Sign Up For Our Free Quarterly Publication
        
We respect your privacy. All information is kept confidential.

Healing Touch Blog

Latest news and information from Healing Touch

Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Healing Touch
Gratitude: The Short Film by Louie Schwartzberg
Gratitude: The Short Film by Louie Schwartzberg
 
In this time of challenge, when so many are suffering throughout the world, 
we take time today to express our deep gratitude and love.

We are grateful for those who are working to create healing in this world. 

We are grateful for those who risk their own lives to save the lives of others: the health care workers, the fire fighters, the first responders, the civil servants. 

We are grateful for the light carriers, the intention holders, the peace makers. 

We are grateful for the truth speakers. 

We are grateful for the ones who work for justice. 

We are grateful for the teachers and the families who nurture the young. 

We are grateful for all those who place the well being of others in highest regard. 

We are grateful for this impossibly beautiful planet and home. 

We are grateful for this Earth's creatures and all her life forms. 
 
We are grateful for challenges that are encouraging us to grow. 

We are grateful for the love and compassion that this community imparts into the world. 

We are grateful for you.

May your heart be filled with gratitude, peace and love. 
May you radiate these qualities throughout your corners of the world, creating a blanket of calming, healing light throughout the planet.
Our Deep Gratitude, 
Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors and Staff
 
"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, 
it will be enough."
                                        ~ Meister Eckhart

 

Posted by on in President's Update
         
 Holding Hands Around the World - Image by Prawny from Pixabay 
 
November 2020 President Monthly Ezine
 
We're entering a time of the year when we're looking to newness and thanksgiving, gratitude and remembrance. October through December see our calendars dotted with holidays from various traditions across many cultures.
 
Today as I write, I'm thinking about three things: the election that has just passed in my country; Diwali, the Festival of Lights, marking the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain New Year; and the year ahead. I'm always contemplative, but especially so this time of year. And it seems like each of these things are wrapped up in the overarching idea that we're all in this together. Despite all that is going on in the world, festivals of light remind us of the reaffirmation of hope, friendship, and goodwill. In the midst of all that this year has brought to the world, hope is the thing that continues to rise to the surface for me.
 
I saw someone online state that "hope is a discipline." That resonated with me because beyond being mindful, since March I've had to be purposeful in seeking out and acknowledging hope. Of making space for it when the world feels like it is disintegrating.
 
I often say to folks outside of the Healing Touch and energy medicine world that my training as a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner is my superpower. I draw on what I've learned and practiced every single day and in every single facet of my life. I'm sure many of you do, too. It's one of the ways in which I practice the discipline of hope. Whether it's holding space for a friend or colleague who's tearful and needs compassionate gentleness or making time to breathe and practice meditation for myself, Healing Touch gives me hope. It helps to fuel my hope and my desire to practice the discipline of hope.
 
It seems to me that in our current space and time, the Attributes of the Heart-compassion, healing presence, unconditional love, innate harmony, and joyful service-are needed more than ever. My skill set as a practitioner of Healing Touch gives me hope. My Healing Touch colleagues and mentors give me hope. You, our Healing Touch community, give me hope because even if I don't know you personally or even know your name, I do know that you are holding the light in the world. And knowing there are like-minded people on this planet at this moment holding light and compassion for all living things gives me hope because I know that you care, you truly care.
 
In my day-to-day life, I'm a professor at the University of Tennessee and my research focuses on supporting families caring for someone with dementia. In one of my studies about how caregivers support each other online, one of the caregivers said, "These are the folks who hold the light for me so that I can see my way to a bit of peace; sometimes I hold the light for them."
 
That's what our community does for each other. We hold the light. It's hard and simple and inspiring and amazing and all the things. And I am so, so grateful for it. The office staff is holding the light for you. The Board of Directors is holding the light for you. Our committee chairs and members are holding the light for you. I am holding the light for you. And I know that you're all holding the light for me.
 
In the prologue to his memoir Walking with the Wind, the late Congressman John Lewis tells a story from his childhood to describe his vision of how we can face profound challenges and make a better world.
 
"About fifteen of us children were outside my aunt Seneva's house, playing in her dirt yard. The sky began clouding over, the wind started picking up, lightning flashed far off in the distance, and suddenly I wasn't thinking about playing anymore; I was terrified...
 
Aunt Seneva was the only adult around, and as the sky blackened and the wind grew stronger, she herded us all inside.
 
Her house was not the biggest place around, and it seemed even smaller with so many children squeezed inside. Small and surprisingly quiet. All of the shouting and laughter that had been going on earlier, outside, had stopped. The wind was howling now, and the house was starting to shake. We were scared. Even Aunt Seneva was scared.
 
And then it got worse. Now the house was beginning to sway. The wood plank flooring beneath us began to bend. And then, a corner of the room started lifting up.
 
I couldn't believe what I was seeing. None of us could. This storm was actually pulling the house toward the sky. With us inside it.
 
That was when Aunt Seneva told us to clasp hands. Line up and hold hands, she said, and we did as we were told. Then she had us walk as a group toward the corner of the room that was rising. From the kitchen to the front of the house we walked, the wind screaming outside, sheets of rain beating on the tin roof. Then we walked back in the other direction, as another end of the house began to lift.
 
And so it went, back and forth, fifteen children walking with the wind, holding that trembling house down with the weight of our small bodies.
 
More than half a century has passed since that day, and it has struck me more than once over those many years that our society is not unlike the children in that house, rocked again and again by the winds of one storm or another, the walls around us seeming at times as if they might fly apart.
 
It seemed that way in the 1960s, at the height of the civil rights movement, when America itself felt as if it might burst at the seams-so much tension, so many storms. But the people of conscience never left the house. They never ran away. They stayed, they came together and they did the best they could, clasping hands and moving toward the corner of the house that was the weakest.
 
And then another corner would lift, and we would go there.
 
And eventually, inevitably, the storm would settle, and the house would still stand.
 
But we knew another storm would come, and we would have to do it all over again.
 
And we did.
 
And we still do, all of us. You and I.
 
Children holding hands, walking with the wind..."
 
Harmony, A Colorado Chorale from Denver, Colorado, provided a virtual performance for both our opening and closing ceremonies for this year's virtual conference. I share with you this video from their closing performance.   

Surrounding You 
Surrounding You
As you move through the last two months of this year-marking and celebrating days of remembrance, thanksgiving, and light-may the lyrics of that song and the words of Congressman Lewis remind you of the global community of healers holding your hand, walking with the wind, and surrounding you with love.
 
Blessings,
Joel G. Anderson, PhD, CHTP, FGSA
President, Healing Beyond Borders

Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_a-better-world.pngCalled for a Better World - Photo by Lisa Anselme

October 2020 President Monthly Ezine
 
"Leaders are called to stand in that lonely place between the no longer and the not yet and intentionally make decisions that will bind, forge, move, and create history. We are not called to be popular; we are not called to be safe; we are not called to follow - we are the ones to take risks. We are the ones called to change attitudes, to risk displeasures. We are the ones called to gamble our lives for a better world." Mary Lou Anderson
 
This week, I am taking part in the National Hartford Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence Leadership Conference. It's something I do every year, though this year it is a virtual experience, kind of like our own conference. What's similar is the mechanics of it in terms of navigating the conference platform, viewing pre-recorded presentations, and connecting to live sessions with some of the speakers. It's also similar in that attendees represent a group of compassionate individuals who truly care and are leading with their hearts.
 
Our own conference exceeded expectations. It was thrilling to have over 500 people from around the world engaged in the offerings this year. Hearing from folks each morning during my live coffee break and meditation was a highlight of each day for me. I heard about what you were doing as part of the conference as well as what you were doing in your daily lives. Our conference created new ways of connecting and gave us great ideas for how we might do things going forward.
 
And, I think, it inspired leadership. It showed many of us what is possible in ways we had not envisioned just months ago. It fed our soul and gave us courage and creativity to meet the days ahead, both for ourselves and for our Healing Touch community. I'm grateful for the leadership of our community in charting a path to holism and wholeness for ourselves and others. We lead just by being ourselves.
 
