I Tried Mayan Abdominal Massage, And My Body Has Never Felt Better

Cue sentimental commercial background music: If you or a loved one suffer from abdominal cramping, constipation, loose stools, weird periods, low back pain, PCOS, or basically anything related to your abdomen, Mayan Abdominal Massage may be for you!

I’m no stranger to massage therapy — my dad is a massage therapist, and massage is my go-to whenever I’m sore, stressed, or just inexplicably out of sorts. I’d never heard of Mayan abdominal massage therapy before, but as a Portlander I bought into it immediately — natural/holistic medicine is huge here.

If you’ve never heard of this unique form of massage before, you’re probably wondering — what is it, how can it help you, and most importantly, does it work? (Short answer, yes. A resounding yes.)


What Is Mayan Abdominal Massage Therapy?

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The goal of Mayan abdominal massage is to “reposition internal organs that have shifted, thereby restricting the flow of blood, lymph, nerve and chi.” It’s an ancient practice intended to enforce correct positioning of the uterus, which many believe to be a woman’s “center.” 

The uterus can shift or become tilted due to a variety of things, from giving birth to just lifting heavy weights. The symptoms of an out-of-place uterus are as varied as the causes, and can range from irregular/painful periods to miscarriages, ovarian cysts, and lower back pain.

My Experience

I had never had a Mayan abdominal massage before, and I didn’t fully know what to expect going into it. I got my massage at Open Hand Health in Portland (they were great — if you’re in the area, definitely check them out).

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The first session is 90 minutes, and consists of a 30-minute consultation followed by a 60-minute abdominal massage. I was really impressed with how in-depth my therapist went in the consultation. We talked about literally everything from my PCOS to my low back pain, loose stools, life stressors and even past traumas. She asked very pointed questions about my physical, mental, and emotional health, and I felt comfortable with her instantly.

After that super detailed consultation, we started the massage. It was intense. Like, really intense. I have a fairly high pain tolerance so I never asked her to stop at any point, but she was constantly communicating with me throughout the massage, which I appreciated. 

She started on my diaphragm. I’d been having trouble getting deep breaths recently — it was weird, I wasn’t having any trouble breathing, I just never felt like I was getting enough air and I constantly wanted to turn on my yoga breath. Turns out my diaphragm was super tight. I was surprised I hadn’t noticed that earlier; I’m a singer and I’ve had diaphragm breathing drilled into me since elementary school. As she was massaging that area, I felt a little nauseous because it was so intense. Since the massage, I’ve definitely noticed a difference in the quality of my breaths.

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Then she massaged each side of my abdomen, both of which were tight in my psoas muscles. That was also intense, especially when she got to the left side of my stomach, where the colon is. If you’ve ever gotten a normal massage, you know how it feels to get a particularly tough spot in your shoulders worked on — it felt like that, but inside my stomach. Super weird, BUT super effective.

Have you ever seen that commercial where a guy says, “Did you know that the average person has up to 20 pounds of toxic poop in their body?” Let’s just say, I don’t know how much was in my body, but the next day it all cleared itself out. Seriously. The massage worked, and the next day my insides felt amazing.

Then she moved onto the pelvic area/uterus/bladder. This was the least intense part, and she just released whatever tension was there and helped ensure everything was positioned correctly.


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I flipped over to my stomach and she worked on my lower back/glutes. This wasn’t particularly intense at all, but my glutes are always really tight, so it was great to release some of that tension. The hour flew by and we did another check-in after, where I said it was intense but I could definitely tell it was necessary.

On the whole, yes, Mayan abdominal massage is totally worth it. I felt amazing the next day, and as I’ve said, my body totally cleared itself out. 10/10, definitely recommend, and yes, I will absolutely be doing this again!

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Have you tried Mayan abdominal massage? Are you going to? Tell us in the comments!

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