About Donna

I am a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT #3773) specializing in various modalities of abdominal massage. I am also an approved continuing education provider for the state of Louisiana (LAP#0164) and nationally ( NCBTMB Approved Provider #451903-12). My interest in massage therapy began in 2004 when I first learned about abdominal massage through Dr. Rosita Arvigo's workshops on spiritual healing and self-care. Dr. Arvigo, a student and apprentice to Don Elijio Panti, a Maya shaman in Belize from whom she learned the intricate art of healing through abdominal massage and indigenous herbs, offered a truly different approach toward healing through faith in the body's innate ability to keep us healthy, happy and whole. I was so profoundly transformed by those experiences that I decided to become a massage therapist so I could pursue certification in The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy, receiving my education in Belize and the United States from Dr. Arvigo. Part of my training included instruction in the ancient art of spiritual baths and healing and I advanced to become certified as a Self-Care Teacher for the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy.

To further my understanding of the anatomy of the visceral organs, I completed all 6 levels of visceral manipualtion from the Barral Institute in 2008. I have continued my studies of the viscera with the Barral Institute, with his Nerve Manipulation curriculum and had the opportunity to study directly with Dr. Barral and Dr. Crobier (doctors of osteopathy practicing in France) when they came to New Orleans to present Manual Articular Approach: Spine and Pelvis in July, 2010. Releasing the restrictions that compromise the nerve and blood supply to the viscera affects the body physically and emotionally.

I have studied Craniosacral therapy through the Upledger Institute and participated in a profound learning experience when I took an Upledger class offered in the Bahamas that combined the healing work of water and dolphins with craniosacral therapy.

In 2009 I began receiving training from Gilles Marin at the Chi Nei Tsang Institute in Oakland, California. Chi Nei Tsang is abdominal massage from the Chinese heritage that utilizes 5 intelligences of the body to heal.This work and the in-depth philosophy that informs it continues to enlighten my approach to the body.

I have attended four advanced workshops with the Arvigo Institute: 2 Women's Health Intensives which included fertility protocols and advanced training in Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy, and an Digestive Health Intensive in October 2013. I also got to experience a cadaver workshop at the Laboratories of Anatomical Enlightenment in Westminster, Colorado sponsored by the Arvigo Institute that allowed me to observe and interact with the internal organs and structures of the human body.

I continue to study and bring what I learn back to my practice, visiting and updating my work with Rosita Arvigo, Gilles Marin and Dr. Barral. All disciplines believe in the innate ability of the body to heal itself with the focus being "to awaken a little something" so the body can harmonize and come into balance.

Most recently I have expanded my studies and work with the visceral organs to include the BRAIN! I have currently taken 3 of the 4 levels with the Chickly Institute which has taken me to another level with the body. The brain, the lymph and the nervous system are as important as the rest of our organs in orienting ourselves in the world.

I continue to study and bring what I learn back to my practice, visiting and updating my work with Rosita Arvigo, Gilles Marin, the Barral and Chickley Institutes. All four disciplines focusbelieve in the innate ability of the body to heal itself. The focus of the work is to "awaken a little something" so the body can harmonize and come into balance in the way it needs to express our purpose.

Over the past years I have had the incredible opportunity to immerse myself in the study of the plant world. I have studied with herbalists Darrell Martin of Blue Boy Herbs in Mississippi, Matthew Wood, registered herbalist and author of many herbal books, Phyllis Light, a 4th generation Appalachian healer and teacher, and Stephen Buhner, author of the expansive book The Secret Teaching of Plants.

 

As a youngster, I earned a Bachelor of Arts in English(1976) and a Master of Arts in counseling (1980) from The University of Oregon. In the 90's, I apprenticed with Dee Ann Dominque and Emmy Trammell as a nurse midwife, enrolled in Barefoot Doctors Academy, studied Pilates and the body under Virginia Davis and was certified in Pilates mat instruction from The PhysicalMind Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico (1999).

Through the tutelage of The Australasian College in Portland, Oregon, I received a certificate in homeopathy (2004) and a Master Aromatherapist Diploma in Aromatherapy (2006), which included a 4 week intensive in Greece (2005). Upon my graduation from Australasian College, I was highlighted in the school's blog, Australasian College blogspot.

I am certified as a Living Food Lifestyle Teacher through the School of Natural Medicine in Boulder, CO after attending 2 two week living food intensives at The Ann Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico (2005, 2007). While in Puerto Rico at the Ann Wigmore Institute, I was instructed in Farida Sharan's Mystic Yoga and dance and completed Clinical Training.

I have intertwined abdominal massage, visceral and nerve manipulation, brain techniques, chi nei tsang and craniosacral work to reach a new level of communication with the body. The organs of the body must work constantly to obtain what it needs from the external world to allow the life, growth and generation of the person.

The vitality of an organ is affected by a number of things: nutrition, stress, exercise, breathing, sleep, surgery, and both emotional and physical traumas. The healthy organ likes to move in harmony with the body, and when it is hampered by emotional stagnation, abnormal tone, adhesions or displacement, it works against the body's other organs and muscular, membranous, fascial and osseous structures.  

 Visceral manipulation directly engages the organs to regain their motility and mobility. Massaging the abdomen  ensures a free flow of arterial, venous, nerve and lymph to the tissues and organs of the body, allowing the organs to maintain optimal vitality.

 

 


You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give." Winston Churchill