The traumas of my own childhood and adolescence began to resurface during my mid-twenties. I was in so much pain at the time that I was willing to try any therapy or approach that held promise. I tried out many different kinds of healing modalities and spiritual practices out of my determination to find whatever it took to alleviate the pain.
I intuitively developed a series of practices that facilitate the awakening of the innate healing intelligence residing within the body and mind. I started getting lots of deep tissue bodywork. I worked with a number of exceptionally powerful healers whenever the opportunity presented itself. And then I started going on vision quests, a traditional Native American healing practice that involves going out to fast alone in the mountains without food and water for four days and nights.
Healing of the deep emotional wounds became my path of personal and spiritual development. Progress was gradual. There were times when I became frustrated and overwhelmed and wondered if I was getting anywhere at all. But life gradually got better and the long hard work continues to pay off.
Learning to see into people’s bodies and minds
My sensory range began to open up as a result of the intensive practice I was doing. I gradually developed the ability to see and feel what was taking place within people’s auras. What I saw fascinated me. I made a point of looking into people’s auras whenever the opportunity presented itself and have since looked into the auras of thousands of people. I always look into the aura any time I work with someone. Looking back into the aura after each session allows me to monitor the progress of the people I’m working with.
Observing the changes taking place within people’s auras has taught me a lot about the human body and mind and its innate healing process. My observation of the aura gives me a sense of where a person is at developmentally. I can see or feel much of what’s going on in a person’s life and how they’re coping with their issues. I can also see a wide range of health related issues.
I have always wanted to have a greater understanding how things work. I need to know which modalities and forms of spiritual practice are most effective. I also need to be aware of what doesn’t work. I would always ask people if I could look into their auras whenever they told me about some healing modality or spiritual practice they were doing. Observing the changes taking place within people’s aura has given me a sense of how the various spiritual practices and healing modalities affect the body and mind. I have on many occasions worked with healers or tried out a new modality after being impressed with the changes I saw taking place in other people’s auras.
There’s no one form of healing will address every need. I’m committed to doing everything I can to facilitate healing. In some instances that means recommending other healing modalities that are better suited to the needs of a particular individual. And I often encourage people to work with other modalities in conjunction with the work we’re doing. The remainder of this chapter will consist primarily of my observations of various spiritual practices and healing modalities.
I went into psychotherapy for a few years during my mid-twenties when the traumas of my past began to emerge. It didn’t take me long to realize that psychotherapy was providing me with an intellectual understanding and yet it wasn’t doing much to alleviate my suffering.
Gaining an intellectual understanding of our suffering is a very important aspect of the healing process. We have to gain some degree of intellectual understanding before we can even begin to address our dysfunction. I have long been fascinated with psychology and have continued to do extensive study out of my own desire to understand more about anxiety, depression, trauma and the psychodynamics that determine how we function and relate to one another.
There are times when I recommend that someone work with a psychotherapist in conjunction with the work we’re doing. There have also been many instances where people who suffered from anxiety, depression or trauma have come to me after going through years of psychotherapy. Talking about their suffering only took them so far. They may have gained an intellectual understanding of their suffering and the dysfunctional dynamics that plague their lives. And yet many were still very much locked into that same limiting context that had caused so much suffering in their lives.
One of the women I worked with had never been able to access the memories of her own childhood despite the fact that she had gone through many years of psychotherapy. She began to access and heal the traumatic feelings and memories associated with the horrific abuse perpetrated by her father during that first session. At one point she said to me “I got more out of ten of these sessions than I did out of ten years of therapy.” Her psychotherapist was so impressed by the changes he saw that he had me work with him.
I spent a few years training with some of the best in hypnotists in the country. I would use hypnosis during the preliminary stage of the individual sessions. Giving specific hypnotic suggestions to people’s subconscious mind helped them become more open and receptive to the healing sessions. But it wasn’t leaving them any tools they could use between sessions to further their healing.
I did healing sessions for a number of the hypnotists that I trained with. I could see how hypnosis had helped them to progress in many areas of their lives. And yet I could still feel the conflicted emotions and other stresses held within and see how they were manifesting within their physical bodies and playing out in their lives.
