Friday, January 21, 2011

George Washington Carver was a Healer

Did you know that George Washington Carver -- the ex-slave credited with inventing over 300 uses for peanuts -- was also a profound healer who was said to talk to the soul of flowers, plants, animals and people? Learn more:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Journey to Becoming a Healer

I'd venture a guess that most alternative healers have a story like this. I'm no different from anyone else. But I realized this week that most people don't know even a small percent of the journey I've been on! I don't intend to tell all of it here but I thought I would share how the story begins.

I had a stomach ulcer by the time I was in third grade. I was 9 by that time but my psyche always likes to say I was 6 years old because that's when my family moved away from the first family home I can remember near New Haven, Connecticut to a new home in Massachusetts. I'm told I was always shy but I remember Connecticut as a place where I had a really great best friend. I remember hanging out on our fake western log fences pretending to ride horses. In my memory we're wearing cowboy hats but I don't remember any photographs where we actually wore them. We made up lots of pretend games, played "Red Light, Green Light" and other forms of tag, and did a lot of creative stuff with our moms' help putting on puppet shows and various plays. When we moved we left a relatively close-knit community made up of all the moms and kids on the 1-2 block long stretch of street where we lived to join a subdivision where the children were different ages and the moms rarely spoke.

I went to school in this new place in the middle of the school year and entered this new first grade classroom with great fear and trepidation. The first thing I learned was that I better not look smart. I knew how to read by the time I was three years old. Learning and achieving was a highly held value in my strict Jewish family upbringing and I knew better, based on how I was treated at home, than to not make the grade! Imagine my surprise when we took turns reading outloud from "Dick and Jane" and the only other child in the classroom who could actually read without very slowly and painfully sounding out each syllable was another Jewish child who was laughed at for his ability and made fun of by the other children in the room! I made sure to pretend I was sounding out the words when it was my turn but the ruse was up several weeks later when the teacher decided to display with gold stars how many books each of us had completed and my stars were twice as many as anyone else's.

Life was living hell from that point on. I later heard from Irish and Italian classmates that my shyness was perceived as being "stuck up." "Pride" is one the Catholic deadly sins, of course. My classmates always bowed their heads when they looked you in the eye (unless they intended to beat you up) and my lack of conformity to these unconscious, not purposely anti-Semitic "rules" made them mistrust me and intend to "take me down a peg." If they only knew how little self-esteem I had inside! It wasn't pride driving my behavior at all! It was shyness, not understanding the "rules", and not knowing how to abide by them and be myself.

So, torn between making my parents happy and figuring out how to survive titters in the classroom and elbows in the hall, I was a nervous wreck by the time I got sick. And lo and behold! The intense pressure at home subsided after that. I stopped even trying to make friends at school and eventually wound up with a peer group of other rejected schoolmates. But sickness became an almost constant part of my existence from that point on.

In college my condition became aggravated by a bout of gastrointestinitis that went through our entire dorm. I knew medical science had not healed me of my ulcer and after being prescribed various antibiotics I was allergic to I mistrusted western medicine.  Big mistake! I should have asked for help. Instead of getting better with everyone else my condition became chronic with periods of healing alternating with flare-ups whenever I felt anxious or afraid. That's when I turned to alternative methods to try to manage my condition and get well.

As a child I used to pretend to be an Indian medicine woman in the woods. I'd pretend I knew what herbs to gather and mashed them up with berries and other things I found. It was natural for me then to seriously look into herbalism when I wanted to get well and the first thing I tried, slippery elm bark, became a godsend when I couldn't keep any other thing down. It was temporary symptomatic relief but it worked so well I never looked back.

The next thing I noticed was the correlation between certain kinds of stress and flare-ups of the disease. Battling that stress took years to figure out! I started with meditation and yoga, then learned techniques to combat pain by copying what midwives teach their pregnant patients. Breathe into the pain. Pain is the body tightening and being in resistance to some kind of stimulus. Like a pregnant woman I'd imagine the area that was clenching opening like a flower, breathing into the space, imagining it getting bigger, breathing and not resisting again and again. It worked! But sometime later the disease would return and I'd have to do it again.

By the time I was in my early 20s I knew certain things about my illness. It became a problem whenever I had to try something new. It became unmanageable when that newness involved other people. I didn't remember how the illness got started in childhood -- I tried never to think about that. "I had moved on!" or so I'd think. But eventually it started to sink in. It flared up when I was afraid, especially when there was a decision about something new to make. Once I made the decision, any decision, the pain would retreat. But if I chose the path of least resistance -- to do the least scary thing -- the pain would only go away so far. If I did the counter-intuitive scary thing (that always involved what I really wanted) it would go away completely! Weird but I got the message: even if it's scary, be true to myself!

