We Also Serve: A Family Goes To War written by Healing Touch Practitioner Nanette Sagastume

Nanette SagastumeAt Kathy Allen’s Pre-symposium Workshop It Takes a Special Person to Be a Healer, I sat next to Nanette Sagastume, from Chico, California. I know Nanette from many years of various Healing Touch events and have always enjoyed connecting with her.

I also knew that Nanette had just published a book that I had been meaning to order. She had one copy left and I started reading it on the plane on the way home.

I am now in complete awe of Nanette Sagastume.

My jaw dropped at least once every chapter. We Also Serve: A Family Goes To War is an intimate account of how the Iraqi war affected Nanette’s marriage, family, friends and community. Besides being deeply moving, this book clearly describes how Post Traumatic Stress affects the daily lives of soldiers during and after the war and the families who live with them.

Nanette’s son Daniel graduated from Marine Corps boot camp four days before the World Trade Center Towers were hit. Daniel ended up serving in the same battalion, company and platoon that his father, Mario Sagastume, did in the Vietnam war. This book describes the effect of both wars; the similarities and the differences.

Unlike in the Vietnam war, technology such as e-mails and live video news feeds made it possible for Nanette and her family to become connected in real-time to Daniel while he was in Fallujah. Nanette talks about this in the video clip at the end of this post. In the book, Nanette writes about the phone call from Daniel right after a suicide bomber attacked his platoon. After reading this passage I really got it that the soldier’s family really does “go to war”.

The emotional complexity of this book is overwhelming, yet Nanette writes in such a straightforward and brutally honest way – like when she describes her “petty emotions” after Daniel returns home. The amount of CLARITY it must have taken to write this book is staggering, and as I said before, I really am in awe of Nanette.

Nanette is clear even about what she has not personally resolved:

“With the events of 9/11, the next four years challenged my views about the world, patriotism, non-violence, the morality of war and the will of God. Our relationships with many family and friends were fractured over the politics of war. I have yet to resolve questions of the morality of war in general – this war in particular – however, further internal debate was a luxury my heart could not afford while my son was in harm’s way. If my son’s morale was key to his well-being, I could not risk anything that might damage it.”

“…Knowing how polarizing different perspectives on the war’s merits can be, I do not wish my story to be construed as for or against the war. Rather, I believe the military family’s story’s is too important to risk it being dismissed for reasons of politics. With one percent  of American’s volunteering to serve, there is a gap in awareness – even a “disconnect” – about the military family’s experience. Instead, I ask the reader to accompany me, as I relate how our family served, and continues to serve, our county.”

Continue reading “We Also Serve: A Family Goes To War written by Healing Touch Practitioner Nanette Sagastume”

Healing Touch California’s 7th Annual Regional Symposium on Self-Care: Post Traumatic Stress

IMG_5571I had signed up for Kathy Allan’s Pre-symposium Workshop It Takes a Special Person to Be a Healer even though I had never heard of Kathy Allan before and had no idea of what to expect. All I knew was that her class was right after Anne Day’s Journaling Your Healing Journey and just before the networking gathering and pinning ceremony.

The presentation turned out to be one of the highlights of the conference and has given me a deeper understanding of emotional and energetic release in my Healing Touch Practice.

First of all, Kathy Moray Allan is remarkable. She is a Healing Touch Certified Practitioner and Instructor as well as a Board Certified Holistic Nurse. She studied energy healing with Rosalyn Bruyere for three years, taught Integrative Imagery for Beyond Ordinary Nursing and graduated from the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute as a Certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. Kathy is also on the Advisory Board of One Freedom, an organization that provides trauma education and training to the military, their families and care providers.

The focus of her workshop was on how prolonged exposure to clients who have been traumatized by natural disasters, domestic abuse, family break ups or terrorist threats can affect the healer. The Symposium was right after the Boston Marathon Bombings, so maybe that had something to do with how profound and timely this workshop felt.

Kathy talked about Practitioner Traumatization, Compassion Fatigue and old fashion Burnout. She described the symptoms healers may notice in themselves, and gave out strategies to prevent practitioner trauma.

Some of the strategies were: get Healing Touch Treatments (of course), spend time in nature, develop and nurture a sense of spiritual connection, sing, laugh and listen to Bellruth Naparstek’s Guided Imagery CD’s.

Kathy spoke about Post Traumatic Stress, a topic that is now being addressed frequently in the healing world. One reason for this being the increase of War Veterans that are now dealing with it.

Kathy’s handout stated this about Post Traumatic Stress:

“Although it is a source of tremendous distress and dysfunction, it is not an ailment or disease, but the byproduct of and instinctively instigated, altered state of consciousness.”

