Trace the story of Amy's journey from a mainstream health approach to one that includes ancient spiritual practices.
In 2004, the year of my wedding, my husband and I planned what we called our “pre-Honeymoon.” The idea was that we wanted to invest in a lovely trip to a hot destination in snowy February, rather than spend our money on a vacation in June when there was no need to escape the Canadian weather.
An image in a travel book inspired me to book a weeklong stay at Cha Creek, a jungle resort in the heart of Belize. We couldn’t afford the luxurious lodges in the main resort, so we stayed in their alternate lodging, a collection of permanent tents run by a local Maya family. It was “glamping” before glamping was trendy. It was idyllic. We ate traditional home cooked food outside under the moon. We visited local Maya ruins and napped in hammocks.
On one of the last days of our stay, we went on a “Rainforest Remedy Tour” that began directly on the resort property. We learned about local plants and trees and their medicinal uses.
At the end of the tour, there was a small gift shop. As a longtime menstrual pain sufferer, I picked up a bottle of their “Female Tonic” tincture.
Fast-forward four years and circumstances (one of which you can read about here) had brought Kim and me to open our business, Red Tent Sisters. When I happened upon the bottle of Rainforest Remedy Female Tonic shoved at the back of a kitchen cupboard one evening, it occurred to me that this might be a product worth stocking in our shop. I jumped online to research whether this tincture was available for purchase. Having just begun seeing clients as part of my certification as a Justisse-trained Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioner, I was keen to find natural remedies for my clients’ various reproductive health issues.
I was stunned to discover that in fact this product was produced by Rosita Arvigo – a friend of the Cha Creek Resort owners – a woman who specialized in teaching uterine massage for healing and fertility.
It felt like divine intervention.
I promptly signed up for a local intro class in Toronto, and was pleasantly surprised to see a major reduction in menstrual symptoms after just one cycle of self-care massage. It was not long before I was packing my bags to head back to Cha Creek in Belize for professional training in the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy.
While there I discovered that the work was inspired and informed by Rosita’s years of apprenticeship with the Maya Shaman, Don Elijio Panti. As part of our training, we participated in a Primicia Ceremony – a devotional ceremony to the Maya Spirits. I remember distinctly that just before the start of the ceremony the winds whipped through Rosita’s home, shaking everything about as if heralding the spirits’ arrival. When the ceremony was complete a great calm came over the valley and a giant rainbow emerged across the valley – a fitting sign given that Ix Chel, the Maya goddess of fertility, is also known as the rainbow goddess.
When I returned to Toronto and began performing this bodywork on clients, I approached the work mostly as a clinical treatment similar to any other I would use under my title as an Occupational Therapist.
But it wasn’t long before I started having unexplainable sensations and visions around my clients.
Sometimes I saw imagery in my clients’ wombs. Other times I felt I was “meeting” their unborn children. Inspired but also a little freaked out and perplexed, I decided I needed guidance to make sense of what I was experiencing.
What has followed has been a ten-year journey of apprenticeship with experienced shamanic practitioners and mediums in order to better understand what is referred to in the shamanic world as “non-ordinary reality.” In so doing, I have become more accustomed to relating to non-incarnate beings.
I believe I have only scratched the surface of what is possible in terms of communication with the spirit world.
While I have studied with some incredible teachers, including Nikiah Seeds, Naomi Lewis, April Tuck and Lori Wilson, ultimately, my true teachers have been the spirits themselves. I no longer question we are surrounded by invisible energies that we cannot see, and that our lives are very much directed by how we choose to engage or not engage with those forces.
When asked by friends or clients how I – such a seemingly scientifically oriented person – can believe in this “woo-woo” stuff, my best response is that I believe one-day science will be able to verify the existence of spiritual forces. We must be reminded that it wasn’t that long ago in human history that ideas such as intercontinental communications through invisible airwaves would have seemed positively absurd.
Throughout history, we see examples of new tools being developed that bust open our ideas of what is possible and what is real.
My lifetime struggle with menstrual cramps has brought many unexpected gifts, with the gift of my shamanic spirit teachers being among the most profound. My spirit teachers continually guide me to look at problems in new ways, assist me to make peace with my shadows, and encourage me to move into greater alignment with my life purpose.
It has been a decade since I first felt called to work with clients shamanically, and I finally feel I have the necessary skills and support to start doing so. In the absence of scientific validation of the existence of spirits and non-incarnate souls, the best way to evaluate the validity of their existence is through our own direct experience. If you are curious to learn more, I am now taking requests for complimentary 20-minute appointments. Or, if you prefer to write me with your questions, feel free to be in touch by email.
Kim & Amy Sedgwick love to discuss sex, periods, and all the other things we’re not supposed to talk about. The co-founders of Red Tent Sisters, they’ve been featured in every major Canadian news outlet and have become a trusted resource for people seeking natural (effective!) birth control, a more joyful sex life, and an empowered journey to motherhood