I am a big believer in energy. I’m the one who calls a feng shui expert after I’ve painted my door red which, in my defense, did stop my mail and slow down my life. The red activated some energy of delay, and I was relieved to find that my neighbor’s swimming pool would substitute for a 60-gallon drum of recirculating water that needed to be sitting off the South West corner of the house. I know energy exists. In fact, I have a friend who has a very strong energy field and occasionally we put our palms a few inches from each other just to see if we can feel the energy between us. We usually can.
Healing touch is often compared to Reiki, although it differs in the structure of the training. Both practices work in the energy field but the training and techniques are different. Janet Mentgen, a nurse, created healing touch by pulling together pieces of various holistic healing techniques. She taught it to other nurses, and a new discipline was formed. Healing touch, as does Reiki, deals with the biofield, the body’s energy field, and has credibility in the medical field because it comes from a medical model.
I have a friend who recently had her second baby and second cesarean. She had healing touch done on her in the first few hours after the baby was born and once a day in the five days that followed. She had a hard time the first time around and usually the second cesarean is harder than the first. However, she said she healed much faster (she said 80 percent faster) and she didn’t have to take any painkillers. She credits healing touch with her quick recovery.
Healing touch has been taught in nursing schools in our area since 1989. The first programs were at UT Memphis and UF Gainesville. There are five levels to achieve before one can be certified in healing touch, and the fifth level requires a supervised internship and case notebook. Recertification is necessary every five years and ongoing continuing education classes are required.
I went to Margaret Leslie to try healing touch. She was a school psychiatrist for 25 years before becoming a healing touch practitioner. Margaret started studying healing touch in 1994 and became certified in 1999. She is in the process of getting certified as a teacher of healing touch. Interestingly enough, she is a survivor of breast cancer and had healing touch before and after her surgery. Her healing was very fast and surprisingly painless, facts she attributes to healing touch.
I talked to her a few minutes before we began. She asked me if there were anything specific I needed to work on. Since I said no, she decided to align my energy. I laid on her table and she walked around me with her arms outstretched feeling the edges of my energy field. OK, here’s the weird part. I don’t know why this surprised me but I could feel her pushing the edges of my energy field. It was about four feet out from my body. She then put her hands on my feet to “tune” into my energy. Healing touch can be done by actually touching a person or by moving the hands a few inches above the body. She worked from my feet up. She put her hands on my feet and left them there until the energy was corrected or neutralized. Then she put her hands on my ankles, then my knees. We talked a bit at first but as she worked her way up my body, I got very sleepy.
I tried to stay awake because, after all, I had to write about this experience. I couldn’t stay awake. Her voice faded out and I had this incredible vision involving fields of flowers and a path and a very dear friend. Margaret woke me up about 45 minutes later when she was done. She said she removed a great deal of stagnant energy from my shoulders that was probably weighing me down. I sat up and hopped off the table. She caught me as I fell and told me to be careful for a while as my balance might be off for a bit. Uh, she was right. As I floated downstairs to my car, I felt light and bright, almost as if I glowed.
A nurse friend of mine says that although there are many healing modalities, healing touch is a discipline which can be very effective. A lot of the success of a holistic therapy depends on the relationship and/or the level of trust between the healer and client and what the client believes in. Someone who doesn’t believe in the energy of the body probably won’t have the same level of success as someone who calls the feng shui lady for advice. But there is a lot of research to support the idea that healing touch does help people recover from surgery faster and with less pain and medication.
And in this time of shorter office visits, multiple specialists and easy prescriptions, a world where so much is done to negate the relationship between healer and patient, healing touch might be just what the doctor should have ordered.
Wendy Smith, metropulse.com