Monthly Clarity Breathwork Circles

Mary Gaetjens
Mary Gaetjens

I have always loved breathing with other people. Right after I started doing private Breathwork sessions with Maggie Ostara, I also went regularly to her monthly Breathwork Circles. The energy of a group helped me to release on different levels than I processed in my private sessions.  When Maggie has moved to Sebastopol, I really missed her community Breathwork Circles.

So I decided to start my own Breathwork Circles in Emeryville with Mary Gaetjens. Mary and I had started trading breathwork sessions and after about six months we were so excited by our work together that holding Clarity Breathwork Circles just seemed like the next logical step.

We have been doing Breathwork Circles together for over a year now, and I am delighted at how much fun it is. I have to say I was a little nervous when Mary and I started out. Holding space for any kind of a group used to drain me, unlike my one-to-one work, which always energised me.

I found that holding a group space with Mary is extraordinary and fun. Mary is very psychic, although she thinks of herself as an empath.  I tend to be more grounded, although there have been circles when we have flipped roles and Mary was more grounded and I felt more connected to the higher frequencies. Holding such a large sacred space with someone else who is so intuitively gifted is a blast.

It’s amazing how every Circle is so different. Every Monday night each circle has it’s own special quality, weather, and phase of the moon. Every person that comes to breathe also brings their special essence with them and that is really what creates the special energy of each circle.

Sometimes everyone breathing seems to be in some kind of sync with each other and sometimes everyone is having a uniquely different experience. Some Breathwork Circles are more like a deep meditations and some are more about physical release.

We have been breathing in the same space since we started the Circles and I have noticed the space is already “set up” energetically when we get there. There have been times I have walked into our space the night of the Circle and the energy seems to lift me up, as if the invisible realms have already arrived. I really think that regular meditative work like breathwork, yoga and meditation gains a kind of energetic momentum that builds on itself when done in community at regular intervals.

If you want to try Clarity Breathwork our next circle is Monday, 3/5/12. Breathing is done lying on the floor so bring what ever you need to feel comfortable: blanket, mat, or pillows. We start the circle at 6:30, we are done by 9:30. Mary is doing a free yoga class before the Circle at 5:30. Call me at 510-601-9632 to make reservations. We keep the circle to 12 or less and we have been filling up fast so call as soon as you can.

It would be great to have you breathe with us!

Jeri Lawson is a Healing Touch Practitioner and Clarity Breathworker in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California.

Carol Kinney Shares About Healing Touch

Carol Kinney, RN, BSN, HNC, HTCP/I
Carol Kinney, RN, BSN, HNC, HTCP/I
Carol Kinney, RN, BSN, HNC, HTCP/I, gave a valuable one-day class last Saturday called “Benefitting Our Clients By Improving Our Skills.”
It was actually an informal and very fun gathering in which Carol answered questions about Healing Touch and told her personal story about her journey as a healer. Carol Kinney started doing Healing Touch in the 1980’s and was instrumental in bringing it to the San Francisco Bay Area. She took all her classes with Janet Mentgen, the founder of Healing Touch.
Attending the talk were practitioners at different levels of their healing journey. One inspired practitioner had just taken her first class two weeks prior. Several Certified Practitioners, myself included, have been working with clients for years. Everyone had interesting questions for Carol, and experiences to share about their own healing practices.
One thing I again realized is how much faster the new students of Healing Touch are catching on to the work. When I assisted Carol’s level three class last year, I saw how easily the students mastered the advanced techniques and accessed the outer levels of the energy field that took me years to perceive.
I believe that consciousness and energy is evolving as more people open up to it. What is possible energetically is expanding. I definitely feel like I have benefitted from the foundation that Carol and other Healing Touch Practitioners have created and I see the new practitioners are now starting off at a much higher energetic level than I did.
Carol made the comment that even ten years ago she almost always had to explain what Healing Touch and energy work was before anyone would sign up for a class. I am sure I was one of those people. Now she finds people are ready to sign up before they even call her.
The Internet and Healing Touch Program website has also contributed to this. More people find out about Healing Touch through friends, family and (hopefully) blogs like mine. Anybody who wants to learn about Healing Touch can go online and research almost everything about Healing Touch before deciding on taking a class or finding a practitioner in their area.
The Healing Touch Community is a very supportive and exciting place to be. Having a teacher, mentor and healer like Carol available is an extraordinary gift.
Jeri Lawson is a Healing Touch Practitioner and Clarity Breathworker in the
Temescal Area of Oakland, California.