For example, practitioners and instructors are creating online discussion and practice groups as ways of checking in, gathering in meditation, discussion of techniques and clinical practice, and book groups on topics related to healing and equity, to name a few. You can find listings of these groups in the directory on our website. If you're a practitioner or instructor who's hosting such a group or would like to do so, please list the information on our website so that others may join you.
 
As with any organization, we have formal leadership roles and transitions of those roles. This year, we had two members of the Board of Directors whose terms ended: Maureen Kowba and Deb Goldberg. Both provided heart-centered, steadfast service to the organization during their time on the Board of Directors. I am grateful to have worked with them during their tenure on the board.
 
To fill these positions, we solicited nominations as in years past. Unfortunately, the number of nominations received was minimal. We understand that the call came at the beginning of the pandemic during a time of uncertainty, much of which still continues. That uncertainty may have made it challenging for some to put forward their nomination.
 
However, the Nominating Committee reviewed all of the nominations submitted and two candidates rose to the top. Given that we arrived at only two candidates and had two vacancies to fill, an election was not feasible. Therefore, the Board of Directors voted to appoint both of these candidates to initial terms on the Board as per our organizational bylaws.
 
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Wilma Bijl, CHTP, CHTI, and Christa Voorn, CHTP, both in the Netherlands, to the Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors. Both have experience working on teams using consensus models of leadership. They are both excited to assist in international expansion with closer involvement, outreach, and connection with the international community. Wilma has a keen interest in expanding Healing Touch throughout Europe, while Christa is focused on biofield research opportunities for Healing Touch to increase awareness of our evidence-based results among the healing professions. Their presence will expand the international representation on our Board, bringing European representation to our board for the first time. Their terms began with our virtual conference on October 1, 2020.
 
This year also was meant to mark the end of my time in the role of president. However, given current events and to maintain continuity during a time of accelerated change, I have agreed to remain in my current role for an additional year. This decision was approved by the Board. I look forward to passing the light to our next president at our 25th anniversary conference in 2021.
 
Sincerely,
Joel G. Anderson, PhD, CHTP, FGSA
President, Healing Beyond Borders

Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_Seeds.pngSeeds of Possibility - Photo by Cat Miller

July 2020 President Monthly Ezine 
 
My heart is moved by all I cannot save: so much has been destroyed that I have to cast my lot with those who age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world."     ~Adrienne Rich
 
This summer is not going according to plan.
 
Five months ago, I was making preparations for a spring and summer full of research-related travel, outings with friends and family, and working diligently in my office at the university on a full plate of research and teaching. But in the past five months, that travel and those outings have been put on hold, and I've worked as diligently as I can from my home office.
 
When the pandemic was declared in March and the world began locking down, I reached out to family and friends far and wide to check in with them, to let them know I was thinking about them and that I was here for them. Among those Healing Touch folks was Annis Parker, who responded to my message with the following: "You are so able to deal with this. That is why you are placed in the place at the University." That message back in March helped me to remember what I can do during a time in which it felt (and sometimes still feels) like there is nothing I can do to make the situation better.
 
As the spring and summer have unfolded, we've watched the tides of the pandemic ebb, flow, and surge. There remains an uncomfortable level of uncertainty. And that uncertainty means decisions are hard to make. But I'm finding that the ability to make decisions provides some measure of certainty that I'm appreciating.
 
Making the decision to move our conference into a virtual format was not taken lightly. But once the decision was made, space opened up. Movement and forward motion were possible. The Patterns of Possibility emerged. It's funny. When we developed the conference theme for this year, we had no idea how salient it would be.
 
The office staff and Conference Planning Committee are working tirelessly to make our virtual conference a success. This new way of delivering our conference offers a great deal of possibility. I hope you will register and join us!
 
The main thing keeping me going during the pandemic is community. Though interactions have been limited to Skype calls and Zoom sessions, we've fostered community using technology, strengthening ties and expressing gratitude. Being part of our Healing Touch community has given me hope for the past fourteen years, but never more so than in the last four months. 
 
We are those who have cast our lot as a healing, compassionate presence in this world. May our collective work support transformative healing for the highest good of all.
 
Sincerely,
Joel G. Anderson, PhD, CHTP, FGSA
President, Healing Beyond Borders

Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_Bowls_.jpg

"Lotus, Fire & Light" - Photo by Cat Miller

 
June 2020 President Monthly Ezine
 
This isn't the ezine I planned to write this weekend.
 
What I was going to write about were the ways in which we as a global community of healers have connected with each other over the past two and half months during the pandemic. However, the events of the past week in the U.S., and particularly this weekend, give me cause to write something different.
 
Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, my country has been inflamed and in flames in response to systemic racism that continues to rear its head through police violence. Protests in cities across the U.S. have led to police brutality and riots. And as I check in with friends in colleagues in the cities affected, as well as my African American and black friends, students, and colleagues who are reeling from the collective trauma, I have been thinking about what I can do to affect change.
 
Enter this ezine.
 
I take these ezines seriously knowing that our full email list has tens of thousands of subscribers worldwide. I try to be judicious with my words and work to strike a global tone and not be U.S.-centric. But right now, what's happening in my country is the best example of why the Attributes of the Heart and our global healing presence is so desperately needed.
 
The U.S. is not alone. Folks have been rallying globally to affirm that black lives matterPeople rallied in Toronto this week because of the suspicious death of a woman of color. Populations in developing countries continue to struggle in an unfathomable way to respond to the pandemic, the legacy of colonialism showing its scars. The Rohingya refugee crisis continues. The climate crisis continues. It's all enough to leave one feeling hopeless.
 
 
I don't know about you, but our global community of students, practitioners, and instructors is one of the things that gives me hope. When I turn to the news and encounter the darkness of the world, the knowledge that I'm part of a community of people who care, truly care about the wellbeing of others gives me hope. I don't feel alone, that I am working toward a collective purpose. Now is one of those times that I need to focus on the hope in the midst of the carnage.
 
I have no idea what it means to be a person of color. No concept of all that comes with that given the history of the U.S. But I cannot turn my eye away from it. To do so, to remain silent and ignore it is to, in effect, condone it. To view it as too political, too harsh, too much...well, that would be the easy way out that my privilege as a white male affords me.
 
But I choose to leverage that privilege, in any way I can for equity and social justice. Too political? I would argue that in today's world, the Attributes of the Heart - compassion, unconditional love, healing presence, innate harmony, and joyful service - are political acts. In a world that often seems bent on capitalism and survival of the fittest, those qualities of the heart are a gracious act of defiance.
 
So, as we continue to ride out the storm of the pandemic and all the other things that make us all too human, please join me in intention and meditation. Focus with me on the Attributes of the Heart. Sit with me in discernment so that when the pandemic passes, we do not merely return to normal, or even a "new normal." Let us set intention to return to something better.
 
Sincerely,
Joel G. Anderson, PhD, CHTP, FGSA
President, Healing Beyond Borders

Posted by on in President's Update
b2ap3_thumbnail_Light.jpgImage is from Pixabay and used under a Creative Commons license

 May 2020 President Monthly Ezine

As I put words onto the page today, it is Mother's Day. It also is the middle of Nurses Week. These two events meld profoundly in my mind.
 
I've written before about my mother's death. I was by her side, holding her hand when she went into cardiac arrest after offering her Chakra Spread. In the midst of all the chaos that followed, there was one constant.
 
It was a nurse who literally held me up, bracing me from collapse in the corridor as the crash team worked to revive my mother. It was a nurse who helped me to call my family, frantically imploring them to rush to the hospital. It was a nurse who checked on us every hour on the hour in the ICU waiting room. It was a nurse who comforted us, who hugged us, who helped us to honor my mother in final moments and navigate our way following her death.
 
And it was a nurse who did those same things the following year when each of my mother's parents died and whenever my family has lost someone we love.
 
I have been privileged to spend my academic career in the collaborative camaraderie of nurses. I have witnessed not only what they do in emergent health care situations, but also the ways in which they steer their novices into becoming what remains the most trusted of professions. I have learned a great deal from these nurse colleagues.
 
