A Balcony View: Mental healing without the guilt trips

Last weekend, the In Theory section of the paper asked whether miracles really take place at group healing revivals. Are people really cured? Or is the only real purpose of a revival to relieve people of their hard-earned money?

I find it difficult to believe that a large-scale revival setting could be an appropriate environment for a successful healing session. I suppose it is possible, but based on my experiences with non-traditional healing, I doubt it.

What I find odd about large-scale revivals is they seem wrapped around the notion that healing comes only to those willing to ask god for the forgiveness of one's sins. Non-believers seem to be excluded from the miracles. There doesn't seem to be much healing for the sake of positive well-being, unless you consider the infliction of guilt to be restorative. There seems to be an abundance of that sentiment.

But my point isn't to bash, rather to shine a light on other non-traditional healing methods available in our community.

Yes. Glendale is home to healers, shaman and all kinds of forward-thinking people who believe that one's physical health and spiritual salvation are not tethered to a belief in good and evil.

Much of the healing done by the people I know is called "energy work" and focuses on eliminating negative thought, which is believed to be a major source of pain and illness. Perhaps one of the larger fundamental differences between the work performed by a revival minister and that of a healer or shaman is that the latter seeks to heal by raising levels of understanding, insight and balance while the former seems more prone to use the fear of god and eternal damnation as a source of self-improvement.

One healing method is rebirthing, a meditative process that involves a breathing technique more than 1,000 years old. It seeks to clear emotional and physical trauma, stress and tension stored in the body tissues, all of which blocks the body's energy channels.

This blockage not only causes disease, but also inhibits the body's ability to access the natural flow of joy, bliss, creativity and intuition. Once the blocked energy is released, it is believed a person's energetic frequency is permanently raised to a new, higher level.

Another more modern method, "quantum energetics," involves thousands of numerical codes, which are used to discover answers from a person's body. I'm oversimplifying it, but the numerical codes have different frequencies of vibration, which in turn correspond to different conditions in the body.

Unlike other alternative treatments that focus on various symptoms and complaints, this type of healing follows a defined protocol of treatment which systematically checks and corrects all energetic imbalances in the body. This eliminates practitioner guesswork, and programs the body to create its own innate template of healing.

Again, the end result is well-being. There's no chastising you for coveting your neighbor's ox.

Reiki is a gentle form of hands-on healing that creates deep relaxation to release stress and tension. Energy is subtly transmitted to others through the hands, eyes or chakras into a person's system.

Reiki restores energy balance; opens blocked meridians, nadas and chakras; and clears the energy bodies, leaving one feeling relaxed and at peace. Alas, there is no five-piece band playing "Rock of Ages." It's just you and the healer.

Other healers, known as shaman, have practiced energy medicine for more than 10,000 years in the Americas. They work with the luminous energy field that surrounds the physical body. The shaman believes this field stores all our emotional, physical and spiritual traumas.

Where western medicine works on curing or eliminating symptoms of illness, the shaman works on healing at the level of energy before disease or symptoms manifest themselves. One way a shaman heals is by bringing one back into balance through an illumination process — also known as "Ayni."

Healers and shaman live among us in Glendale. They don't perform in arenas. But they are easily sourced. For those interested in these kinds of processes, I'll be more than happy to help you find them.

And for those outraged by the notion of alternative healings, you know where to reach me.

GARY HUERTA is a Glendale resident and author. He is senior manager of communications for DIRECTV and a copywriting professor at Pasadena Art Center College of Design. Gary may be reached at garyrhuerta@gmail.com.

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