How To Choose A Healer, Therapist, Bodyworker, Teacher

detail of painting on wool flannel

Since my diagnosis of MS in 2000 I have had the privilege of working with many, many healers of all types.

I say privilege because having access to so many various modalities in the healing arts by living in Santa Fe as I do

Is something I do not take for granted.

A diagnosis of PPMS has a peculiar freedom sewn into it: that of the reality there are no medications with a history of relief tagged for PPMS-challenged folks like me and so we must find our own way.

My body has most often chosen a more natural path toward healing anyway, which is serving me well in hindsight.

When I say ‘natural’ I mean that I have chosen to address psychological, energetic, physical, dietary and spiritual means to assist me in creating a thriving life.

Santa Fe is oozing with every kind of practitioner one could ever desire. I have spent too much money and time in my incessant search for hope.

Because I have such an archive of experience, I offer you these few things I have learned along the way regarding how to choose someone to work with where the likelihood of achieving positive results is high:

1. Listen to your body’s intelligence over your mind’s.

Depression may indeed be assuaged with a drug but you are doing yourself and everyone else a disservice if you don’t give yourself the opportunity to open the door and start making a relationship with your personal monsters. For me- shame has been a huge issue I still have to attend to. I see how my body goes into ‘lock-down’ because of it. (as an example)

2. Is this person a trustable space for you, personally?

Reputation is essential, surely, but not the entire equation. My first foray into the world of neurologists had me in the office of the most highly respected MS doctor in the state. I left my appointment feeling weak, confused and much sicker than when I arrived. I could not go back. Each neurologist I have seen has had one thing to offer: yet another MRI which has been expensive and told us very little.

Another experience which helped me learn to discriminate what a safe place to heal feels like (and doesn’t) occurred with an energy worker who was clearly an adept in his field. During my session my body began shaking uncontrollably which scared me. The fact he did not call me the day after such an unusually powerful and strange session told me all I needed to know about him.

Often, I have experienced people who have not done ‘their own work’ regarding sexual boundaries. To create a safe place for someone to heal demands rigorous boundaries to be in place in the sexual arena. If I feel any vestige of flirtiness my guard immediately goes up and I am unable to surrender to the possibilities present in the room.

A trustable human means, to me, that the person has attended to their own shadow, has cared enough to do the work it takes to become aware and thus be able to leave it outside the room.

3. Accept nothing less than results.

This seems odd to “Duh..” Except in the world of the chronically ill we can become blind in our quest for support and healing. We(I) tend to stay too long. Results can be subtle, happen over time but my trial period with new practitioners is very, very short these days. I can not afford it financially or on a soul level.

4. Is the person strong enough of character to deal with ALL of me?

Meaning: can I get angry, disagree, challenge them, be sad, emotional, unclear as well as ‘on my game’ in the largest sense not feel them retreat? Illness is a lonely business and if I am paying you for your expertise and support I have to know you’ll stick by me no matter what.

5. Do I leave feeling lighter?

This is a good litmus test for whether you are moving in a vital and health-full direction together. I don’t mean free of conflict,confusion, symptoms. I mean does your soul feel backed-up, recognized and not alone?

Do you have other things you’ve found helpful in making an informed choice?


3 Responses to “How To Choose A Healer, Therapist, Bodyworker, Teacher”

  1. Barry on March 19th, 2012

    I always do my research and weigh potential benefit vs. risk, when making treatment choices.

  2. Peggy Nelson on March 19th, 2012

    Wonderful sage advice, Cathy. I read this after finishing a walk (with my walker) and noticing how good I felt even though my walking is declining. I attribute it to paying attention to what feels “right” in my body.. and a wonderful (hand-selected) self care team. Thank you, once again, for a great post.

  3. how to be teacher on April 11th, 2012

    Thank you, I have recently been searching for information about this topic.

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