People sometimes get into trouble with hypnosis when they try to circumvent the issues and emotions they need to be dealing with. That was clearly evidenced by all the drama taking place within the hypnosis community. One of the founders of Neuro Linguistic Programming was so out of control with his drug addiction that he ended up in a coma. He was also implicated in the murder of a woman. His bloody shirt was found wrapped around the murder weapon, but he was able to beat the rap on a technicality.
I wouldn’t discount hypnosis in any way, because it is a very important aspect of our healing process. It’s important for us to understand that hypnosis pervades every aspect of our lives. The social, political and religious models of reality that we buy into are part of a greater collective hypnotic state. Our perceptions of ourselves, other people and the world in which we live are hypnotic states of mind. Much of our suffering is the result of the negative hypnotic states that we operate from.
Hypnosis has tremendous potential to facilitate healing when performed by a highly skilled hypnotist. The transformation experienced by those who have had the opportunity to work with gifted hypnotists such as Milton Erickson, Walter Sichort, Dave Elman and Jerry Kein are truly amazing.
Hypnosis can help to remedy the symptoms associated with various psychophysiological disorders such as heart disease, high blood pressure, panic attacks and phobias. It can help to alleviate the pain associated with childbirth or physical injuries. Hypnosis can help to break the cycle of addiction to food or substances. It is also important for us to find a way to deal effectively with the underlying emotional cause or our addictions and other self-destructive behaviors or they will take on other forms.
Everyone has their own path
Most of us have heard the new-age-ism that says everyone has their own path. There are lots of people who could heal that are not going to. Much of the population is very resistant to doing what it takes to facilitate healing. This resistance stems primarily from people’s unwillingness to be fully present with their own feelings, physical bodies and the realities of their daily lives.
People’s attention span has become much shorter as technology has continued to advance. Many are initially receptive to the idea of healing, and yet they lack the discipline and commitment required to make it happen. And there are many people truly do want to heal and are willing to do what it takes, but they do not possess the understanding or have access to the resources that would enable them to do so.
The question we all need to be asking ourselves is “Do I truly want to heal and am I willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen? Am I willing to be completely honest with myself by being fully present to deal to the best of my ability with whatever comes up in the process?
Carmelita is often stressed out about her finances, her relationship and her health. She works as a nutritionist and could be doing very well and yet she’s always struggling financially. Carmelita is so incredibly resistant to being fully present with her feelings and the realities of her daily life. Carmelita would say “I hate this shit” whenever I would asked her to bring the issues to the forefront of her awareness and then breathe into any feelings and sensations that arise. Just getting Carmelita to be present in her own body is in many ways like dealing with a tantrum throwing two year old saying “No! I won’t.” Consequently, all that stress, pain and fear will remain trapped in her body.
Carmelita practices Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which is one of the new therapies that involve tapping points located in various parts of the body. She’s read “The Secret” and listens to law of attraction gurus talking about how to manifest wealth. But the backlog of conflicted feeling held within her body leaves her in a state of paralysis. Tapping and visualization may help her to some extent, but they will never be a substitute for processing the feelings and resolving the internal conflicts that keep her so bound up internally.
Ethan didn’t fully come out of the closet until his mid-thirties. He met and fell in love with Asher a few years later. Asher broke off the relationship after six months. Ethan was tapping the various EFT points while telling me that he was fine, but it wasn’t too long afterwards before he had a total meltdown. Ethan called me soon thereafter crying hysterically.
Carmelita and Ethan are both EFT facilitators. I’m sure that EFT is helping them at some level or they wouldn’t be doing it. What concerns me is that I see people like Carmelita and Ethan doing these tapping therapies and other modalities in an attempt to escape from their feelings. The stressful emotions are still very visibly apparent whenever I look into their physical and subtle bodies.