I also found this quote from her handouts by Peter Levine very inspirational:

“Remember, traumatized individuals had the strength to survive the experience and with a little help they can learn how to restore the wisdom of their bodies and the joy in their lives.

…Not only can trauma be healed, but with appropriate guidance and support, it can be transformative. Trauma has the potential to be one of the most significant forces for psychological, social and spiritual awakening and evolution.”

Post Traumatic Stress is not just about veterans, war and major disasters. In my healing practice I have always observed how beneficial it is for my clients to regularly release trauma from surgeries, minor car accidents, dental work and even the paralyzing effect of constant financial stress. Regular Reiki, Breathwork, Massage and Healing Touch sessions really keeps stress from accumulating in the physical body.

This short post does not give justice to the insights I gained from Kathy’s presentation. I feel like I have come back to my own healing practice with a fresh perspective and deeper awareness on how to better assist my clients.

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Here are a few more links about the Symposium and Self-Care Techniques that may be  of interest:

Self Care: Shine a Bit Brighter Each Day an article by Caroline Elliott, BScN, RN, HTPA, who was on the Symposium planning committee.

Here is an article by Anne Day called Journaling for Self-care and Development. Anne presented the pre-symposium workshop Journaling Your Healing Journey, which I attended and thoroughly enjoyed.

A free voice guided Chakra Meditation by Ellen Long.

A Huffington Post’s Healing Touch With Guided Imagery Could Help Relieve PTSD Symptoms In Soldiers, Study Suggests

Healing Touch California’s 7th Annual Regional Symposium on Self-Care

IMG_5598Community! Community! Community!

Last month, I attended Healing Touch California’s 7th Annual Regional Symposium called Self-Care: Body, Mind & Spirit in San Diego. Healing Touch California is a network for all Healing Touch Practitioners and students, and this year all branches of Healing Touch were represented: Healing Touch Program, Healing Touch International, Healing Touch Spiritual Ministry and Healing Touch For Animals. That’s a lot of Healing Touch!

It was exciting and heart warming to talk with so many other practitioners and hear how they were writing grants to get Healing Touch into hospitals, organizing events to get Healing Touch to War Veterans, and energetically supporting friends, family and clients with Healing Touch.

The next few posts will be about what I found personally inspiring at the conference, and how it has impacted my healing practice. There is so much to write about!

In this post I would like to focus on some new Healing Touch products that have been recently published, which I highly recommend. The first, a kit called The Healing Touch Home Study Course: Energy Therapy for Self-Care that includes a DVD that is about 90 minutes long, a CD that runs about an hour, and a workbook with cards. I watched most of the DVD and then promptly lent it to a client. It will be coming back in a few days and I will continue to work with it. This kit is wonderful if you are new to energy work, yet it has helped me refocus on self-care, which I believe is the most important healing work anyone can do. Healing Touch Program and Sounds True (I love Sounds True, by the way) did an outstanding job making this kit. Janna Moll, who is a senior Certified Healing Touch Instructor, is an excellent guide as she explains the remarkable potential of the human energy system.

Healing Touch For BeginnersHealing Touch also published a stand alone DVD called Healing Touch for Beginners, which I realized after I bought it has some of the same material as the kit, but is geared more toward beginners. It also has a very clear and easy to understand description of the chakras and energy system. I find since I am currently focusing on self-care, I am using the kit more.

On a personal note, my Healing Practice is busier than it has ever been and I am currently experiencing a wave of new healing clients. This is the perfect time for me to remember and practice self-care. Being so busy does make it more challenging to write my blog every week, but these are exactly the problems I love to have.

Jeri Lawson is available for Healing Touch and Clarity Breathwork sessions Monday through Friday, 10am to 6pm, in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California.

Beach Walks, Reiki and Super Storm Sandy

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Hawley Hussey’s home was one of the few left standing after Super Storm Sandy.

I asked my dear friend Hawley Hussey to write a post about her Reiki practice and she sent me this beautiful letter to share with you. Hawley is an artist, writer, performer, arts educator and, as she calls herself in this letter, a maker.

Over the years I have watched Hawley bring art to children in the inner cities who would otherwise never get a chance to  experience painting, drawing, performing, pretending, playing and the exhilaration of creating. She is a catalyst for joy.

I have experienced Hawley’s distance Reiki healings while facing personally challenging moments and the Reiki she sends is so grounding, loving and tangible.

Hawley lives in Coney Island and in her letter she describes her healing process after super storm Sandy:

“Dear Jeri,

As you know I have done Reiki every day since my first Reiki 1 attunement in 2001 here in NYC.

