Saturday, October 13, 2007

Is there such a thing as a healer?

I have been very busy this last month so time to blog has been limited. It has been a very productive month. I have been able to nearly complete a project I have been working on for a number of years. I am very happy about the way it has come out. I will be able to talk more about it as soon as its released.

Much of my internal dialog and what I share on this blog comes from my work. Some of you may know that I work as a Physical Therapist among other work that I do. I have been doing this work for over 25 years. I have worked in many different settings. I have worked with most ages and socio/ethnic backgrounds. This includes those that suffer from spinal injuries, strokes, back problems, surgery, sports injuries, and so many other problems that present themselves within the human condition. It is very rewarding work because I often go with people from their lowest point to the highest point in their lives. It also has times when I become aware of the futility of life and its tragedies.

Some of the most amazing experiences I have had is seeing how people work though some of these most difficult challenges. There is no possible way to convey this learning process in words. It truly requires someone to "be there." I didn't really know why I chose this profession. When I look back it seems more like this profession chose me. When I look more deeply in my awareness I believe that healing has come to me through this work. There really is no healer or therapist at that level.

John F. Barnes, PT has developed a treatment method called Myofascial Release. I have trained in this method of treatment and it has become the primary method of treatment I use today. He talks about the term healer in this way. He feels that no one is really a healer and when we begin to think in those terms our ego tends to get in the way of the healing process. This view of someone bringing the healing power to another brings with it a whole set of performance anxieties. How will it look if I don't heal this person or how will I think of myself if this doesn't work. In John's view, beliefs like this absolutely shut down the wonderful natural healing abilities each person has built in to their being. I'm not talking about the therapist's abilities, but the innate self healing ability we each have to not only heal, but to transform and grow in ways that are unknown until they happen.

I believe that one day health and well being will not be the exclusive domain of the "experts," but will become something that each person will develop as a life skill and be able to facilitate in others. When I look at what I do as a therapist and how many of my clients take what happens to them in a session and share it with their family with great success, it helped me realize that being able to skillfully touch people is something everyone really needs.

It communicates so powerfully what words often fail to do. When we touch another person it opens up a two way channel in a very vulnerable way. In many cultures touching has become so taboo that this connection is often absent for the most part, depriving people of this natural awareness of love and compassion. It is one of the ways that we can feel like we are all one. To demonstrate this you might feel in your body right now how uncomfortable even reading this dialog might be for you.

It is true that the powerful nature of touch can be used abusively and harmfully, but I believe that our bodies will tell us readily what is harmful. There seems to be an emphasis on the sexual nature of touch which gives the view that touch is all or none when in reality there are so many ways to touch each other that can provide a sense of belonging that is absent in so many lives.

I have found that with myself and my clients that early experiences of life taught many of us that most things are unsafe and our instinct, when threatened, is to isolate. Much of the healing process is bringing back our sense of safety and wonder and this does not happen with words alone.

My hope is that we can begin to see the world become one, one person at a time, one touch at a time. For healing doesn't happen unless that sense of safety is restored. And beyond that the awakening of love for one to another until a large enough community of people can effect the whole world. Maybe we can transcend so many of the things that we use to destroy ourselves.

This may not happen in my lifetime or in another lifetime, but unless we can bridge this isolation I believe we will continue to see the scale of suffering on this planet escalate until the earth itself purges us much like a virus is eliminated from the body. It has certainly happened in the past and the earth started over with a new order of life.

So, maybe healing happens only when we come together in ways that help us feel safe, at peace, and awaken in us, what I believe, is our deepest desire to love and be loved.