It was a nurse who founded the Center for the Study of Complementary Therapies at the University of Virginia and sustained that Center for 20 years. It was a nurse, that same founding director, who saw in me the ability to become a successful health sciences researcher, offering me a postdoctoral research fellowship and guiding me as a mentor to this day.
 
It was a nurse who founded our organization and worked collaboratively to create our course of study and certification. It was a nurse who taught my Healing Touch classes. It was a nurse who mentored me to certification.
 
Nurses have served in every leadership position within our organization. Nurses hold many of these roles today. Nurses have guided our community through the fire during times of hardship and rejoiced with us in times of joy.
 
I am the first president of our organization without a nursing background. Many of our students, practitioners, and instructors are not nurses. But it diminishes me in no way to acknowledge the nursing lineage of our beloved therapy and organization. In fact, given the acts of heroism nurses have always done and continue to do, especially during the current pandemic, I am humbly grateful for and to be part of this lineage.
 
We've all seen the images. The nurses on the so-called frontlines, covered in personal protective equipment or the bruising imprints of wearing those masks for hours on end. Of the nurses comforting those with COVID19 and their families. Of the nurses comforting each other as they continue to provide compassionate care as we live through this moment in history. Given all that they do, are doing, and have done, the Board of Directors wanted to offer something to them.
 
A strength of our organization is the role our members have played in creating the research evidence base to support the practice of Healing Touch. Many of these studies have been led by or involved nurses and nursing scientists. As a small token of appreciation to all that nurses do, we've crafted a fact sheet from our Research Brief as a resource for nurses. Please feel free to distribute this fact sheet to the nurses in your life. Thank them for their kindness, their compassion, their resilience. Remind them that we are here for them.
 
I'm currently working on a position paper with colleagues from the Colleges of Nursing and Engineering, making the case for why nurses should be involved as a stakeholder in any effort to use technology in health care. During that conversation, one of my nursing colleagues said, "well, every patient has a nurse." And it's true. We may engage with health care professionals of all stripes and workers of all sorts in a hospital or health care setting. Indeed, it takes a village and the contributions of all are needed. But it diminishes none of those allied professionals to acknowledge and appreciate the nurses who stand by our sides.
 
The World Health Organization designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife in acknowledgment of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. Nightingale rose to prominence during the Crimean War by establishing infection control practices and standards that saved lives. To get her point across effectively, she applied data visualization to the data she was collecting. While this may be one of first documented instances of innovative thinking and action by a nurse, nurses remain nimble in their holistic approach to the health care they provide. Healing Touch is just one of those examples.
 
I shall never forget the nurses who have quite literally held me up throughout my life. I am grateful for all of their work and for working with me, and us, to spread healing light and create wholeness on Earth.
 
Sincerely,
Joel G. Anderson, PhD, CHTP, FGSA
President, Healing Beyond Borders

Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_dawn-image.jpgImage is from Pixabay and used under a Creative Commons license

April 2020 President Monthly Ezine

"There are years that ask questions, and years that answer." ~Zora Neale Hurston
 
I've been thinking a lot about the quote above recently and how, to me, 2020 seems to be doing both. We are being asked a lot of questions right now. How do we respond to the pandemic? How do we best take care of ourselves and others? What do we truly value? What will our day-to-day lives be like on the other side of this? What is it that we are feeling?
 
I believe we're being offered the opportunity to divine answers, too. What we truly value and hold dear is clearer than perhaps it has ever been for some of us. And as for feelings, most of us are sitting with a mix of sadness, anger, apprehension, and grief. The surrealism of life going on in some ways in the middle of pandemic when so much of life is halted is another reality.
 
In the middle of all the tumult, our community has lost a dear friend, mentor, leader, and champion. Dr. Laura Hart passed away on April 1, 2020. I had the distinct privilege to work closely with Laura and Lisa Anselme on the current Healing Touch textbook and she was my mentor for instructor training. I shall always remember Laura for her tenacity, compassion, and no-nonsense demeanor. She was a straight shooter with a heart of gold who will be sorely missed. I am grateful for the memories I have.
 
Many of us have been finding respite and comfort in our hobbies and interests to manage the mix of emotions in which we're now living. I share a few below from which I continue to draw inspiration.
 

blessing the boats (at St. Mary's)
by Lucille Clifton
 
may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back     may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that
 

"Life, inexhaustible, goes on. And we do too. Carrying our wounds and our medicines as we go...Perhaps our planet is for learning to appreciate the extraordinary wonder of life that surround even our suffering, and to say Yes, if through the thickest of tears."
~Alice Walker, from the foreword to Zora Neale Hurston's Barracoon
 

"And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about."
~Haruki Murakami
 

"For the New Year, 1981"
By Denise Levertov
 
I have a small grain of hope-
one small crystal that gleams
clear colors out of transparency.
 
I need more.
 
I break off a fragment
to send you.
 
Please take
this grain of a grain of hope
so that mine won't shrink.
 
Please share your fragment
so that yours will grow.
 
Only so, by division,
will hope increase,
 
like a clump of irises, which will cease to flower
unless you distribute
the clustered roots, unlikely source-
clumsy and earth-covered-
of grace.
 

In the meantime, self-care is not an option these days. Indeed, it never was. Focus on the Attributes of the Heart, particularly Innate Harmony as was observed by Myra Tovey, who shared in a recent email to Lisa Anselme and me the following: "I would like to suggest that we focus on the Attribute of the Heart, Innate Harmony, 'being calm in the midst of chaos'. That will help transform fear into love."
 
In closing, I'm reminded of the fifth Attribute of the Heart, what Bonnie Johnson has described as "joy-filled" service. None of us can do everything, but each of us can do something. Our skills as students, practitioners, and instructors of Healing Touch are vital to our wellbeing and a gift to others. In that spirit of service, I remind you of our call for nominations for upcoming vacancies on the Board of Directors. Nominations can be submitted through April 30, 2020.
 
Be safe, be well,

Joel G. Anderson, PhD, CHTP, FGSA
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors

Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_mindfulness.jpgImage is from Pixabay and used under a Creative Commons license

February 2020 President Monthly Ezine

"Life is a mixed blessing, which we vainly try to unmix." ~Mignon McLaughlin

I find myself in the midst of two strategic visioning processes at the moment. At the university, I am a member of the executive committee steering the strategic visioning plan. Simultaneously, the Board of Directors is fleshing out a plan based on our discussions during our strategic visioning work at the conference last year. In both cases, these groups of volunteers are striving to come up with optimistic, inspirational, and aspirational ideas, goals, and actions to serve the respective organizations over the next several years. And in both cases, I am mindful of the necessity that we be authentic to who we are, warts and all.

Authenticity is at once the hardest and easiest thing to do. It requires honesty, humility, courage, and tenacity. Authenticity is all about the mixed blessings in the quote above. It is something that some shy away from, while others cannot exist any other way than to wear their authenticity on their sleeves. To me, it means acknowledging and embracing your perceived flaws in the journey toward remembering your wholeness.

At the university, we're juxtaposing the current climate around racism, bigotry, and xenophobia, the institution's history (rosy and not-so-rosy), and who we want to be. For Healing Beyond Borders, we're weighing past, present, and future with changing demographics and health care systems. Where do we fit? How do we lead? What is our role? How do we flourish? Those seem to be questions I continually ask myself during life transitions or when existential angst creeps in.

The thing that is making both of these strategic visioning processes less onerous are the people involved. Both at the university and amongst the Board of Directors, I am fortunate to work with passionate, compassionate, and enlightened individuals. In both settings, we're taking this seriously and approaching it with heart. While one wouldn't expect anything less for our Board, it's rewarding to know that I work with such people in all walks of my life. For that I am grateful.

Additional thoughts...

What I'm reading
Mary-Cathrine Campbell introduced me to a book she inherited from Alexandra Jonsson titled Pocketful of Miracles by Joan Borysenko. It's a unique book of daily meditations that incorporates a lot of spiritual traditions. I started incorporating it into my daily routine last fall, but this is the first year that I've started it from the beginning.

