Lymphedema Workshop at the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic

From the workshop by Gay Lee Gulbrandson

The Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic is a state licensed health clinic that provides alternative healing modalities to low-income women with a cancer diagnosis. The clinic offers Massage, Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Western Herbs, Therapeutic Imagery, Reiki, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Healing Touch and more. There will be future posts about the amazing Charlotte Maxwell Clinic and about my experience in working with clients diagnosed with cancer.

I volunteer at Charlotte Maxwell doing Healing Touch in the Oakland clinic.  Last Saturday the Clinic hosted a workshop on Lymphedema and the benefits of Manual Lymph Drainage. There are many causes of Lymphedema, but the most common in my private and volunteer practice is the swelling of the lymphatic system caused by the surgical removal of the lymph nodes due to breast cancer.

Gay Lee Gulbrandson CLT-LANA was the presenter. She has practiced and taught MLD (Manual Lymph Drainage) since 1996. I was impressed by her experience, commitment and the deep compassion she has for her clients. This woman is making a very positive difference in the world. It was so inspiring.

I learned a lot about edema, the difference between traditional massage and MLD, the basic MLD contraindications, and reviewed the lymphatic system. I can now identify the symptoms of cellulitus and know what questions to ask if I suspect my client has cellulitus. I can also “read” the skin of my clients from a lymphatic perspective.

I find this new awareness very exciting and it helps me understand with more clarity the information that I have been intuitively getting through many years of doing touch therapies. I can see a Lymphatic Drainage class in my future for this reason alone.

Gay Lee did a few short Manual Lymph Drainage strokes on everyone that attended the seminar so we could feel the light pressure used in the work. She even had a pressure gauge that measured the weight of our fingers so we could see the proper pressure shifts that need to happen in each stroke.

Now being so much more aware of what Manual Lymph Drainage can do I can refer my clients when appropriate to at least three highly trained Lymphatic Drainage Therapists in the East Bay. I can also help them get the information they need on how to get properly fitted for compression sleeves and bandaging. It’s shocking that simple information like this has become so difficult to find in our healthcare system.

I was also surprised at how many conditions MLD can benefit besides Lymphedema brought on by cancer and surgery. This modality can really benefit conditions such as pre/post cosmetic surgery, varicose veins, and rosacea, just to name a few.

If you have Lymphedema or know someone who has it, you can contact Gay Lee Gulbrandson  for more information. If you are a woman on a tight budget and are living with cancer you may contact the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic for help, information and alternative treatments. If you would like to make a donation to the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic you can do so here.


Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


More Music for Healing

The music I play in my healing sessions has a very specific purpose. It has to hold a fairly consistent vibration, yet keep the energy flowing in the healing space. When I am in and out of various energetic states I find music very beneficial in keeping the room grounded. Music is also soothing and relaxing for the client.

I want to start out by highly recommending the CD “Quiet Heart” by  Lisa Lynne.  The tone and quality of this CD is exquisite; it was perfectly produced. Check out her website here. Below is a song called “Walk With Me.”

“Quiet Heart” by Lisa Lynne

.“Spiritual Healing” by Deuter

“Spiritual Healing” is a must-have CD for healers. If you are looking for some new music you might as well check out everything Deuter has done.

“Passion Flute” by Stephen DeRuby

Another CD I have used frequently over the years is from a flute maker named Stephen DeRuby. I have two of his flutes. This music has a presence that fills and grounds the room so much I use it for many of my clients healing from cancer. This music creates a very supportive space. I also love “Sacred Spaces” and “Mystic Flute”.


Jeri Lawson has a full-time healing practice in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California. She is available for Healing Touch, Reiki, Distance Healings and Clarity Breathwork Monday through Friday, starting at 10 am with her last session at 6 pm.


Self Chakra Connection

Doing the chakra connection on yourself is a wonderful way to ground and center in the morning. It is also helpful to release the stress of the day and prepare you for sleep. At night you can visualize the hand positions and slowly breathe into each position as you make your way up the body.

I recommend that you hold each position one to three minutes or until you feel a “shift.” A shift may feel like a pulsing between your hands. If you are holding your foot, it can also feel like your foot “expands” or “fills up.” You may also experience a shift as the sudden impulse to change to the next position.

