Lewis Mehl-Madrona teaches 14 months program: Indigenous North American Body Work in NYC

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Nita Renfrew

Mar 28, 2016, 12:24:15 PM3/28/16
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CATA Center for the Advancement of Therapeutic Arts
122 West 26 St. #701
New York, NY 10001
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Traditional North American Healing Arts (NAHA)

We aim to bring the wisdom of traditional North Americans into contemporary health care. In this context, we are focusing on massage therapy, osteopathy (developed by A. T. Still from indigenous North American body work), sound, and body work practice. Traditional practice integrates what we are now calling narrative medicine with hands-on-therapies and energy medicine. Traditional practitioners didn't have or need our contemporary categories, which define our specialties and scope of practice, but are of questionable value for efficacy of practice. This 14-month, one weekend per month training course, brings this wisdom of spirit-guided practice, traditional bioenergetic principles, and energy medicine practice into the contemporary world. We will explore integrating touching, speaking, and sounding, simultaneously, for increased efficacy. Our faculty include Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona (of Cherokee and Lakota heritage), a physician and student of indigenous healing for over 40 years; Barbara Mainguy, a creative arts therapist; John Beaulieu, a naturopath and teacher of polarity and craniosacral therapies, and sound healing; Joseph Schmidlin, an osteopath and integrative practitioner; and Nita Renfrew, a long-time energy healer, now also an integrative massage therapist, and Facilitator of the NAHA program.

CATA’s intention with the program is to offer instruction and certification in Traditional, Indigenous, and Integrative healing arts to the community of body workers and related healthcare professionals. The aim is to teach and preserve traditional, alternative, and complementary healing practices, and to integrate them with each other, as well as into mainstream healthcare therapies.

Who Should Take this Course
This course has been designed for healthcare practitioners of all stripes—including body-centered therapists and narrative psychotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, craniosacral and polarity therapists, energy and shamanic healers, and massage therapists—who either want to be integrative spirit/mind/body healers in Traditional North American Healing Arts, or who would like to expand their knowledge and considerably deepen their existing healing practice.

2016-17 Curriculum


Weekend 1: September 10-11, 2016
Lewis Mehl-Madrona and Barbara Mainguy:
Introduction and Overview of Indigenous Healing Systems and Indigenous North American Body Work
Throughout the world, original peoples have developed extensive healing systems, which can be quite different from the biomedical model that has taken over much of North America and Europe. In this workshop we explore what is common to indigenous systems and highlight a few items of uniqueness among some cultures within which we have worked. We then move toward a review of the role of massage therapies within a variety of cultures, understanding how touch and manipulation fit within the whole context of a system of healing. There will be an overview of Cherokee Body Work with comparisons to other indigenous systems (Shawnee, Pawnee, Zuni, Hawaiian, Apache, and others).
Osteopathy, founded in the early 20th century, apparently grew out of Indigenous North American body work. Lewis originally learned this type of indigenous body work as Cherokee body work, but similar forms have been practiced by other tribal nations as well. We will explore these origins, and how indigenous body work has continued to evolve, influencing and being influenced by Western and Eastern healing practices.

Weekend 2: October 8-9
Lewis Mehl-Madrona and Barbara Mainguy:
Indigenous North American Breath Work; Stories from the Body
Day 1: Each day we start with ceremony, and we will learn how important it is to ritually prepare the space. We move into the Indigenous North American system of body work/massage therapy and begin its exploration. Breath work constitutes a core of this system. We show how to increase respiratory efficiency, how to work upon the thoracic cage to relieve tension and restrictions, and how to tie this work to the idea of spiritual energy entering with the breath.

Day 2: Stories from the Body
We continue with breath work, and begin to learn how to incorporate listening into the stories from the body. Indigenous body work was always narrative. People talked story as they worked and the stories connected with tissue injuries and pain emerged. Mind and body was always integrated and this understanding pre-dated European arrival. We will work with techniques for eliciting the story of the pain and/or the injury and explore how these stories aid healing as we work within them and modify them.
Each weekend ends with ceremony.

Weekend 3: November 5-6
Nita Renfrew and Barbara Mainguy:
Great Bear (Big Dipper) Reiki  Many traditional medicine people have incorporated Reiki into their practice in order to enhance their healing work. Reiki has become more acceptable in conventional medicine circles and can serve as a way to bring energy medicine and traditional healing techniques into the mainstream. Of course, Reiki has its own validity and power and can serve all of us. This form of Reiki (where the source of energy passes through the Big Dipper, or Big Bear, as it is known by many indigenous North Americans as well as Northern Europeans, and also known as Ursa Major), was transmitted directly to Nita. Barbara’s knowledge and experience of Bear Medicine have been integrated.

