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Healing, Loving Touch
by Judith Bowen
My daughter is about to begin a three-year program at a university in Maine, far from my south Texas home. She is now visiting me, but I can hear the anxiety about the changes to come in the pitch of her voice. She has been through a lot in her 24 years. I know she is strong and yet, for the moment, she seems to have forgotten her strength.
I suggest a "Healing Touch" technique to help her relax. I have been taking a course called "Healing Touch," an educational program developed by Janet Mentgen, RB, BSN. (The American Holistic Nurses' Association and Healing Touch International endorse this program.) I am fairly new at this process, but believe in its power.
I set the atmosphere in the bedroom leaving only a dim light. The scent of candles, vanilla and desert rose, begin to fill the room. Calming meditation music drifts in from the tape deck in an outer room. My daughter lies down on the bed, feet up on the pillow, head at the foot. I sit behind her head.
The technique involves nothing more than a series of ten finger placements on neck, head and face, each held for several minutes, or until I sense that the energy flow is balanced. My daughter lies there, still and trusting. I prepare. I imagine myself grounded, rooted to the earth, and when I feel that solidity, the light comes. This is my perception: The light comes from some place above me, from the limitless beyond, and flows into the top of my head and down my spine and then up to my shoulders, through my arms to my hands.
I become a channel for that flow of light and begin the series of gentle finger placements over dark, glossy hair. At one point, my hands are cupped under her head and I am briefly aware of soft silkiness. There is nothing in my mind but awareness of the light flowing through me toward this person who is troubled. I am aware of the music and the scent of the candles intermingling with the light and it feels as though I am holding a golden glow. I move slowly through all of the hand placements and when I am through I tell her she may lie there as long as she likes. Then I leave.
Later she emerges from the bedroom. I am surprised to see tears running down her face, her eyes red. She collapses next to me on the couch. I put my arm around her and wait.
"I felt so loved. I felt so loved."
"You are," I say. "You are."
We just sit. She stops crying, and then quietly starts talking. My daughter is now relaxed and calm.
"I felt like I left my body for awhile. I was beside the bed, seeing us, but I was dancing with the music, whirling, spinning, like a blur. Then I was kneeling beside the bed. I was a little child, my elbows on the edge, just watching."
I accept these words with no comment other than a soft "that's interesting," but I am in awe of this daughter of mine.
Memories suddenly flow back to 1994 when she was in Finland for her junior year. My father died that year. He was 80. My daughter told me shortly after his death that she had had a dream three days before he died. In her dream, she, my husband and I, and my father were on a boat. She said my father was strong and well. He came to her, hugged her, told her he loved her, and said good-bye.
The mystery of this clings to me and wraps around this evening. Logic and words fade in the presence of the shimmering love to which we are mostly blind, except through the eyes of a child.
It is time for my daughter to leave. She has found her strength again. It is in her eyes and voice. We both see with new eyes.
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