Menstrual Cycle Support:
Did you know that your womb contains 3 layers of muscles? Just like other muscles in the body, the womb can feel sore, achy, inflammed and congested… particularly around your period.
It also has many ligaments which surround and suspend it inside your lower belly, like a puppet on strings, or sitting in a hammock. These ligaments can get adhered, too tight, or too relaxed as a result of injury, vigorous exercises, physical or sexual trauma, surgery, or sudden impacts to the womb.
While the womb is designed to be flexible in it’s position, leaning out of the way as needed for a full bowel or bladder, or expanding in pregnancy, it is not without consequence when it moves too far off center.
If it falls off center, into poor posture in the pelvis, this can impact it’s ability to menstruate efficiently (as well as a host of other symptoms!). Malposition of the womb can also impact surrounding organs by leaning into them, as well as pelvic bone alignment by pulling on them through the ligaments.
Because of all this, a womb massage – which is a gentle, external massage done modestly on the lower belly – can help to decongest and posturally support the womb in a centered position, and is a valuable part of every woman’s wellness tool kit.
The womb is a keystone to a woman’s pelvic health. Understanding this, and how to care for it, is a birthright to every woman of any age.
Common symptoms of poor womb posture and congestion as relates to menstrual cycles:
– a painful lower belly
– painful cramping
– leg pains or sudden leg weakness down one side
– swollen legs or ankles
– dark, clotty, or stringy menstrual blood
– bleeding too much or too little, too short or too long
– irregular bleeding
– frequent vaginal or bladder infections, particularly before the period when immunity is lowest
– a feeling of heaviness or extra ‘dragging’ in the pelvis just before or on the period
– tender tailbone, pressure in the tailbone
– painful bowel movements
– skinny stools, or liquid stools before and on the period
– uncomfortable or difficult tampon insertion
– vomiting or passing out while cramping
– bladder or intestinal spasms with cramping
– natural methods to help the periods will work for a little while, then stop working so much.
If you know how to understand these symptoms as potential indicators of poor womb posture and congestion, and what to do about it, you will have valuable information that can serve you for the rest of your life.
I am not a medical practitioner. I cannot diagnose, treat, or proscribe for the womb. I see my role is to provide skilled manual therapy, educate, and support women in discovering their next step in personal womb wellbeing. Working with your womb to help bring about positive changes to your cycles takes a willingness to learn and do self care. But the benefits are many!
What happens in a session?
I will talk with you about your menses history and challenges, do the Maya Abdominal Massage that addresses your womb posture and womb muscle congestion, and also teach you traditional concepts of womb care that are specific to your concerns and goals. I will show you a massage to apply to yourself between sessions to continue the benefits at home.
During your session, I massage gently, externally, and modestly on the lower belly, hips and low back. Your comfort is always attended.
Our menstrual difficulties are not something to normalize. They are the body signaling that wise attention is needed to understand the source of our pain, and address it.
Ultimately, it is my goal to empower you in your own womb care, so that you can understand your womb and help yourself on your own for the rest of your life with these simple, yet profound, time tested traditional skills.
There is a lot to learn about this modality. Click here for more info: #3) Maya Abdominal Massage
Preconception, Pregnancy, Postpartum …
Your childbearing journey is one of the most dramatic times of physical, emotional, and energetic changes you will experience in life as a woman.
Having compassionate, skillful support along the way makes a huge difference in physical comfort, bonding with your child, and integration of yourself as a mother.
I offer specific massage therapy to support your journey from before conception through to 2 years postpartum.
You are unique, and your sessions will be tailored to your specific needs and stage in this journey.
There is much traditional information on preparing the body for conception and enhancing natural fertility!
I offer specific manual therapy geared to help the mechanical posture and muscular/energetic vitality of your womb. I also educate you about a fertility friendly lifestyle.
I encourage a minimum of three sessions over three months to support this process, but I will work with whatever schedule you feel correct about.
I work with women who come to work with their fertility from a variety of angles: ‘natural’ enhancement as well as those persuing Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) such as IVF and IUI. (Many fertility clinics in big cities offer this work in house because they understand that it increases successful outcomes.)