Later I wanted to know the truth of where this distress came from and I got involved in a form of reciprocal peer counseling known as Re-evaluation Counseling or co-counseling. I did that for 25 years, eventually becoming a teacher and then a teacher of teachers and the leader in the community who could certify new ones. 10 years into that particular career I had made incredible progress on my own emotional and physical well-being... but I STILL got sick although a fair bit less often. And that's when the spiritual stepped in.

I was working as the acting art director at Crossing Press with a very emotionally unbalanced officemate who had a scary aspect to her behavior. My illness flared up with a vengeance and a point came when I couldn't take it any longer. I asked for assistance, did not get it, and wound up needing to leave that job (without having another one). Before I left I met a very gifted psychic -- an author who had a book we were considering -- and after I left the job I managed to get a session with him. I didn't tell him very much about my illness and what was going on but he took a look psychically, leaned forward and looked me in the eye with great intent and compassion and said "Anyone who had been through what you've been through would respond the same way."

My first thought was "so what?" and I said so and he just leaned in even closer with more intent and said it again: "ANYONE who had been through what you've been through would respond the same way." He wanted me to get the message, to let it in, to know without a doubt that I was not to blame, to forgive myself for having this pain. He told me to go home and imagine myself as a very young child who needed to hear these words and to say them to myself whenever I felt sick. I did -- I had to do it twice -- but after I did the illness left never to return. If I get even a warning that it's about to manifest again I do this exercise and the symptoms back away.

Less than a month ago I was in my family home going through a hellish life lesson. One family member was acting out in an incredibly abusive manner and everyone else said that 1) it wasn't abuse and 2) it was my fault if I couldn't handle it -- I needed a thicker skin! Not only that, it was my fault this and my fault that. Anything that I had ever had a challenge with was MY fault and any success I had ever had was never mentioned. I had forgotten how I had gotten the message that I was to blame for my issues but I'll never forget it again.

But even years ago I saw the value in that spiritual counseling session. And I decided that I needed to learn how to do that because I wanted to help people in the very same way. I had been through years of counseling up until that time and no one had thought to address this. In 20-30 minutes he was able to intuit the missing piece. And when I followed his advice the illness was done.

Now I do spiritual counseling and healing work with my partner Paul. Helping to find those missing links for people is my very most favorite thing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chiropractic Adjustments Through Spiritual Counseling Alone

Why do we do this work?

We get the gift of seeing people turn their lives around. Not every time, of course. But most of the time we see a shift. A light goes on for one client: “Now I know why I’ve been so scared and what I want to do instead! Thank-you!” Another client says “I’ve been carrying such a burden of grief and loss and pain over this old memory. Thank you for helping me to forgive and move on. I feel like I can breathe for the first time now.”

One of the biggest gifts from doing spiritual counseling and healing work has been seeing what is possible. Three clients stand out in my mind as I write this. In each case they complained of a pain they typically would see a chiropractor about. In each case we didn’t touch them or do any energy healing. We examined unconscious belief systems running in their lives, helped make them conscious, and paved the way for new choices to be made. In each case the client exclaimed that they felt much better physically by the end of the session. One client stood up, we heard a cracking noise as her vertebrae shifted back into place, and the pain she was experiencing was gone completely! A few days later she called to report that she canceled her weekly chiropractic appointment-- she didn’t need it that week at all.

We’re not trying to put chiropractors out of business! (I have a favorite chiropractor I’d hate to do that to.) But the mind/body connection is a powerful thing. Change the belief that you’re in danger and need to be self-protective and your shoulders don’t need to be held up around your ears anymore. The back relaxes, healthy energy flow increases, and things that were out of alignment automatically snap back into place.

We can’t promise we can do this every time. We didn’t try to do psychic chiropractic adjustments at all! But it happened, for three clients in a row, one week when we were needing confirmation of what NOT doing hands-on healing work could do.

It’s uplifting to see this happen. It doesn’t just help our clients--it reminds us of what’s possible in our own lives as well.

Our website:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What Do We Do?

Recently, on Facebook I found out that people I've been conversing with for some time have no idea of what Paul and I do, why we do it,  or how we do it! I imagine that many people who receive our email newsletter but have never had a session with us feel the same way. It's about time we remedied that situation!

First: what do we do?

Paul and I offer a service you won't find being done by two practitioners working as a team hardly anywhere. We look for other people like us! We've wanted to meet them, swap stories, find out what they charge and how they promote their services. Occasionally a husband and wife team doing some piece of what we offer pops up on our horizon but to this day we have not met a spiritual counseling and healing team doing anything like what we do. Although we have met single practitioners providing somewhat similar things.

