I started to do some research to find a treatment option for my condition, other than the usual "help" I get from my GP consisting of: "Go on the contraceptive pill" and "Take a panadol". Anyone who has a vagina knows that giving the contraceptive pill to a Superbitch is the equivalent to poking said mother grisly with a large and pointy stick while she is sleeping!
Whilst trawling through the interweb I came across the website for Moon Yoga. A healing centre based in Mt Albert, Auckland, run by Samar Ocean Wolf Ciprian (I know! Fantastic name!). Samar helps people to experience and learn the healing techniques of reiki, yoga and of course The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy, which include abdominal massage and the use of vaginal steams. Both of which are said to help those who suffer from bad PMS symptoms, just like me! I had to know more! So I contacted Samar to ask her all about Moon Yoga and her healing techniques.....
I'm a Taurus with a Sagittarius Moon and a Scorpio Ascendent. I love that this is your first question!
What is your favourite colour?
Cat or dog person?
Both - really and truly.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The sinking feeling that if I don't my child will be hitchhiking to school.
What was the last book you didn’t finish?
There really are too many to count. It makes me sad to single one out.
So you run a healing clinic in Auckland called Moon Yoga, what healing methods do you offer?
Moon Yoga's main offering is The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy - a modality that has shifted the trajectory of my life considerably. Also on offer are Mayan Spiritual Healing, Therapeutic Yoga, Reiki Training and Sessions and QOYA movement classes for women.
Can you tell us a bit about Arvigo therapy?
Arvigo Therapy takes its name from Dr. Rosita Arvigo - a Master Herbalist, Ethnobotanist and Naprapath. Her long time apprenticeship with the late and acclaimed Maya Shaman Don Eljio Panti and the time she spent with the traditional healers and midwives of Central America were the foundation for this work. Arvigo Therapy is a collection of healing techniques based on the traditions of the Maya, with abdominal massage being at the center. What is unique about this bodywork system is that the uterus is repositioned via external palpation and this can bring about dramatic positive changes. The Techniques also consist of supportive modalities such as castor oil therapy, pelvic steams, soaks and swaddling, herbal support and plant spirit medicine and spiritual healing.
I personally have terrible PMDD (awful PMS mood swings and nasty physical symptoms) and terrible ovulation symptoms. Is Arvigo something that would help me?
I'm sorry to hear you've had such a tough time with this. Without looking at your case history or examining you physically I am hesitant to give my opinion, but based on the two lines above it sounds like you most likely have a displaced uterus. This is not as dramatic as it sounds, and in the vast majority of cases is relatively easily corrected with patience and perseverance. Don Elijio used to say that a woman's uterus is her center, and if it is out of place everything in her life is out of place. Consider that statement for a moment. Its pretty deep. I have had clients with very similar symptoms experience lasting cessation of their symptoms practically overnight. That is not to say that this is the case for everyone, but it is possible. In summary, you sound like an ideal candidate for this work!
I’d love to attend one of your self care classes on Arvigo, what kind of things are taught in the classes?
The Self Care Course is 2.5 days of deep self-love and nurturing. We cover the self-massage in detail. Every client who comes to an Arvigo Therapy has to learn how to do their Self-Care. This is really what sets this work apart. The huge emphasis on self-determination and preventative self-nourishing techniques is profound and unique. The course was designed to really give adults at all stages and of any gender the space to get to know their own body and learn to work with it. On the course we cover pelvic and digestive anatomy quite deeply. We have plenty of time to work with the massage techniques and supportive therapies, like the castor oil, steams, soaks, swaddling, herbs etc. The course is also the first tier of training in the Arvigo System and I personally love that aspect of it. It ensures that anyone going into this modality will have done their own work first. As a teacher of Self-Care, what blows my mind is how special taking a couple of days to just fully focus on self-love can be for people. It can change lives.
What other hormonal or reproductive issues can Arvigo assist with?
Arvigo Therapy works by restoring flow to areas of the body that can easily become stagnant. Many people have cold bottoms. This sounds odd, but it makes total sense when you consider that most folks spend the majority of their time sitting and compressing the seat of their body and by extension all the organs and systems of the pelvic bowl. By increasing the flow of blood, lymph and nerve supply - Arvigo Therapy starts to wake these areas back up. So, in most cases, it is beneficial to all manner of reproductive and hormonal issues. When things are moving, hormones can be transmitted more effectively, as can nerve impulses. The immune system is far less likely to attack healthy tissue. Its win-win. I am aware of how controversial it can be to make claims about 'curing' illnesses, so I won't make any such claims. I will state that I have been blessed to witness the dramatic and lasting reversal of the symptoms of the following conditions in my clients: endometriosis, infertility, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, polycystic ovarian syndrome, interstitial cystitis, sacral injuries, chronic constipation and mild uterine/bladder prolapse. Many people just feel better. Its a huge privilege for me to walk with these people as they heal themselves. If you want to know more, please look at the testimonials on my website. I am so grateful for each and every one.
