The Homework of Therapeutic Touch
By Barbara Janelle M.A.
As Therapeutic Touch Practitioners, we are consciously aware that intention and attention are effective ways of focusing energy. The use of energy comes with the responsibility to use it wisely and ethically and with the awareness that there is always a larger plan, beyond what we can conceive, at work. Responsibility implies a need for self-awareness and self-examination. We also recognize that all things are connected and that any one action affects the whole of humanity, the planet and the Universe. This is no small thing!
This article, will examine three aspects of TT homework: the personal use of TT, tools for growing self-knowledge and approaches to problem-solving.
The Personal Use of TT
Therapeutic Touch is not just a tool for working on someone else. It is a discipline that demands ongoing self work. Receiving TT regularly is as important as using it in service to others. Receiving TT deepens a practitioner’s own skills. The profound state of peace and transformation in treatment affects a person at a very deep level. For practitioners, the experience of receiving TT deepens their confidence in the work. There is some evidence to suggest that receiving TT from experienced practitioners may increase the TT skills of the receiver. (1)
There are situations, e.g. locational, where it is difficult to find another practitioner from whom to receive treatments. It is possible to work on oneself regularly, as well as set the intention in giving a treatment that it serve the practitioner as well as the receiver.
Using TT on oneself both supports overall health and increases a practitioner’s awareness of the effect of the work thereby offering additional training in the use of TT procedures that cannot be achieved any other way. To do a full unruffling and feel the ease that this brings deepens a practitioner’s trust in this work. The practitioner feels the entire field change with the deep centering of Heart Support. Knowing this in a body-sense way strengthens the practitioner’s work with others.
The use of TT can lead the practitioner into a more peaceful and meditative life. In a culture that teaches, indeed demands that people react to life, the centeredness of TT offers an alternative possibility for calmness, constructive consideration and choice. This also reduces stress and strengthens the immune system. Actually building in daily meditation in a wide range of forms from sitting to active meditative disciplines (Tai Chi, walking, painting, listening to or playing music, gardening, etc.) brings greater peacefulness in one’s life, supports health and increases the impact on a practitioner’s use of TT.
Dolores Krieger asks the very important question “Why are you doing TT?” An even more basic question “Why are you doing what you are doing” asks a practitioner to explore motives and beliefs, and examine actions. These questions take us into the depth of ourselves as we explore who we really are, what abilities we have, what inner stumbling blocks we encounter, what hopes we hold, how we are in this life and how we wish to be.
There is a lecture series sponsored by Santa Barbara City College called “What Matters Most.” What a wonderful topic to meditate on, write about and discuss with friends as ways of deepening self-awareness.
Life is about change. How do we deal with it? Do we welcome it, flow with it, resist it, trust it, etc.?
Do we like and accept ourselves? How does it feel to say “I am wonderful!” and mean it? Try combining that with Heart Support and see what happens!
Additional questions about the meaning of situations and people in our lives. Prime questions that a TT Practitioner can explore are “Why is this person (the receiver) in my life now? What does this person symbolize for me? What does this fellow human being ask me to examine in my own life?”
There are many avenues to developing self-understanding, acceptance and love. Doing something daily to recognize and value oneself is very constructive. Look in a mirror and give thanks for who you; this is a lovely way to start a day. The bottom line is that before we can truly value others we must first value ourselves.
The Power of Choice
Ultimately the real test of integrity is how we choose to use our power. There are some underlying principles that important:
a) The thoughts we hold and choices we make create our reality.
b) We always have a tremendous amount of help that we can draw on from the spiritual force of compassion to invisible helpers to Nature to our own spiritual essence.
c) “We live in a universe of compassion and order” as Dora Kunz often said. We exist in a plan larger than we can conceive and the driving forces of it are compassion and order.
Attention and intention are extremely powerful forces and carefully examining our intentions and consciously choosing what we give attention to become the homework of skilled and ethical energy workers.
In the TT treatment, the act of centering takes both the practitioner and receiver into a deeper state of consciousness; questions can be asked here and solutions can be found by both. To do this, before the treatment identify some situation on which you would like some insight. Usually within 24 hours of the TT treatment, a different view and greater understanding comes.
Centering: breathing and deepening peace can prevent reacting in destructive ways. The centered state provides a place for examining issues and choosing a response that supports healing in our world. When a difficult situation arises, try one or more of the following ways to work and find healing:
1. Write and/or draw what you feel about a situation, then go on to describe/draw how you would like to feel. For example, use coloured markers to draw your feelings as you describe to yourself how a difficult situation arose. Just in doing this, you may notice that suddenly you give a big sigh; this indicates that some deep feeling has been reached. Sometimes just this is enough to clear a situation. If more work is needed, see what happens to both you and your drawing as you bring light (with colour) into it while at the same time asking, “May there be light and love here.”
2. Another approach is to imagine that you hold the situation and all who are involved in it and ask that it be filled with light/love. The light/love does not have to come from you. Watch as light flows through everyone and everything, including you.
3. A third and very helpful approach is to go to Nature for insight. (2) For example, put your back against a large, healthy tree and tell it about the situation and ask for guidance. Notice, feelings, images, words, memories, etc. that come. They come quickly and with great insight.
4. Dora Kunz advised that when dealing with a problem, you take it to a higher chakra. If someone is working with control issues, focus on your heart. The Heart-Math Institute recommends that you think of someone or an animal that you love and feel that love for a minute or two; then coming back to the problem. It has usually diminished. (3)
Living the Life of a Healer
To be a healer is not just about giving Therapeutic Touch treatments to other people. It is about healing one’s own life and through that touching the whole of existence.
1. Barbara Janelle, “Brian’s Team,” In Touch, Vol. VIII, no. 1, March 1996. Also in Barbara Janelle, Our Healing Power, Self-published, Kitchener-Waterloo, ON: 1999, 2004
2. I walked around the garden today sprinkling Steiner’s Biodynamic mixture as a blessing and invitation to the plants to do well, and an expression of my willingness to Nature to try to work with her in all her forms and intelligences. As I walked I also thanked the plants that have brought beauty to my life.
Afterwards, I sat and asked the garden intelligence for help to find a way to come from my heart with respect to a big issue that was looming over me.
A voice asked “What did you just do?”
I replied, “I walked around the garden thanking and blessing all the plants.”
The voice said “Why not do the same for everyone in the problem situation?”
I sat there and thought of so many members of this wonderful family. and thanked them for all that I have learned from them and blessed them in my mind/heart. Man, did that feel good! And I don’t feel a need to do anything other than that right now.
3. Paul Pearsall, The Heart’s Code, Broadway Books, New York: 1998.
©Barbara Janelle/April 2005