I practiced Reiki 1 for a full year, then my Reiki 2 attunement changed everything with the ability to engage in distance work. Distance Reiki is a daily part of me, like good hot coffee and walks on the beach. Beach walks are now the great exception as my beach community was leveled by super storm Sandy.

I got internet and phone about two weeks ago but not one moment of complaint can happen as my neighbors are either homeless or sequestered into a couple of rooms in their homes as they still wait for relief. Our beach house was strangely spared.

There is no real solace in being the ones who made it. My beach walks and especially my well-known winter bathing (usually a daily practice) have come to a full stop. The water has been filthy and the beach side houses are so destroyed it is impossible for me to engage in the joy the edge usually brings to me. The edge where ocean, sand and boardwalk meet.

Reiki has preserved a thin thread of hope for me.  The thread is gold and real and keeps my spirits afloat even with this loss of my neighborhood and my bit of the Atlantic.  All the destruction brought with it high creativity. I had to go within. Tap into the source of wonder I was born with and be what I am.  A maker. With no internet or phone since October’s end my painting and writing practice have flourished.

I did notice that I pretty much let go of the tending of my wee beach side apartment. Normally I take great pride in my organizing and tending to my home. I think I had been distancing myself in case I had to suddenly leave.  Although I still have to look through much damage to the ships passing and sunsets setting I am still sending Reiki daily and without fail. To  myself, to the sea, to my neighbors, to my loved ones, to difficult people at work, to strangers I see suffering, to potential wild cards on a crowded train. Much is gone from this brush with an explosive and destructive wilderness experience and much has quietly and quite unexpectedly arrived.

I am so thankful for Reiki.”

Healing Touch at Stanford Hospital

A short video on how Healing Touch is supporting woman with breast cancer at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto.

Healing Partners is mentioned in this clip, a community-based program that pairs women diagnosed with breast cancer with Healing Touch Volunteers.

It’s so inspiring to see people with cancer receiving energetic support in a hospital setting. Healing Touch really makes a difference.

Healing Touch For Asthma

Mark Gagne
Mark Gagne
Writer and Event Manager

I would like to thank Mark for taking the time to write this testimonial about his Healing Touch session. It is amazing how much I have learned from what my clients have written me.

This testimonial is a good example of how gentle and easy emotional release can be.

“I have had four healing touch sessions with Jeri, the latest for my asthma. The great thing about Jeri’s brilliant work is that her intuitive healing abilities often uncover root causes of health issues, such as painful loss, as well as removing ailments that are not foremost in her client’s mind.

In my case, I work on my feet as an Event Manager for many hours at a time, and Jeri’s healing touch session this week, though focused on my respiratory health, ended up releasing a lot of pain I’ve had in my knees and feet.  After Jeri finished, she commented to me that she was drawn  to work with my legs and feet for much of the session. I then relayed an old knee injury to her from some 30 years ago that I have come to take for granted. Since that healing, I’ve worked a few times and my knees felt lighter and more relaxed.

Jeri’s skill at transporting me through her gentle healing touch work is unmatched. I leave each session feeling energized, renewed and refocused. My entire body always feels completely relaxed, and my mind feels lighter and more alert. As for my asthma, since my session, I haven’t been wheezing and have only used my inhaler a couple times all week, which is considerably less than usual.

I hadn’t worked with Jeri for over two years due to scheduling and work logistics on my end, and had undergone a series of traumatic events in my life including three deaths in my immediate family as well as an extremely stressful legal battle. Although I sought Jeri’s help specifically for my asthma, the first sensation I felt during our session was an immense feeling of heavy emotional release, followed by warm memories of my sister, who has been gone for two years. I wasn’t thinking about her or feeling consciously bereft lately, but during this healing touch session, I knew that something wonderful had shifted, and I feel very blessed for it. I also experienced similar releases of heavy, negative energy surrounding the recent passing of both my parents. These were events that I thought I had worked through, but Jeri’s work and the perpetual lightness I feel now tell I wasn’t yet finished.

Thank you, Jeri!”

Jeri Lawson is available for Healing Touch and Clarity Breathwork sessions Monday through Friday, 10am to 6pm, in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California.

One Healing Touch Session Makes a Difference After Ten Years of Migraines

Chris de Asis
Chris de Asis

This is a Healing Touch testimonial from the current President of the BNI Chapter A’s Referral Team. I belonged to this group for two years to build my business as a Healing Touch Practitioner. This was a very smart move for my business and I met some really great people.

