116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY - A new Iowa City business is bringing traditional Central American healing methods to women dealing with infertility, digestive issues and other health concerns.
Susannah Neal, who opened Susannah Neal Health in May, is the area's only certified practitioner of a form of massage called the Arvigo techniques of Maya abdominal massage.
Derived from an ancient Mayan method of abdominal massage, the Arvigo approach uses a gentle massage to increase blood flow and lymph circulation in the abdomen, sacrum and lumbar.
'For women, it improves reproductive health and fertility and relieves any symptoms associated with the uterus and bladder,” Neal said. 'It improves digestive health. It relieves pain.
'It's beneficial for women's and men's health.”
Neal, who grew up in Maryland and attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., has a master's degree in medical anthropology from the University of Florida.
'I traveled Latin America studying traditional healing modalities and how to integrate them with Western medicine,” she said.
Deciding she wanted to do more hands-on work, Neal attended the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Denver and became a board-certified acupuncturist.
In 2002, she went to Belize to study with Dr. Rosita Arvigo, who developed the Arvigo techniques of Maya abdominal massage and established the Arvigo Foundation.
'The Maya abdominal massage technique exemplifies beautifully how traditional healing methods can be integrated with our current understanding of medicine,” Neal said. 'It has a great place in the world of alternative medicine and is now used and taught all over the world.”
After completing her Arvigo certification in 2005, Neal worked in private practice in Colorado and Kansas, combining the Maya abdominal massage and acupuncture modalities for clients dealing with infertility, pregnancy, menopause and other women's health issues.
'The combination of acupuncture, herbs and the Arvigo techniques of Maya abdominal massage is a powerful combination for women's fertility,” she noted. 'Studies have shown it improves the success rate of IVF procedures.”
Neal relocated from Colorado to Iowa City in July 2017 for her husband's job and is now focused on bringing her alternative medicine practice to Corridor-area women and men.
'I really want to educate people and want people to benefit from this work,” she said.
'In this climate of increasing health care costs, it's an accessible, affordable option and is really helpful. I've seen it really grow in Colorado.”
Since opening her Iowa City practice, Neal has been reaching out to OB-GYNs and other local medical providers to get the word out about what she does.
'I'm still getting a feel for the community,” she said. 'I'm really interested in networking with midwives, nurses and anyone involved with women's health.”
l Know a business in operation for less than a year that would make an interesting 'Ground Floor”? If so, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
At a Glance
l Owner: Susannah Neal
l Business: Susannah Neal Health
l Address: 2412 Towncrest Dr., Iowa City
l Phone: (785) 760-6633
l Email: email@example.com
l Website: susannahnealhealth.com