Healing Goes Mainstream
Los Angeles, CA (August 2005)
Once upon a time, the word “healing” was met with suspicion, skepticism, or outright scorn. People associated healers with ads in sensationalistic tabloids, or perhaps with exploitative tent revivals designed to part the faithful with their money. If one did consult a healer, the encounter was shrouded in secrecy. To openly discuss such matters was to risk being labeled a “flake.” But for a growing number of ordinary Americans, that attitude is changing. Healing is going, well,mainstream .
My clients are sophisticated and successful, not gullible or ‘flaky’ by any stretch of the imagination. They are simply people who have come to realize that their body and spirit are crying out for help, and they’ve decided to answer that call.”
“Energy Medicine” is a healing art that involves unblocking certain areas of the energy field that surrounds the body. It treats a variety of chronic and acute conditions, from depression to heart disease to cancer to reproductive disorders. While robust perfect health cannot always be restored,“healing” and “curing” are not necessarily synonymous. Almost everyone reports some improvement. And some clients experience dramatic results, such as cancer going into remission.
What accounts for the surge of interest—open, unabashed interest—in the hard-to-quantify subject of healing? Why is the “H-word” coming out of the closet and into the light?
Conventional medicine isn’t working. Most of us acknowledge that America’s healthcare system is broken. And most of us are well aware that pills and surgeries aren’t meeting our healing needs. Conventional treatments may relieve symptoms, but they seldom get to the root of an illness. By addressing blockages in the energy field, energy healing treats problems at their source. I consider traditional doctors to be partners in healing. But when we are empowered at a soul level, we can learn to join forces with allopathic medicine in helping to heal ourselves.
We’re desperately seeking relief from our stressful, fast-paced lives. Although technology has made our lives “easier” in some ways, it is a double-edged sword. Cell phones and email mean that we are constantly connected to work and to other people. We live in crowded, noisy cities. We sit in traffic jams every day. The demands that our work places on us, not to mention the lack of quiet and solitude, take a toll. It’s hard to pay attention to your inner spirit when you’re thinking about work and responsibilities and bills, 24/7. We know, intuitively, that we’re neglecting something very important.
We’re out of sync with the healing rhythms of nature. We don’t work on farms anymore, so we’ve lost the benefits of physical labor, fresh air and sunshine, exposure to the changing seasons. We don’t have the rejuvenating “down time” that comes from going to bed at sunset. We miss out on the pleasure of eating tomatoes and strawberries grown in soil worked with our own hands. We’re disconnected from the natural cycles of life that our ancestors took for granted. All of this is at odds with what our bodies and spirits crave. Healing speaks to these needs that are going unmet.
Women are disconnected from their femininity. Women have “made it” in the business and professional worlds, and that’s a good thing. The problem is that we’ve become clones of men. Women work hard all day and barely have time for our children in the evenings. We no longer prepare big nourishing meals, or relax with delicate needlework, or enjoy long, rambling conversations with our friends while we shell peas on the front porch. Our deep feminine needs to nurture, to create, to connect emotionally with our sisters are being neglected. Healing helps restore the balance we need to be powerful, secure, happy women.
Globalization makes us open to ideas from other cultures. The advent of the Internet and the forces of globalization have resulted in some significant cultural crossover. It’s not surprising that our Western attitudes are becoming more “Eastern-ized.”“While Energy Medicine is quite Western in its origins, Americans are embracing many holistic practices that spring from ancient Asian and Indian cultures. It’s not uncommon for residents of small rural towns to schedule regular Thai massage sessions or for stressed-out New Yorkers to pursue Ayurvedic harmony. All these healing techniques are right at our fingertips. I did a Web search on the word ‘Qi’—the word for energy in Chinese medicine—and got almost four million results in less than a second.
Science is beginning to recognize the connection between spirituality and health. Studies have proven the effectiveness of prayer. Medical schools are beginning to offer courses on religious and spiritual issues. Physicians are finally acknowledging the powerful connections between body, mind, and spirit. Small wonder that “alternative” practices like meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and, of course, Energy Medicine have gained new credibility. The irony is that these practices are far from new. In fact, they are ancient. We’ve come full circle.
So, will the day come that people book appointments with a healer as matter-of-factly as they now see their hairstylist or their chiropractor? Undoubtedly.
I believe America is at a turning point. Our current attitudes toward physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being are unsustainable. I mean, there is clearly something wrong when so many of us pop antidepressants like they’re breath mints and consider that normal. I really believe that, in the very near future, the word ‘alternative’ will be a misnomer. It will be the new ‘normal.’ And we, as individuals and as a society, will be all the better for it.