There are three equal and different branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Each branch on it’s own can treat most forms of illness. The three branches are Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, and Chinese Medical Massage, called Tui Na. In order to earn a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine in the State of California, where I went to school, unlike many states, you are required to study all three branches. A specialized form of massage that is especially helpful for improving reproductive health has come to be commonly referred to as Reproductive Organ Massage, or ROM.
The roots of abdominal massage for purposes of improving reproductive health stretch back several thousand years in the ancient Chinese and Mayan traditions. There exists on the anterior wall of the abdominal and pelvic cavities a continuous sheet of a specialized tissue called connective tissue or fascia. It connects to all of the structures and organs, serving as a supporting structure to hold everything inside in place. By massaging the abdomen the fascia is gently manipulated, and all of the organs below the diaphragm are moved. This movement brings blood and Qi to the organs increasing organ health by bringing restorative nutrients and the release of oxytocin. Included are the uterus, Fallopian tubes and ovaries. Qi and blood are brought to the reproductive organs, making them healthier and more vital, and in this way fertility is improved. The depth of massage varies with the reproductive phase. Massage is deeper during the period and the week or so leading up to ovulation. Once ovulation has occurred, massage is more superficial. The Mayan tradition believes that in women, the pelvic region and reproductive organs hold emotions that block fertility. By using this massage technique, harmful emotions are released, making the female body more receptive to fertilization, implantation and pregnancy. Abdominal massage of this sort is recommended for all stages of pregnancy from ovulation to delivery. Massage of the pregnant uterus will not harm the baby within, and will in fact relax both baby and mom by relaxing the uterine muscle and decreasing physiological stress.