Craniosacral Therapy for Mesothelioma Patients

A member of CATA’s community let us know about Mesothelioma.net, a comprehensive, informational website on mesothelioma with a mission of providing quality information and assistance to families in need. All of the information is thoroughly researched and cited.

Check out this article on the benefits of craniosacral therapy for mesothelioma patients.

North American Healing Arts (NAHA) Reading List

Indigenous North American Healing, Traditions, and History
Lewis Mehl-Madrona MD PhD: Coyote Medicine;
Coyote Wisdom: The Power of Story in Healing
Narrative Medicine: The Use of History and Story in the Healing Process
Renfrew, Nita R.: “Traditional American Indian Bodywork, the Origin of Osteopathy, Polarity, and Craniosacral Therapy”: A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism, Vol. 8, #1, Spring-Summer 2015
Polarity Therapy Workbook, by John Beaulieu: 2016 edition.
John G. Neihardt: Black Elk Speaks (Lakota medicine man)
Thomas E. Mails: Fools Crow (Lakota medicine man);
Wisdom and Power
Michael O. Fitzgerald: Yellowtail: Crow Medicine Man and Sun Dance Chief
Frank B. Linderman: Plenty-Coups: Chief of the Crows
Bear Heart: The Wind Is My Mother: The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman (Muskogee Creek)
Donald Sandner M.D.: Navajo Symbols of Healing: A Jungian Exploration of Ritual, Image, and Medicine
Joseph Rael (Pueblo/Ute): Being and Vibration
Frank Waters: Book of the Hopi
Evan T. Pritchard (Micmac): No Word for Time;
Native New Yorkers: The Legacy of the Algonquin People of New York
Colin G. Calloway: The Shawnees and the War for America
Dee Brown: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Joseph M. Marshall III (Lakota): The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History
Russell Means: Where White Men Fear to Tread: The Autobiography of Russell Means (Lakota AIM leader)
Dennis Banks and Richard Erdoes: Ojibwa Warrior: Dennis Banks and the Rise of the American Indian Movement
Vine Deloria, Jr. (Lakota): God Is Red: A Native View of Religion;
The World We Used to Live In: Remembering the Powers of the Medicine Men
Daniel R. Wildcat (Yuchi/Muskogee): Red Alert: Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge
Kent Nerburn: Chief Joseph and the Flight of the Nez Perce;
Neither Wolf Nor Dog
(fiction)

Harvest McCampbell (Native American): Sacred Smoke: the Ancient Art of Smudging for Modern Times
Jordan Paper: Offering Smoke: the Sacred Pipe and Native American Religion
Joseph Epes Brown: The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk’s Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux
James Mooney’s History, Myths and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees
Tom Brown, Jr.: The Tracker

North American Sound Healing
John Beaulieu: Human Tuning: Healing With Tuning Forks;
Music and Sound in the Healing Arts
Polarity Therapy Workbook (2nd edition, 2016)

Osteopathy
John Lewis: A.T. Still: From the Dry Bone to the Living Man, Blaenau Ffeistiniog, Gwynedd: Dry Bone Press 2012
William Garner Sutherland: Teachings in the Science of Osteopathy: Sutherland Cranial Teaching Foundation 1990
Contributions of Thought: The Collected Writings of William Garner Sutherland, D.O.: Sutherland Cranial Teaching Foundation 1998
J.M Littlejohn: Applied Anatomy: published by John Wernham, UK 2005
Life in Motion: The Osteopathic Vision of Rollin E. Becker, D.O.: Stillness Press 2001

Reiki
Hiroshi Doi: A Modern Reiki Method for Healing
Mikao Usui: The Original Reiki Handbook
Frank Arjava Petter and Tadao Yamaguchi: The Hayasho Reiki Manual: Traditional Japanese Healing Techniques from the Founder of the Western Reiki System
Walter, Lubeck, Frank Arjava Petter, William Lee Rand: The Spirit of Reiki
Tadao Yamaguchi: Light on the Origins of Reiki
Nita Renfrew: “The Shamanic Grail Cup,” A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism, Vol. 6, Issue 2, Fall 2013

