Round ligaments (RL): are thin fibro-muscular cords that run from the lateral aspect of the fundus of the uterus and travel anterolaterally through the inguinal ring and canal and connect to the superficial perineal fascia at the labia majora. The round ligaments lengthen from 4-5 inches to up to 18 inches or so during pregnancy! The RL (along with other uterine ligaments) play a role in uterine orientation. Uterine ligaments (UL) have different characteristics than say the ligaments of the knee which is comprised of denser connective tissue. UL consist of a blend of skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, hormonal receptors, three types of collagen and blood vessels. These specialized ligaments have reflexogenic qualities. For instance, stimulation of the RL produces a reflex and can pull the uterus forward if the posterior region of the uterus is free of restriction. The RL also plays a role in left and right positioning.
Producer and reporter, Andrea Muraskin received an ultrasound while performing the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® self-care massage. Listen to the original interview HERE. In the pictures below you can see the before and after images. Notice the angle of the fundus (the end of the uterus opposite from the cervix) relative to the body of the uterus in the before image. In the after image, you can see that her uterus has rebounded back and even moved forward a bit. This demonstrates the reflexogenic properties of the round ligaments and/or the muscular ability of the uterus to respond to stimulation.
If you have a retroverted (tipped back) uterus the ATMAT self-care massage may have seemed counterintuitive if you didn’t understand how the ligaments respond to mechanical stimulation. Thanks to the reflexogenic properties of UL, the uterine position can be corrected with this gentle self-care massage when combined with specific anterior and posterior techniques applied by a certified Arvigo® practitioner. There is an art and specificity to performing the ATMAT self-care massage and there are times when you definitely wouldn’t want to do the massage, so make sure you learn how to perform it correctly from a certified Arvigo® practitioner in an individual session or in the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal therapy® level one training. My hope is that by writing this post it will help you visualize your own womb responding to your loving self-care massage.
More on Andrea’s interview and uterine ligaments here: Can the Uterus Be Trained To Stay?