A Healer In The Real World

When I first started doing energetic healing work I was worried that if I was not in perfect emotional, physical and energetic balance then I would not be able to do healing work that would have a positive effect for my clients.

I also remember thinking that if I, as the healer, needed a healing then all the energy would go to me, not the client.

I have been doing energetic healing for over ten years, and it’s just impossible for me to wake up every morning in perfect balance. Even though I am very committed to being a healer and taking good care of myself, I have a life, relationship issues, sick pets, and cycles of intense personal growth like everyone else.

How do I know if I am grounded and balanced enough to do a healing?

This is how: I ask myself, “Am I open, or closed, to the energy?”

Bam. My body gives me instant feedback. Yes or no, open or closed, just like that.

The most important thing for me is to show up in my healing sessions for my clients with an open mind and heart. Even if I was up all night taking care of my sick cat, if my body says yes, then I am ready to do a healing. I gave some of the most amazing healings I can remember when my 17-year-old cat was in kitty hospice. Even though I was grieving her transition, I was open to the energy for my clients. Maybe even more so.

After every healing, I still always check in with myself to make sure I feel better after the healing than before the healing. And I also check in with the client to make sure they received what they came for.

The truth is, I get a healing from every session I give. I am in the energy and a part of it. I am so lucky to be doing this work. There is so much energy available every moment. I have found the universe is abundant and supportive beyond our wildest dreams. All we have to do is connect and be open to it.

A New Level Of Energy

Black and White Flowers

I want to share an interesting healing session I recently had with one of my clients. I’m documenting my work as a healer so that I can help other people understand what happens in a healing session, whether you are a healer or are just curious about receiving a healing.

I gave a session a few weeks ago in which the healing energy was so intense my vision changed to the point where the room in which I was working appeared solarized to me. The dark areas appeared silvery light and the highlights looked dark and shiny.

I felt buoyant in my body, especially in my chest and arms. I felt mentally clear and deeply centered emotionally. I was joyful as my client and I went in and out of this vibrational state throughout the whole session.

For most of this session I did a Chakra Connection, a Healing Touch technique in which I start at the feet and work my way up the body. As I do that, I connect my client’s energy enters. During our session, the surface of my hands felt like they were cramping at every hand position. When the cramping sensation dissipated after a few minutes I knew it was time to move to the next hand position.

I have never experienced this kind of sensation in my hands while I was giving a healing before.

What is this solarized-vision-change about? What consciousness level did the healing go to for me and for my client? I have felt this level or vibration many times over the years, but never so consistently in one healing.  It’s like I’m a surfer in these kinds of healings, riding the energetic waves and holding space for what the client needs in the moment. I intuitively know for sure that this is what the client needed.  She also reported later that it was a very beneficial session.

I wonder if I could have held this solarized space a year ago for a whole session? This was an extremely high energetic state. I realized after this session that I had reached a new level in my healing work. I plan to learn more about it as I work with it in future sessions.

A Solarized Photograph
Solarized Flowers

Reflections on Cell-Level Healing by Joyce Whiteley Hawkes, PhD

Cell-Level Healing
by Joyce Whiteley Hawkes, PhD

Next time you are browsing in a bookstore I recommend you take a few minutes and check out Cell-Level Healing by Joyce Whiteley Hawkes.

This nonfiction book is written from the unique perspective of a cell biologist who then became a healer. Biophysicist Joyce Whiteley Hawkes was also a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Health and a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In other works, she has been a very serious scientist. After getting struck on the head with a decorative leaded-glass window, Hawkes had what she realized later was a classic near-death experience.

An experience that opened her to a new level of healing consciousness.

Cell-Level Healing is about how she sees and perceives energy and how she heals from a cellular level. Hawkes sees biology as a way to understand how miraculous the body really is. The more we know about the cells of our body the more we will appreciate how precious all of life is.

She states,”Rather than struggle against the body and our sojourn here on earth, the body can be experience as a sacred temple of the spirit and an expression of consciousness. This knowledge is the first step toward a life of fullness and oneness of spirit and physical existence – a seamless connection from Soul to Cell.”

The most thought-provoking chapter to me at this moment in my healing practice is Chapter 4, Flow and Soul-Signatures.

Hawkes clearly and accurately describes two principles she has found in our human energy fields that I’ve been aware of and working with for years, yet never had the words for.

1. Each person embodies a distinctive variation on universal energy; a natural and unique pattern exists for each individual consciousness. I call this quality their Soul-Signature.

