A Day Long Workshop: Sounding Into Breath

Cait McWhir
Cait McWhir

On July 28th, 2013 Mary Gaetjens and I will be co-facilitating a Clarity Breath Workshop with vocalist and musician Cait McWhir.

We will have a morning breathe, followed by a healthy, nurturing lunch, and then a second breathe in the afternoon.

If you have ever experienced a Clarity Breathwork session before, you know how life changing one session can be. Now is your chance to do two sessions in one day! This will allow you to reach even deeper states of consciousness and healing to create real and lasting change in your life. This will be a very beautiful and transformational day.

Cait, a practitioner of Sound Yoga, will help guide us into a profound and sacred space before each breathe utilizing vocalization with ‘bija seed syllable’ sounds and toning.  These sound vibrations and resonances will help awaken, clear and expand the level of awareness within our bodies and energy centers.

Please come and join us.

Cait McWhir, originally from Northern Ireland, is a vocalist and musician who has been exploring music and sound from around the globe for most of her adult life.  She is also a founding member of the world music trio Bindi Society.

“The Magic of Our Connections” By Carol Kinney

Carol Kinney, RN, BSN, HNC, HTCP/I with Cynthia Hutchison, DNSc, MSN, RN, HTCP/I
Cynthia Hutchison, DNSc, MSN, RN, HTCP/I and Carol Kinney, RN, BSN, HNC, HTCP/I

I would like to share an article written by Healing Touch Practitioner and Instructor Carol Kinney about our Healing Touch community.

I find the commitment to Healing Touch is a commitment to healing, growing and sharing. What I love about our community is the inclusiveness and respect for all healing modalities.

I am very grateful to be a part of such a beautiful community.

Self Care: Healing and Breathwork For The Healer

I know good self-care is the number one reason I am still in business and doing well. I can not imagine having a healing practice if I did not first take care of myself emotionally, mentally and physically.

My self-care sessions, especially in modalities that help me process emotionally – such as hands on healing and breathwork – only happen when I book them in advance.  It is so important to listen to my inner guidance, that little voice that says it’s time to rebalance.

A few months ago, my healing practice surged with many new clients, and in a moment of pure brilliance I scheduled several healings and breathwork sessions for myself as soon as I could.

I am now enjoying the support from other practitioners as I integrate all that is going on in my healing practice, my life and the world at large. I am fully present for my clients now because of the extra support I have given myself.

The more I give to myself, the more I can give to others.

Three Healers Who Write About Energetic Healing

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Since I started this blog two years ago, I have found several other healers writing about their practices and how energetic healing can enrich our lives. In this post I would like to share three of those blogs with you.

The first blog is by Judith Schutz, Judith Treating cancer with Energy Healing (including the Bengston Method and the Domancic Method): A resource on the use of bioenergy healing to treat cancer, with commentary on working with the Bengston Bioenergy Healing Method, the Domancic Method, Matrix Energetics, Quantum Touch, and Reiki.

Besides sharing her immense experience with the above energetic modalities, Judith is frequently challenging the unconscious ways in which our media and healthcare system treat cancer.

In her short, yet profound post “Some thoughts on Roger Ebert “losing his battle to cancer”  she writes:

“This metaphor of cancer as a war that is waged between the disease and the patient has got to go”.

“…We need to find a more useful metaphor, one that gives us new ways of looking at this disease, that will perhaps trigger different, and less harmful, treatments. How about the alternative where we look at the cancer cell as confused? A cell that has lost its connection to the whole that could perhaps be taught to return to normal…”

Judith currently uses all the healing modalities she has studied in the treatment of sports injuries. Click here for her Treating Sports Injuries With Bioenergy blog.

The next blog is from Reiki Master Pamela Miles who has been doing Reiki since 1986. Pamela’s Reiki practice is in New York where she also teaches. Pamela has a wonderful website, yet I received an email from her a few weeks ago stating that she is going to redo it. Her video on Reiki is one of the best introductions I have seen on energetic healing, so I hope she keeps that on her site.

I personally have been very inspired by Pamela’s website. Her commitment, clarity, and years of healing experience make her blog an incredible resource.

There are two subjects she addresses often that I have found particularly interesting. The first one is self-care. Pamela is a big advocate of daily Reiki treatments. Check out her post The Most Important Thing. Since discovering Pamela’s blog, I have made a conscious effort to make sure I give myself daily Reiki treatments. I have really noticed a difference, especially in my emotional well-being.

Pamela also writes about describing Reiki as more of a spiritual practice instead of an energy medicine. In her post Reiki: Spiritual Practice or Energy Medicine? she states:

“As a spiritual practice, a Reiki treatment doesn’t rearrange the biofield as much as it reminds the system of its capacity to self-heal. A Reiki hand sounds the metaphorical wellness chord, the “sound” of which calls the human system to reorganize around its inherent wellness, thereby increasing consonance in the system, and reducing dissonance from within, rather than sweeping it away from outside, as is done by an energy medicine treatment. The Reiki hand may be the soft mallet that sounds the gong, but the resonance, reorganization, and healing come from within. Yes, the practitioner plays a role, but Reiki healing remains essentially self-healing.

In energy medicine, the therapist does the housecleaning, whereas through spiritual practice, we alter our state from within. Reiki is a spiritual practice that has therapeutic applications. That doesn’t make it energy medicine, but it means it can look like energy medicine.”

From this perspective, Healing Touch would then be more of an energy medicine. This is interesting to me because as an energetic practitioner I LOVE Reiki, yet call myself a Healing Touch Practitioner for a variety of reasons too long to list now. When I give myself an energetic treatment I have always felt like I was doing Reiki, so Pamela’s thoughts on this make a lot of sense to me.

The third and last blog is from Barbara Litchfield, a Healing Touch colleague that I have yet to meet in person. Barbara has been blogging since 2007. Her writing style is heartfelt, honest and based on her own healing practice. From reading her blog, I can tell Barbara is a heart centered healer – deeply committed to helping people feel better.

Barbara’s post, Energy Therapy Changes the Energetic Pattern is nothing short of BRILLIANT. If you don’t have time to read it right now, click on the link, bookmark it and save it for later.

I hope you enjoy these blogs as much as I do.

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

A Healing Pattern

c. Jeri Lawson 2013 All Rights Reserved "Balance"There are moments in my healing sessions when I sense the client I am working with has reached a state of perfect balance.

These moments are experienced by my client as relief from the issue that he or she has come to see me for – such as lower back pain. In this healing pattern, his or her whole body has also deeply relaxed, and there is a feeling of complete emotional and mental peace.

This can happen in the first five minutes of the session.

If this is the case, my focus for the rest of the healing is setting or grounding that higher vibration in my client’s body while he or she is in this pain-free state. I set an intention to organize and assist my client in strengthening their energy field so they can hold this frequency for as long as possible.


Healing is then measured by how long my client can stay balanced after the session. This is good because transformation is happening at a rate that is safe and comfortable. There is less pain for  longer periods between sessions until the pain does not return. Sometimes this happens in one or two sessions and sometimes it takes many sessions. It is obvious to me and the client that each session is making a difference.


As I write this I realize it sounds like I am causing the balance to happen, but really I am just following the energy during the session with conscious intention. This always creates the best results for my client. As a Healer I set the space for the healing to happen and then just follow the energy.

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

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.