Growing up in the US, I think many young girls see the beginning of menstruation as a dreaded thing. Older sisters or parents share about the pain, inconvenience, weight gain and other troubles associated with our period. These young women then form a belief of what to expect which usually is not good.
In other cultures and historically the beginning of menstruation is not only celebrated, but the female reproductive system and that “time of the month” is honored in a way that we do not do here in the United States.
Rosita Arvigo, a naprapathic physician and herbalist, was the first to bring this concept and a specific Uterine Therapy called Arvigo Technique back to the United States. For thirty years, she studied and lived in Belize where she learned about the rainforest’s medicinal plants and Mayan medicine with her mentor Don Elijio Panti. Don Elijio or “Papa” as he is referred to died at 103 years of age but only after decades of treating patients. People would travel from all over the Yucatan to receive Don Elijio’s medicines and specific abdominal therapy. He believed the uterus was the center of the woman and if mis-aligned, could cause a range of symptoms including migraines, PMS, depression, low back pain, bladder problems, vaginal infections, constipation, uterine fibroids, painful intercourse, painful periods, irregular cycles, infertility and even leg problems like varicose veins.
This therapy really intrigued me and I was blessed to learn and work with Deb Monteleone, a Nurse and student of Dr. Arvigo who radically improved her own health with this technique. I became a client and student of Deb’s and have experienced huge success in my own female health as well as have been able to lead my clients to use this resource. Not only have I seen women get pregnant who couldn’t for years but even men have benefited from this simple belly massage that helps to decongest the “garbage system” lymphatic drainage and improve their bowel and prostate health.
From the ages of 13-23 I suffered like many women during their period with cramping, bloating, moodiness and headaches. I took what many young girls and women turn to Over the Counter pain meds and it helped some. At 23, I began my journey into Natural Medicine and coincidently started having less and less symptoms. At 25, I started getting bi-yearly Arvigo techniques and today I rarely have cramps or moodiness and if I do, I have a simple solution to fix it.
How do you know if you have a mis-aligned uterus? Well, I haven’t found many women who don’t have some mis-alignment but look at the symptoms 3 paragraphs above and see if you struggle with any of that. The uterine technique although can be a bit painful, like a massage, it is very professional and all external.
Arvigo Technique is much more than a massage; there are nutritional, herbal, and spiritual components. When you start researching it on your own, you might find because of your faith, you may want to turn your back on this technique. But I am going to tell you to wait and don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Find an Arvigo practitioner that will respect your wishes and belief system because the basic technique really could help you or someone you love.
Like my friend Pam, a strong Christian woman who was suffering from frequent bathroom trips causing her to wake up several times a night. She found another Christian who knew the basic technique and after just one treatment she said “I slept the whole night through and haven’t had to use the bathroom all the time.”
Arvigo Therapy requires a certification and is practiced by doctors, nurses, massage therapist, Chiropractors, and even some Physical Therapists.
Here are some other things that I found help reduce my PMS and Period Symptoms:
Rest and Refrain: In some cultures, when a woman get’s her period, she is not expected to carry on with heavy physical work or activities. I do my best not to work out heavy, lift heavy objects or even carry my 30 pound son a lot the first day of my period. I really do think “taking it easy” the first day or two of your period is important. If I have to do heavy lifting I wear a bellyband to help keep my uterus in place. A bellyband can be bought at a pregnancy store but you can use anything that will help keep your abdomen pulled in like Spanx.
I also expect your body to be a little more tired, so give it extra sleep or even schedule a nap in during the first day or two of your period.
Decrease Caffeine: I notice that caffeine increases cramping especially if I drink it during my period but also other times of the month I will get a little more cramping. This may be due to dehydration.
Increase Water: Having a hydrated body is important before and during your period.
Decrease Carbs and Dairy: This made a huge difference in my female health. If you struggle with sugar or dairy addiction, slowly start to reduce your intake and see if it makes a difference. If you need more help, think about getting my E-book on Sugar Addiction “10 Hidden Secrets Why You Can’t Keep Your Hand out of the Cookie Jar” in our Health library.
Use Essential Oils: Some of my favorite essential oils for combating cramping is Dragon Time. By simply placing 1-3 drops on the lower abdomen and a drop around the inside and outside of the ankle really can make a difference in your symptoms in just 30 minutes or less. Be sure to keep using it throughout the days when it’s the worse.
Get your Vitamins and Minerals: Although it’s a natural process, getting your period can stress the body a little bit. So being sure you have plenty of vitamins and minerals in your system are important. I found that NingXia Red and even Flouradix (a natural iron and B supplement) really help during this time of the month.
Chiropractic Adjustments: When the joints in the low back, sacrum and hip joints are out of alignment this can not only increase pain, but cause an increase of abnormal firing into the spine and surrounding tissues and organs. When I started in Chiropractic school and getting regular adjustments, I noticed a big improvement in my periods. Chiropractic care is very beneficial for helping to balance your body’s systems.
Getting your Hormones Checked: I have had clients tell me that they can only really function well 2 weeks out of a month and the other 2 weeks are plagued with bi-polar type mania and depression, migraines, cramping and fatigue that they know are associated with their cycle. All the symptoms sound hormonal. In one client’s case, she lived for years like this because her family doc hadn’t found any solutions yet.
Sometimes you will need to search out specialists in Women’s Health and Hormone balance. This might be an Endocrinologist, a really good GYN doc, or even a Chiropractor who specializes in women’s hormone health. Locally in Central NY, Dr. Sherrie Veinciek believes that we can’t just look at hormones but also the adrenal glands, thyroid, neuroreceptors, diet and allergens. Her work has helped hundreds of women not only reduce or eliminate PMS, but also reduce menopausal symptoms and more.
It is my hope and prayer that this information will cause women who suffer to look into some or all of these solutions for better health. You do not have to suffer. I truly believe it.
Would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
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