Background
The Anatomy Coloring Book
Frank H. Netter MD: Atlas of Human Anatomy
John Upledger: Your Inner Physician

Other
David Abram: Becoming Animal
Stephen Harrod Buhner: The Secret Teachings of Plants;
The Lost Language of Plants

Traditional American Indian Bodywork: The Origin of Osteopathy, Polarity and Craniosacral Therapy

Excerpted from A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism, Vol. 8, #1, Spring-Summer 2015; Polarity Therapy Workbook, by John Beaulieu: 2016 edition.

It seems that the origins of Osteopathy, created by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, MD DO (1828-1917) in the late nineteenth century, indeed, lie in traditional American Indian bodywork. (I use the term “American Indian” as used by AIM in the “American Indian Movement.”) We know now that among the natives of this land, there was a healing tradition that combined a form of osteopathic massage and manipulation with energy and narrative work.

Dr. Still became a recognized physician and surgeon, although he never said where he had learned his musculoskeletal and organ massage techniques, which he called Osteopathy, he is known to have alluded to the bone-setting methods of the Shawnee at least once, as reported by the director of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine in a lecture, who added that Still often used the phrase ‘Taking an Indian look’ at something.

“Forgetting what you know and just to quietly observe with no thoughts.”

This was followed by a quote from Still’s Autobiography: “All Nature seemed to wait in hushed expectancy. With the iron hand of will I barred the gates of memory, shut out the past with all its old ideas. My soul took on a receptive attitude, my ear was tuned to Nature’s rhythmic harmony.”

Indeed, Dr. Still lived his life, like the Native Indians, by a nature-centered belief. And when he started his medical practice, he advertised himself as a “magnetic healer” and “lightning bonesetter” before naming his methods Osteopathic Medicine.

Today, much of the traditional healing of the American Indians has been lost, because the Christian missionaries called it devil worship. However, what has survived in pockets around the country (along with Zuni and Navajo healing and bone-setting) is Cherokee bodywork, which was surely similar to Shawnee practices, since they were neighboring tribes in Virginia.

Cherokee Bodywork today is practiced and taught by Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD, of Cherokee and Lakota heritage, professor at a number of colleges and universities, medical researcher, and author of many books,
including Coyote Medicine. His thesis, along with some of his colleagues, is that Dr. Still learned much of what would become Osteopathy during his years assisting his father in his medical duties among the Shawnee. Dr. Mehl-Madrona, who is seeking to honor and preserve Cherokee Bodywork, came to this conclusion after experiencing and seeing the many similarities between Cherokee Bodywork and Osteopathy.

Interestingly, this would indicate that the origins of both Craniosacral and Polarity therapy also lie in traditional American Indian bodywork, since both Dr. William Garner Sutherland, DO (1873-1954), the originator of Cranial Osteopathy (the foundation for today’s Craniosacral therapy), and Dr. Randolph Stone, DO, DC, ND (1890-1981), the originator of Polarity therapy, were Andrew Taylor Still’s students. Cherokee bodyworkers, reports Mehl-Madrona, who learned the method from two traditional Cherokee women, are masters at working with energy and the breath, and they also move cranial bones, seeking the ridges, albeit with more force than Craniosacral practitioners. They do this along with osteopathic-like massage and manipulation of musculoskeletal tissues, organs, and joints, as well as acupressure on points and energy channels (that, in fact, correspond to the meridians). They combine all this with gentle rocking and with narrative healing, both verbal and energetic, using storytelling, and dialogue with the musculoskeletal system and with the client, and intense breath work to “restore spirit” to all parts of the body, when giving treatments that they commonly refer to as “doctoring.”

