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Love and Acupuncture

February is nearly here- the month where the focus is on love. While sending love to others is a wonderful idea, it’s also the ideal time to think about love for yourself, especially your body. The best way to show your body some love it is to take care of it.

Your body wants to be healthy, and to function at its best. When you are sick or hurt, your body does everything it can to heal itself. The excess phlegm when you have a cold? Your body attacking the virus. That cut that healed in a week? Your cells working hard to make you whole again. The human body is pretty incredible, and should be treated properly.

-Nourish yourself with proper food. Eat organic foods, and prepare them yourself.  When you put time and thought into nutritious meals, you appreciate the food more. It also makes you more aware of the nutritional choices going into your body (unlike processed foods, where you often have no idea!).

-Exercise is absolutely necessary for your body and for your mind. Releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine makes you feel good while losing fat and toning muscles. What better way to spend your lunch hour several days a week? And check out this Science Daily article if you are having second thoughts on exercise. New brain cells, anyone?

-Acupuncture allow healing both physically and mentally. By clearing your mind, you help to “reset” your body physically. Letting go of unnecessary stress loosens muscles, releases endorphins, and puts the body in a state of relaxed bliss.

-Massage centers and relaxes the body.  During a session, you become aware of the parts that need more attention or may be tender. I always end my treatments with some massage – usually facial, scalp or shoulders, to help ground and center my patients (and who doesn’t like massage on a nice warm treatment table?)

Respect your body by treating it right. Follow those basic rules we hear again and again: nourish your body with good food, exercise, and promote general well-being by getting acupuncture or a massage. You have to give a little love to get a little love- your body will thank you for it!


p.s. Worried about loving the new shape of your post-baby body? Check out the Zenana Spa blog for ideas- so great!





Maya Abdominal Massage in Portland

Photo by Jon Haynes Photography

Maya abdominal massage is a massage technique based on repositioning internal organs that have shifted, creating improved blood, energy, and lymph flow throughout the pelvic cavity. This massage is very beneficial for women, as our abdomens tend to go through many stages in life. For a few decades, we have monthly cycles that shift and change as we age, our abdominal muscles stretch (then retract) as we become pregnant, give birth, and live life in general.

I was fortunate to connect with Dr. Carrie Jones of Natural Women’s Health Care clinic in Sherwood, Oregon, and ask her a few questions about this therapeutic massage.

Where did you learn this wonderful technique?

I learned this massage from Rosita Arvigo herself. She does trainings at her clinic in Belize as well as on the east coast, Colorado and in Oregon. You can find out more about trainings, or find other practitioners in your area by heading to this site:

Who benefits from Maya Abdominal Massage?

The massage can help women of all ages.  It's great for younger women who have heavy periods or painful periods. It's very beneficial to those looking to become pregnant, as it improves circulation, lymphatic and nerve flow to the pelvic area as well as corrects uterine displacement.  For women who are currently pregnant, it can be really helpful for back and leg pain, abdominal heaviness associated with a growing baby, and make for a smoother birth.  I also have menopausal women who experience prolapse or urinary incontinence and want to improve the health of the area.

The massage can be very helpful to the menstrual cycle and is amazing at relieving cramps.  Because all that fresh blood, oxygen, lymph and nerve flow is moving through the area, women will report that their first period after the massage is more 'cleansing' in that it's a bit heavier with more clots.  After that it's usually a lot smoother.  I also find that women with endometriosis benefit from the work because the massage works right over the abdomen and can be helpful in reducing adhesions.

What should a patient expect from the initial session?

3) During the first session, we usually have an initial consultation where I get a better understanding of their lifestyle, menstrual cycle, overall health and their goals with the massage. I explain what I'm going to do then we begin!  It's like a traditional massage in some aspects as you lay on a massage table and usually undress so that I have access to the entire back down to the hip and tailbone and then over the stomach area.  The massage generally lasts 35-45 minutes depending on findings.  Like a traditional massage, many of my patients fall asleep or zone out while I'm working.

What can I expect from this massage?

5) The massage is all external over the skin. There is no internal work like during a gynecological exam.  Even then, it can be deeply personal or even ticklish to many women as our bellies aren't often touched. I can work right over smooth clothing for the first massage, and want the massage experience to be as comfortable as possible.

Be aware that the following times and patients are not good candidates:

  • During menstrual bleeding
  • Within the first 6 weeks following a normal vaginal delivery or the first 3 months after a c-section
  • For a woman using an IUD for birth control
  • If cancer is present or suspected anywhere in the pelvis, or the client is undergoing chemotherapy for this condition
  • During the first trimester of pregnancy
  • Hiatal Hernia – gentle touch only

Portland-based therapists who offer Mayan massage:

-Dr. Carrie Jones of Natural Women's Health Care clinic in Sherwood

-Tami Kent, MSPT who is also the author of the book Wild Feminine, is a practitioner here in East Portland, Oregon. She also offers other services to improve pelvic health for women- check out her  Wild Feminine website for more information.

-Dr. Sara Wylie of Kwan Yin Healing Arts and Red Blossom blog wrote a post dedicated to Mayan abdominal massage, including what Maya Abdominal Massage can treat, and another wonderful post on preparation for birth with the massage techniques. Sara also provides great tips and strategies in preparing for birth using abdominal massage.