Learn to heal with traditional methods

By Cindy Brown
For The Taos News
Posted 5/17/19

Taos school offers summer courses taught by native healers of different cultures, backgounds

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Learn to heal with traditional methods


The ancient healing wisdom of the Southwest and beyond will be taught this summer through several classes offered by Native Roots in Taos.

Native Roots is a school that organizes classes taught by healers steeped in their own cultural traditions. The teachers share their learning and focus on healing methods of self-care and community health. The goal of the school is to make classes available to Taos County community members regardless of their ability to pay and they offer scholarships and other payment methods.

Morgaine Witriol founded the organization, she said, after an apprenticeship with a Mayan medicine man in Belize and study as a clinical herbalist.

Beginning in May, a four-month series will run through September sharing traditions of ancestral, folk, and indigenous herbalism and healing. Among the topics covered will be food as medicine, medicine-making, growing food and medicine using Southwest permaculture techniques, curanderismo and Ecuadorian movement and meditations.

Teachers from many cultures and native traditions include:

• Henrietta Gomez of Taos Pueblo;

• Howard Badhand, Lakota Sundance chief;

• Emigdio Ballon of the Quechua people of Bolivia, descendent of the Incas;

• Pat McCabe, Diné medicine woman.

The series will include meetings two days a week, as well as more in-depth study with one teacher, monthly three-day intensive sessions and regional field trips.

Native Roots will also offer a series of workshops in July, each focusing on a different topic such as Mexican traditions of herbal medicine, curanderismo traditions of the Southwest, traditional approaches to herbalism and healing and Jewish folk medicine.

Two weeks of youth camp for kids from 9 to 16 years of age will emphasize permaculture, medicinal plants, folk traditions, storytelling and adventure. There will be field trips to the mountains and also the chance to participate in farming projects, along with music, games and art and an introduction to the multicultural traditions of the area.

For more information, visit nativerootshealing.com or call (914) 400-7558. Tribally affiliated people of New Mexico may pay on a donation basis and the organization is raising funds to offer youth scholarships.

Some of the courses offered: 

July 13-14: Doris Ortiz, an herbalist from Mexico, will share herbal remedies used in the Mexican traditions with a focus on herbal medicine for the nervous system, grief, panic attacks, sleep, emotional trauma, and for pregnancy and birthing.

July 20-23: Tonita Gonzales and Rita Navarette will teach a workshop on curanderismo through body and spirit Hands-on Healing (sobadas), Manteadas (shawl alignment), laugh therapy, recognizing and releasing emotional traumas, generational trauma and Mesoamerican tools for spiritual cleansing

July 25-30: Ancestral, Folk, & Indigenous Herbalism and Healing with teachers Emigdio Ballon, Ana Chavez, Henrietta Gomez, Lucy Mccall and Morgaine Witriol and Tom Chavez


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