I many times feel energy as “warmth” or “fullness.” Energy and energetic shifts can feel quite different from one day to the next.

You may not feel anything at all and that is fine. The energy is still connecting in your body.

I suggest you set an intention for the highest good for yourself as you start the connection and stay as present as you can during the hand positions. Enjoy!

Reiki and Healing Touch

The Japanese Character of Reiki
The Japanese Character of Reiki

Reiki and Healing Touch are two hands-on-healing modalities that complement each other beautifully.

I am a Healing Touch Practitioner and a Reiki Master. I call my sessions Healing Touch treatments even though I use Reiki all the time in my sessions. Many clients have come to me asking for Reiki and I love giving them Reiki treatments.

Reiki is universal life force energy that heals the body, mind, emotions and spirit. Reiki can “do no harm” and always works for the highest good. Reiki does not require the practitioner to guide the energy.  Reiki flows to the client and goes where it’s needed.

Reiki is an ancient healing art that was rediscovered by Dr. Mikao Usui after years of searching and twenty-one days of meditation and fasting. In a deeply altered state he experienced a light entering him, initiating him with the Reiki healing energy. He also received the knowledge and ability to attune others to this energy.

The ability to give a Reiki treatment is acquired by receiving a series of attunements. In the Usui system there are three levels: First Degree, Second Degree and Master Degree. The Reiki Master you choose to attune you to become a Reiki Master is then part of your lineage. All Reiki Masters can trace their lineage back to Dr. Usui. There are now many lineages, Reiki styles, and schools. All are honored.

One difference between Healing Touch and Reiki is how they are taught. Healing Touch has a very structured certification program that takes at least two years to complete, while Reiki is taught many different ways, depending on the individual teaching style of the Reiki Master. Some Reiki Masters teach all three Reiki levels in one weekend. Some follow the more structured Usui system and recommend that you wait at least a year between each series of attunements.

Reiki has a sequence of hand positions similar to a Healing Touch technique called the “Chakra Connection.” The Reiki healing usually starts at the head, while Healing Touch’s “Chakra Connection” begins at the feet. I personally prefer starting at my client’s feet when balancing my client’s field, yet when I receive a Reiki healing, I love it when the practitioner starts at the head.

Healing Touch has many techniques to use depending on what the practitioner finds when accessing the client’s energy field; Reiki has only one basic hand sequence. I find the simplicity of Reiki is also its strength.

Reiki is a wonderful way to learn how to do hands-on-healing. People can learn Reiki to heal themselves when they are going through difficult life transitions. Reiki is also wonderful for healing pets, plants and energizing food before you eat.

Reiki has been a powerful self-healing and meditation practice for me. I use Reiki on myself to prepare for a day of sessions and before I go to sleep at night.

In the Second Degree Reiki class, I received symbols that gave me the ability to increase the strength of the Reiki energy, to work directly on the mental and emotional fields and to send healing at a distance.

The Distant Healing Symbol is a powerful way to send energy. When I hear something on the radio, such as an earthquake or natural disaster, I can send Reiki to the situation, people, and place to work for the highest possible good for all.  This process of sending healing energies to others also helps me to release any judgments, blocks or resistance I may have to what is present in the moment. This is a very profound and beautiful healing practice I use often.

Healing Touch has a technique called “Mind Clearing” which is used to calm and balance the mind. I often use the Reiki Mental symbol when doing the “Mind Clearing.”

I give Reiki attunements when asked by my clients, yet I feel learning Reiki in a class has many benefits. One of those benefits is meeting people you can trade Reiki sessions with. Another benefit is just being in the energy that a group of healers generates.

Assisting a Healing Touch Level Three Class

Last weekend I assisted a Healing Touch Level Three class taught by Carol Kinney. I had originally taken Level Three in 1999 during my Healing Touch Certification training.  Level Three techniques work in a higher dimension of the human energy system than Levels One and Two. After almost twelve years of doing Healing Touch I thought it would be a good idea to review and refresh my knowledge of these multidimensional techniques to better serve my clients.

What a fantastic two days! I gave and received many healings while working with the students, and received Carol’s demonstration of the interventions for the 5th 6th and 7th layers of the aura. Carol commented during my healing that she felt some tears in the 7th layer of my field. She demonstrated how much faster the healing is in the 7th layer compared to the layers closer to the body. I felt the difference right away!  I feel that healing alone created a profound shift in my energy field.