Weekend 4: December 3-4
Joseph Schmidlin:
Body reading and the art of listening  In this class we will gain knowledge and learn how to assess the body through the biomechanics and neuro-endocrine systems. We will learn how to identify and treat primary and secondary lesions and help the body to move into a greater state of equilibrium and homeostasis. We will explore the osteopathic parallels to the traditional body work.


Weekend 5: January 28-29
Lewis Mehl-Madrona and Barbara Mainguy:
Large Joints; Neck and Shoulder
Day 1: We start with ceremony and breath work. Indigenous North American body work often moves from breath to large joints, working its way from the large to the more subtle energies. We show how to work with large joints to increase range of motion, to mobilize energy movement across the joint, and to remove restrictions. We demonstrate techniques of shaking, rocking, rolling, disrupting habitual patterns, and massaging to facilitate healing. We incorporate listening to body stories, dialogue with the body.

Day 2: Within Indigenous body work, we frequently move toward the neck and shoulders after working with large joints.  Shoulders qualify as large joints and use all those techniques, but also as we work toward the neck, we approach more subtle energies. We work with traction of the neck, releasing tension and restrictions between the vertebrae, and mobilizing the scapulae. We continue to incorporate body stories. We conclude with ceremony.

Weekend 6:  February 18-19
Lewis Mehl-Madrona and Barbara Mainguy:
Face and Cranium, Ankles and Feet; Telling Healing Stories
Day 1: Ceremony. Next we move upward and downward, since it is common for two therapists to work simultaneously on face and cranium at the one end and ankles and feet at the other. Indigenous technique uses techniques similar to craniosacral therapy, though with perhaps more pressure. Techniques exist for moving the cranial bones and realigning them. Ankles also qualify as large joints, but move toward more subtle energies with the feet, which can be massaged on multiple levels, in ways that resemble reflexology. We continue to incorporate what has been learned earlier.

Day 2: Telling Healing Stories
Traditional people have always told stories to facilitate healing, and the Indigenous North Americans were no exception. We explore how to choose and tell stories that inspire healing for those with whom we work. These stories can be traditional, can come from the culture of the person with whom we work, or can be contemporary cultural tales from the popular media. We end with ceremony.

Weekend 7: March 18-19
Lewis Mehl-Madrona and Barbara Mainguy:
Abdominal Work, Back Work; Meridians and Points
Day 1: We begin with ceremony. Next we move toward working with the abdomen and back, using techniques very reminiscent of visceral osteopathy for the abdomen. We bring people’s awareness to the areas of discomfort within their abdomen, especially fascial, and work toward release of energy in these tissues. We follow the path of the colon around the abdomen, improving peristalsis. We then work on the back with massage of para-spinal muscles, release of restrictions between vertebrae, and increasing general relaxation and range of motion.

Day 2: Indigenous Americans, namely the Cherokee, knew energy meridians and worked with points along these meridians. They also practiced a form of acupuncture. We demystify the energy meridians, showing how readily they can be identified with ordinary energy medicine techniques and how readily apparent points are when we “run” the meridian. We discuss the massage of points and how this assists the removal of restrictions to the flow of energy and facilitates healing. We end with ceremony.

Weekend 8: April 8-9
Joseph Schmidlin:
Working with Levers and Fulcrums   This class provides the osteopathic parallels to Indigenous North American body work approaches. We will learn how to apply and use levers and fulcrums to balance the body's tissue and the body's systems in specific and effective ways. We will learn how we can use these techniques to affect the nervous system and physiology. Levers and fulcrums are a core fundamental osteopathic principal used to treat the body.


Weekend 9:  May 20-21
John Beaulieu:
Sonic Body: Sound Healing in Relation to Body Work   John will teach the use of sound energy to bring healing to the body. Sound for healing can be applied with many instruments, such as voice, drums, gongs, flutes, etc. In this class we will learn to use tuning forks for healing, and we will also explore the science behind the use of sound for healing and the cross-cultural components. John will teach wave palpation, the concept of strain and counter-strain, and the use of crystals, using tuning forks as the primary instrument. He will also teach a way of visioning, which he learned spending time with a Hopi Elder, and we will learn how to map this into sonic body work.

Weekend 10:  June 10-11
Lewis Mehl-Madrona and Barbara Mainguy:
Indigenous North American Energy Medicine; Clinic
Day 1: Ceremony. Having covered the body, we move toward energy medicine and healing with light touch, hands above the body, and movement of energy with a variety of techniques, including blowing, sucking, feathering, crystals, drumming, rattling, smoking, and direction of intentionality. We see how the subtle energy level connects easily to the level of spiritual energies and beings. We incorporate healing stories.