BENEFITS OF MASSAGE PRE-CONCEPTION:
– gentle, external, non-invasive massage of the womb to support a balanced posture for unobstructed conception pathway, and decongest soft tissues in the pelvis
– increases blood, lymph, and energy flow to the womb, ovaries, and their ligaments
– helps balance pelvic and sacral ligaments
– reduces and helps resolve scar tissue and adhesions from previous abdominal surgeries, cesarean births, or endometriosis to increase abdominal circulation and help open the conception pathway
– supports healthy ovulation and menstruation
– supports healthy digestion and elimination
– increases awareness and connection to this part of the body in postive ways
– can release old, stagnant energies and tensions from the womb
– can improve conception outcomes, whether naturally or with reproductive assistance technologies, like IUI and IVF
I am able to safely work with you during all three trimesters. However, most women choose to start at the beginning of their second trimester.
Women typically come once a month for a session, during which time I address the aches and pains of the changing body, assess posture and teach positional support for comfort at home.
At 20 weeks we can begin the Pregnancy Maya Abdominal Massage Therapy which can support proper womb alignment for mechanical efficiency of the womb in all it’s tasks. As labor nears, I teach you skills to do at home to support your preparation. For the 9th month, I recommend two sessions, one at 37-38 weeks and one at 40.
BENEFITS OF PREGNANCY MASSAGE:
– relieves structural and muscular pain, sciatica
– supports proper pelvic and sacral ligament balance
– relieves excess fluid retention/edema
– eases constipation, gas, heartburn, improves digestion
– increases muscle tone and flexibility
– reduces discomfort in uterine ligaments
– promotes relaxation and reduces stress and anxiety
– increases oxytocin which fosters loving bonding with baby
– may help release emotional tension and resolve trauma
– increases body awareness and confidence in the body to do what it knows how to do
– supports the growing baby by increasing blood, lymph, nerve and energy flow to the womb
– supports optimal orientation of baby in the womb, especially in the last 6 weeks
– supports optimal womb posture in pelvis for a more efficient labor
– if requested, Spurgeon MethodTM breast massage may be included to reduce achy swelling breasts
– may improve labor outcomes
In postpartum, your soft tissues, hormones, and energy contracts, causing much change.
Traditional wisdom for this time says proper support for the weeks after birth are key to restoring a new mom’s vitality. Modern wisdom is that it can take up to 2 years post birth to be fully restored from a soft tissue perspective! This is not a time in life to stop self care. It’s now considered the ‘fourth trimester’ showing how important a stage of transition it is… and that it takes longer than we think.
If you gave birth through cesarean, we can begin working together (including scar tissue therapy) at 8 weeks. If you gave birth vaginally, it is very helpful to have a Maya Abdominal Massage session within the first 8 weeks post birth. I recommend that while pregnant, you plan ahead, and schedule your first postpartum session for around 8 weeks, so support is already organized.
BENEFITS OF POSTPARTUM MASSAGE:
– balances womb posture and supports involution process in pelvis post delivery
– helps restore uterine ligament balance
– helps restore pelvic ligament balance
– reduces cesarean birth scarring
– reduces muscle pain and strain in the low back, sacral ligament, coccyx ligament and surrounding tissues
– alleviates tension and soreness from ‘new mom’ achey shoulders, neck, and back from breastfeeding and carrying the newborn
– helps relieve emotional tension and anxiety to better integrate a difficult birth experience
– provides much needed energetic nourishment and relaxation
– if requested, we can include the Spurgeon Method breast massage for achy postpartum/breastfeeding/weaning breasts
– improves postpartum outcomes
** For pregnant clients, I offer a complimentary 30 min. CranioSacral Therapy session for their infant within the first 6 months.
If your child has tongue tie, latching issues, muscular tightness such as torticollis,
I am happy to refer you to a local expert for further support.
All photos and images and text copyright 2019 Megan Assaf.
Do not reproduce without permission.