In the short time I’ve been doing Healing Touch I’ve seen some pretty significant and exciting results. This energy therapy technique is subtle, yet powerful and while it’s not anything like a traditional massage, your body, and perhaps more importantly your mind, will feel relaxed in a completely different and deeper way.
Here’s just one story about a dear client Reggie…
I’m going to begin this story at the end. After several months of deteriorating health due to dementia, Reggie passed away peacefully in her home. It was the first time I’ve experienced a client death and while it was sad I was at peace knowing that I was able to contribute to her well-being right up until her passing.
I first met Reggie at the age of 88. She lived in town and had been receiving massages off and on for many years. For an 88 year old she was strong and flexible without an ounce of feebleness. She was a charming woman full of interesting stories and each week she sighed and extolled the greatness of massage. She would say things like, “I don’t know why everyone isn’t getting a massage!” and “Massage is the best medicine!” Months went by and I started noticing that she was becoming “forgetful”. At first we joked about it but it was rapidly becoming a bigger issue. I continued to massage Reggie during the early stages of her dementia until she became hospitalized for other health problems.
After returning home from her second hospital stay her daughter and I were no longer comfortable with her getting on and off the massage table. She was becoming less mobile and would eventually be in a wheelchair most of the day. It was around this time that I was starting my Healing Touch apprenticeship. One of my assignments was to complete 100 documented sessions so instead of massage we started doing Healing Touch.
It had been many months since I saw Reggie after her second hospitalization and was astonished and saddened by her condition when I finally began the HT sessions. She had become so immobile that she needed to be strapped into her wheelchair. Aside from a few grunts she was unable to speak and needed to be fed, dressed, bathed, etc. by her live-in nurses. Her eyes gazed down, her body was in a slumped position, fingers gnarled and contracted, and she had occasional tremors. The smiling, jovial, woman full of stories I once knew was shuttered away, trapped by her condition.
For her first session I began with some basic clearing techniques, which, to be honest, really does look like I’m just waving my hands around the body! BUT the intention is to begin moving stale or stagnant energy away from the body’s electromagnetic field. I followed with more hands on techniques intended to connect, open, and balance the joints and chakras. The technique is simply holding my hands across two joints and/or chakras allowing energy to swell and move. During the session I noticed Reggie’s tremors decreasing and her body relaxing. Even the expression lines on her face softened. Needless to say I was pretty excited with the results! I was getting some great feedback from other people I was documenting but Reggie was different. Since she couldn’t speak I had to be more observant and aware of everything that was happening, so “professionally speaking” it was a great learning experience for me.
We continued weekly sessions and I continued being amazed after each one of them. It got to the point where she would visibly perk up upon my arrival and seemed engaged with me during the session. Her head and eyes would raise, I would sometimes get a smile, and she would sometimes gently squeeze my hand as if to say ‘thank you’. We were connecting energetically during this heart-centered therapy. There was a feeling of ease and peace between us. I sensed that she was fully aware of what was happening and even though she couldn’t voice it I could see it in her eyes that she was grateful.
Reggie’s condition was continuing to deteriorate and she quickly became more distant and expressionless. I remembered her CD collection and created a playlist with her favorite operas and singers. This changed her sessions dramatically and I was quite taken back by it! She responded to the music by rocking and trying to tap her hand on the chair and I could see a slight smile forming but it was her eye contact that was the most amazing and, heartbreaking. It was then I realized just how effective these sessions were on her, and how powerful *music therapy can be. The change that occurred during her sessions eventually got the attention of her nurses and soon they stopped what they were doing to watch me “wave my hands at her”. They began telling me how different she was before and after my visits and how amazed they were by the shift in her demeanor. She was much calmer, less rigid physically, and easier to assist. During one visit there were some doctors visiting. On this particular day Reggie seemed angry. Her eyes were closed with her head down and I sensed frustration. I began the session with everyone in the room watching me! I remember thinking “come on Reggie, DO something”! Sure enough she gradually began to open her eyes to gaze at me, her heavily contracted hands relaxed and opened, and the corners of her mouth turned up. I could hear the doctors whispering to each other with astonishment and after I finished I was giving them information about Healing Touch classes.
Eventually Reggie moved from her wheelchair to her bed and my last few visits were given with the intention of providing peace as her body prepared to move on. At this point she was fairly unresponsive but I continued to practice with a heart-centered approach, giving her the compassion and dignity she deserved. I had a feeling that my last session with her would in fact be my last and learned of her passing the following week.
I am forever grateful for the connection I had with Reggie and for the incredible learning experience. My year with her confirmed the power of touch and how a heart-centered practice can contribute to the healing of others.
Discover how Healing Touch can benefit you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Learn more here.
*I encourage you to watch the film Alive Inside. You can find it on YouTube or Netflix. It’s a fascinating and inspiring story about the healing power of music for patients of dementia and Alzheimers.