The psychotherapist I worked with in my late twenties did a number of EMDR (Eye Movement Reprocessing and Desensitization) sessions for me. The version of EMDR that she did consisted of her tapping on alternate knees at three second intervals. EMDR is supposed to facilitate the exchange of information between the left and right hemispheres of the brain through the bundle of nerves known as the corpus callosum. EMDR did help to alleviate my suffering at that time. I could feel a distinct sensation in my brain as the painful feelings I was experiencing at the time became more diffuse.
I had the opportunity to observe the aura of one of the women I work after she did a series of EMDR sessions. I could see how the EMDR sessions were helping to dismantle the triggers associated with past traumatic experience.
Flower essences and homeopathic medicine
Arianna had been deeply obsessed with a man with whom she had a short involvement for quite some time when she came to see me. Her obsessive fixation lessened significantly after each of the four healing session. Her romantic obsession was only the surface manifestation of a much deeper wound. Arianna’s mentally unstable mother kidnapped her as a child from her father who was the more loving and stable parent. Arianna and her brother eventually ended up living with the maternal grandmother. Arianna’s mentally challenged brother later murdered the grandmother.
Arianna, like so many other people, doesn’t realize or want to admit the extent of how wounded she is despite the fact that her ability to function and her overall quality of life are so compromised. The last time I spoke with her she told me that she was fine and that she was now taking flower essences.
Flower essences and homeopathic medicine work on a similar principle. Dr. Edward Bach who developed flower essences was highly influenced by homeopathy and the teachings of its founder, Samuel Hahnemann. I tried flower essences on numerous occasions, but didn’t really notice any difference. I would often look into the aura of people who told me they were using flower essences, but I have never been able to detect any significant difference. In many instances their physical and subtle bodies still looked and felt very stagnant and the deep emotional wounds were also visibly apparent.
I have had fairly powerful responses with homeopathic remedies. I have found over the counter homeopathic remedies have been effective on numerous occasions at alleviating the symptoms of a cold or flu. Remedies that were made specifically for me by a homeopathic physician have helped me to access and heal feelings of grief and loss that had been trapped within my body.
Some other life time…
Elia had worked as a stripper for some time and has since been operating a business online. She left home in her late teens and hasn’t been in touch her parents since. She’s one of the most disconnected people I’ve worked with as of late. I could feel a profound sense of deadness while working in her abdomen. I was really struck by the fact that she experienced no relief from the physical discomfort in her body after receiving deep tissue body work. Elia would go for Akashic record readings, past life regression therapy and spent lots of time listening to guided imagery meditation tapes.
Some people want to attribute all of their present day difficulties to something that took place in another lifetime. It’s quite possible that we have lived before. Every now and then I do hear personal accounts of how someone was able to resolve an area of difficulty through past life regression. The change could be attributed to resolving some conflict carrying over from another life time and then maybe it has more to do with the body and mind’s innate healing power being stimulated by the person’s active imagination. The vast majority of the problems we struggle with in the present day can be traced to emotional wounds resulting from traumas and issues that we had failed to heal or resolve during earlier stages of the lives we’re currently living.
Lack of discernment
Stella was conceived during an affair. Stella’s biological father had never been a part of her life and neither her mother or stepfather were emotionally available. Stella had internalized much of the pain of being abandoned. She has a long history of attracting unavailable men.
Stella went to see a healer to help her attract a man into her life. Stella began to express her anguish over the fact that her relationships were not working out the way she wanted them to. The healer then told her in a very stern voice “Stella …You are choosing Satan!” Such misleading statements are only adding to Stella’s confusion. They may also prevent her from addressing the underlying cause of the problem. Sadly, there are lots of people like Stella who lack discernment that buy into such idiocy.
Judgment serves an important purpose in that it gives us the capacity for discernment. Without out our capacity for discernment we would choose any piece of fruit or vegetable from the produce section and then suffer the consequences. What concerns me is that I see so many people whose lack of discernment and understanding is causing them to make poor choices that are preventing them from healing.
They call themselves master healers and shamans
The esoteric systems of found in places like China, Tibet, and India and among the indigenous cultures in various parts of the world go back thousands of years. These systems provide a framework through which one can develop their body and mind while embodying the presence of the higher power.
