Healing Touch (HT) therapist and former science teacher Jeannette Nienaber says one of her goals is to teach energy therapists the vocabulary of science so that they can communicate without sounding “like they’re woo woo”.
So she has written a webinar on Quantum Science for Energy Healers, which she will teach next spring at Langara College in the Integrated Health and Wellness Program.
At a Wednesday interview at her new office at Gabriola Professional Centre, Nienaber said she got involved in healing energy work after reading “Soothing Crying Babies”, a book about Therapeutic Touch – the precursor to Healing Touch – which was written by a nursing professor from New York City. Nienaber “tried it, and it worked” when her eldest son was a baby, she said, “so I did Mummy’s funny stuff for 15 years before I shifted into embracing this more openly”.
Besides shortening the healing time from surgeries, and/or injuries, Nienaber said, HT can be used to alleviate pain, “which is why it is used a lot in the hospitals”. HT also alleviates anxiety, and post-traumatic stress suffered by war vets and other trauma and/or abuse survivors, she said.
Nienabar, who was trained through the trademarked Healing Touch Program in Colorado said the course has five levels. She said the course was originally started by Janet Mentgen, who was originally a navy nurse.
Nienabar said the American Holistic Nurses’ Association “funded (Mentgen) to travel and acquire eclectic knowledge from all the healing modalities around the world”. So the program includes techniques from Eastern, Western, and Aboriginal traditions, she said and is now accredited by the American Nursing Credential Centre.
HT practitioners are required to be certified before they can practice, Nienaber said. She said the school has a code of ethics and a scope of practice for what they are allowed to do. She said if practitioners violate these requirements, their certification can be revoked. Having been a science teacher for 35 years, she said these requirements appealed to her.
“A big part of what I’m about”, Nienaber said, “is to bring bio-field therapies, like HT, mainstream as complementary therapies”. She said especially with stress “there’s a huge hormone cascade that happens, and biological markers that you can demonstrate that HT reduces”.
Many nursing departments in the US train their staff in HT because “it saves money”, she said. “It takes away the trauma and fear for people that have post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders because it induces a relaxation response”.
“At the same time”, she said, “I’m going to go to a doctor if I need anti-biotics. It’s not either/or. (HT) is a spoke on the wheel of health care and wellness. It is meant to be proactive”.
Although newly-educated nurses and chiropractic doctors know about HT, Nienaber said, many people don’t, and wonder if it is massage or Reiki. She said, “Reiki is about 25 per cent of Level One of the HT program, in terms of technique and training”. In order to be certified in the HT program, she said, a university degree and experience in 15 other modalities is required.
Nienaber said she has been working out of the Gabriola Professional Centre (GPC) since July, and she enjoys the integrated health approach taken by the medical professionals at the centre. She said it was one of her dreams to be part of “a community of medical practitioners from doctors and dentists to the complementary services”. She said many of the practitioners at the GPC know about HT, and “it’s great because we can refer back and forth, and we know each other’s gifts and how we can work together. To me I see it as a synergy not a competition”.
As a practitioner, Nienaber said, she helps clients gain “insight into their own health and well-being. I actually give them homework every session to empower them to be responsible for their own health”.
The most common comment she gets from clients after treatment, Nienaber said, is that they “feel so light”. She said “the work speaks for itself but you have to be open to trying it. It’s about letting go of what no longer serves you, so you can heal and be the best you can be”. She said HT is about healing on all levels, not just the physical. If you do the work right, she said, people don’t come back for more than a couple of treatments.
“People think that they have to have special intuitive gifts to do this work”, Nienaber said, “and that’s not true”. In fact she said she will be offering a series of workshops for children, teens and seniors in the fall.
Her dream, Nienaber said, is “to have a whole community of certified practitioners on the island and everybody would get HT regularly”. She said all HT instructors have the same dream “or we wouldn’t be doing the work”.
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