I am still integrating the energy from the class into my physical body and will probably be doing so for the next few weeks. An immediate change I’ve experienced: My daily meditation practice has been revitalized. I am doing the Core Star Alignment and Hara Line meditation daily to sustain this new vibration in my field. I feel grounded, energized and, really, just full of joy.

The class was held in the beautiful and spacious home of Martha Engelbert. Jan Perez was also assisting the class and Suzanne Mittica was the coordinator. There were 7 students taking the class for the first time, plus Carol and her sweet little dog, Hogan, who was recovering from surgery.

The first time I took the class I remember how many of the techniques felt more imaginary than practical as I learned them, like I was only pretending to move energy instead of actually doing anything useful. This time around I felt all the higher energetic levels effortlessly and the work was so tangible. The students in the class all seemed to get it right away. It was wonderful to be in a healing space with this incredible group of people for two days.

Carol will be teaching her next Level Three Healing Touch class on December 11-12, 2011.

The Universal Energy Field

Hands Of Light
Chapter 6

I first saw the universal energy field when I was visiting my mom in Missouri around 1991. We were sitting on the grass in front of a large pond. It was a clear sunny day, and as we were talking I saw bright white spots of light floating over the water. I remember pointing them out to my mom and she could see them too. I have never seen such large white globs of light as I did on that first day.

A few years later I read about the Universal Energy Field in Barbara Brennan’s Hands of Light.  In Chapter Six Brennan describes them as “tiny globules of orgone making squiggly patterns against the blue sky. They seem to be tiny white balls, sometimes with a black spot, that appear for a second or two and leave a slight trail mark and then disappear.”

Now I sometimes see a red and black center in the white globs. I also see them at night in the dark before I go to sleep.

My healing room has two windows. The south wall of the space has three large windows and there is one small window on the east side of the room. The room is full of bright indirect light on sunny days, even with the thick double white curtains pulled closed. In the various healing states that I navigate through during a healing, the most common visible phenomenon I see are the white lights of the Universal Energy Field. During my healings the lights are like little spiraling fireflies flashing bright for a second then fading out. Sometimes the sparkles fill the whole room. It’s nice to see when I’m in a deeper state of consciousness, kind of comforting. Sometimes, too, I just see the squiggle and not the light, like the room is full of dancing gnats.

Everyone can learn to see the universal energy field if they are open to it. A great way is to lie down or sit comfortably outside and look up at the sky. Make sure the sunlight is not shining directly in your face, so your eye and facial muscles can relax. Then just relax, wait and enjoy the moment. As Richard Bartlett says “Notice what you notice.” Suddenly, you will just see it.

I’ve shown my clients and Reiki students the Universal Energy Field.  It’s usually very easy to see right after you’ve had a healing. I still find it thrilling that here is this phenomenon of energy right in front of us and all we have to do is open up to it.

After your next Healing, see if you can see the Universal Energy Field.

Endorsements for the Healing Touch Program

Healing Touch

Healing Touch Program is now an accredited provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center is the world’s largest and most prestigious nurse credentialing organization, and a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association. Healing Touch Program is the first Energy Medicine education provider to achieve this status.

Healing Touch Program is endorsed by American Holistic Nurses Association and the Canadian Holistic Nurses Association. Healing Touch Program is one of approximately 10 programs endorsed by American Holistic Nurses Association.

Healing Touch Program is also approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education provider under Category A. Provider Number 150588-00

Below is the first of a two-part video about Healing Touch from the Healing Touch Program:

The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe by Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is a genius. If her phone number were listed in my iPhone I would file it under “G”- for Genius. “The Field” is an abridged two CD set from the book of the same name, published in 2007. These CDs contain 2 hours and 20 minutes of McTaggart’s journey in finding a scientific paradigm of how healing works. I highly recommend these CDs for healers and anyone interesting in energetic healing, spirituality, and exploring consciousness. “The Field” has expanded the possibilities in my healing practice and in my life. I hesitate to use the word empowering because that word has been beaten to death with a stick, yet that is exactly what these ideas have been for me.