What I'm listening to
I seem to have India. Arie on repeat these days, specifically her album titled SongVersation: Medicine and especially the song Soulbird Rise.

What I'm keeping in my awareness
In addition to being mindful, I've discovered for myself a need to be purposeful. I am quite aware of my levels of stress, pain, etc., but often that's as far as it goes-acknowledging the state of what is. For that to change, one way or the other, I must be purposeful in how that might take place and in taking action to do so.

In light,
Joel G. Anderson, PhD, CHTP, FGSA
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors

Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_Hawaii.jpgPhoto by Joel Anderson

 January 2020 President Monthly Ezine

As I write this ezine, I am sitting in the lobby of the Grand Wailea on Maui. I have been here for the past week to attend the Hawaiian International Conference on Systems Science, which has occurred in Hawaii for the past 53 years. In recent years, the conference has expanded to include health and health care information systems, as well as how society uses digital technologies such as social media. These new tracks overlap nicely with my research to support family caregivers of people with dementia and how these caregivers use technology to manage the caregiving experience.

I first visited the Hawaiian Islands in 2014 when my friend invited me to join her on Kauai at her timeshare. I immediately fell in love with Kauai, feeling a deep spiritual connection to the island. That first trip was magical, and I have been fortunate to return to these islands several times since.

On previous trips to Hawaii, and to this conference, I have traveled with a friend or colleagues. But this trip was just me. This solitude offered the chance to enjoy many moments of reflection and meditation. And while I may not be traveling with my friends this time, I do have the pleasure of meeting up with Sarah Porter for dinner on my way back to the airport this evening.

It is comforting to know that most any place I go, I can connect with our Healing Touch community. This is especially true and poignant given the news of the day, with tensions high in the Middle East, bushfires raging across Australia, and extreme weather popping up around the globe. It is one thing to know that you are part of something bigger than yourself; it is another to have tangible proof of that. That tangibility and connection is one of the many things I cherish about our Healing Touch community.

Sitting here in these lush surroundings, I am full of gratitude for the privileges of my life and the many compassionate, heart-centered people who populate it, many of whom are members of our Healing Touch community.

May we continue to carry the vision and mission of Healing Beyond Borders into this new year, supported by the Attributes of the Heart and a deep-rooted commitment to community.

With aloha,
Joel G. Anderson, PhD, CHTP, FGSA
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors

Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_dec-ezine.jpg Photo by Joel Anderson


December 2019 President Monthly Ezine

I continue to observe something that I've written about before in Perspectives in Healing - folks actively searching for the Attributes of the Heart. This also was how I talked about the movie shown at our conference this year, Won't You Be My Neighbor. I think this movie and the current Renaissance around Fred Rogers is an excellent of example of for what people are starving.

Think it's all in my head? Well, there's a more recent biopic starring Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers. There are numerous articles about this resurgence. And there's this new podcast called Finding Fred that explores the very idea of why everyone is being drawn to Mr. Rogers in today's world.

As healers, we know the answer to this question. He eloquently demonstrated healing presence, unconditional love, compassion, and innate harmony, which were funneled into his joyful service. These Attributes of the Heart are not foreign to us. We work to incorporate them into our heart-centered approach to life each day. Many of us also work to include gratitude and dignity as well.

As we watched the film before our conference opened and when I listen to the podcast, I remember Mr. Rogers' presence in my life. Growing up in rural Appalachia, educational resources were limited. My elementary school made use of public broadcasting and shows like Sesame Street and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood to fill the gaps. For a kid on a mountaintop on what seemed like the middle of nowhere, public broadcasting showed me the world and all of its wonders. It sparked my imagination and inquisitiveness, traits that serve me well today in my professorial role.

But it fed the fire of compassion just as much. During movie night, I saw the thread of the Attributes of the Heart through my life and how one of the first people really to display those traits to me in such an adept way was Fred Rogers. And for that, I am grateful.

As the solstice nears, the seasons change, and the year comes to a close, I have been thinking about all that has occurred in 2019 and all of the promise of 2020 and a new decade. Being students, practitioners, and instructors of this heart-centered work of ours, we are aware of energetic flows. Our theme this year of "the Art of Compassion and Healing" reflects not only the unwavering ability of our community to hold an energetically vibration high, but to do so with tenderness, strength, and finesse.

Since the founding of our organization, our mission and vision of spreading healing light and restoring wholeness on Earth has been a beacon to those seeking wisdom, healing, and holism. May it ever be so.

Each of you provides compassionate leadership and unconditional love to our planet and all of its beings. During the holy days ahead, on behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of Healing Beyond Borders, I wish you peace, hope, and prosperity.

In light, 

Joel G. Anderson, PhD, FGSA, CHTP
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors

Posted by on in Conference

SAVE the DATE 2020 !!!

24th Annual Energy Healing Conference & Instructor Meeting

OMNI Interlocken Resort Hotel * Broomfield, Colorado

Wednesday, September 2, 2020 (Opening) - Saturday, September 5, 2020 (Closing)

OMNI

We’re very happy to announce our dates and location for Conference 2020! denlik-omni-interlocken-hotel-golf-3

After reviewing over 20 possible Colorado front range locations and returned bids, at last narrowing down to 4 sites, the Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors has settled on the location and dates for next year’s conference. We will be hosting our event at the OMNI Interlocken Hotel in Broomfield, Colorado. Healing Beyond Borders has negotiated the incredible rate of $128/night (single, double, triple) for this 4-star resort hotel along the front range base of the Rocky Mountains.

OMNI LINK - Click Here to view Hotel

Our conference will be held the week going into Labor Day weekend with several qualifiers: we will be moving our start of conference forward by one day, with pre-conferences adjusted accordingly, so that opening night will be Wednesday evening, September 2 and we will close our conference on Saturday, September 5 by 1:00 pm.

Participants can depart Saturday after closing to be home Sunday and Monday (Labor Day). Or, participants will have the option of extending their stay over Sunday and Monday (Labor Day) at the same incredible rate, realizing an opportunity to have a wonderful, relaxing vacation in a serene setting. We’re investigating offering several excursions into the majestic Rocky Mountains or visiting other celebratory events post conference, as people will have time to adjust to altitude during the prior week.

Posted by on in President's Update

Matching Grant Opportunity

Participate in Blessings Overflowing!

b2ap3_thumbnail_Matching-Grant.jpg

Last month, I wrote to let you know of a fabulous opportunity to support Healing Beyond Borders. An anonymous donor was so inspired by our conference this year that they offered a matching grant for donations received through December 1, 2019. If we can raise $10,000 by December 1st, they will match that amount!

We're one month into the challenge and to date we've received $400 in donations, or 4% of our goal. Together, we can do this!  If each of our members contributed $10, we'd reach our goal. If everyone on this mailing list contributed $1, we'd more than triple our goal!

I recognize that we all get lots of calls to contribute to society in monetary ways. I also know that we're not all in the position to give as much as we would like. It's hard to ask for monetary contributions when you're a non-profit organization. We're not supposed to make money, right? Quite the contrary! The work of our organization requires financial energy and input and having money in the bank is crucial to our ability to manifest our vision and mission.

This year at conference, we held strategic planning sessions with the Board of Directors and group brainstorming during the instructor leadership meeting. We came up with incredible ideas of how to extend our work and support our vision and mission as an organization and community. Some of those ideas are simple and require just a little elbow grease. But a lot of the ideas require a monetary investment in the short term to reap dividends in the long term (fingers crossed).

That's just one reason why this matching grant opportunity is so important right now. It truly will go a long way in helping to support and sustain the vision and mission of Healing Beyond Borders.

I hope you will consider making a contribution toward this important goal! You can do so via check or making a donation or grant via our website store. Please mark for general fund.  I thank you in advance for your generous support. 

Sincerely,

Joel G. Anderson, PhD, FGSA, CHTP
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors

Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_Oct-Ezine.jpg
Photo by Joel Anderson

 

October 2019 President Monthly Ezine

It's hard to believe that a few weeks have now passed since the close of our annual conference. While I plan to write more about that experience for the upcoming issue of Perspectives in Healing, I have to say that, as always, I left conference with a great deal of hope, reflecting on the opportunities for growth ahead personally, professionally, and collectively.

