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

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.


“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.”

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