ART OF SPIRITUAL CARE
Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy | Bodywork & Energetics,
Professional Debriefing & Coaching for Somatic-informed Spiritual Care.
Cockburn Central, Western Australia
Energy therapy for body, mind and spirit
During periods of rotation in palliative and hospice care, I became aware of the use of energy medicine, specifically Reiki, and Healing Touch, which were often provided by volunteers to bring peace and coping to terminal patients and carers. Although I never had the experience of either modality, being a hospital chaplain and somatic therapist, I was very aware of the profound experience of 'laying on of hands' and the benefits of human touch across human history, and especially the gift of hugs!
With a little research, I discovered Healing Touch as an energy medicine modality created by nurses for clinical environments over 30 years ago, is offered worldwide, and that training was available in Western Australia my home town. [And that HT had been used as a complementary therapy at Sir Charles Gardener Hospital across all specialities in Perth for over 20 years now].
Why was this important?
Working in a hospital you begin to appreciate and value the care in which professional standards and practice are met. Quality Standards in healthcare provide not only safety for patients but also safety for the caregiver, measuring and improving the care provided... and this is particularly important to me and the care I now provide in private practice. Significantly, I have seen where alternative, complementary, and religious/spiritual care did not have the same vigorous frameworks of care, measures for professional practice or ethics, or even boundaries within the scope of practice.
Healing Touch covered many aspects of what I required in a modality; research, developed scope with scientific evidence, clinical applications for different dis-ease states, thorough training and supervision and in particular compared to many other touch and energy therapies was not aligned with a particular religious or spiritual denomination or organisation. That's not to suggest it's not inclusive of spiritual or metaphysical significance, but it does not idealise any spiritual belief other than what is applicable to the client. My desire is to have a therapeutic practice that holds space for all beliefs and none, without the result of bypassing that many spiritually focused 'treatments' and disciplines can evoke.
Knowing that Healing Touch Energy therapy was underpinned by rigorous study and reflection by nursing clinicians and specialists worldwide, very much aligned with my preference for a values-based, non-religious, clinical framework to provide touch therapy, including the biofield, for those in need. So in late 2021, I enrolled for Level 1 training.
Ever the curious learner AND the sceptic, I wasn't really sure what I was going to be learning!
But as I do tend to be an "all in" kind of gal... I attended knowing that I could take or leave the information or apply the knowledge to my somatic and neurobiology study as required. As a matter of interest, I invited my husband, who is a former martial artist and Qigong student to attend the beginners training with me. To my utter surprise, he accepted the invite and together for the first time in 30+ marriage we did something outside of our box, together.
What's so special?
For me, Healing Touch and its complete framework of theory, action, scope, ethics, clinical research and underlying philosophy hit all the zones for me. I can't believe the overarching system of thought it holds in light of the other therapeutic training and investigation I have completed. Healing Touch is not just some 'woo-woo' waving of the hands, but a developed and intentional touch to relieve pain, balance the biofield and support healing and wholeness.
With a passion for trauma-informed care and presence-based work as a speciality, I uncovered that the ethos of the work does explore non-dualistic/universal and even trinitarian spirituality, the science of human beingness, chaos theory and the order of patterns in biology, and most importantly the theory of human caring. The original leaders and developers of the modality thoroughly sought to explore the nature of bioenergetic touch, and have studied many sciences and philosophies to explain how this work, works. Being nurses, they used the clinical frameworks at hand to explain in detail the many theories, postulations and applications. All these expanded concepts of humanity, in turn, generated a hands-on, gentle and sensitive touch therapy that sustains well-being, calibrating energy and creative flow. Personally, it really feels magical!
After a year of practising biofield and energy healing on each other and our family, Scott and I are now entering training for Level 2 Healing Touch in clinical applications. I really think some people might think we are mad! But together, my husband and I have found an incredible sense of developed learning, an authentic servant-hearted community and a multidimensional awareness of the energy environment we all live in... and we are learning more about energy and human systems every day.
Officially, Scott and I cannot provide Healing Touch as professional services until we complete training at level 5, so that's a few years away . But we can practice with family and friends, and volunteer via AUSTRALIAN FOUNDATION FOR HEALING TOUCH Inc under supervision at Sir Charles Gardener Hospital Solaris Cancer Centre. when the time is right. Although, as our head Trainer suggests..... wherever there is touch there is energy,
and innately it will be with us always, as mindful people focused on well-being, resilience and healing.
Would you like to know more? Just send us an email.