Our conference seems to be a time of hope for so many of us. It's expressed in the laughter, tears, smiles, and moments of serenity, emotion, and realization that you see and hear throughout the conference hall. Folks were so inspired this year that I am happy to announce that an anonymous donor has offered a matching grant for donations received through December 1st. If we can raise $10,000 by December 1st, they will match that amount!

This represents an excellent opportunity to support the work of our organization. I've just put my check in the mail. I hope you will consider helping us to meet this goal! You can do so via check or making a donation or grant via our website store. Please mark for general fund. Thank you!

Member Spotlight

Got a story to share? Let me know! If you'd like to share what you're doing in a member spotlight, please use this form to let me know what you're up to! I'll incorporate these stories into Perspectives in Healingand future ezines to share with our global community. 

Quarterly Group Read

I've chosen two reads for the fourth quarter of 2019. The first is Waking Up White by Debby Irving. I read this book while at our conference in 2015 in Naples, Florida. I was reminded of it during our instructor leadership meeting at this year's conference. During our open discussion, David Rabinowitsch raised the important topic of the lack of diversity among our instructors and, indeed, our membership. The instructors talked about what diversity and inclusion means for our organization and community. It wasn't an easy conversation and it's far from over. But it was a much-needed beginning. The second book I thought of during this conversation wasThick by Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom, which I read this time last year. It is a powerful collection of essays that explore the sociology of race and inclusion. Hopefully these books will offer some insight as we continue this conversation. 

Meditation for October

When looking for a meditation to share this month, this one from Meditative Mind immediately caught by eye because of its title: The Butterfly Effect. What a lovely way to remember the symbolism behind one of the images in our conference logo from this year.

Become an Evergreen Supporter

Join me in becoming an Evergreen Supporter of Healing Beyond Borders. I've pledged to support the mission and vision of Healing Beyond Borders through an automatic credit card deduction each month. For more information, including giving levels, visit the store on our website and click on the Evergreen Support tab

Online Store

And speaking of our store, have you seen all of the new products in our online store? There are quite a few new resources, supplies, and gifts that can support your learning, practice, and teaching. Profits from the sale of products from our online store directly support the mission of Healing Beyond Borders.

In light,

Joel G. Anderson, PhD, FGSA, CHTP
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors

b2ap3_thumbnail_Solstice.jpg


Dear Healing Touch Community,

June 21 marks the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day of greatest light and the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, the day of greatest darkness. During this period of greatest light in the North, there is the opportunity to appreciate and receive both the physical light and spiritual light that is infusing into the planet. During this period of greatest darkness in the South, there is the opportunity to travel within and discover the quiet, wisdom, clarity and purity of our hearts. As both light and dark, action and stillness, reside within our world, both reside within each of us. When both are gently respected and honored, they afford an opportunity to become clear, to act with wisdom, and radiate light and compassion.

Global upheaval, chaos, destabilization and suffering....it is sometimes more than the heart can bear. Even as we may struggle with understanding such tragedy and change, we are constantly reminded of the interconnection and oneness of all beings within this universe.

So, we truly need to focus upon what is working and place our attention upon healing, wholeness, stability and beneficial action for this precious world.

Through INTENTION, our world community can be a positive support and light for all suffering throughout our planet.

We are all aware of the strength and power of INTENTION and the capacity for HEALING that is available through our Healing Touch work. Please join us in creating a HUGE blanket of calming, healing light, peace and love throughout the world. Center and anchor the blanket through our column of light in our Lakewood, Colorado office, so that from our organizational center, our healing light can build to a high intensity and blanket the world. May it be an instrument of healing conflict and strife, calming chaos and confusion, soothing loss and grief, including our beloved Earth and all beings whose lives have been touched by challenge.

Being Peace and Radiating Peace and Healing Through the World

  • Begin today.
  • Repeat this meditation daily for the next 3 months, through to the Fall Equinox, September 23, 2019.
  • Repeat as often as it enters your awareness.
  • Maintain a peaceful, loving state within yourself. 

Be the peace and healing you wish to see in the world.

With gratitude, love, peace and light,

Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors, Staff and Volunteers
Joel Anderson, President

Victoria Cornelius, Vice President
Lisa Crouch, Treasurer
Annis Parker, Director
Maureen Kowba, Director
Deborah Goldberg, Director
Carol Schoenecker, Director
Lisa C. Anselme, Executive Director
Mary-Cathrine Campbell, Past President
Kassi Anderson, Certification Administrator
Carrie Niewenhous, Education Administrator
Cathy Nunemaker, Membership Administrator

Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_Norway.jpg

"Norway"       Photo by Joel Anderson

 

June 2019 President Monthly Ezine

I was quite fortunate and grateful to spend twelve days in May presenting my research in dementia family caregiving in the Centre for Medicine and Aging (SESAM) at the Stavanger University Hospital in Stavanger, Norway; meeting with existing and new collaborators from the SESAM, the University of Exeter, and King's College London; and consulting with SESAM staff regarding media strategy and engaged scholarship. But as with everything in life, it's been the people and the stories that have made it all memorable and have helped to create the good moments, or gode øyeblikk. So whether it has been laughing over a good dinner at Skagen on the harbor, appreciating the opportunities to connect with international colleagues from across Europe in meaningful conversations, walking through Gamle Stavanger, cruising up the fjords, dipping my toes in the North Sea, having my first sip of aquavit, having impromptu conversations about Healing Touch and energy with my Norwegian friends, or wandering through fantastically colored rhododendrons in peak bloom, this trip has been filled with good moments for me that I've been sharing on Twitter. And I'm very grateful to my friends and colleagues in Stavanger for helping me to collect a skattekiste or treasure chest of good moments.

Member Spotlight

Got a story to share? Let me know! If you'd like to share what you're doing in a member spotlight, please use this form to let me know what you're up to! I'll incorporate these stories into Perspectives in Healing and future ezines to share with our global community.

Quarterly Group Read

The read chosen for the second quarter of 2019 is Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert Sapolsky. Though not always explicitly stated, cellular memory and energetics are woven all through this book, and Dr. Sapolsky deftly explains the biological consequences our environment have on our bodies and behavior.

Online Discussion Groups

I am hosting online Zoom sessions every other month to provide a space for support, connection, and dialogue with me in a small group setting. Use this link to submit your interest in the sessions scheduled for 2019. Dates and more information about the sessions can be found on the online form.

Meditation for June

This video and soundscape remind me of the beauty and feeling of Norway. I think it is a perfect backdrop for reflection as we approach the upcoming solstice.

Become an Evergreen Supporter

Join me in becoming an Evergreen Supporter of Healing Beyond Borders. I've pledged to support the mission and vision of Healing Beyond Borders through an automatic credit card deduction each month. For more information, including giving levels, visit the store on our website and click on the Evergreen Support tab.

Online Store

And speaking of our store, have you seen all of the new products in our online store? There are quite a few new resources, supplies, and gifts that can support your learning, practice, and teaching. Profits from the sale of products from our online store directly support the mission of Healing Beyond Borders.

In light,

Joel G. Anderson, PhD, FGSA, CHTP
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors

Posted by on in President's Update

 b2ap3_thumbnail_April-Ezine_20190408-184815_1.jpgPhoto Collage by Joel Anderson

April 2019 President Monthly Ezine

If you don't know about Greta Thunberg, I think you should. Described as a force of nature, Greta was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her unflappable and unapologetic championing of our planet and necessary action to combat climate change.

Earth Day has been around for almost 50 years. Yet over the past several decades, the impact of humanity on our planet seems only to have grown the point of tangible effects in each of our communities. As healers, we are keenly aware of all of this and the impact it is having on our heath and wellbeing, and what might be ahead of us.

But, as Greta says, where there's action, there is hope. We know the things that we can do to make a difference. And we can use our skills and our voices to motivate and encourage the large-scale change that we need.

