Our planet is not a healthy place to live.1 Healing ourselves and healing our planet are two sides of the same coin because we cannot remain healthy in an unhealthy environment. A healing may provide relief, but the symptoms may recur if the individual continues to be exposed to the conditions which initially caused the problem. This was clearly pointed out by Harry Edwards,2 the famous British spiritual healer who founded the National Federation of Spiritual Healers in the United Kingdom.
Massage and other kinds of bodywork will not, in and of themselves, resolve our serious environmental problems. The environment impact everybody and everybody impacts the environment. To resolve the serious ecological problems requires coordinated international collaboration of government leaders, business, industry, agriculture, and other areas of our economy.
But individuals must also be involved. Bodyworkers should actively participate in local and national environmental organizations. They can also contribute by what they do on a day to day basis, which is bodywork. By communicating and cooperating with nature in their professional work, they will develop an understanding of how this cooperation can be effective in other areas and on a larger scale.
Different ways of healing
Healers believe they work with God (through prayer3) and/or nature. "Whether we like it or not, God is our healer and God's spirit is the energy for our healing. The various healing technics we employ all act by channeling the energy of the spirit in our behalf."4 "The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease." (Voltaire). "Each patient carries his own doctor inside him. We are at our best when we give the doctor, who resides within, a chance to go to work." (Albert Schweitzer).
Energy healing modalities, such as Therapeutic Touch, involve nature because energy is a form of nature. Massage therapy and other kinds of bodywork also involve nature because the material body is a form of nature.
Some healers, who incorporate dowsing as part of their healing technic, believe they work with nature. Others believe they work with God. The program of the 1983 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Dowsers included The Dowser's Prayer Lord, Guide my hands, enhance my sensitivity, and bless my purpose, that I may be an instrument of Your power and glory in locating what is searched for. (Josefa V. Rivera, 1977).
There are many effective healers in different cultures and different religions, including earth and nature religions. And there are many different ways of healing ourselves, others, and our planet. Some healers use simple things, such as feathers, sand, and crystals which cost nothing.
Dowsers use tree branches, and L-rods made of wire clothes hangers. Most healers use only their intent. Some healers do laying on of hands. Others, as in Therapeutic Touch and distant (absent) healing, do not touch those whom they help. Obviously, there is no one way of healing that is right way or best for everybody.
One thing all healers have in common is their intent to be helpful. Their intent includes respect, compassion and love. People who want to develop their healing ability generally start with the simplest procedures.
information about nature
Some bodyworkers consider "bodywork as a means of planetary healing"5 and believe that "massage therapists are planetary healers."5 However, the massage/bodywork literature has yet to seriously discuss what nature is and how we can communicate and work in cooperation with nature.7 Without such reliable information, there is no clear-cut understanding of what the nature of bodywork really is and whether we are working most effectively to heal ourselves, our clients, and the planet.
We do not understand why "chaos is the primitive face of nature" and what "reclaiming the soul lost in nature"8 means. Chaos theory is beginning to explain what we call chaos. Lost souls are people who are hopeless and helpless, usually because they are ill or for other reasons beyond their control. Nonetheless their bodies and souls are very much in the world of matter and energy which is nature, and are therefore not "lost in nature. "These people should be helped with medical care, job training, and jobs which provide an income that enables them to live as productive citizens. If we consider them "souls lost in nature," we avoid our responsibility to help them as our fellow human beings. We are all part of life and each of us has a responsibility to act from wholeness.7
Working with nature
Unfortunately, we humans have a materialistic/separatist view of the world. The mistaken belief that this is our world is responsible for the ecologic damage we have inflicted on this planet, and the threat to our survival as a species. Our attitude ignores any possibility of a spiritual presence in the forms that surround us, and treats Nature as something separate from ourselves which we must dominate, rather than as an organism of which we are a part and with which we must commune and cooperate.7
Nature is already working with many of us through our intuition,7 even though we may not be aware of that. However, the healing we do can be more effective if we consciously communicate and work cooperatively with nature. How we do this is a personal decision, and may vary from time to time, from one client to another, and according to our concept or health. To me, health is the optimum level of balance of the particular form (whatever is to be healed) in relation to the optimum balance of the universe.
We have already commented on the great diversity of healing modalities. Since no two people are identical, there are as many ways of healing as there are people who want to heal. As you develop and grow in your relationship with nature, as in any other relationship, your style of healing may change. However, you will always be working cooperatively as a part of the same whole. It is worth repeating, We are all part of life and each of us has a responsibility to act from wholeness.7
Each of us can make
It is important to understand that each of us can make a difference. All the healing we do involves the subtle energy of respect, compassion, and love; and that subtle energy goes throughout the universe.9 Our power to change the world is therefore greater than we may be aware of. Power is the greatest gift of God, [and Nature] because with it we can do more for God [and Nature] than without it. We evolve towards more power, that we may be of greater service.7 Whatever you do - as a nurse, bricklayer, professor, etc. - be aware that your intent goes far beyond whom you work on or with and where you work.
As a health care provider, I communicate with nature to obtain guidance and then work in cooperation with nature while I work on clients. As a teacher, I share this philosophy and knowledge with my clients, students, friends, and others. I also try to live a life-style that reflects my conviction about nature, so that I am a living example of what I preach. I try in this way to achieve balance and harmony with God, nature, and my fellow men and women.
1. (a) Global concern about the environment. Journal of Spiritual Bodywork. Special Issue No. 2. page 1. 1997. (b) Schatz, A. Worldwide ecological damage threatens our survival as a species. Journal of Spiritual Bodywork. Special Issue No. 3. pp. 1-5. 1997.
2. Edwards, H. A Guide to the Understanding and Practice of Spiritual Healing. The Healer Publishing Company, Ltd. England. 1974
3. Dossey, L. Healing Words. The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine. Harper/San Francisco. 1993
4. Hogben, G.L. Spiritual Awareness as a Healing Process. pp. 82-91 in Spiritual Aspects of the Healing Arts. Compiled by Dora Kunz. The Theosophical Publishing House. Wheaton IL. 1985.
5. Levian, A.K. Guest Editorial. Bodywork as a means of planetary healing. Massage. No. 45. page 4. Sept/Oct 1993.
6. Meyers, T.W. Guest Editorial. Massage therapists are planetary healers. Massage Magazine. page 7. March/April 1997.
7. Maclean. D. To Hear the Angels Sing. Lindisfarne Press. Hudson. NY. 1980.
8. van der Giessen, M.J. The sacred vessel. Part 2: Recovering the soul lost in nature. Massage Magazine. pp. 72-84. March/April 1977.
9. Schatz, A. Subtle energy is involved in healing, health, and bodywork. Journal of Spiritual Bodywork. 2(4):2-6. 1996.