The way I crossed path with Katrien Haerynck and the Arvigo has a magical note to it. We are residents in the same country, but yet it’s an international homeopathic remedy called Liberation who gave us the chance to connect. This meeting aligns with recent desires to explore and unlock the female intelligence that is stored within my body and to become more conscious about how I have suppressed beauty and feminity.
Just after turning 32, during a birthday week I had intended to take for myself, I made my way to meet Katrien near Brugges, two hours away north, a beautiful calm drive filled with the impression of everlasting time. Having completed her Arvigo training in Holland and the United Kingdom, Katrien has a lot of knowledge about womanhood and feminine wisdom to pass on: “Arvigo is a technique that allows me to do what I always wanted to do as far as working with women is concerned. As a woman, the uterus is an important center of our being, it is important for it to be in its original position. When it’s misplaced, women will often feel not aligned with their great power. Deep inside, it felt so sad on how far we have come from the natural laws, for example with the way pregnancies are delivered in hospitals. A powerful initiation when I reconnected with the female ancestors of my lineage set me free to create projects tainted with my own energy.”
What is Arvigo?
Arvigo is an external, noninvasive massage that strengthens the ligaments and muscles around the uterus and ovaries. It invites the uterus back into its original place. When the uterus is misplaced, it restricts the flow of blood, lymph, nerve and chi energy. Arvigo massage also allows the release of old emotions and reopens blocked energy paths. Its creator, Rosita Arvigo, carried these techniques into the modern world from her 10-year apprenticeship with Don Elijo Panti, a maya shaman of Belize and from her life experience in holistic health. For the Maya, woman’s center is her uterus. The fact that it is out of balance does affect greatly their whole system. In her book Rainforest Home Remedies, Rosita Arvigo details numerous Mayan remedies applicable to our modern days. Many are simple teas that can be made from fresh plants or dried herbs.
Misplacement of the uterus
Apparently, a prolapsed or tipped uterus is much more common than we think it is. Originally, the uterus is held in position by muscles and ligaments that connect it to the pelvis. These uterine ligaments are designed to stretch when a baby is growing inside or as our bladders or bowels become full. If the ligaments become weak and loose, they can no longer hold up the uterus correctly. When the uterus is incorrectly aligned, the normal flow of blood and lymph to the uterus, ovaries, bladder and bowel are constricted and this can disrupt nerve connection. Repositioning the uterus restores the original homeostasis, helps toxins to be evacuated and improves the blood flow around digestive organs. The uterus can be prolapsed or tipped due to very common things such as a fall, chronic constipation, running on concrete or wearing high heels. It rarely crosses our minds that some sports have an impact on our uterus: “if you jog before being menstruated, your uterus is filled with blood, it is harsh on your female organs, the ligaments are quite stretched. We often don’t pay attention to those “small” things, yet they are meaningful.”
An Arvigo massage
Before I undress to lie down on the massage table, Katrien and I go through a questionnaire together. She prepares a castor oil pack for my belly and leaves me for ten minutes appreciating its warm effect. Katrien is a beautiful and kind woman with a wild heart who will make you feel comfortable, loved and cared about. Her touch is gentle and slow, as she contacts this very complex region of the human body, where so much ancestral memories and traumas are stored. She remarks tension in my diaphragm and an inflammation of lymph nodes: “when everything is flowing, it clears the obstruction and the stagnation. I will be inviting the uterus to come back to its place.” It is slightly unconfortable for me to leave my abdomen, seat of so much restraint and constriction, be touched. Katrien moves to the feet, then to the back and I will dive into a kind of semi-conscious state of consciousness.
Who is benefiting from Arvigo?
Arvigo will help in a various range of cases such as digestive disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, pain in the lower back, reduced breathing as for painful menstrual cycles, urinary tract infections or endometriosis: “women come for the warmth and this moment they can take with themselves and their female organs. This treatment can be adapted for pregnant women or help women who just gave birth to adjust to all the changes taking place in their lives. For a new mother, it is a real process to ground in everything that is happening and find a new way to be. A few men also come for a treatment, especially if they are experiencing problems with their prostates or an erectile dysfunction; Arvigo will create more space in their pelvis and provide some relief.”
Taking the ancient knowledge back home
Before I go, Katrien hand me the self massage instructions for me to be able to continue the work at home. It consists of a simple abdominal massage to keep the muscles and ligaments in their healthy position. Those techniques include a very simple circular move starting around the belly button to reach the whole abdominal area. Another movement is a sort of “scooping” motion that starts above the pubic bone.
Yoni steam, the perfect complimentary treatment
Very often, Katrien will combine an Arvigo massage with a Yoni steam bath, a tradition of sitting on a chair covered by a towel over a bowl of steaming herbs. The temperature of the steam must be ajusted so not to burn the skin. Traditionnally used by Mayan midwives and healers from Central and South America, vaginal steam baths can treat many female disorders, especially those of severe or chronic nature. The practice is mentioned in writings of Spanish explorers who took the time to record the healing practices of the Maya and the Aztecs. Menstrual pain discomfort does not have to last forever. Sometimes women do see darker and thicker blood coming out in the beginning or at the end of their normal cycle. This indicates accumulated blood on the uterine membrane. The uterus is then working harder on every new cycle due to the presence of hardened pathological accumulations that have not been properly taken out with the monthly cycles. The steam can help eliminate old menstrual fluids that will then come out during the following menstruation(s). “Better outside than inside” is a key motto in detoxification. The practice can be repeated every cycle, the week before the start of the cycle for example, several times in a row if necessary until menstrual fluids have a light red colour and no more pain is experienced.
Earlier this year after being initiated to this practice in Brasil, I started to use chamomille, which is said to be freeing ancestral guilt and memories, once a month 3 times in a row, then from the fourth month, I used oregano herbs. Coming back from my Arvigo treatment with Katrien’s preparation of organic female energy herbs (basilic, oregano, calendula, jasmin, lavander, hibiscus and rosepetals), I renewed with this warming self-care practice, which works really well in combination with Arvigo. Many other herbs can be used and bought in your favourite herbalist shop or online: burdock, chamomile, yarrow, plantain and thyme and so on. Katrien takes a moment once a week for this healing practice: “after a while, it started to become something different for me, like a meditation practice. All my inspiration comes to me when I am sitting on the chair with the vapor of those herbs.”