Healing Beyond Borders has taken actions to improve our organizational level of sustainability. As Earth Day draws near, I am making a pledge as the current president of our organization to work with our office staff, Executive Director, and Board of Directors on tangible ways we can do even better in terms of our sustainability in an effort to make our organization as green as possible. Hopefully by the time I pass the baton to the next individual to take on this role, we can be as close to a carbon-neutral organization as possible.

Member Spotlight

Got a story to share? Let me know! If you'd like to share what you're doing in a member spotlight, please use this form to let me know what you're up to! I'll then incorporate these stories into Perspectives in Healing and future ezines to share with our global community.

For example, Hattie Peraino shared that the Healing Touch Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan, celebrated its 20th anniversary on March 30, 2019! You can read more about the Center in Hattie's recent post on the Crazy Wisdom Community Journal.

Judy Stoddard shared the following: "When I first started learning HT and was inexperienced, I would ask for the work to be done even if my hand positions were not placed correctly, realizing that energy goes where it is needed. As I work, I ask to be led and regularly say mental blessings, particularly when over the heart or crown chakras. I frequently use a Celtic peace blessing, the Buddhist Metta, (loving kindness blessing) or other appropriate blessings. When I silently ask, "may my hands be Your hands", I am opening myself to Spirit working through me as a conduit. When grounding at the end of a session, I silently give thanks for the session and for learning the modality."

Quarterly Group Read

The read chosen for the second quarter of 2019 is Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert Sapolsky. Dr. Sapolsky came to the University of Tennessee last spring and lectured as part of Brain Awareness Week. His presentation was based on this book and I immediately went out and purchased because I found it all so fascinating from both a scientific standpoint and through the lens of a healer. Though not always explicitly stated, cellular memory and energetics are woven all through this book, and Dr. Sapolsky deftly explains the biological consequences our environment have on our bodies and behavior. I also think it is very useful as one thinks about the causes and consequences of energetic patterns.

Online Discussion Groups

I will again be hosting online Zoom sessions to provide a space for support, connection, and dialogue with me in a small group setting. Use this link to submit your interest in the sessions scheduled for 2019. Dates and more information about the sessions can be found on the online form.

Meditation for April

As we think about and send love to our planetary home, this video from Meditative Mind provides Solfeggio tones to clear the chakras and deepen our connection to the Earth.

Become an Evergreen Supporter

Join me in becoming an Evergreen Supporter of Healing Beyond Borders. I've pledged to support the mission and vision of Healing Beyond Borders through an automatic credit card deduction each month. For more information, including giving levels, visit the store on our website and click on the Evergreen Support tab.

Online Store

And speaking of our store, have you seen all of the new products in our online store? There are quite a few new resources, supplies, and gifts that can support your learning, practice, and teaching. Profits from the sale of products from our online store directly support the mission of Healing Beyond Borders.

In light,

Joel G. Anderson, PhD, FGSA, CHTP
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors

Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_Jefferson-Hotel.jpg

Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia
Photo by Joel Anderson

March 2019 President Monthly Ezine


Happy Healing Touch Day!

Since 1996, March 6 has been an anniversary of our organization. Twenty-three years later, Healing Touch continues to provide healing to individuals across the planet in pursuit of the vision to spread healing, light, and love, creating wholeness on Earth.

This anniversary has me thinking about the 'butterfly effect' - the idea that our actions and words ripple out into the world in unseen and unknown ways. There is no way that we could enumerate the lives touched by this heart-centered work over past 23 years by all of those involved. Indeed, it is impossible for any one of us to determine all of the individuals for whom our healing presence has made a significant, positive impact, to say nothing of our healing influence on the animals, plants, and ecosystems of the planet. But I know that we have, and continue to, make a meaningful difference in the world.

"What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." ~ Jane Goodall

As students, practitioners, and instructors of Healing Touch, we have consciously and consistently chosen to embody the Attributes of the Heart - to "spread healing, light and love worldwide" in pursuit of the highest good for all of the life that inhabits this world. My hope is that today we each take a moment to reflect on our place within this community of light-working butterflies and the power, sacredness, and exquisiteness of our healing presence.

Member Spotlight

Got a story to share? Let me know! If you'd like to share what you're doing in a member spotlight, please use this form to let me know what you're up to! I'll then incorporate these stories into Perspectives in Healing and future ezines to share with our global community.

Quarterly Group Read

The read chosen for the first quarter of 2019 is How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery. It is a small but mighty book that shares the simple wisdom of animals and how we can learn so much more from them than they might ever learn from us.

Online Discussion Groups

Want to join an online Zoom session and a space for support, connection, and dialogue with me in a small group setting? Use this link to submit your interest in the sessions scheduled for 2019. Dates and more information about the sessions can be found on the online form.

Meditation for March

The meditation this month is our Healing Touch Day meditation for worldwide healing, light, love, and peace.

Become an Evergreen Supporter

Join me in becoming an Evergreen Supporter of Healing Beyond Borders. I've pledged to support the mission and vision of Healing Beyond Borders through an automatic credit card deduction each month. For more information, including giving levels, visit the store on our website and click on the Evergreen Support tab.

Online Store

And speaking of our store, have you seen all of the new products in our online store? There are quite a few new resources, supplies, and gifts that can support your learning, practice, and teaching. Profits from the sale of products from our online store directly support the mission of Healing Beyond Borders.

In light,

Joel G. Anderson, PhD, FGSA, CHTP
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors

Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_Swirl.jpg

 "A Swirl of Terns" Commissioned Sculpture by Stefan SaVides
Sky Lakes Medical Center, Klamath Falls, OR
Photo by Lisa Anselme

February 2019 President Monthly Ezine

I discovered the writings and work of Maya Angelou during high school, first with her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Throughout my late teens and twenties, I read and reread her books, poetry, and essays, hearing in her voice an understanding and knowledge of some of the aspects of life with which I struggled. I dazzled at her turn of phrase and ability to imbue simple words with such meaning and wisdom.

In 1995, Dr. Angelou wrote her poem A Brave and Startling Truth to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. That fall, she spoke at my university and I was thrilled to see and hear her in person for the first time. I still have the poster from the event. You can imagine my excitement just a few years later when I found myself living in the same city as Dr. Angelou and shopping with her at Whole Foods!

Her words and writing seem to be one of the first places my mind goes when it tries to make sense of life and world events. Over the past few days, I've been thinking about her poetry as I watch the news and think about my place in the world as a healer.

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

In her book Mom & Me & Mom, she writes,

"Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins."

As I think about all of the ways in which I do and can learn to embody the Attributes of the Heart, including unconditional love, I think about those wisdom keepers whose words seem to pierce through any number of paradigms, ideas, and philosophies, taking one to the heart of the matter. That's what I find in Maya Angelou's words-the Attributes of the Heart. During a month in which many of us are bombarded with the sentimentality of Valentine's Day, may we all find within ourselves, and those we hold dear, love that heals and liberates.

Member Spotlight
Got a story to share? Let me know! If you'd like to share what you're doing in a member spotlight, please use this form to let me know what you're up to! I'll then incorporate these stories into Perspectives in Healing and future ezines to share with our global community.

Quarterly Group Read
The read chosen for the first quarter of 2019 is How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery. It is a small but mighty book that shares the simple wisdom of animals and how we can learn so much more from them than they might ever learn from us.

Online Discussion Groups
I will again be hosting online Zoom sessions to provide a space for support, connection, and dialogue with me in a small group setting. Use this link to submit your interest in the sessions scheduled for 2019. Dates and more information about the sessions can be found on the online form.

Meditation for February
Continuing with the theme of healing and love, this video from Meditative Mind provides a sound bath for the heart chakra and a backdrop for heart-focused meditation.

Become an Evergreen Supporter
Join me in becoming an Evergreen Supporter of Healing Beyond Borders. I've pledged to support the mission and vision of Healing Beyond Borders through an automatic credit card deduction each month. For more information, including giving levels, visit the store on our website and click on the Evergreen Support tab.

Online Store
And speaking of our store, have you seen all of the new products in our online store? There are quite a few new resources, supplies, and gifts that can support your learning, practice, and teaching. Profits from the sale of products from our online store directly support the mission of Healing Beyond Borders.

