My Continuum, My Journey
By Lisa Forasacco | Abdominal Therapist and Educator | Verona, Italy.
As a midwife, I love observing and learning about the miraculous creativity of the female body. Its capacity to move and transform through menstruation, birth, and the natural ageing process fascinates me. Soon after I completed my midwifery studies, I realized that all my learning had been via the academic process, deeply rooted in the technocratic, paternalistic approach to women’s health. I felt I was missing a deeper insight for both myself and my clients. I was seeking another way to connect to my uterus, my organs, and my spirit. Although I had a degree, I still knew so little about how my body functioned!
While travelling around the world to study, work, and explore, I heard about castor oil packs and a woman from Belize who trained people in uterine health. It was only when I returned home to Italy, back in 2010, and busy in my midwifery practice that I found Rosita Arvigo, that woman from Belize! I learned she was a naprapath, healer, fellow traveler, and author. She had studied with authentic Maya shamans, parteras, and healers. Her work translated this knowledge for Western understanding, making traditional Maya medicine and rituals accessible. Her work explained how Abdominal Therapy succeeds in treating different types of physical and emotional diseases. I was hooked, and spent the next few years learning Abdominal Therapy and became an Abdominal Therapy Educator.
For me, the best part of this whole journey has been that I’m able to take care of my own belly, my own uterus and spirit. This places me in a solid position as I can then support others to do the same. It’s felt so right, honest and true, giving me the time to experience this self-massage known as Your Abdominal Massage (YAM) and other remedies. It’s allowed me time to reflect, cry, and repair my inner wounds (as we all have), study and plan for my future.
My initial Abdominal Therapy teacher was Vivian Menjivar whom I studied with in Greece. Through her guidance I deepened my own understanding. I clearly remember the first time I started to touch my navel, my emotional brain in one of her classes. Suddenly, ancestral memories about my own birth appeared. They cut my cord! They cut my cord, it hurts so much! I started crying, releasing! As I opened my eyes, I smiled as Vivian was there holding a protective sacred space around me. I could then understand why I had become a midwife, why I never allowed any cord to be cut in my presence. I was finally aware I had the power to heal myself. This is where I started My Continuum in learning and know I’ll never stop!
One year later, I was back in Greece, taking my Abdominal Therapy professional training with a tiny little soul, healthy growing in my womb. He received many amazing cuddles and beautiful energy from the group. I learned so much about my own body during that week of training, and how I could serve others too. I was ready, to be a vector for other people to start their healing process. I brought all this knowledge together and enjoyed enriching my midwifery practice with Abdominal Therapy as well as running classes which taught others how to look after their own abdomens.
A few years later with my second baby in my belly and my first child strapped to my back, I flew with my partner to England to take more training with Rosita Arvigo. It never ceases to amaze me the detailed information I learn during these classes, that allow me to grow and enrich my practice and my own self-care. I had a beautiful surprise when I returned home, when I learned that a couple preparing for IVF, who I’d been working with had repositioned her uterus (as revealed by the ultrasounds) and finally had become pregnant!
On top of all this, I truly feel that the best part of all this is the friendships I’ve made, the authentic fun I’ve had, and the amazing chat and laughter shared. Abdominal Therapists are a big community of colorful people moved by the same purpose: honoring our lineage and teachers, and giving thanks to the joy that just being part of this can cause.
The Continuum Concept, written by Jean Liedloff, is one of my favourite books. It speaks of an understanding of how we’re all born with a capacity to adapt through our mother’s unconditional presence and physical contact. I believe that ATC’s Founders are representing our mothers arms. They generously hold space for students, educators, and future educators to safely learn, ask for what we need, and gift knowledge and wisdom regardless of age, culture, background, and gender.
I’m so honored to be an Abdominal Therapy practitioner, educator, midwife, holistic massage therapist, mother of two boys, and continuous learner.