Learn more about John Beaulieu’s May 2017 sonic body healing workshop and the NAHA (North American Healing Arts) Program

The Artery Rules by Joseph Schmidlin

A fundamental osteopathic principal is that every part of the body is connected to every other part; affecting one part therefore affects all the others as well as the whole. As hands-on practitioners we have a similar role as the farmer preparing the field. We find contracted, insulted, non-integrated tissue, and we prepare it in a skillful and precise manner, knowing this is the foundation of health and well-being.

“The artery rules” is a phrase used often by Dr. A.T. Stills when teaching students at his osteopathic college in Kirksville, Missouri, at the turn of the 20th century. As a lifelong student, practitioner, and teacher of osteopathy and vibrational medicine, I understand this statement from the perspective that the arteries provide a crucial network of transport for life-giving blood.

Each pulse of the heart delivers oxygen, vital nutrients, and other components to the organs, tissues, and cells of the body. This arterial network also constitutes the medium of subtle yet life-organizing wave motions, arising from the vasomotor effect in the vessel walls and from the tidal influences transmuted through them. Dr. Stills, the founder of osteopathy, and his students looked at the human body as an environment, in the same way a farmer would view a field where the productivity and viability of the crop rely as much on proper irrigation and metabolic balance in the soil as on the vitality and viability of the seeds to be planted.

Now an interesting aspect of this analogy is that the “seeds” to be planted in the tissue are actually created by organ systems that exist within the tissue. For example, oxygen (the seed) in the bloodstream is created by respiration in the lungs and then delivered back into the tissue (the field). Similarly, neurochemicals generated within the tissue body are delivered by the arteries back to the tissue, creating a self-referencing and self-nourishing system. So we can begin to understand the importance of the tissue body and the need for clear and uninhibited communication between all parts, analogous to the need for nutrient-rich and well-irrigated soil.

One of the most important osteopathic skills is to differentiate between normal and abnormal tissue and, from that assessment, begin to treat and bring balance to the whole, interconnected field. To my mind, this is the true gift of A.T. Stills and of osteopathy as handed down through the last 165 years. I leave you with words by the good doctor from his 1902 publication, “The Philosophy and Mechanical Principals of Osteopathy”, as follows:

“We recognize the importance of a thorough acquaintance with the large and small fibers, ligaments, muscles, blood, and nerve supply to all the organs, glands, and lymphatics of the fascia and blood circuit in general. We wish you to make yourself so thoroughly acquainted with human anatomy that your hand, eye, and reason will be unfailing guides to all causes and effects.”

Learn more about osteopathy and its connection to North American Bodywork in Joseph Schmidlin’s December 2016 workshop, Body Reading and the Art of Listening.

Introducing Nita Renfrew

Nita M. Renfrew LMT AADP, NAHA 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 nitarenfrew@yahoo.com.

Together with Lewis Mehl-Madrona and Barbara Mainguy, she coauthored a refereed article 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 NAHA Program Facilitator, Nita will assist in teaching as well as providing the coordination and integrative structure of the program. Join us for Nita’s workshop, Great Bear (Big Dipper) Reiki, on Nov. 5th & 6th.

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“Today, much of the traditional healing of the American Indians has been lost, because the Christian missionaries called it devil worship. However, what has survived in pockets around the country (along with Zuni and Navajo healing and bone-setting) is Cherokee bodywork, which was surely similar to Shawnee practices, since they were neighboring tribes in Virginia. Cherokee Bodywork today is practiced and taught by Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD, of Cherokee and Lakota heritage, professor at a number of colleges and universities (most recently Dartmouth Maine), medical researcher, and author of many books, including Coyote Medicine. His thesis, along with some of his colleagues, is that Dr. Still learned much of what would become Osteopathy during his years assisting his father in his medical duties among the Shawnee. Dr. Mehl-Madrona, who is seeking to honor and preserve Cherokee Bodywork, came to this conclusion after experiencing and seeing the many similarities between Cherokee Bodywork and Osteopathy.”

