Rosita Arvigo

Dr Rosita Arvigo

Rosita was born in Chicago and studied massage in San Francisco in the 1960’s.

Her teacher told her she had a gift for healing with her hands. Rosita also had an interest in herbs, and she decided to seek out a career in natural healing.

In 1967 she quit her job as an advertising executive and joined a commune in San Francisco known as the Black Bear Ranch. After a year there she went on to Mexico and spent 7 years with the traditional healers of the Nahuatl people of Mexico. They taught her about medicinal plants and the Nahuatl way of Aztec healing. It was there that her interest in herbalism developed and she became a herbalist.

In 1977, Rosita found herself in Belize while working for a friend and it was love at first sight. She fell in love with the land and the people.

In 1979 Rosita visited her family in Florida. Her brother was suffering terribly with back pain and was facing surgery. Rosita asked if he would be willing to have some massage and herbal baths, just to see if they would help his pain. After a few weeks of treatments his condition was greatly improved and her brother encouraged her to return to their home town of Chicago and study at the Chicago National College of Naprapathy*. It offered what was described as a Ph.D in massage.

Rosita moved back to Chicago and studied for the next three years. In the same year that Rosita graduated, she bought 35 acres of land in Belize with her partner and they moved there to seek a different way of life, setting up a naprapathic practice in 1981.


*Naprapathy was founded in 1907 as an alternative and gentler form of Chiropractic therapy. Named after the Czech word ‘napravit’ which means to fix or repair, and ‘pathy’ meaning disease or suffering.

Rosita Arvigo and Don Elijio Panti

Healers hut in Belize

Mayan Temple in Belize

Belize & Guatemala

The roots of the Abdominal Therapy taught by Rosita Arvigo lie deep in the rainforests of Belize and Guatemala.

Rosita had been told about a great shamanic healer who treated people with laughter, rainforest herbs, prayer and spiritual bathing. Rosita was eager to meet him.

When she finally made contact, it took almost a year of weekly visits consisting of dawn starts, canoeing through rivers and walking for hours to get to the remote village where Don Elijio lived.

She’d help him with his patients and be an extra pair of hands when collecting herbs and plants. He was already well into his 80’s, and all his knowledge had been passed down to him by word of mouth. Nothing was written down. There was a good chance that all of his knowledge could be lost forever if it wasn’t passed on to someone who cared about it.

Don Elijio eventually agreed that Rosita could be his apprentice.

He’d had a dream in which the Maya Spirits told him that Rosita was to be his successor on condition that she would always look after his people and that she wouldn’t take this knowledge away or forget where it came from.

Rosita agreed and began 12 years of study and apprenticing with the great Shamanic Healer of Belize, Don Elijio Panti. Don Elijio shared with her his knowledge of rainforest plants, herbal remedies and abdominal massage.

Through the marriage of both wisdoms, Arvigo® Therapy was born.

During this period of study, Rosita also had the chance to meet, work with and learn from other great traditional healers such as Miss Hortence Robinson a Mexican herbal midwife and village healer. Miss Hortence joined Rosita in teaching these techniques all over Belize, Mexico, Guatemala and the USA.

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Cat Manasa

Happy to answer any questions. Email Me!