Day 2: Clinic
Students perform two full sessions on people they bring to class. For all clinics, students will have designed the basic session prior to the class, based on an intake form, to address any issues. Ceremony.

Weekend 11:  July 8-9
Joseph Schmidlin:
Biodynamic in Osteopathy
In this class we will continue to explore the parallels between osteopathy and indigenous body work. We will learn to work with the biodynamic model within osteopathy. This is especially useful in cranial osteopathy, which we will explore at some length, as well guiding our treatment toward integration of the whole body as a dynamic unit of function.


Weekend 12:  August 5-6
Lewis Mehl-Madrona and Barbara Mainguy:
Ceremony and Body Work
Day 1: Body work can be a part of ceremony. We learn how to design and create a healing ceremony using traditional pan-Indian principles.

Day 2: We perform the ceremony that was designed by the class. Then, we show how to do healing ceremonies in which multiple people can work in harmony on one person, always respecting the other practitioners’ space, with the presence of drumming, dancing, and singing. This work fits within a broader context of healing circles and invocation of spiritual energies and spirits for healing.

Weekend 13:  September 16-17
Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Barbara Mainguy, Nita Renfrew, and Joseph Schmidlin: Overview of Integrated Sessions; Clinic
Day 1: Overview. We complete the course with demonstrations and opportunities to practice the work without separation into compartments. We go back and forth between demonstration and practice to allow integration of all the systems and areas we have explored. We complete with faculty review of participant practice with critique.

Day 2: Clinic: Students bring two persons with an issue, and perform two supervised, integrated sessions, using everything they have learned. They design the session prior to the class. We end with ceremony.

Weekend 14: October 21-22
Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Barbara Mainguy, and Christopher Trahan, L.Ac.
Day 1: Integrating Traditional Chinese Medicine, Psychotherapy, and Body Work
We will demonstrate how to integrate body work practice with psychotherapy and with traditional Chinese medicine. We will explore the idea of many hands on one client, and how to utilize multiple practitioners for sessions. We will explore the parallels between traditional Chinese Medicine and Indigenous North American concepts. We will see how body work can be occurring during simultaneous psychotherapy and acupuncture.

Day 2: Clinic:
Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Barbara Mainguy, Nita Renfrew, and Joseph Schmidlin.
Students bring two persons with an issue, and perform two supervised, integrated sessions, using everything they have learned. (They will have designed the basic session prior to the class, based on an intake form, to address any issues.) End with Ceremony.

Additional Requirements:
• Students will be required to hand in forms describing 8 sessions done outside of class, in order to receive certification.

• They will also be required to do some outside reading.

• 5 Supervised Practicums will be offered throughout the course, to help students integrate and practice what they have learned.


Lewis Mehl-Madrona MD PhD (Cherokee and Lakota heritage) is the author of several books, including the "Coyote" Trilogy. His work discusses healing practices from Lakota, Cherokee, and Cree traditions, and how they intersect with conventional medicine via a social constructionist model. He has been writing about the use of imagery and narrative in healing since the 1980s and is certified in psychiatry, geriatrics, and family medicine. His research collaborations include work on various psychological conditions, issues of psychology during birthing, nutritional approaches to autism and diabetes, and the use of healing circles to improve overall health outcomes. He has taught in the medical schools at Maine Dartmouth, Union Institute and University (Brattleboro, VT), the University of Hawaii, the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Pittsburgh, and Stanford University, where he obtained his degree in medicine. He was head of a program at Beth Israel, New York City, as well as holding a number of other positions in complementary healthcare organizations, in addition to hospitals, where he has also performed extensive emergency and psychiatric care throughout the U.S. and Canada, including about aboriginal systems and in aboriginal settings. He has also published over 100 papers in refereed journals.
Lewis and Barbara live in Bangor, Maine, where he currently teaches at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, practices medicine at Eastern Maine Medical Center and Acadia Hospital, Bangor, and is the Director of Coyote Institute for Studies of Change and Transformation.  http://www.mehl-madrona.com  &  http://www.coyoteinstitute.us./

Barbara Mainguy MFA MA is involved in creative arts psychotherapy and group medical care, especially in relation to geriatrics and people with psychosis. She is a filmmaker and a visual artist and is currently editing a film on how society decides whom to call "mad." Her M.A. is in Creative Arts Therapies from Concordia University (Montreal) with an emphasis on Drama Therapy. She is the author of scholarly papers on embodied narratives and drama therapy with autism and schizophrenia. Together, she and Lewis have written the book, Remapping the Mind. She is Education Director for the Coyote Institute for Studies of Change and Transformation.
To contact Lewis or Barbara, email in...@coyoteinstitute.us  or call 808-772-1099.

