Johanna McCloy wrote several articles as a freelance journalist for Truth Atlas, a magazine “featuring stories about people and ideas making the world a better place”. Truth Atlas provided permission to reprint her articles here.
JOHANNA MCCLOY • FEB. 11, 2014 • HELPERS, SPECIAL FEATURE • ¦5764 views
OAKLAND, CA–Many of those suffering from potent and possibly fatal diseases believe that conventional medicine is the only modality that can help them. Others, especially those in unrelenting pain, become open to alternative treatments that might be able to bring them some relief. One of these unconventional treatments is an energy-therapy program called Healing Touch.
Developed in 1989 by Janet Mentgen, who’d spent 43 years as a nurse in the U.S. Navy, emergency rooms, and in-home hospice care, Healing Touch is a gentle, noninvasive form of energy work used to manage the often debilitating side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, helping to restore wholeness and balance in mind, body, emotion, and spirit. By promoting deep relaxation, it can increase overall energy levels and the ability to cope, and to help with the stress of pre- and post-operative care.
Jeri Lawson, a Healing Touch practitioner in Oakland, California, was a massage therapist who realized that her clients would reap even more benefits from her sessions if she focused on their human energy field, an electro-magnetic field that surrounds and penetrates the physical body. It’s beneficial for Jeri, too. “In fact, I usually feel energized afterward,” she says.
Jeri is fully aware that her work with cancer patients can’t clear the disease itself, but it can clear the block in energy caused by cancer treatments. She listens carefully to her clients, accepts their own decisions about how best to tackle their treatments, and is wholly nonjudgmental about their wants and needs. “Chemotherapy and radiation will disrupt a person’s energetic field, and my mission is to unblock, reorganize, and shift that energy field in order to restore inner balance,” she explains. “One thing that happens is that people gain their own insights about their own healing. They relax. They can handle it. Inner guidance is allowed to come through.”
Not surprisingly, many people who know little about alternative-treatment options are critical and dismissive. “They just think it’s weird,” Jeri says. It’s hard to explain what she does, which is a shame, because people who are ill and need help should be able to find it without fear of criticism. “In my healing practice, clients who release physical pain or emotional trauma during Healing Touch sessions tend to become the most grateful and fervent believers. It does not seem to matter if the client “believes” in energy work or not. Veterans have also found a lot of physical relief and emotional balancing through Healing Touch. I think this is because Healing Touch is a gentle, heart-centered, safe healing modality that does not retraumatize clients.” She adds that veterans and trauma victims are becoming regular clients for Healing Touch practitioners all over the country.
To help those who otherwise cannot afford it, Lawson has been volunteering her services at Oakland’s Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic for low-income women with cancer since 2008. “When you see someone’s whole energy shift and you recognize how much of a difference your therapy makes, there’s nothing like it,” she says.
Chris Kammler is one of the cancer patients who has benefitted from Lawson’s healing touch. “I knew Jeri as a massage therapist many years ago,” she says. “When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2004, I went to her for Healing Touch therapy after my first round of chemo, and then after each radiation treatment. I had never heard of it before and it was an amazing and profound experience. Chemo is a cytotoxin and it was killing all the cells. I could feel the healing she provided. It was subtle and gentle, but at the same time, it was more profound than if something had slapped me upside the head. She cleared all the stuff around the chemo and filled me with light through that whole experience. I couldn’t have gone through it without her.”
When Jeri hears that, she smiles. “It’s not woo-woo if it works.”