The Evolution of an MT

From Office to Birthing Room

I’m resting on my knees, rib cage indenting the soft lip of a plastic pool that could be mistaken for a kiddy pool. Colorful designs of cartoon animals dance around the outer circle, and a nervous husband pours water from a teakettle to rewarm the pool’s contents.

I am not outdoors under the sun, on a lawn in a backyard, but rather on a hardwood floor in the dining room of a small house in West Los Angeles, California.

It is four o’clock in the morning.

Laboring Naturally


Even with today’s medical advances in childbirth, one simple truth remains — a woman must eventually do most of the work herself. Understanding how to best utilize a woman’s inner strength and harnessing her body’s wisdom can make the process that much easier and healthier for both mother and child.

Get Out of the Way

The use of complementary therapies is one of the best ways to harness that wisdom and strength, giving a woman in labor the tools to control her fear surrounding childbirth in an instinctive and natural way.

Women Gathered at Birth

The Massage Birth Assistant

“It’s a tragedy what has happened here in the United States.” So says Sandy Ventura Gordon, director and president of Bodyworkers Association for the Birthing Year, Inc. (B.A.B.Y.). In a recent interview, Gordon spoke of the 20th century trend toward the medicalization of childbirth, and the consequent relinquishment of women’s power in the process. “Delivery has been turned into a medical situation and instills in a woman not to trust herself. She thinks her body can’t do it right. Women who trusted in their bodies and their ability to give birth now fear birth.

Touching the Core

The Heart and Intelligence of Mayan Abdominal Massage

In 1983, Chicago native Rosita Arvigo, a doctor of naprapathy (D.N.) began an intensive 12-year apprenticeship with one of the last living Maya shamans in Central America. Don Elijio Panti was already 90 years old when Arvigo began to study with him in his tiny, remote village of San Antonio in western Belize, not far from the Guatemalan border. She learned about native healing plants, the Maya prayers, herbal bathing for physical and spiritual healing and the ancient technique of Maya abdominal massage, known simply as la sobada — the massage.