In light,

Joel G. Anderson, PhD, FGSA, CHTP
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors

Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_January-2019-Ezine.jpgReynolda Gardens in Winston-Salem, North Carolina - Photo by Joel  Anderson

 

January 2019 President Monthly Ezine

I always find myself even more introspective than usual as the calendar turns from one year to the next. Like Janus, I am at once looking forward and looking back, thinking about what has occurred in the year that has passed, what I can learn from these events, and how I can take these lessons forward with me.

January is also the month during which we in the United States recognize the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. During a recent conversation, our Vice President Victoria Cornelius reminded me of the following quote from Dr. King: "Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic." This helped me not only to frame the topic of our conversation, but also reminded me of Roshi Joan Halifax's book Standing at the Edge, which was my pick for the fourth quarter read of 2018. She, too, reflects on that balanced middle ground - a Goldilocks zone of just right.

As the new year unfurls before us, may we remember and put into practice Dr. King's words and aspirations. May unconditional, powerful love guide us as we spread light and expand wholeness on Earth.

Member Spotlight

Got a story to share? Let me know! If you'd like to share what you're doing in a member spotlight, please use this form to let me know what you're up to! I'll then incorporate these stories into Perspectives in Healing and future ezines to share with our global community.

For example, Patricia Rux shared that she is incorporating Healing Touch into her practice as an end-of-life doula. Evelyn Jarman is expanding her Healing Touch practice and offerings at Gladstone Hospital in Queensland, Australia. And Myra Tovey presented on heart-centered communication at the 45th annual Professional Nurse Educators Group conference.

Quarterly Group Read

"And cobras are the laziest of the lot!" If you were at the conference in 2017, then you might recognize that quote from Annis Parker's keynote presentation about her work with animals. I instantly thought of Annis when I spotted the book I've chosen as the first read for the first quarter of 2019 in the bookstore. And there was just something about the book that wouldn't let me leave the bookstore without it. I'm glad that I didn't. How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery is a small but mighty book that shares the simple wisdom of animals and how we can learn so much more from them than they might ever learn from us.

Online Discussion Groups

I will again be hosting online Zoom sessions to provide a space for support, connection, and dialogue with me in a small group setting. These sessions were well-received last year, and I thoroughly enjoyed connecting with those who participated. The sign-up process last time was not so great, though, so I've changed it this year. Use this link to submit your interest in the sessions scheduled for 2019. Dates and more information about the sessions can be found on the online form.

In addition to these sessions, 2019 will bring with it new online topical discussion groups. For example, our Research Director Sue Hess wants to host online discussions focused on research. And I envision other discussion groups on topics that have consistently topped comments, surveys, and emails from our students, practitioners, and instructors, such as mentorship, teaching, and ethics. More information about these sessions will follow in the coming months.

Meditation for January

As it's a new year, many of us think about how we can be our best selves moving forward. I've recently discovered Marie Kondo and her method for tidying up. Keeping our energy system tidy is the inspiration for this month's meditation. This video from Meditative Mind provides musical frequencies for clearing and healing the major chakras.

Become an Evergreen Supporter

Join me in becoming an Evergreen Supporter of Healing Beyond Borders. I've pledged to support the mission and vision of Healing Beyond Borders through an automatic credit card deduction each month. For more information, including giving levels, visit the store on our website and click on the Evergreen Support tab.

Online Store

And speaking of our store, have you seen all of the new products in our online store? There are quite a few new resources, supplies, and gifts that can support your learning, practice, and teaching. Profits from the sale of products from our online store directly support Healing Beyond Borders.

In light, 

Joel G. Anderson, PhD, FGSA, CHTP
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors

Posted by on in President's Update

b2ap3_thumbnail_Mental-Health--Healing-Touch.jpg
Clouds, Mountains & Sky - Lakewood, CO     Photo by Lisa Anselme

 

Mental Health and Healing Touch

You may recall from my ezine in July my synopsis of the online Zoom session that I had with folks in June. During that June session, the conversation turned to mental and emotional health because we met following the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, who died by suicide. We talked a lot about mental health, the latest statistics from the U.S. and other countries, and what we could do as students, practitioners, and instructors of Healing Touch to support individuals who may be struggling with depression or other mental health issues. Given that this is not my bailiwick, I wanted to rely on the professional expertise of instructors and practitioners in my personal network who are also mental health professionals on what might be most useful and appropriate. As president, a concerned human being, and someone with a history of depression, I wanted to be sure that we did our best to get it right.

So I reached out to Lucrezia Mangione, Pat Cheeks, and Denise DeForest Pastoor to help me pull together some resources for our community on the topic of mental and emotional health. As Healing Touch students and practitioners, we often work with clients who experience mood changes or have been diagnosed with clinical depression. As the seasons change (e.g., affecting the amount sunlight we experience) and calendars fill up with personal and professional responsibilities and the arrival of holidays, the needs of our clients or patients may increase with respect to depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and related mood shifts. Hopefully, the information in this ezine will be useful in your practice of Healing Touch or your own self-care.

Before delving into any of the information, it is essential that we be reminded of our scope of practice. Our Standards and Scope of Practice are the ethical and professional foundation of our Healing Touch practice. None of us want to do more harm than good. Scope of Practice is the first code and standard of practice. As students and practitioners of Healing Touch, we "integrate and practice Healing Touch within the scope of [our] education, training, current licensing and credentialing." We also are bound by code and standard two, which is about collaborative care and working within "the limits of [our] professional competence...Referrals are made to appropriate health care professionals as needed." If you do not have the appropriate training, credentials, and state/provincial licensure to provide mental health services to your patients, refer them to someone who does. Being in alignment with our standards ensures safety for all concerned.

Information and Resources

Overview of depression

Depression can become very familiar. It can be simpler to choose familiar when we know how to exist there and it feels safe. At times, especially when grieving, feeling good can bring on feelings of guilt and the grip on feeling good can become slippery or lost.

One can believe (consciously or unconsciously) that the illness is keeping one safe from something. There are many who speak of generational patterns that can include depression and anxiety. Certainly, negative emotions of parents and/or grandparents can imprint one with reactions of grief, depression, or anxiety. Gabor Mate, MD, speaks to this in his book, When the Body Says No. The Body Keeps the Score, a book by Bessel van der Kolk, PhD, discusses the storing of emotions in the body. One of Pat Cheeks favorite quotes from the book is the following: "Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives."

Limitations of Talk Therapy

There are limits to talk therapy. That's why Pat, Denise, and Lucrezia integrate Healing Touch for those clients who want it. As therapists, it's clear to Pat, Denise, and Lucrezia that talk therapy may not offer the healing we hope our clients would have. When a therapist (or provider) hears "I don't deserve this," "I'm being punished," "I am wrong," "What am I doing wrong?", or "Danger is everywhere", it is obvious that the client has internalized messages that are damaging.

Healing Presence

Coming from a heart-centered place and holding sacred space are healing by themselves. Describe our Healing Touch work so that the individual can embrace the concepts of connecting, opening, balancing, and repatterning. Describe how you prepare for the work so that they will understand the loving place the energy is coming from. Ask the client what brings them joy and encourage them to revisit joy to bring a sense of hope while they are experiencing Healing Touch. Your heart-centered presence also will help you to follow the energy, which is the best way to support the healing process.

Initial or Follow-up Intake

Your initial visit and intake is your opportunity to understand an individual's holistic health history and why they are seeking Healing Touch. This intake includes a little about their medical history and current medical issues, too. Most people will be honest about their mental health history and current diagnosis. If the person indicates that they are depressed or have been diagnosed with depression, it is essential to ask about previous or ongoing treatment for depression. A general question you can ask during your intake is "Have you ever been given a diagnosis related to your mental health?" If the individual answers no, then continue on with understanding what brings her or him to seek Healing Touch. If yes, follow up by asking "Are you under the care of a licensed professional right now?" and, if yes, "How frequently do you see him/her/they?" If the individual isn't seeing anyone, ask them "Are you willing to see someone if need be? Do you know someone? How about your primary care physician?" and make a referral, too. It is very important to encourage seeking professional help if you suspect that your client might be experiencing depression. An easy referral that is non-threatening to most people is to their primary care physician. Additionally, consider closing your intake with a statement that explains that you work collaboratively with others when a situation is outside your training and expertise. Invite them to consider signing a release form so both you and their chosen licensed clinician can connect and collaborate together in support of their mental health. The initial visit is your opportunity to learn about your client and why they want Healing Touch, as well as to identify what's within your scope of practice and with whom you'll need to collaborate when it's outside your training.

