Archive for July 29th, 2009

Energy Work

In the past two weeks, I’ve had three sessions with a gifted healer named Diana in the beautiful space she’s created solely for healing. Diana does something that is often vaguely referred to as “Energy Work” or “Energy Healing” – which doesn’t really tell you anything about what actually happens in a session with her. All I know for certain is that twice I’ve arrived at her door feeling shaky and fragile, and an hour-and-a-half later I left feeling whole and alive. The third time I arrived in better shape, feeling nearly like myself again, and left later with a sense of peace and renewal that hadn’t been there since I got my diagnosis of cancer.

I’m so grateful to Linda, one of my yoga instructors, for referring me to Diana, who is also a student at YogaSource. Even though we’ve been in many of the same classes over the past year, I had no idea Diana did energy work! [You just never know who you’re practicing next to: another woman in class turned out to be the P.A. I went to see at the Women’s Health Center; when I asked for a referral to an acupuncturist, Linda gave me the name of another woman in class; and today I learned yet another student had ovarian cancer seven years ago and will gladly share her thoughts and guidance as I begin my own journey. All these resources practicing yoga right next to me!] When Diana and I spoke prior to my surgery, she suggested I come for a session a day or so after the procedure. She felt she could help clear the anesthesia out of my system and also relieve pain.

Then my “out-patient” procedure turned into a two-day hospital stay, and recovery was slow even after I got home, so it took five days before I was able to get to Diana’s. (She had included an offer to come to my house instead, but some bit of intuition told me I should go to her. Later, I was glad I followed that nudge.) When I finally felt up to it, I gingerly climbed into the car and followed the directions she’d given me to her home.  At the end of a long, winding driveway, I came upon a round stone structure (something like a turret on a castle, only shorter) attached to one side of the main house. Diana stepped outside the door of the round fairy tale building and stood in a tiny garden overflowing with flowers and sculptures. She had on a beautiful golden lace dress as she waved and welcomed me in. I limped across the walkway in an old tank top and something only a step-up from sweatpants.

Inside, her healing space is unexpectedly luxurious: first, there is a small entryway with a natural wooden bench that still looks like the tree it was made from. A bowl overflows with tiny quartz crystals on the floor next to the bench. Artwork is everywhere – paintings, sculpture, a ceiling mural – many pieces are images of angels or wings. The main room is round with a plush treatment table in the center. Two silk upholstered chairs sit on either side of a low antique chest of drawers. The opposite wall holds glass shelves full of crystals, each shelf holding stones in one of the seven chakra colors. Two large windows covered with natural fabric shades let plenty of light into the room. Every detail seems to support the intention of healing that fills the space.

Diana invited me to sit and drink a glass of rosewater she had set out for me. We talked briefly about the specifics of my diagnosis and how I was feeling. Soon she removed a beautiful golden lace coverlet from the table in the middle of the room and had me lie down fully clothed. She propped my knees up with a downy bolster and angled the table so my head and back were higher than my hips. She covered me with a light comforter and placed a lavender-scented eye pillow over my eyes. Soft, angelic music played as she began reciting an invocation to her guides and a prayer for my healing.

After the invocation, she briefly touched each of my legs, knees, and shoulders, then she settled in to hold my right foot and ankle in both of her hands for several minutes. Eventually, she switched and held my left foot and ankle for a while. Her breathing was long and steady throughout the session. Occasionally, I could tell she had gone over to the chest of drawers to make a note of something. Then she would return to hold both hands on my knee, or my hip, switching to the other side only after she’d remained in one spot for several minutes. She moved to my shoulders and my heart. She ended with my head and face. That was all that happened for an hour. Eventually, she lowered the table, removed the eye pillow and waited silently for me to rouse. When I opened my eyes, I was looking up at the round, hand-painted mural on the ceiling with its various images of Kuan Yin, an angel, an eagle, and other symbols in the different pie-shaped sections. I was so peaceful and relaxed I could have gazed at the mural for another hour.

I finally got up and we sat in the chairs again drinking our rosewater. She gently told me that all of my chakras had been closed, which she also said was not surprising given what I’d been through. She said she had to do a lot of work in the area of my left ovary. She wondered if I’d had some health problem there or an injury. I told her no, as far as I knew I hadn’t. We talked about ways I could help my recovery along, and things I might do before my chemo and radiation treatment began, including going for walks in nature, doing some restorative yoga, and regularly remembering to ask my own spirit guides to protect me and direct me as I worked on my healing. She also offered to see me regularly as a way of supporting me through my other treatments.

Although this kind of “energy work” may seem inexplicable and hard to comprehend, I do believe it has a powerful healing ability. I came away from the first session feeling very much like a fog had been lifted from me. I also had a sense that energy was flowing through me more strongly than it had been for days. My second session a few days later was similar to the first, but she added the use of crystals in that session. She placed the stones on my body at various points and left them there throughout my time on the table. As with the first session, she said I had arrived with all of my chakras closed again. When I left, I definitely felt lighter and had a deep sense of well-being.

With each session, I’ve felt more renewed and more able to see myself becoming whole and healthy. So, whatever it is she does, I’m very grateful for it and will continue as long as I can with her. Did I mention she doesn’t charge for her services? I believe she is a true healer in that sense. She will accept donations on behalf of a charitable organization called Breakthrough Santa Fe, but she leaves it up to each client to decide if and how much to give. If I could, I would write a check for ten times as much as I did. I believe Diana is providing me with something very valuable in support of my healing, whatever her kind of work may be called.

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