This is an article I wrote recently for our clinic newsletter and thought I would share it with all of you online.
Fertility issues are on the rise in Canada. A recent study (2012) in the journal of Human Reproduction estimated that up to 16% of couples where the woman is 18-to 44 are experiencing infertility. This rate appears to be rising in younger women as well and numerous contributing factors have been proposed including obesity, alcohol use and sexually transmitted infections. The mental, emotional, physical, not to mention financial costs of engaging in assisted reproductive technology (ART) can be overwhelming. The health of both partners is equally important when considering fertility. Nutritional status, elimination and detoxification, hormone balance, mental health, and physiology/anatomical factors must be assessed to promote optimal health and wellness prior to conception and ART. The therapeutic modalities of acupuncture and Arvigo Techniques of Mayan Abdominal Therapy™ have found an important place in fertility enhancement. Although they are both traditional techniques employed by diverse cultures, these therapeutic modalities are gaining more research and support for their use within a conventional medical model. For instance, acupuncture is commonly practiced prior to and proceeding in-vitro fertilization procedures in many fertility centres across Canada.
Although both of these modalities have their foundation in different cultures and traditions, the guiding principle of each is the same: to establish Balance. Acupuncture is a therapy that comprises one arm of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It involves using fine needles inserted into points that fall on meridian systems that run throughout the body. Acupuncture treatment is directed at balancing Yin and Yang aspects of the body and mind. Yin and Yang are opposing forces yet undeniably inter-connected; you cannot have one without the other. Yin is nourishing, promotes development and is associated with earth, darkness, cold, and moisture. Yang is creative, expanding, movement and is associated with light, warmth, and dryness. Disease or illness in the body arises when yin and yang are not in balance and acupuncture and other TCM modalities (including herbs, diet) are implemented with the hopes of achieving balance. Acupuncture can be used to regulate the menstrual cycle and ovulation, promote embryo implantation, and promote a viable pregnancy (Betts, 2010).
The Arvigo Techniques of Mayan Abdominal Therapy™ (ATMAT) are founded on the ancient Mayan technique of abdominal massage, which is an external non-invasive manipulation that repositions internal organs that have shifted. Shifted organs can cause restriction in the flow of blood, lymph, nerve and Qi (chi). Dr. Rosita Arvigo learned these techniques from her mentor, Don Elijio Panti, the great Maya Shaman of Belize, Central America with whom she apprenticed for ten years. Don Elijio recognized the importance of the uterus and stated, "If a woman's uterus is out of balance, so is she."
By shifting the uterus back into place, homeostasis, or the natural balance of the body, is restored in the pelvic area and the surrounding organs. Maya Abdominal Therapy can be used for enhancing fertility by promoting optimal position of the uterus, which allows clearance of congestion in the pelvis and nourishes the uterine lining by promoting blood flow to this area (arvigotherapy.com). The use of ATMAT for fertility enhancement is particularly effective when used in combination with acupuncture. In addition to the physical therapeutic effects, these therapies allow the individual to reconnect with their body, engage in self-care, and promote balance of mind and soul.
If you have any questions about either of these therapies and how they are used together, please feel free to contact Kyla Wright directly. Kyla is a naturopathic doctor, acupuncture provider and is a certified practitioner of the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy.