By Barbara Janelle M.A.

In Touch, Vol XIII, No. 2, Summer 2001

Donna Logan Van Vliet gave the Friday evening talk that propelled the participants of the Second Southwestern Ontario Therapeutic Touch Gathering into the Beta Quadrant. As the Star Trek theme indicates, The Gathering is an opportunity for experienced TT people to share their explorations. This year, the 72 participants brought 638 years of experience to the weekend conference held at St. Jerome’s College, University of Waterloo on April 27th, 28th and 29th.

In describing her personal work with illness and heavy metal toxicity, Donna drew on ideas from Sandra Ingerman’s new book, Medicine for the Earth (Three Rivers Press, New York: 2000), as well as on her own broad background in TT and a range of other disciplines. Her underlying statement that “It is only energy” provides the basic framework for dealing with significant health problems. Her beautiful exercise in unruffling with the intention of “allowing space so that change can happen” moved everyone into a more profound way of doing Therapeutic Touch. Her self-care exercise in massaging Neuro-lymphatic Reflex Points was great and when Grant Hallman said he was glad there was no video taping of this, everyone’s laughter confirmed the point.

Carolyn Buchanan and Sue Frid led a very powerful exercise in working in triads. Team work: awareness of receiver and partner, as well as of the energetic dance, was augmented with the gift of an energy stone to each of the participants. Carolyn’s quiet focus on the beautiful interelationship within the TT treatment increased the awareness of TT as an act of compassion and connection.

Helen Will led people through several exercises in exploring aspects of fun and creativity in her presentation on “Finding the Elf in Self.” The exercise of drawing a spiral to center is a wonderful addition to centering exercises.

Diane May’s superb exercise of connecting with inner self and the inner self of the receiver increased the intuitive awareness of the practitioner. The recognition that “Every time we give a TT treatment, we have a mystical experience” was followed by the comment that exceptional TT treatments are a function of the quality of connection to the client and the quality of the practitioner’s centeredness. Her ending comments on the state of Therapeutic Touch, the inappropriateness of using a term like “pure TT” and the focus on similarities in a range of approaches, brought a standing ovation.

I spoke on “Embodiment of Spirit” as a definition of health and on the roles of grounding and connection with the spiritual essence of the receiver to support participation in life. As well, I offered some of my current work in mapping the impact of major chakra function.

Daily TT treatments with weather warm enough to work outdoors, good food and lots of it, laughter and great conversation amplified the feeling of well being for everyone at the conference. The “Adventure Walk,” set up in a field near the auditorium, offered meditative and playful experiences in honouring self and community. An additional bonus was Saturday afternoon’s “Angel Stories” presentation by Randi Grummett. This inspired many to make the trip to Angel Treasures in St. Jacob’s for an afternoon shopping spree.

The 3rd Annual Southwestern Ontario Therapeutic Touch Gathering: “Into the Gamma Matrix” will be held on the last weekend in April 2002. This annual conference is organized by Don Buchanan – Head Honcho and Computer Guru, Carolyn Buchanan, Sue Frid and Barbara Janelle. Next year’s speakers will include Mary Simpson, Fran Gallagher-Sheubrook, Carolyn Buchanan, Sue Frid and myself, and a special presentation by the leaders and members of London’s Therapeutic Touch Hospital, Wellspring and Long-Distance Teams.