Endometriosis and Mayan Abdominal Massage
Throughout the month of March we have been promoting awareness of Endometriosis. This is a painful, sometimes debilitating condition that can cause fertility problems. It has been estimated that it affects 10-15% of women between the ages of 24 -40 years of age. However, the numbers are most likely even higher as it often takes many years to get properly diagnosed. This is a significant number of women of reproductive age affected.
Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus, the endometrium, grows outside of the uterus. This tissue is usually found throughout the abdomen: on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and on ligaments that support the uterus. It can also occur on the bladder or colon. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond the pelvic organs.
Symptoms of Endometriosis include painful periods, heavy bleeding, painful intercourse, pain with bowel movements or urination, and other symptoms such as constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, fatigue, and bloating. Endometriosis can cause chronic pain, as well as infertility. It can also cause an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, a potentially life-threatening condition when a pregnancy grows outside of the uterus, often in the fallopian tubes.
Endometriosis is diagnosed by exploratory surgery at which time the surgeon can remove the tissue. Unfortunately, these surgeries can also cause the development of scar tissue and adhesions. Also, the endometrial tissue will sometimes grow back after being removed.
Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition that can cause tissues to fuse together, resulting in adhesions. Adhesions are scar tissue that forms between abdominal tissues and organs. Normally internal tissues and organs have slippery surfaces, which allow them to shift easily as the body moves. Adhesions cause tissues and organs to stick together. Many women with endometriosis have organs that are fused together, For example, the uterus and bowel or the uterus and bladder. Furthermore, nerves can be entrapped within adhesions causing pain in the pelvis.
Some common problems caused by adhesions :
- Pain due to restricted mobility of organs in the pelvic area, ie uterus and bowels.
- Nerve entrapment can cause pain
- Bladder problems. Adhesions can reduce the capacity and function of the bladder causing pain and urinary frequency
- Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia) This can be caused when ovaries become stuck down by scar tissue and can result in pain with deep penetration
- Abdominal adhesions can cause infertility by preventing the fertilized egg from reaching the uterus.
- Infertility due to scarring can result in the ovaries being displaced from their normal position or in the blockage of the fallopian tubes.
How can Mayan Abdominal Massage help with Endometriosis?
Gentle massage helps to loosen adhesions and scar tissue. Massage increases blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. Therefore increasing nutrient and oxygen-rich blood to the tissues.
Improved Lymphatic Flow
The lymphatic removes waste and toxins from the spaces between cells and eliminates them. This system is easily “clogged”. There is a theory that endometriosis is spread through the lymphatic system. Improving lymphatic flow can help wash it away.
A misaligned uterus restricts blood and lymphatic flow. Waste products build up between tissues causing cramping and spasms
Mayan Abdominal Massage is very soothing and relaxing. It reduces stress and pain. Activates the parasympathetic response (rest and repair) that allows for healing to take place.
Endometriosis is a painful, often chronic condition that can be very distressing and can negatively affect one's quality of life. Often it takes many years to get a diagnosis. It is not unusual for the person with endometriosis to be emotionally disconnected from their pelvic region in response to chronic pain. Not unusual to feel ‘cut off ”from that area that is causing pain and disappointment. Mayan Abdominal Massage brings positive intent and healing to this area of the body that does not get a lot of love and attention. In my years of practice offering Mayan Abdominal Massage, I have seen a dramatic reduction of pain in clients that committed to a regular series of treatments. Ideally 2-3 sessions a month for a minimum of a 3 month period. Of course, I recommend that clients with endometriosis also receive supportive acupuncture and laser treatments. Dietary changes, nutritional supplements and herbs are also important healing tools for this complex condition.