I love reiki and I swear by it, but I have friends who laugh and me and tell me it is rubbish. What do you think I should say to them?
I love Reiki too! My approach is to say nothing. I've been a Reiki practitioner for over half my life, and a teacher for a third of it. I think by now I've pretty much scared away all the naysayers - haha! I think its a question of sensitivity. There are many of us, and I think the number appears to be increasing, who are highly sensitive. For those people, a Reiki treatment is like sitting in the front row of an exquisite symphony orchestra. They experience every nuance and it literally rings through them. Its a beautiful experience. For others, they feel nothing and its just...boring. One state of mind is not better than the other. I have come to the conclusion that we're all doing different things - and it might really serve most people to not be aware of these subtle realms. In most cases, if someone has never experienced something - they're not likely to believe it to be true - and that's really okay. The thing is, the global community of spiritual people is expanding like wildfire. As a sensitive, if you can know one thing with certainty, its that you are really never ever alone. If someone literally calls something you hold dear 'rubbish', its pretty unlikely they're going to change their minds no matter what argument you present them with. Love them anyway, and then plan a Reiki party with your 'other' friends.
So you also offer vaginal steaming as a healing method at your centre, can you tell us a bit about vaginal steaming?
I do occasionally do a steam at the clinic for a client. Most of the time its just easier for people to do their steams at home. Anyone with a bathroom can pull it off. I try to make the clinic steams a soothing, nurturing and special experience. The women are wrapped up head to toe in warm towels, sitting over a purpose built timber steam stool, listening to soft music, taking in the steam curls laced with fresh herbs from the garden in front of a flickering fire. Its very primal, and very feminine.
Vaginal steaming sounds like it would feel rather nice, what can it help with?
Vaginal Steaming has been around for a really long time - and its one of the most fascinating aspects of this work because its makes the universality of these techniques palpable. Introducing heat into the vagina is a practice found all over the world - from Polynesia to East Asia to North Africa to Central America. Sometimes its done with a dry heat from hot rocks or coals, but the purpose is the same. Warm the vagina, and cause a pelvic reflex that lifts the uterus. It is is a very beneficial technique for the first stages of uterine prolapse, and is particularly healing postpartum. The added dimension of plants and their healing qualities makes it a very well-rounded and multi-dimensional therapeutic experience. I have also observed that it is dramatically powerful in women with a history of sexual abuse. There is often initial resistance, and sometimes an emotional release. But once a woman can really sink into presence in this part of her body on her own terms, especially if she has shut off to - sometimes for decades - the most profound shifts can occur.
I love the sound of your QOYA women’s movement classes! They sound wonderful. Can you tell us a bit about them? Why are they held on the full moon?
QOYA is phenomenal! QOYA is a Quechuan word for Queen - the embodied and empowered feminine. QOYA is a fusion of dance, yoga and sensual movement created by the amazing and wonderful Rochelle Schieck. Its purpose to bring women back to the innate knowing that they are wise, wild and free. Moon Yoga was blessed to have Rochelle come and stay and teach last March. I have just started teaching officially, and I love it! Women are so primed to shift and heal when they are in motion - as our men in their own unique way. Labor is a prime example of this. When we are held tight, we have nowhere to put our experience, so we hold on and it hardens. QOYA moves not only our bodies, but all parts of ourselves - extremely quickly but amazingly gently. Very powerful, and very enlightening.
I hold classes on the Full Moon because monthly classes are the most my schedule allows currently. The observance of the Full Moon is an integral part of women's healing traditions the world over, and I can really think of no better or more juicy way to partake than women coming together and dancing.
Do you hold many seminars on these amazing techniques?
This year I have Self-Care classes scheduled in Auckland, Queenstown and Dubai. I am teaching Reiki courses throughout the year with my own twist. I really feel that its so pivotal for energy workers to really experience the depths of their own energy bodies and so I teach my Reiki courses as Chakra Journeys - with experiential exercises that build upon each other over the months. I have a Creative Healing weekend scheduled for late in the year, which will use art, movement, toning, meditation and more to really awaken the creative spark and is great for artists and healers alike.
Any plans to come to Wellington?
I would love to! If people are interested, please reach out to me and lets see what manifests.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about Moon Yoga?
Its been a real labour of love. Thank you to every one who made this possible.
Thanks so much Samar!
If you would like to attend one of Samar's amazing workshops, or contact her about an appointment, you can email her. You can also view the Moon Yoga website for more info.
If like us, you would love to attend a Wellington based workshop get in touch. Let's make it happen!