My journey started with a night time back pain I had for many years since pregnancy / epidural / emergency Caesarean. I’m actually not sure which one was responsible so I’ll just blame them all. I say night time back ache as that was when I most noticed it because it woke me up at regular intervals during the night, which actually really pissed me off to be honest. I lived in Thailand at the time and went for regular Thai massage which eased it for a few nights. And then it came back.
My Thai husband suggested getting rid of the mattress, so we did and we slept on a thin quilt on a wooden floor. He preferred it. as he’d often slept in the jungle on a mat. Not that sleeping in the jungle on mats is typical of Thai men, he just personally had a thing for it.
Even after my husband died (not in the jungle I must add) I never went back to having a bed. I still have a (very hard) mattress on the floor. It may be tricky getting into a new relationship as there aren’t many people my age who can comfortably get down to ground level, let alone get up again.
Anyway, when my daughter was 13 I went to visit my friend in Phuket and a lovely lady named Lisa Levine was staying with her. My back was playing up and by this time it had been for 13 years. Lisa told me she was an Arvigo Practitioner. “That’s nice” I said, though I’d never heard of that religion, perhaps it was a cult thing.
Lisa informed me that Arvigo therapy is an abdominal massage which has quite amazing results. She had helped her friend who had back pain from falling off a ladder, so did I want to give it a go? For those of you out there who have suffered pain, I'm sure most of you have, it’s wearing. Even a mild unrelenting ache is wearing. I gladly accepted her offer.
The next day I received ‘The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®’. My back pain disappeared and hasn’t returned since. I was so bowled over by the power of this amazing therapy I decided to learn it if I ever got the chance and one day do for someone else what Lisa did for me.
A few years later circumstances brought me back to live in England and I got my chance. The first stage of learning The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® was to attend the level 1 Self-Care course with Amanda Porter. There were 5 of us in a warm nurturing room in Amanda’s house where we learnt what an amazing place the abdomen is. Amanda’s enthusiasm was contagious and my journey into the fascination of the workings of the human body began in that room. Wow. Did you know that 90% of the immune system is in the gut? Did you know that if a Fallopian tube is removed, say the left one, the right tube will sweep across towards the left ovary to pick up the egg? How amazing is that? I also learnt that emotional and tissue armouring takes place in the abdomen and abdominal massage releases emotions that have been buried there. A good few emotions were released on that course. Tears emerged from nearly all of us at some stage in the days we were there after abdominal massage. For me it felt like they came out of nowhere. Pretty powerful stuff. I learned to connect to my abdomen and to learn to take care and nurture myself, after all, if you can’t connect with your own body how can you connect with someone else’s?
I was eager to go on to Level 2 Professional Care which would train me to treat other people. First I needed to get my therapist license and would need to do a massage therapy course in order to do this. I was recommended ‘Jing Advanced Massage Training’ in Brighton by another long-standing Arvigo Practitioner, Louise Crockart. I signed up and was impatient to get it out the way as quickly as possible to move on to Level 2 Arvigo.
On arriving at the Jing Bodywork Beginnings course at 9am there were smiling faces to greet us, balloons, champagne, loud cheesy music…. And then an ice-breaker game. “Oh God” I thought, “let this week be over as quickly as possible.”
I’m extremely glad it wasn’t. I realise now walking in that room to a party celebration at 9am was exactly like it should have been because walking in that room is certainly worth celebrating. Jing Advanced Massage Training is second to none when it comes to learning clinical, pain relieving massage. It is the baby of Meghan Mari and Rachel Fairweather who have put literally years of their extensive knowledge, love of massage, passion and fire into developing techniques and protocols that ease pain in every part of the body and more! A fusion of East meets West, deep tissue, trigger point, myofascial release, stretching, sports and all taught with such passion and dedication from all those that work there. Bodywork Beginnings hooked me. It brushed the surface and I wanted more. I love their ethos and holistic style of teaching. We did Thai Chi in the mornings which is used in the stance of massage. We played with an imaginary energy ball and we faced a partner, palm against palm and slowly moved our hands in anyway they would drift, just seeing where they would go. Our first lesson in fascia, even though I didn’t realise at the time. Meghan’s style of teaching sowed the seed to return and learn more, with her grounding voice, her knowledge, enthusiasm and her humour. The support teachers made me want to return too, their enthusiasm was contagious. All so helpful and supportive. An amazing 2 weeks which resulted in me getting massage clients virtually straight away.
I got my therapist licence and went on to do my Level 2 Arvigo Professional Care. It was held at Ridge Farm in Surrey, a 14th century farmhouse in the middle of stunning countryside. Amanda Porter and Louise Crockart were our amazing teachers who shared their wisdom, knowledge and humour. All together 16 women attended that course. I wondered what that would be like and it actually turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. The energy was amazing. During the course there was a lot of laughter and some tears and by the end of it I felt I knew each of them a lot longer than I had. I felt privileged to learn a such an amazing powerful protocol that had originated in Belize, techniques developed by Dr. Rosita Arvigo, based on her apprenticeship with the Maya healer Don Elijio Panti and her own education, training, and research as a naprapathic physician. Taught to us with faith and encouragement by Amanda and Louise. The protocol uses supporting modalities, one of them being a vaginal steam. I believe Gwyneth Paltrow has made them quite fashionable. Louise kindly brought along a number of buckets for us to have a go so we poured in our steaming water and dried herbs and off we went to the swimming pool outhouse to sit on our buckets with a towel draped round to give our vaginas a good old steam. It actually felt very nice and nurturing I have to say. Half way in, the room went in to darkness, an electric fuse had gone. Frank the owner came to the rescue with a new fuse and the lights sparked back on. He was confronted with a crowd of women sitting on buckets steaming their vaginas. He was mortified. The course came to an end too quickly and I got my Level 2 Certificate.
lySo what next? So much more. I’ve discovered work that doesn’t feel like work. It’s a passion To help relieve pain and assist in healing is just an indescribable high (and no chemicals involved)
I’m now doing 25 Arvigo case studies to enable me to do level 3 Arvigo Advanced Professional Care. And I’ve truly been ‘Jinged’ I’m very lucky to have Jing Advanced Massage Training on my doorstep in Brighton and have already been back 3 times since that first course so far. I’m doing my Advanced Clinical Massage Training and enjoying every minute.
Those of you who want to learn massage go to Jing, their techniques are the best. Even qualified therapists I have come across on courses at Jing literally want to unlearn what they have learnt and go the Jing way.
And those of you who would like to explore an amazingly healing, powerful therapy which can help and heal a variety of health conditions, I urge you to explore Arvigo. At the very least do the Self Care course for your own well being. You know you’re worth it.
After living in Thailand for 20 years, owning a health shop and studying nutrition, I feel very strongly about the toxic chemicals & carcinogenics sold to us on such a wide scale in our food and skin care products.