Belly Massage

In 2013 I embarked on a series of belly-related training, starting with the Self Care course of Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy™.

They practically begged me (and my friend and colleague Jackie) to go on to practitioner's level, which I was planning to do anyway. I first looked at this during my pregnancy massage training 10 years ago, but was put off by the cost. It is a big investment, but at least I can now train in England rather than Belize. I continued Arvigo training with the Practitioner, Certification and Pregnancy course. (But Belize is calling, anyway).

I have also been at a "Love Your Guts" seminar, the first of three. We looked at, and worked on, all the layers of our belly, from the skin to the muscles in front of the spine, plus breath, lymphatic and energy work. Very powerful! The next two Love Your Guts seminars are specifically on the digestive system and the pelvis. Unfortunately there is no date scheduled yet.

What does that mean for you, actual or potential clients, members of the public? Even I, who had not had any abdominal surgery, digestive or other problems, found this work very moving (in more than one way). So you don't need to have anything wrong with you to benefit hugely …

However, belly massage could really help you, for instance, post-surgery, with IBS, diverticulitis,  constipation, endometriosis, asthma, back and hip problems. If you think about it, the belly is the centre of our body,

  • it houses our guts, liver, kidneys and pelvic organs,
  • is connected to our lungs via the diaphragm,
  • is enveloped in layers of fascia that extend everywhere in our body,
  • has major blood and lymph vessels,
  • has major postural muscles,

so helping everything to be at ease will affect you on many levels. And in case you are wondering, it is safe and effective in pregnancy, too. There are only a few conditions where it's definitely not advised, but if you had those you would not be wondering about having a massage, you would be very ill (acute inflammatory conditions, aortic aneurysm, heart failure).

This massage is not of the quiet kind, you will learn about your guts, be encouraged to engage with your belly, breathe and connect, we will work together, go on a journey, be curious and playful, light-hearted and serious, go with the flow ...

What to do after surgery?

After (abdominal) surgery it is best to start with Manual Lymph Drainage and Deep Oscillation as soon as possible. This will help with the initial healing, take away swelling and will help you to cope better with your operation. After 3-4 weeks it is good to switch to massage and/or myofascial release that will help to prevent adhesions (stickiness of the tissues) and support your belly to heal in the best way possible. After 4 weeks the scar will not open again. If you think about it, belly massage will be no more vigorous or straining than coughing, straining on the toilet (might prevent even prevent or cure that!) or just doing exercise.

There are many different ways to massage your belly:

  • just hold your belly, connect with it. Send your belly some love and healing.
  • breathe abdominally, massage your guts with your diaphragm
  • gently massage your belly in a clock-wise direction
  • take up belly dancing 
  • do the "I Love You" stroke on yourself*, here are the instructions
    • lie down in a warm comfortable position. You can use a natural massage oil, or massage over your clothes.
    • trace the letter I on the left side of your belly from the rib cage to the hip bone
    • for the letter L glide from your side of your rib cage to the left side, and from there to your left hip bone.
    • write the letter U from your right hip bone to your right rib cage (ascending colon), across the belly (following the transverse colon) then towards your left hip bone.
    • when you look at your belly (bit of a strain in the neck) you could read  the letters you wrote to yourself - I L U. Always stroke clockwise.
    • say the words "I love you" out laud.

or have your belly massaged with ...

* The "I Love You" stroke was invented by Vimala McClure, the founder of the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM).

You might also be interested in

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List of treatments
Myofascial Release (MFR) - Saving Hands massage -
Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® - ATMAT -
- Seated Acupressure - Indian Head Massage - Pulsing - Reiki -
- Reflexology - Tsuboki Foot Massage - Hopi Ear Candles -
Hot and Cold Stone Massage - Myofascial dry cupping -
Aromatherapy Massage - Aromatherapy Lymphatic Massage (ALM) -
- Fertility Massage - Pregnancy Massage - Post-natal Massage -
- Dorn Method - Breuss Massage -
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) - Deep Oscillation -
- Holistic Facial - Face Vitality - Total Detox -

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