SMMN Vol.2, No.4

Spiritual Massage Ministry Newsletter

           Vol. 2, No. 4                                     ISSN 1080-3262                                       June1997

A SEARCH FOR AN APPROPRIATE PHILOSOPHY OF MASSAGE

PART 3: BODYWORKERS CAN HELP HEAL THE PLANET

 Mary Brewster

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.

Bodyworkers need

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.

Communicating

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

 a difference

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.

References 

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.

TWO "HEALINGS" OF SERIOUS INFECTIONS

ASSOCIATED WITH WORLD WAR II

The Journal of Spiritual Bodywork (2(3):1-7. 1996 ) reported the healing of an individual with a serious, long term, and medically well-documented, back problem. Here are two reports of a different kind of healing. The first involved Bob Dole, the 1996 Republican candidate for president.  *

What happened to Bob Dole

The following account is from a report by Blaine Harden, Staff Writer for The Washington Post (March 15, 1960. The  title of the report is Dole Visits Site of His War Recovery. Campaign Stops at Room Where Soldier Spent Nearly Three Years. "During the [World War II] years Dole was ... in what was then the Percy Jones Army Hospital [in Battle Creek, Michigan], he suffered from a blood clot in his lung that required treatment with dicumarol, a blood-thinning drug that turned him temporarily into a hemophiliac. He later contracted a lung infection that caused a fever so severe that doctors had to pack him in ice. It ebbed only after Dole agreed to be treated with what was then an experimental drug, streptomycin."

Why streptomycin?

This antibiotic was discovered by Albert Schatz in 1943, when he was a graduate student doing research for his for his Ph.D. degree during World War !!.  At tha ttime, penicillin was available only in limited amounts and the military had the highest priority for its use. However, another antibiotic was needed because penicillin was ineffective against some very serious bacterial infections which affected servicemen. Penicillin did not control the life-threatening infection that Bob Dole had. Streptomycin did and saved his life. 

Dr. Schatz's reply

Dear Mr. Dole;

Thank you for you letter of March 21, 1996. I was pleased to know that the antibiotic streptomycin, which I discovered in 1943, saved your life when you were in the Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan. I understand that streptomycin effectively controlled a life-threatening lung infection while you were recovering from the war wound which shattered your right shoulder in 1945.

All the medical care you received immediately after you were wounded and during the three years you were in the Percy Jones Army Hospital was paid for by the people of our country. During the 30 or so years that you have been in Congress, you received free medical care, also paid for by the people of our country.

Despite all that free health care from which you benefited, you opposed President Clinton's health care plan that would have extended health care coverage to 40 million uninsured Americans. You also pushed through the Senate a 1995 GOP budget which slashed $270 billion from planned Medicare spending increases through the year 2002, and $180 billion from Medicaid.

Finally, you voted against Medicare when it was adopted in 1965.

I believe you have a responsibility to explain to our fellow Americans why you are opposed to others receiving the free health care that saved your life and has been available to you at taxpayers' expense, during the 30 or so years you have been in Congress. 

A CASE OF TUBERCULOSIS

Streptomycin was the first effective treatment for tuberculosis.This disease, also called TB and The Great White Plague, had killed an estimated one billion people during the two centuries preceding Schatz's research. Streptomycin was also the first effective treatment for pneumonic plague, the most deadly form of bubonic plague also known as The Black Death.

February 18, 1997

Dear Dr. Schatz:

I recently read about you in The Jewish Week and found out that you are the discoverer of streptomycin. I contacted the reporter to get your address.

I know that you must be surprised to hear from me, and are wondering who I am. Please permit me to introduce myself.

I am a child survivor of the Holocaust, and was  for three years, between seven and ten years of age, in the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. I am one of 100 children who survived out of 15,000. I came to America in 1946, and spent my entire adult life as a chemist in diagnostic and medical research.

My memories are still very sharp, and I wrote the best-selling, award-winning children's book I Am A Star - Child of the Holocaust, published originally by Simon  & Schuster, and now in paperback by Penguin. It is in eight languages. But, for many survivors, it was not over when it was over. The effects of these years were especially hard on a child.

I had contracted tuberculosis of both my lungs; and spent two years in an American hospital with not much change in my condition. It was only after I was given Streptomycin, two times daily for long periods, that I finally recovered.

The Nazis robbed me of my childhood, and this awful bug took away almost my entire young adult years (close to 10 years). Dear, Dr. Schatz, I owe my life to you. No words of gratitude can express the influence your discovery had on me. I am alive today because of this miracle drug. Because of my health background, I chose medical science as my life's work.

I have written a sequel, Beyond the Yellow Star to America, which deals with my tremendous battle of fighting tuberculosis, and becoming a productive human being. I would love to meet you, if that is possible, and just put my arms around you and say, "Thank you."

May God bless you and your family.

   Much love,

           Inge Auerbacher

YOUR PRIVATE KINGDOM

Actually, each person has a private kingdom for his or her very own, because your body is the one part of earth that is really yours, that no one can take away during your lifetime. It's the part of earth, moving and alive, that belongs to you and nobody else. In a way, it's your portion of the planet, sprung up in a living, moving statue of earth-stuff, for you and no one else. So, how you treat your body is important.

You just don't live in it either. You live through it, moving in all of its parts. The body is your own magic country. Your conscious mind is like a monarch. Now, a good king or queen is loving and gives the people freedom to move about the country. In this case, your own feelings and thoughts and desires are like the people in your kingdom. So you should treat your own feelings graciously, and you and your kingdom will flourish. Some monarchs are dictators, setting up all kinds of impossible laws and taboos, because they're really afraid of the people who make up their kingdom.

If you're a good king or queen, you'll realize that your kingdom is a good one, and you won't be afraid of your own people ... your thoughts and feelings., and desires ... but will encourage them. And you and your body will have all the freedom necessary to flourish and grow.  (Roberts, J. The Further Education of Oversoul Seven. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood, NJ. 1979.)

A LOST TRIBE IN CHINA

In May, 1996, a London-based internatinal television crew travelled for a week by truck and camel through the the dangerous Taklamakan Desert in the Xinjiang Uighur region in western China. They carried water and other supplies for five weeks. Their destination was an oasis deep in the desert where an ethnic tribe of about 200 Uighurs lived. These people had been isolated from the rest of the world for some 350 years until they were discovered by a Chinese expedition looking for oil. The name of the oasis means "those who go in never come out."

Professor Helen Brew, a member of the television crew, considered the tribe "a gentle culture living a primitive life in extreme isolation, in a microcosm of peace." Animal hisbandry helps sustain the people who practice Islam. "They have clearly nothing in our terms, but have a communal interchange of energy, moral fiber, and a motivating force of integrity of a spiritual kind, quite unknown in Western society."

From Benjamin Kang Lim's report Television crew to bring a "lost tribe" of China into world focus.Desert-dwelling culture has thrived in peaceful isolation for centuries. Philadelphia Inquirer. May 4, 1996.

ALBERT EINSTEIN

The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical.  It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead. To know [that] what is impenetrable to us really exists manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in the most primitive form - this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religion.

ME

by Chris Cook

I'm me.

There is no one else like me.

Not a spitting image of me, but me.

I am me alone,

meant to be me,

created for something

    special in this world.

From Dwelling Place.  The Newsletter of Project H.O.M.E. 1515 Fairmount Avenue. Philadelphia, PA 19130.by Chris Cook May 1996.

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