2.  In a healthy individual there is an abundant flow of energy through the body. In this regard I will use the word Flow to convey the quantitative aspects of speed and direction of the Soul-Signature.

Flow and Soul-Signature. I have written these two definitions into my personal dictionary of healing words. I feel like my whole brain has been feng shuied with this new perspective.

In my work as a healer, I feel with my hands my client’s Soul-Signature and Flow. What I feel gives me information about how much energy my client will be able to use in the session. Hawkes actually sees the colors or frequencies of the flow as a cylinder of light lying above the spine.

Since reading Hawkes’s book, I’ve been wondering how MY Soul-Signature is affecting my clients and asking myself these questions:

  • Do I as a healer, with my unique Soul-Signature, bring out certain frequencies and energies in my client’s Soul-Signature?
  • Why do some healers have better results with certain diseases than others?
  • Why can William Bengston heal fast growing cancers, but have zero effect on a wart?
  • Why do some people heal faster than other people?
  • Could the Soul-Signature be an important factor in how we think about healing?

I don’t have the answers, but I feel the questions are pointing me in an interesting direction.

This book has been quite inspiring to me. I recommend you check it out!

“Healing must touch the cells, because illness begins at the cellar level.”
— Cell-Level Healing by Joyce Whiteley Hawkes, PhD

Music: Planet Yoga

In my first post about music I wrote about how I made edited playlists for my healing sessions. Planet Yoga by Karuna Music/Triloka Records is one of those music recommendations in which I have taken out one song from a CD and created an amazing playlist. I have been using this music in my healing practice for years. 

Planet Yoga is a 2 CD set. The second CD is the one I use for healing sessions and has 4 songs: Home by Drala, Meditation of the Night and Zenith by Benjy Wertheimer, and the beautiful song I edited out, Morning Meditation by Ali Akbar Khan. I repeated the first three songs for a playlist about 70 minutes long.

My playlist:

Home                              12:11

Meditation in the Night      11:36

Zenith                              11:31

Home                               12:11

Meditation in the Night       11:36

Zenith                              11:31

The first CD is a collection of chants that I have played endlessly for everything except healing work. I’m not an expert on chanting, but I think this collection is absolutely brilliant. The YouTube link above features one of these chants by Wah! called Jai Ma. It also includes Krishna Das, Deva Premal, David Stringer, Jai Uttal, Rasa, Bhagavan Das, and Diana Rogers.


Self Care: Exercise and Rest

A Morning Walk Around Lake Merritt

Energy work is easier for me when my physical body is in balance: flexible, strong and energized. Exercise is a crucial factor in bringing my body to this balance, and key to my self care routine.

At this point in my life exercise is even more important to my wellness than meditation. There is a stereotype that healers don’t care about the physical world including their body, but that is not the case for me and many of my healer colleagues. Almost all my Clarity Breathwork and Healing Touch colleagues are very conscious of diet, exercise and taking care of themselves physically.

By writing about how important exercise is in my healing practice, I hope you might realize how beneficial exercise may be for you energetically, whether you have a healing practice or not.

Since half of my healing practice is massage I find my muscles feel better if I work out at least three times a week. My workout generally consists of at least 20 minutes of sweaty aerobics followed by stretching. I used to take yoga, but a morning class of downward dogs and arm balancing poses was just too much for my shoulders before a long day of massage. For a long time, Bikram yoga worked well for me because it worked up a good sweat, and there aren’t any arm balancing poses in the sequence.

I’m now in an early morning gym phase, where I can choose what exercise to do based on how my body feels that day. The Elliptical Fitness Cross-trainer is my current favorite. After 20 minutes my whole body feels warmed up and so much looser. Sometimes I swim with fins, using just my legs. I don’t need to work out my arms. I picked my current gym because of the excellent hot tub and sauna and I use both after every work out. I consider the hot tub and sauna an integral part of my exercise routine.

I have been doing essentially the same job for the last 15 years and periodically I just get restless and need a change of workout routine. So, I switch my workouts about every 6 months or so when my exercise feels dull. As I mentioned, I went through a Bikram Yoga period, changed my gym several times, walked around Lake Merritt for a few months, even bought a hula hoop.

Interestingly, I thought I would need less exercise when I started doing more healings and less massages in my practice, but I found the opposite is true. Exercise really clears my head, relaxes me and opens my chakras. I feel I need to exercise now more than ever. I realize now that the more healing work I do, the more I need the physical exercise.

