I use modern massage techniques combined with ancient knowledge and traditional bodywork techniques performed by the indigenous healers of Belize, Guatemala and Mexico.
The techniques were developed by Dr Rosita Arvigo and Don Elijio Panti as a way to bring this knowledge to the rest of the world, and to serve as a living memory of Don Elijio’s knowledge. Other healers, midwives and herbalists also contributed, such as Miss Hortence Robinson (1922-2010) a midwife, healer and herbalist of Belize and Miss Beatrice Waight (1948-2010) a traditional Maya healer of Belize.
Rosita Arvigo is a massage therapist, naprapath, herbalist and ethnobotanist from Chicago, and Don Elijio Panti (1893-1996) was a traditional Maya healer and Shaman (h’men) that was born in Guatemala and lived in Belize.
All contributors to the techniques offered their knowledge to create a practice that would bring these ancient techniques to the modern world and put healing back into the hands of the individual. Self care massage techniques were created to help people connect with their own bodies and a spiritual element was honoured and maintained in the creation and throughout the teachings.
Scroll down to read more about Rosita.
Click on images below to read more about each healer.
Don Elijio Panti
Miss Beatrice Waight
Miss Hortence Robinson
Dr Rosita Arvigo
Rosita is a herbalist, a doctor of Naprapathy and the creator of The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®, often referred to Arvigo® Therapy.
Rosita spent many years in the 70’s living in Mexico learning from the Aztec healers. While living in Belize in the 80’s, Rosita met Don Elijio, who became her mentor. She was his apprentice for 13 years before his death in 1996 aged 103.
In 1987, Rosita founded the Ix Chel Tropical Research Centre that began identifying, preserving and teaching people about the properties of native plants.
In 2021, Rosita became a co-founder and active educator of The Abdominal Therapy Collective and continues to teach and educate people all over the world.
Ix Chel Tropical Research Foundation
Rosita is a founder of the Ix Chel Tropical Research Centre and Foundation which works to preserve traditional healing and medicine along with the conservation of medicinal plants.
The Foundation provides education about plants and ancient traditions to local children to ensure the knowledge of the ancestors is preserved.
Children’s Bush Medicine Camps take place each summer and are funded by grants, along with tithes and donations from Rosita’s abdominal therapy students and practitioners.
Belize Ethnobotany Project
Alongside founding the Ix Chel Tropical Research Centre, Rosita collaborated with Dr Michael Balick, director of the New York Botanical Garden to create the Bleize Ethnobotany Project (BEP).
Almost 3000 plants were tested for their medicinal properties, particularly searching for new treatments for cancer and HIV & AIDS.
Conferences brought together researchers, scientists, herbalists, healers, bush doctors and midwives, who could discuss their craft and share knowledge about plants. This information was recorded and provides a detailed look into plant medicine and the healing properties of native plants.
“My goal is to reach out to lay people, professional herbalists, massage therapists, nurses, medical doctors and the world community of healers to share the simple, non-invasive techniques of abdominal therapy and spiritual healing learned over thirty years of study with traditional healers of Central America.”
Dr Rosita Arvigo
Rosita and I in 2018