Joseph Schmidlin DO MTP has over 20 years of training, teaching and practice in the field of energy medicine, including Classical Osteopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Zero Balancing, Massage Therapy, Cranial-sacral therapy, and Vibrational therapies, including sound healing. He has been a co-teacher with John Beaulieu, of sound healing integrated into body work. Joseph has a private practice in Rochester and New York City.  www.jschmidlin.com

John Beaulieu ND PhD is a composer, mental health counselor, and naturopathic doctor, and a pioneer in the healing effects of sound on the body, which he began to study during his years as head of a department at Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital. He has taught at various universities, and oversees molecular research on the healing effects of music and sound. He has pioneered a new form of sound healing called BioSonic Repatterning TM, which uses special tuning forks to tune the nervous system, integrating sound and energy medicine. For many years he also taught craniosacral and polarity therapies, and is the author of many CDs and DVDs, as well as several books, the latest being Human Tuning: Sound Healing with Tuning Forks.  www.biosonics.com

Christopher Trahan OMD LAc is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and a Licensed Acupuncturist, and is nationally board certified in Chinese Herbal Medicine, as well as being a classically trained homeopathic physician. He integrates Chinese and Western herbs, homeopathy, and nutrition with his practice of acupuncture in New York City. He has trained in China and Sri Lanka, as well as in the United States, and has served on the faculty of the International Institute of Chinese Medicine (Santa Fe, NM) and the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (NYC). He served as lead acupuncturist in an asthma research study headed by Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona in association with Beth-Israel Hospital.  http://www.olympus-center.com/

Nita M. Renfrew LMT AADP, Program Facilitator, is an integrative body worker, and energy and shamanic healer, with many years experience working in medical settings. She has studied with a number of traditional and other healers from many countries. As a follower of the Red Road (American Indian spirituality), she has danced in Sun Dance (with Lakota intercessor Durwin WhiteLightning) and is a pipe carrier. She is also an artist, writer, editor of Contemporary Shamanism, and Research Associate for Coyote Institute for Studies of Change and Transformation. She lives in New York City, where she has a private practice, and can be contacted at nitar...@yahoo.com .
Together with Lewis and Barbara, she coauthored a refereed article  (http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2011/summer/4150-reiki.html) describing a Reiki program that she created. She also wrote the article “Traditional American Indian Bodywork, the Origin of Osteopathy, Polarity, and Craniosacral Therapy,” (A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism, Vol. 8, #1, Spring-Summer 2015), reprinted in John Beaulieu: Polarity Therapy Workbook, 2016 edition.
As Program Facilitator, Nita will assist in teaching as well as providing the coordination and integrative structure of the program.

Additional Requirements for Certification:
• Students will be required to hand in satisfactory forms describing 8 sessions done outside of class, in order to receive certification.
• They will also be required to do some outside reading.
• 5 Supervised Practicums will be offered throughout the course, to help students integrate and practice what they have learned.

A 14-MONTH PROGRAM (1 weekend a month, Sat-Sun 9:30-6:30pm)
Full Payment: $3,950
Early Bird Registration by Aug 1: $3,700
Special Series of 4 (1 LMM, BM; 1 NR, BM; 1 JS; 1 JB): $1,395
Single Class*: $395
Payment Plan:  50% due upon registration, followed by 13 monthly payments
CEUs: CEUs will be available for massage therapists.

* Classes can be taken individually, except for the osteopathic classes with J. Schmidlin (which mirror the Indigenous North American Body work), where the requirement is for students to have taken at least one prior class in the program with L. Mehl-Madrona.

For more information visit catanyc.com or email van...@catanyc.com

NAHA program 3-20016 final.pages

Gina Miller

Mar 28, 2016, 2:34:02 PM3/28/16
to coyote...@googlegroups.com
How very interesting. I heard this was in the works. Looks pretty tight. Best wishes to all faculty and the project. At the very least I'm looking forward to sharing time my friends.
From: coyote...@googlegroups.com [coyote...@googlegroups.com]
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2016 12:21 PM
To: Coyotewisdom/group
Subject: [coyotewisdom] Lewis Mehl-Madrona teaches 14 months program: Indigenous North American Body Work in NYC

CATA Center for the Advancement of Therapeutic Arts
122 West 26 St. #701
New York, NY 10001
(917) 572-8114
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