We combine spiritual and more conventional counseling techniques with one-on-one teaching, direct spiritual guidance (some call that "psychic" or "channeled" guidance), hands-on or off-the-body energy work, guided imagery, and a variety of exercises or homework to take the work forward. Our intention is helping you get to a deeper sense of well-being physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually but we don't use the same set of techniques with each person.

What happens in a given session depends on what you set as your intention for the session and what you most need (and are ready) to receive. Some people come because they are in pain because of a difficult relationship, job, or health condition that hasn't responded to conventional medical attention. A certain number of people have come because they have been having spiritual difficulties they wanted help with: difficulties with Kundalini awakenings, pain from having gotten involved with damaging guru relationships, pain from not having the spiritual support they desire, confusion about where to go with their lives now that they've had a spiritual opening. Some want help with handling issues related to developing an alternative healing private practice of their own. MOST people have underlying issues that are not the primary issue they present to us when we first get started.

This is how a "typical" session might go:

We always start by getting quiet, meditative, and asking for our guides, angels or those higher beings who have our deepest welfare as their main concern to be present (in some sessions we use the word "God" -- it depends on the belief system of the person we're working with). We intend that the space we're creating be otherwise free and clear and that the guidance come from the highest place possible. On rare occasions we need to address outside influences the person might have brought in with them (the worries and concerns of someone close to them is most common). It's kind of like brushing off distracting influences (like a mother-in-law who is always insisting she knows better than you) so the guidance we receive is clear. We all set our intention for the session and then we ask our client what it is they are here for.

At this point the session can go many different ways but it is always an interactive experience. Paul always closes his eyes and gets into a deep meditative state. He's had a serious meditation practice since childhood -- he drops into this state almost instantly without effort. I always get quiet, attempt to be in my version of meditative and wait for direction. I might hear a word, a phrase or a whole paragraph instructing me to ask about a certain thing the client may or may not have mentioned. If Paul gets the first hit he'll usually start by describing whatever impressions he may have received in his meditative state. Sometimes we get no psychic / spiritual input at all! But when that happens it's because it's not needed. After 30 years of providing more conventional peer counseling, the way to begin is frequently obvious! Usually there is some spiritual direction added but one way or another a way is opened for a dialogue to begin.

Our clients always participate in their healing. We guide, direct, ask specific questions but the client is always empowered to become more aware from the inside out...although we might bring something to their attention they were not wanting to address before. As I said, there is almost always some kind of underlying issue behind the scenes. A client frequently says I want help with "X" and either Paul or I will get the strong impression that that's not the whole story. A person who says they need to make a career change might just have an angry boss they don't get along with or a spouse or partner putting pressure on or perhaps a hankering desire to add something that's missing now. When there's a long-standing health issue the person might want healing but what will happen if they allow it? Has an entire lifestyle developed around this issue, perhaps a psychological need that hasn't been otherwise addressed? Complicated issues can't always be unraveled in one session but we always address at least one.

Some sessions proceed with interactive spiritual counseling alone. It might look like a conventional counseling session but we stop to ask for guidance at various points along the way. In other sessions we might be guided to do hands-on healing work. Blockages from past history come to light that way and we can then talk about that and help release them using a variety of techniques. Some people come to us primarily for the energy work. They hop on the table and that's what we focus on. But it's a rare session when we don't combine the healing with some kind of process to make the work conscious so people come home with the insight and knowledge they need to maintain the healing or take it further.

We can't always "fix" what's going on. Sometimes we have to say that we can't undo a problem you have but we can help you choose healthier happier ways of living with it. Sometimes the problem is how a person is holding the issues—not seeing the inherently positive aspects of what's going on, not seeing the opportunities this life experience creates, the "mistakes' that are actually the genius of our subconscious minds at play. Or "at work' to help lead you to water you might not otherwise drink.

The vast majority of our sessions in recent years have been done long distance via telephone and that works extremely well. Most of our clients come primarily for guidance and insight although we can do almost all of our energy healing techniques long distance as well. Unfortunately, you don't get the visual and emotional support that comes from a hands-on, in-person experience that way. We also want to be able to spend more time with our clients -- longer sessions or regular ones so we can walk people through the exercises we give them to do, for example, or help them through what comes up after they follow through on their own. We're working on ways to bring our work to healing retreat locations (spas, etc.) so we can help people ready to take the time to do this work. But I think we needed to learn how to do the work long distance as well so that the work of a healing retreat doesn't have to be followed up with no support at home.

I hope that gives people who have been curious some idea of what we do. In future blogs I'll share more about how I got into this work, what excites me about it, and why we continue to want to do it.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, if you'd like to have a session with us go to our website at You'll find a link for how to set up a session or contact info for asking more questions.