Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Healer as an Instrument and Vehicle for Wholistic Healing

Many caregiver factors contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of any clinical intervention. Approaching healing wholistically, we can enhance the potency and effectiveness of our caregiving.

A Healing Environment

We begin to see the importance of selecting our environment with the greatest of care, because environment is the mental feeding ground out of which the food that goes into our minds is extracted.
- Napoleon Hill

The vibrations of a caregiving space are palpable. Soft colors, comfortable seating, inspiring and healing pictures and gentle music all contribute to relaxation at the least, and can promote healing.
If negative vibrations are introduced by anyone in the space, various forms of energetic cleansing can be used. Feng shui consultation can identify structural energetic components that contribute to healing. Smudging with sage and using essential oils can cleanse negative vibrations and refresh the space with positive energies.

Welcoming, Smiling

... love cannot enter where there is one spot of fear to mar its welcome.
- A Course in Miracles

Offering a warm, welcoming greeting can set the tone for healing to occur. The receptionist is a vitally important part of the healing team. A note on the wall stating the healing policies of the caregiver can set the tone for healing expectations, particularly if no receptionist is present.
Music can facilitate relaxation and healing. Suggesting the practice of relaxations or meditations while in the waiting room can divert careseekers from fretting, helping them shift into a self-healing mode.


When you give your undivided attention to something, there is a softening and opening in the listener that allows access to the meaning underneath the words.
- Betty Burkes

Careseekers come for help with a load of experiences, stresses, new and old hurts, anxieties and questions. Providing a safe and healing environment in which they can unburden themselves of at least some of this load is a healing in and of itself.
Many careseekers report that this is one of the most important aspects of wholistic healing, which they find sorely lacking in conventional medical care.

Intimacy of touch,
Eternity of soul,
Urgency of thought,
Miracle of health,
Embrace of God.
--John O'Donohue

Touch conveys acceptance, caring, love and healing. At the very least, a warm handshake can set the tone for positive caring interactions. Where massage or other manipulative therapies are part of the process, this becomes a major aspect of the healing intervention.
Touch must be respectful, however. People vary in their receptiveness to this, and we must be sensitive to those who are uncomfortable with physical contact and need a safe distance and space within which to process their own healing.


The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and deep, loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. . .
- Elizabeth Kuübler-Ross

It is essential to establish that indescribable chemistry which links people into more effective relationships for work, pleasure and healing, which creates an atmosphere within which respants (responsible participants) can feel safe to share their anxieties, examine their problems, and explore new ways of dealing with them.

Contracting for Healing Interventions
Explicit and tacit agreements shape the healing bond. Many careseekers arrive with the expectation they will Òbe fixed.Ó To the degree that they can be encouraged towards activating their self-healing capacities, we are teaching them to fish rather than giving them a fish.

Channeling and Shifting Energies

We are beings of energy as well as creatures of the material world. Careseekers often come with bioenergy blocks, deficits or excesses of energy, energy ÒcystsÓ (energetic pus pockets), energetic cords that link them to significant others, and varying degrees of openness or closedness to interacting with energies from the environment and the Infinite Source.
Caregivers who are sensitive to bioenergies can offer many interventions to help on these levels. My own particular expertise is in helping to release the old hurts that may have festered for years as energy cysts, manifesting in psychological and physical symptoms which can be doorways into awarenesses that then release the pus Ð and with it the symptoms.

Healing Intent

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
- H.H. the Dalai Lama

Holding an intent for healing for the highest good of all can facilitate healings that are often profound and far beyond the expectations we might hold if we approach healing with limited focus and set goals.
The careseeker may come with only the wish and expectation of symptom relief. Sometimes this is sufficient. At other times, release of underlying blocks, hurts, stresses and relational issues must be sorted out before the symptoms Ð which in these cases are messages from the unconscious mind or higher self Ð can be shifted.
With serious illness, healing into death may become a part of the treatment process.
Issues surrounding healing intent are often value and emotion laden, requiring great clarity and centeredness on the part of the careseeker.


Healing is often like sports fishing. The caregiver must tug gently on the line, setting the hook of healing intent by tacit and explicit contract. The caregiver must then tug gently on the line, bringing the careseeker closer to wholeness. If the caregiver does not pull on the line, the careseeker may not budge from the depths of his sea of distress; but if she tugs too hard, the line may break and the careseeker will not come into a healing space.

Clearing the vessel through which healing pours

As a result of our energy commitments, weÑour minds, hearts, and livesÑbecome woven into their consequences. Our faith and our power of choice are, in fact, the power of creation itself. We are the vessels through which energy becomes matter in this life.
- Caroline Myss

In all of the above, it is utterly important for caregivers to be as clear and centered as possible. Otherwise, issues raised by careseekers will put the caregiver on the defense and this will block the healing process.
For instance, if a caregiver has unconscious issues around anger, specific past hurts (e.g. difficult parent or partner relationships) or fears of death, it may be unsettling for her to hear the careseeker struggling with these issues. She may then unconscious block or divert the careseeker from opening fully to express hurts around these issues Ð so as not to feel her own distress. It is not uncommon, for instance, for nurses and doctors to put people who may be in terminal stages of illness in the farthest most room from the nursing station, at the very end of the ward. This protects the staff from being reminded of their own limitations in caregiving and of their own mortality Ð as out society is strongly death fearing. (Doctors and nurses often feel it is their fault if a person dies under their care.) This denies both medical caregivers and terminal careseekers some of the most meaningful and beautiful moments of human interaction Ð the birthing of a soul from physical existence back into the spirit world.

If the heart is not pure, the Great Spirit cannot be seen.
Black Elk
Sounding a note with which careseekers can resonate

Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness...
- Bahai' Prayer for Peace

When the caregiver has done her own work of clearing the dross of past hurts, and has opened to energetic and spiritual awarenesses, she is able to serve as a human tuning fork. Creating an environment of healing and spirituality, she will create an atmosphere in which careseekers will be able to resonate with the healing and spirituality within themselves.

Self-Healing Instructions
The more we can place the responsibility for healing on the careseeker, the more he will be able to manage and advance the process of healing himself.
I usually instruct people in one or more self-healing approaches, such as relaxation, meditation, imagery, WHEE (Wholistic Hybrid of EMDR and EFT), Journaling, prayer, self-healing energetic exercises, or specific activities that will invite new ways of perceiving the world and relating to it.

Reflection on lessons learned

All acts of healing are ultimately our selves healing our Self.
- Ram Dass

We are all on a path of healing. Careseekers come with and as lessons to caregivers, which may be every bit as important and profound as the lessons offered by the caregiver to the careseeker.

Published in Positive Health, December 2003/ January 2004, 12.
You may quote part or all of this article if you include the following credits and email contact
Copyright © 2004 Daniel J. Benor, M.D. Reprinted with permission of the author, P.O. Box 76 Bellmawr, NJ 08099


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