Locating Your Inner Healer

lewisLewis Mehl-Madrona

Native American philosophy teaches us that all healing is fundamentally spiritual healing. What this means is that any technique works much better when the person’s inner healer is activated. 

This profound, but elusive part of our self (according to Native American philosophy) organizes healing of body, mind, and soul. What this inner healer is, varies from tribe to tribe, and culture to culture.

Some call it spirit. Others call it soul. Others call it Self. When it is activated, people feel transformed. They feel “in the flow”; present-centered, mindful, empowered, and intuitively aware of what they need for healing. Our goal is to locate this inner healer.

“What approach or method will best heal me?”

While it is true that some approaches have more proven biological efficacy than others, both research on the self-healing response and the philosophy of indigenous healers teaches us that most important is the person in the healing process. If your inner healer is activated and functioning for you, almost anything can work. If it is not, very little can work. Drugs and surgery are such extreme measures that the need for the inner healer can be detoured, but my experience has been that eventually we do need to meet our inner healer or pharmacologically treated disease returns or worsens and new conditions arise.

Introducing Dr. Joseph Schmidlin

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.

He will be teaching Body Reading and the Art of Listening (16 CEs pending) as part of the NAHA program in December.

“I am very excited about this new program. I believe it will prove to be a very potent curriculum bringing in a truly holistic perspective for working with the body as manual therapists. The design of this program will take the student deep into the understanding and thought process of how to work with the body as one dynamic unit of function. We will bring in teachings from the origins of the North American healing arts. Specifically osteopathy, traditional Cherokee healing, and vibrational healing.

If we look the origins of the North American healing arts there has always existed the understanding that the body is one whole integrated and interconnected unit of function. Beyond the interconnectedness of the individual body there was an innate understanding that each member in the community or tribe was essential to the health of the whole tribe. We can look at this perspective as just a larger body in exactly the same way that the individual is made up of cells that make up a larger body. Next we can look at the natural world and see how we are all connected and integral to everything in nature. This is a concept and understanding that was inherently understood in the past.

As we entered the 20th century with the advent and development of allopathic symptom-based treatment we moved away from this interconnectedness principle. In our current healthcare system, for example, when there is a shoulder problem we would tend to look at the physical area of the shoulder and not much beyond. From a truly holistic and integral perspective, we would look at what was happening in the whole body and the relationship of the different systems, i.e.: the endocrine, circulatory, lymphatic, nervous, muscular-skeletal, and physiology of the viscera. By understanding how to look at and treat the body as a whole interconnected functional unit, we can provide treatment that is not only safe, but effective and sustainable.”

Seeing Illness as an Imbalance

by Lewis Mehl-Madrona

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Most Native People believe that all healing is ultimately spiritual healing, and that the integration of mind, body, and spirit is crucial to getting well. I grew up within an implicit understanding of this principle, and through the course of my life, have come to explicitly believe this as well. 

Implicit within indigenous culture’s concepts of illness is an appreciation that it is a territory in which we find ourselves, and not an inseparable trait of the person who is ill. Rather than describe someone as a cancer patient, we would say that this person finds herself in the territory of cancer. Implicit also is the understanding that illness is a marker of imbalance. When balance and harmony are restored, illness can be transformed. The limits of this healing transformation are set by the Divine and cannot be known by humans. 

For those who are uncomfortable with the God concept, we can speak this awareness in the language of systems science, as Douglas Hofstedter does in his book, Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, in which he shows that we cannot fully characterize or describe systems in which we are participants. An organ cannot fully describe its human. A human cannot fully characterize her family. A family cannot fully characterize its larger kinship group. So the rules for our existence cannot be fully known by us. 

Finally, indigenous cultures know that sickness and death are not necessarily related. Illness does not invariably lead to death, and one does not have to be ill to die. 

While I became more and more impressed with the effectiveness of Native American methods for long-term survival and for treating chronic disease, I also came to understand that all traditional cultures on every continent share this wisdom.