Each BNI chapter allows one person per occupation to join and all members must be approved via an application process. BNI’s philosophy is “Givers Gain” and all members are expected to build relationships between each other so they can give and receive referrals. I still refer the friends I met there and use their services.

When I joined the group I realized immediately most people there had no idea what an energetic healer did. I had to learn how to quickly and efficiently communicate how beneficial energetic healing can be to earn the trust of my chapter.

I gave each member one free healing session with me. Below is a testimonial by Chris de Asis. Chris had told me right after her session she had enjoyed her healing, but I had no idea how much it had helped her migraines until she sent me this:

“I went to Jeri about 2 years ago for a free healing session and it has changed the way I see alternative medicine. I have had these migraines that are very debilitating for about 10 years. My medical doctor told me that it has something to do with my temporomandibular joint.  In any case, nothing was working to permanently remove my migraines. I was too scared to take the prescribed medicine my doctor gave me because one of the side effects that promotes heart palpitations and increased heart beats. Since I come from a family with a long line of heart disease, I was very skeptical in taking the medication to say the least.
Well, after my healing I felt better the next day and my migraines now do not come as often and they are not as painful. I appreciate the healing session that Jeri gave me and have referred a client to her as well.  She is a very knowledgeable person for people going through cancer and I know through first hand experience that what she does actually works and heals your body.  Thanks Jeri, for taking care of my migraines.
— Chris de Asis

Jeri Lawson is available for Healing Touch and Clarity Breathwork sessions Monday through Friday, 10am to 6pm, in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California.

About This Blog

DSC_1057I have been writing this blog for over a year and a half, so I thought it might be time to write this mission statement. This also meant I had to reexamine and clarify my intentions as a healer. Sometimes the shortest posts take the longest to write.

ABOUT THIS BLOG:
This blog is about my energetic healing practice. My intention in my healing practice is to validate and develop the intuitive healing abilities in each person I work with and assist him or her into coming into balance physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I know that all healing is self-healing and my goal is to create a safe and inspiring place where all possibilities exist.

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The modalities I write about in this blog are: Healing Touch, Reiki and Clarity Breathwork. I am also a massage therapist and roughly half my healing practice is massage based.

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In my blog, I also share about my experience of having a healing business at this moment in our modern culture and just how extraordinary and incredibly ordinary it is to work in altered states of consciousness and sacred space on a daily basis.

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Healing is a mystery. The more I learn about healing, more I realize my focus as a healer is not about intellectually understanding what healing is, but to create, ground and hold the space for this mystery to happen for my clients.

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Lastly, my intention as the author of this blog is to communicate how this healing space can support each of us individually and as a community by encouraging the use of energetic healing – especially the modality Healing Touch and Reiki – in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals and hospice to support wellness, prevent disease and keep us in balance.

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Click here to learn more about Healing Touch.
Click here to learn more about Reiki.
Click here to learn more about Clarity Breathwork.

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Jeri Lawson is available for sessions Monday through Friday, 10am to 6pm, in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California.

More About Healing Touch and Emotional Release

Deep Peace

There is something very profound that happens emotionally when deep relaxation occurs in a healing session. I don’t fully understand it, yet I watch it happen daily in my practice and see how much my clients benefit from it.

My clients usually come for a Healing Touch session for relief of physical pain. Yet in the last few months, I have had clients who came to specifically address emotional issues that they wanted to release and resolve.

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Healing Touch is one of the most subtle healing modalities there is and that includes gentle emotional balancing and release. A Healing Touch session is safe, non-invasive and very comforting for anyone in a very fragile and vulnerable state.

Emotional release in my Healing Touch sessions is most often quite subtle. Most Healing Touch sessions are immediately experienced by my clients as relaxing and extremely peaceful. Such a deep state of relaxation is a different state of consciousness, or several states of consciousness that have profound healing effects on the mind, body and spirit.

While supporting clients through a surgery or other physical condition with a series of healings, many clients have appeared to resolve long-term emotional issues. They report back after the session, sometimes emailing months (even years!) later that issues that once obsessed or triggered them just don’t seem that important anymore. This emotional resolution had not been my focus while I was working with them;  As an energetic healer my goal was to balance their energy field so they could self-heal. Obviously a balanced energy field can facilitate even deeper healing and emotional release.

The more I learn about healing, the more I find there is to understand. Healing continues to be a mystery to me. I hold space for this mystery daily with complete trust that what ever needs to happen will happen and that it is indeed all good.

Jeri Lawson is available for Healing Touch and Clarity Breathwork sessions Monday through Friday, 10am to 6pm, in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California.