The 5th Therapeutic Touch Gathering

By Barbara Janelle M.A.

The 5th Southwestern Ontario Therapeutic Touch Gathering held at St. Jerome’s University, University of Waterloo on April 24, 25 & 26 was a resounding success. Our Star Trek subtitle this year was “Transitions in Epsilon” (transition is the theme and epsilon is the 5th year for the conference). Grant Hallman calculated that the 80 participants represented almost 900 years of TT experience.

Merlin Homer led the conference off with her talk on “Transitions in Consciousness” in which she addressed several ideas:
a) centering recreates, at our bidding, the state of unconditional love
b) sadness is part of life, it is grounding and it keeps us connected with reality
c) as healers, we may be sad rather than ecstatically joyful and that is all right.
d) The Healer’s Meditation (presented by Merlin at two Vision & Reality conferences) can be changed to include the statement, “I am all right with this sadness and still have peace within myself.”

For years Merlin has trained TT teachers, practitioners and students to recognize their own issues and understand how the TT interaction affects the practitioner as well as the recipient. Her talk continued the theme of self-awareness and self-acceptance that is a hallmark of her work. For her wisdom, inspiration, insightfulness and honesty, and her 24 years in Therapeutic Touch, Merlin is being recognized with a life-time membership in The Gathering with the hope that she will return frequently to present.

Maria Rossiter-Thornton offered a beautiful workshop on exploring the power of centeredness, sacred space, self-exploration and creativity through mandala making. Many participants commented later on how wonderful the deep silence in the room was and that it promoted such a sense of inner quiet and awareness. One person wrote, “Her sacred space made for sacred work.”

Louise Brodie, Carolyn Buchanan, and Cheryl Dickson gave a workshop on intuition using exercises to promote the participants’ awareness of their own abilities. Carolyn made one of the most powerful statements of the conference when she said that the field will give intuitive insights to a practitioner as a way of releasing them, and that she allows the information to pass through her and leave; she does not refer to it in any way with the TT recipient.

I spoke about several ideas that I have been exploring in my TT practice in recent months:
a) In the Yuen Energetics Method, brightening the center line strengthens the whole being. I like the idea of seeing the TT treatment as strengthening the recipient, and I find that brightening the center line supports a significant shift toward better function in the field. In addition, I find that Dr. Kam Yuen’s description of working in a neutral state a valuable way of further defining centeredness.
b) Ideas from Alberto Villoldo, Medical Anthropologist and Psychologist who spent 20 years exploring Shamanism in Peru lend valuable understanding to the realm of healer and healing. In a recent talk in Santa Barbara, CA, he said our task is to bring spirit back into matter in the western culture which for so long has seen them as separate. The shamanistic tradition believes that we live in a benign universe and indeed, it will conspire on our behalf. This statement is very close to Dora Kunz’s “We live in a universe of compassion and order.” Villoldo went on to say that “as we heal ourselves, we receive our authority to heal” and that “Healing is an experience of infinity, of infinite self, outside of disease.”
c) I grow increasingly aware of magic in the world as the Age of Aquarius grows stronger. Our role as healers is to consciously choose the positive, higher road with the awareness that our thoughts as well as actions are very powerful.

Donna Logan Van Vliet’s presentation focused on David R. Hawkins’ book trilogy Power Versus Force, The Eye of the I, and I. Earth is a place and experience of evolving consciousness. Consciousness levels are fields of energy: to be heart-centered is a different field of energy than working from the solar plexus. Donna taught the basics of muscle-testing, a technique that can be used to calibrate the consciousness level of books, organizations, authors, speakers, etc. I have since heard from several conference participants that they are reading Hawkins books and finding them very valuable.

During the TT Discussion Period, I presented an exercise illustrating the importance of both including the head in TT treatments (to unruffle from the neck down, deliberately avoiding the head, can make the recipient uncomfortable) and grounding to address headaches (grounding must be strengthened before unruffling is done). In addition, the question of whether we could begin to describe a field that was functioning well was discussed by participants.

The Gathering also included morning meditations, TT Practicums, Qi Gong led by Michelle McMillan, the Adventure Walk, a great variety of wonderful food, and a lovely closing ceremony led by Janet Fallaize

As we look at where participants come from for the conference (3 came from Nova Scotia this year and the rest were from throughout Ontario, we have decided to drop the regional aspect from the name. The 2005 Therapeutic Touch Gathering: “Moving into Zeta Harmony” will be on April 22, 23 & 24th at St. Jerome’s once again. Anyone with Level 3 and a year of experience is invited to attend.