If the individual expresses thoughts of suicide, harming themselves, or harming others, seek immediate assistance from their mental health provider and/or a suicide or crisis hotline.

Energetic Assessment

During your assessment, the focus is two-fold: what the client says they need help with and what is presenting energetically. If the client shares any indication that they may be suffering with prolonged, long-term sadness, loneliness, moodiness, low energy, thoughts of hopelessness, or anything that flags you as a concern, take note of it. At the end of the session you can make referrals as needed. Assessing the field is your biggest window into how to support their aims for Healing Touch. The energy field will serve as guidance regarding the techniques to choose. Following what presents in your client's field and addressing those energetic disturbances will yield supportive outcomes.

Energetic Patterns

What energetic patterns might you find when working with a patient who is experiencing depression? What Healing Touch techniques might you use in response to those energetic findings? Energetic patterns are as varied as people. Consequently, using Healing Touch techniques is a flexible process. Below are some suggestions about potential energetic patterns and findings you might encounter, as well as techniques you might use to balance, clear, and energize in response to what's presenting in the field.

Keep in mind that everyone is different. When working with someone who has disclosed a diagnosis of depression or other mood disorder, you have an opportunity to learn how an energy field is affected by an ongoing medical condition. Keep good records of what the energy field disturbances are. Over time, you will begin to see what their presenting pattern is. This along with their short- and long-term goals will enable you to identify different Healing Touch techniques to help their system repattern itself gently into a more functional patterning. Follow the energy, set mutual goals, and set your intention, as always, for the person's highest good and make referrals for collaborative care.

Potential energetic patterns observed in individuals who report they have a depressed mood or have been diagnosed with depression or other mood disorder are outlined below.

  • The root chakra may be compromised. Grounding meditations, body based movement (e.g., yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong), and encouraging connection to the Earth and nature (e.g., walks and getting outdoors) may help support this imbalance.
  • The sacral chakra may be compromised. A mutual goal may be to shift emotions and create more joy. In addition to Healing Touch, journaling, pranayama breathing (i.e., slow diaphragmatic breathing), and physical movement may also be of support.
  • The solar plexus chakra may be compromised and related to a loss of a sense of self, boundaries, and control. Energy leaks at this chakra may be occurring and draining. Support the individual with affirmations, encouragement to tap into support systems, and meditations on safe spaces.
  • The heart chakra may be compromised, which may be related with feelings of grief and loss. Support the individual in their ability to focus on self-compassion, the attributes of the heart, and connecting with those who they feel love and care for them. Centering meditations are useful in supporting the heart chakra.
  • The throat chakra is connected with the sharing of our story. Be an active listener, grounded in mindful, compassionate presence. Provide your patient with a space to be heard free from an expectation or need to "fix" them.
  • The brow chakra is our connection to intuitive wisdom. Affirm for the individual the courage to listen to their own inner wisdom rather than the inner critic and limiting beliefs.
  • The crown chakra may be compromised. Reinforce connecting to an inner source with guided meditations. Encourage mindfulness practices that allow for being present without judgment. This often leads clients to let depressive symptoms "flow" through them.

Choosing which techniques to use during the session is unique to your assessment of your client's biofield. That said, as a general guideline, when in doubt, choose techniques from Course 1. These techniques are typically hands-on or near enough to the body that most individuals will feel a sense of connection with the provider and the work they are providing. For example, based on your energetic assessment along with what they say, one might use Course 1 Healing Touch techniques such as full or modified sequences of Chakra Connection, Modified Mesmeric Clearing, or Chakra Spread. Energetic siphon over the chakra that is the most compromised may allow for a gentle release of overwhelming feelings. Further, Noel's Mind Clearing is a technique that addresses the biofield at the head, which in Lucrezia's practice she's observed is wonderfully effective for balancing emotional and mental states. Pat shares that Field Repatterning can offer such hope and a new way of being to clients. She's had clients report feeling so much lighter and comment, "I feel as though I've had a reset."

Recommendations and Referrals

Denise suggests exploring somatic awareness after a Healing Touch session to deepen body awareness, which may be profound in the healing process. People with a history of trauma, depression, or anxiety are often disconnected from their body or focus on negatives. Invite them to identify areas in which they feel comfort or ease and to follow those patterns and place a hand on the area. It is within the scope of practice for all Healing Touch providers to share any Healing Touch techniques for daily self-care. Techniques from Course 1 also have the additional benefit of being easy to learn, especially the self Chakra Connection. Additional suggestions include acupuncture, which is often covered by insurance, restorative yoga, qigong, or tai chi. Movement and meditation can be very soothing and healing.

Additional Approaches

In addition to Healing Touch, a focus on nutritional support or modifications (e.g., low carbohydrate and sugar intake), sleep hygiene, exercise and physical activity, and other self-care are important to support healing. How do you identify these when you're not trained? Use your common sense. We all know the importance of sleeping well, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. During your intake or follow-up chats, ask them what they do to take care of themselves. Depending on their answers, encourage them to bolster steps in improving an area. You can always ask, "What's one step you can do to improve your sleep, exercise habits, or diet?" Also, make a referral, encouraging them to see a dietician, functional medicine doctor, or sleep expert as needed.

Other Ideas and Resources

Here are more suggestions and resources that Pat, Denise, and Lucrezia recommend:

  • Bring your laptop to your session. Pat brings her laptop to the office some days to show clients' Dan Seigel's "Brain in the Hand" video. Both Pat and Lucrezia send their clients to the HeartMath Institute website to do their own research.
  • Consider sharing this lovely blog post by someone who lives with suicidal thoughts
  • Know the Warning Signs [of Mental Illness]: An excellent synopsis of signs and steps to help for mental illness created by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • Risk of Suicide: An excellent synopsis of signs and risk factors for suicide created by NAMI
  • Want to Know How to Help a Friend?: This infographic by NAMI tells you how. Written for students, it also applies to the general adult population.
  • Other useful infographics by NAMI
  • What is Mental Health? Here's a short article about mental health and resilience that shares highlights of what mental health looks like written by Lucrezia, who is a Board Certified Counselor
  • Books for your education:
    • Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith
    • Soulcraft or Nature and the Human Soul by Bill Plotkin
    • How People Heal by Diane Goldner
    • Avalanche by Brugh Joy
    • The Subtle Body by Cyndi Dale
    • Wheels of Light by Rosalyn Bruyere
    • Hands of Light, Light Emerging and Core Healing by Barbara Brennan
    • When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
    • The Noon Day Demon by Andrew Solomon
    • Feeling Good by David Burns
    • Yoga for Depression by Amy Weintraub
    • Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat Zinn
    • Medicine, Mind, and Meaning by Eve Wood
    • Out of the Blues by Jay Cleve
    • Unstuck, Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression by James Gordon
    • The Mandala of Being by Richard Moss
    • This is Your Brain on Joy by Earl Henslin
    • The Chemistry of Calm and The Chemistry of Joy by Henry Emmons

Finally, here is a link I've shared before to a literature review that Lucrezia Mangione, Diane Swengros, and I wrote on biofield therapies and mental wellbeing that was published in Issues in Mental Health Nursing in November 2017. The article was chosen by the editorial board of the journal as the practice paper of the year for 2017 and has been made freely available.

Many, many thanks to Lucrezia, Pat, and Denise for their input, insight, and expertise in pulling together this information. Our hope is that this ezine is a great resource for your practice and healing.

In light,
Joel G. Anderson, PhD, FGSA, CHTP
President, Healing Beyond Borders Board of Directors