Cherokee Bodywork Practices
A weekend of healing techniques and practice
With Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Ph.D.
Author of Coyote Medicine, Coyote Healing,
Coyote Wisdom, and Narrative Medicine
“The need for Ceremony is in our DNA…”
December 11-13, 2009
GREAT NEWS! Dr. Mehl-Madrona will be returing to
The Mesa Creative Arts Center for an exciting new workshop, December 2-4, 2011. Stay tuned for the new topic...
Location: The Mesa Creative Arts Center
30 Miller Business Park Dr. Burgettstown, PA 15021
Overview: Almost all indigenous cultures had direct, hands-on, methods of healing. Those still popular today include Hawai’ian lomilomi, Zuni high velocity adjustment, and Thai massage. The suggestion even exists that American osteopathy owes its origins to aboriginal people, especially the Pawnee, among whom its originator, Dr. Stills, practiced for many years. The Cherokee were no exception to the art of touching the body for healing means, though this form is rarely encountered today.
This full weekend workshop will introduce participants to the Cherokee bodywork form of healing. Through the course of our time together, we will review the various strategies for touching, including deep pressure, rocking, shaking, running energy meridians, mobilization, and breath work. We will cover the body from head to toe. We will review what is similar and different about Cherokee bodywork from other systems of osteopathic or “manipulative” therapy. We will consider how techniques are similar to the cultures that produce them. We will consider especially the Cherokee emphasis on breath as a means to restore spirit to all parts of the body, and its consistency with many aboriginal languages in which the words for spirit and breath are the same.
The workshop will include:
- Supervised practice with the methods of Cherokee bodywork
- Practice with Cherokee breath work
- Examples of incorporating imagery and dialogue with body work.
- Consideration of the importance of ceremony and ritual and intent in body work.
- Manipulative medicine as a means of dialogue with the body.
- Cherokee use of acupuncture and its energy meridian, use of crystals, and energy medicine.
We will end with a prayer ritual to ask for a blessing on the work we have done and have yet to do.
There will be a Sweat Lodge Ceremony on Sunday afternoon for all interested parties. Preparation will begin after the morning session is over. We will need help in making preparations before the workshop and to uncover the lodge and dry and fold the blankets four days after the ceremony. While there is never any fee for lodge ceremonies at The Mesa, we do welcome donations of firewood, stones, blankets, and money to help us continue to be able to offer these healing ceremonies.
Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD, graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine and trained in family medicine, psychiatry, and clinical psychology. He has been on the faculties of several medical schools and is the author of Coyote Medicine, Coyote Healing, Coyote Wisdom, and Narrative Medicine, a quartet of books on what Native culture has to offer the modern world. Lewis is working with aboriginal communities to develop uniquely aboriginal styles of healing and health care for use in those communities. He is currently affiliated with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Hawai'i School of Medicine in Honolulu
Breakdown of individual sessions:
Dec 11: Friday evening, 7-9:30pm. Friday evening's presentation will provide an overview of the Cherokee style of bodywork including its place within the broader philosophies and practices of Native American and Cherokee healing. A full session will be demonstrated and discussed. Fee: $45 prepaid, $50 at the door.
Dec 12: Saturday morning, 9am-1pm. On Saturday morning, we will break down the technique into the first of three levels, which will be large muscle, large movements, breath work, and thorax and abdomen. We will practice together and become more skilled in these approaches. The morning will end with another full session demonstration. Fee: $65 prepaid, $70 at the door.
Dec 12: Saturday afternoon, 2-6pm. On Saturday afternoon, we will consider the second layer which is point work and more subtle levels of massage including cranial and sacral therapies. The afternoon will end with another full session demonstration and discussion. We will break down techniques and practice. Fee: $65 prepaid, $70 at the door.
Dec 13: Sunday morning, 9:30am-12:30pm. On Sunday morning, we will move to energetic healing and consider this layer of the body. This third layer of Cherokee bodywork includes hands above the body, hands on the body, use of feathers, smoke, rattles, drums, chants, songs, and crystals, and stones. It is commonly translated as "doctoring". We will experience a full "doctoring" session. Fee: $60 prepaid, $65 at the door.
Dec 13: Sunday afternoon, after 2pm. Sweat Lodge Experience. Participate in a traditional Sweat Lodge ceremony led by Lewis to give thanks, ask for healing, connect with Spirit and Mother Earth. (Volunteers will be needed to prepare for the Lodge the weekend of Dec 5-6 and the day of the ceremony.) Please note that space in the Lodge ceremony may be limited and preference will be given to those registered for the full weekend. Donations for ceremony gratefully accepted.
Full weekend fee: $215 if pre-registered and paid by November 27, $235 by December 11.
Payment by the session as noted.
Space is limited, register early!
Lodging is available in nearby Weirton West Virginia. (Baymont Inn and Suites, Holiday Inn), or close to The Mesa at the budget-priced Florence Motel.
Make checks payable to:
Mesa Creative Arts
30 Miller Business Park Dr.
Burgettstown, PA 15021
PLEASE NOTE: Dr. Mehl-Madrona will be available for private healing sessions on Friday, 12/11 from Noon until 5pm. Only 5 sessions will be scheduled first come, first served in one hour time blocks. (Please call 724-947-3097 for your appointment)
Dr. Mehl-Madrona does not charge for his healing services, but a donation is appropriate and appreciated. The amount of your donation should be based on your own situation and what the healing is worth to you. Keeping in mind the prevailing rates for healing services in the Pittsburgh area would be a good guideline for your donation.
For information or registration:
Brad and Kate Silberberg
The Mesa Creative Arts Center
Burgettstown, PA 15021