strength deficits, prolapse, and coordination issues. Robinson reports research articles show more than 50% of women perform Kegels incorrectly, which further increases strain on the pelvic musculature.
Robinson also says that it is of great importance to evaluate each and every patient as a whole person instead of focusing on one localized area. Each person has her own unique past history and experiences and should therefore be treated on an individual basis.