In addition to exercise, getting a consistent amount of rest is really important to my wellness. I personally need to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

Janet Mentgen, the founder of Healing Touch, was a very busy and productive woman who taught Healing Touch all over the world. She found her physical body required 8 hours of horizontal rest on a daily basis. She did not have to be asleep during these 8 hours, but lying down, which included healing sessions since Healing Touch is frequently done on a massage table. She was very disciplined about getting her horizontal rest and if she missed a few hours one day she made them up the next.

To find out more about Janet Mentgen’s self care advice check out an excerpt from Janet’s keynote address given at the Australian Holistic Nursing Conference in 1995 Path of Healership: The Importance of Self Care for the Healer. Click here and look under “General” to download the pdf. In it you will find also find Janet Mentgen’s 7 Principles of Self Care for Healers.

Janet’s quote below sums up the importance of self care for me:

“We cannot be a spark in someone else’s life if our spark has gone out”
Janet Mentgen RN, BSN, CHTP/I, HNC, Healing Touch Founder

Self Care: Scheduling

On the Beach
Beach Time

Taking good care of myself is the most important thing I can do to keep my healings effective and my sessions energized.

It’s so crucial for me to not over work. I enjoy my work so much it does not feel like I’m working, so it is important that I tune into my needs regularly.

To do this, I ask myself two basic questions every work day that let me know if I am taking care of myself (and therefore my clients).

In the morning, I look at my healing and massage sessions booked for the day and I ask myself, “Am I excited about my schedule? Am I looking forward to every session booked?” If not, my schedule needs to be adjusted.

At the end of the day, I ask myself, “How do I feel? Do I feel happy and satisfied or do I feel drained?” After my sessions I expect to still feel inspired. It’s OK to feel tired, but not drained.

If I do feel drained I immediately block out some time for whatever I need to feel restored. This could mean a weekend away, a day off, or a morning for meditation. It could mean scheduling a healing for myself with another practitioner, breakfast with a friend or time in my art studio.

Even though my life can get out of balance fairly quickly, tuning into my needs with these questions keeps me from burning out, losing my enthusiasm or getting sick. I’ve been using these questions for the last 15 years to keep my healing practice grounded, and I plan to keep  asking them for the next fifteen years.

Healing Clinicians and Researchers


In a previous post I wrote about William Bengston’s book The Energy Cure. This book and his 6-CD set Hands-On Healing: A Training Course in the Energy Cure has been the most inspiring material on healing I have come across in a long time.

Bengston writes, “…The world of energy healers is divided between the clinicians who treat on blind faith and are perpetually reinventing the wheel, and researchers isolated in their laboratories who blindly follow the data without regard to its application or the practical discoveries of the clinicians.”

Since I have a healing practice using Healing Touch and other healing modalities, I fall into the clinician category. Yet, I have always felt a researcher lurking inside, that intense desire to understand what is really “happening” in my sessions. I feel very strongly that I am only perceiving the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what is possible with subtle energy work. The more I understand healing, the more effective I can be as a healer.

Below are just a few of the many questions Bengston asks in The Energy Cure (pages 207 and 208) that I find extremely interesting.

“How many treatments are necessary to produce remission? Is it better to have many short treatments or a few longer ones?

How do different types of cancer respond to the same treatments?

Do multiple healers add to the positive effects of energy treatment?

Can energy be stored in some materials, then transferred to an organism? If so, what materials work best?

Do some materials block the healing effect?

Can hands-on healing before cancer occurs create immunity?

Can immunity be inherited? Can an organism that has been cured pass on resistance to the next and subsequent generations?

These are significant questions that need to be asked, systematically researched and funded. The Energy Cure has helped me understand how important it is to have more research done on hands-on healing.

I have found out that Bengston’s next workshop will be next March 2012 in Denver and is being offered through the Healing Touch Program. Click here to find out more about it and join me if you can!

Angelika Healing Music

A Healing RoseThe CD “Deeksha” by Angelica was a generous and thoughtful gift from one of my clients. This music is sublimely beautiful and perfect for healing work.

Before writing this post I thought Angelika was a group and when you hear the delicate harmonies in the music you will know why. I discovered Angelika is a woman who is an amazing musician, spiritual seeker, and living foods, enthusiast. She teaches workshops on nutrition and raw foods, and writes, records and performs her own music. She grew up in Germany and now lives off the grid in the Sierras.

Her spiritual path is one of devotion and acceptance of all religions.

Jeri Lawson has a full-time healing practice in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California. She is available for Healing Touch, Reiki, and Clarity Breathwork Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm.