Dr. Rosita Arvigo is a naprapathic physician and master herbalist who has lived and studied with traditional healers in central America for over thirty years.
Most notable was her 10 year apprenticeship with the famous Maya shaman, Don Elijio Panti from whom she learned the abdominal techniques, spiritual healing and the pharmacopia of medicinal rainforest plants.
Don Elijio Panti practiced traditional Maya healing incorporating plants, prayer, massage, pulse diagnosis, acupuncture and herbal baths for over sixty years. Famous for curing hopelessly ill patients, Don Elijio was reknowned throughout Belize, Guatamala and Southern Mexico for his profound skills.
A year into her apprenticeship, Dr. Arvigo realized the incredible depth and breadth of Don Elijio’s knowledge of medicinal plants, that might pass with him if not documented. After a long letter-writing campaign to many organizations, she was able to convince the New York Botanical Garden to join forces with her in an effort to preserve the rainforest and this valuable herbal knowledge. Guided by Don Elijio, they were able to collect, identify and catalog over 500 medicinal Central American plants for research through the Belize Ethnobotany Project. When he passed away in 1996, the New York Times obituary called him “the last Mayan master healer in Belize”. The incredible story of Dr. Arvigo’s studies with Don Elijio are chronicled in her book Sastun: My Apprenticeship With a Maya Healer.
Dr. Arvigo also studied extensively with Miss Hortence Robinson, an herbal midwife in Belize who practiced for 60 years. From Miss Hortence, Dr. Arvigo learned specialized care for women during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. The daughter and granddaughter of midwives, Miss Hortence carried on the ancient tradition of supporting women’s health with specialized herbs and abdominal massage.
Dr. Arvigo combined her knowledge of anatomy, physiology, naprapathy (study of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue) with these traditional methods to form the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®. She founded the Arvigo Institute in 2000 and trains professionals world wide in these traditional healing arts. In addition, Dr. Arvigo is the author of nine books, listed here and available through Amazon.
Dr. Arvigo has devoted her life to healing and the preserving the rainforests of Belize, through founding the Ix Chel Tropical Research Foundation, the Traditional Healers of Belize, Rainforest Remedies and the Children’s Bush Medicine Camp.