Lynne McTaggart is an investigative journalist. With her husband, journalist Bryan Hubbard, Lynne McTaggart founded the health journal, “What Doctor’s Don’t Tell You.” As a journalist, she studied the medical literature to determine what worked and what didn’t in the healing arts. She realized that modalities like acupuncture, homeopathy, and spiritual healing worked. She then decided the current scientific paradigm of how the universe worked was wrong or incomplete. So she traveled around the world and spoke to prominent scientists from a wide range of disciplines to understand how the universe did work. In this way, she created her theory of “The Field.”

McTaggart’s field is an energy that connects all living things across space and time and provides a practical working model for how healing works. In these two CD’s McTaggart clearly explains how everyone individually has the power to create with intention and how we can collectively heal and transform our world.

The book has basically the same information, but I found McTaggart’s story wonderful to listen to and incredibly accessible in her own voice.

I highly recommend these CDs to everyone. I’ve listened to them many times and have bought more sets than I care to remember for my clients.

Check out Lynne McTaggart’s work and let me know what you think. She has just released a new book called The Bond and I‘m going run out and buy it right after I publish this post!

Seeing Auras

From the Book Path Of The Dream Healer
The Path Of The Dream Healer

As a Reiki and Healing Touch Practitioner, I have always wanted to see the auras of my clients.  I mean physically “see” the colors, chakras and energy flow of the field.  I thought that if I could see the energy that would make me a better healer.

For the first ten years of my Healing Touch practice, I focused my eyes on the energy field of every person I worked with hoping that someday I would finally “see.” I studied the Barbara Brennan books, I studied The Chakras by C.W. Leadbeater, and I studied every other energy book I could find. I read about other people’s experiences of seeing and opening up to the energy. I also painted my healing room a light blue, because certain colors seemed to bring out more activity around my client’s heads.

Then finally, one day in 2010, I was looking at the illustrations in the book The Path of The Dream HealerAdam McLeod‘s illustrations of auras showed human bodies surrounded by soft, glowing colors. Instantly I realized I had been seeing energy fields all along. I had been looking for the illustrations in the Barbara Brennan books – and not really perceiving what was really in front of me. It was an incredible moment. I could now see auras and even show other people how to do the same. It was so profound for me it felt a little surreal. A paradigm shift. What else was I not perceiving?

I have also found that learning to “see” has not instantly made me a better healer. I still primarily get information about my client’s energy by feeling the aura with my hands and by just “knowing” what I need to do in the session.

Now that I actually perceive more of what I see, I find I see things differently than the experiences I have read about. I frequently see tiny orbs of light fade in and out in my client’s fields.  These lights are mostly neon blue and white, but sometimes I see orange, red and black. I have no idea what these lights are, yet I always feel very relaxed and peaceful when I notice them. Then again, I usually feel relaxed and peaceful in my healing sessions and I do not always notice them.

In my first Healing Touch class, my teacher and mentor Carol Kinney said that she could not feel energy for the first two years of doing Healing Touch. It was the glowing reports from her healee’s that inspired her do Healing Touch until she could feel the energy herself.  I found this inspiring and incredibly interesting.  I know that I am aware of only a small percentage of what is happening in my sessions, even after 10 years of doing the work. And I learn something new every day, and really, in every healing.

Our healing gifts and perceptual abilities are as unique and specialized as we are. I realized just how unique and specific while listening to a radio show called Seeing Beyond a few years back.  I was in my healing room preparing for my next session while James Van Praagh was talking with Bonnie Coleen about spiritual house cleaning. James Van Praagh is a spiritual medium that has written many books including Ghosts Among Us, Talking to Heaven, and Reaching to Heaven.

He was describing how he and Mary Ann Winkowski were energetically clearing houses.  Mary Ann Winkowski is also a medium and wrote a book about her life, abilities and paranormal experiences called When Ghosts Speak. Van Praagh stated that Winkowski could see spirits when they were earthbound and he could communicate with them only after they had crossed over. I had always thought a medium would be able to communicate with anyone that had left his or her body. It’s as if everyone has their own bandwidth they can tune into.

I feel like I am on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to perceiving reality, or more specifically, my bandwidth of reality. I find the stories of other healers, psychics, artists, and intuitive people incredibly inspiring. I know my ability to perceive energy has greatly increased over the years and with every healing I will continue to expand my awareness.

If you have any stories of how you perceive energy as a healer, please feel free to share them!