The esoteric traditions indigenous to Western Europe died out with the spread of Christianity. Those of us who are of Western European descent do not have an intact spiritual lineage to draw upon. The spiritual traditions that we borrow from other cultures often get watered down. And many people started inventing their own spirituality. Some will ask “What’s the problem with that?” The problem is that what we end up with is often devoid of any real power or substance. Many of the practitioners are like children playing doctor. And much of what’s out there is so incredibly flaky. But there are lots of folks who are incredibly naïve or flaky that gravitate towards those practices, practitioners and modalities.
Many people nowadays are calling themselves master healers after a few months, weekends or days of training. There are numerous traditions in China, India, Tibet and other parts of Asia where people do hours of intensive daily practice under the tutelage of a mentor over the course of many years and sometimes an entire lifetime in order to attain mastery. How is it that someone can be pretentious enough to assume the title of master healer after a few weekend workshops? Can’t they just call themselves something like level such and such practitioner? It would certainly be a lot more honest.
There are lots of other people who start calling themselves shamans after reading a few books watching YouTube videos or attending workshops. Most of these individuals have never even spent time among any indigenous groups of people. And they surely have not trained with a native doctor. Some are supposedly retrieving lost fragments of the soul for their clients. How could that even be possible when they possess on real power?
Traditional Native Americans doctors underwent many years of intensive discipline during their apprenticeship with an older mentor. They would also go through intensive practices such as going out to fast alone in the mountains at various intervals for four days and nights without food or water. It was during the vision quests that many of these traditional doctors received special gifts of healing and other kinds of powers.
There are times in all of our lives when we require the assistance of an Allopathic physician or dentist. I sometimes ask people to tell me how they would feel if they learned that their physician or dentist had only gone through a few months or weekends of training. How is it that we can take someone who claims to be a healer seriously when they have only a few months or weekends of training?
I’ve observed the auras of a number of people were physically or sexually abused after supposedly having parts of their soul retried or that had gone through numerous energy work sessions. Their subtle bodies may have been a little cleaner, but the chakras and layers of the aura were still grossly damaged or disfigured. Many were still dissociated from their bodies. And they were still suffering from anxiety and depression as well as many of the intrusive symptoms such as nightmares and flashbacks. The sad thing about these weekend workshop shamans and master healers is that they’re diminishing the credibility of the profession. And many people who are in tremendous need of assistance are not getting the help they truly need.
The majority of those who want to become healers are sincere in their intentions. But they have never had any real exposure to the old traditional cultures where the ancient healing arts were practiced. Most are just doing the best they can with what limited understanding and resources that are available.
There are ancient healing traditions in various parts of the world. The most powerful of these traditions are found among the various indigenous populations that live close to the Earth. Those who become healers in these cultures typically go through a one on one apprenticeship that involves many years of intensive training. They may also be required to go through intensive practices such as the vision quest in order to earn the right to work with these gifts and to receive other healing powers. One needs to go directly to the source if they are truly serious about becoming a healer by seeking out these ancient healing traditions.
Food is medicine
Hippocrates once said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Organic raw fruits and vegetables have a significantly higher nutrient value. I like to incorporate as many raw organic fruits and vegetables into my diet as possible because I find that it cleanses and nourishes the body and helps to increase my energy level. I also encourage the people I work with to make better food choices.
Diet is a critically important part of healthy living. I sometimes encounter people in the raw foods and macrobiotic communities and those that work in the field of nutrition that believe that everything can be cured by taking something whether it be food, supplements or herbal remedies.
I once worked with a woman who had suffered horrendous abuse throughout her childhood and adolescence. The chakras and layers of the aura, which were reflecting imbalances on a physiological level, had an extremely dissonant quality about them. She would go into a healing crisis with the slightest divergence from her rigid dietary regimen. Many of her health related issues were the result of having been so horribly abused for many years. But she will probably never heal because of her unwillingness to face the issues or experience her true feelings.
Acupuncture helps to correct imbalances in the functions of the internal organs of the body. It can be used to promote overall health and wellbeing, the prevention of illness and disease and for the treatment of various medical conditions. Acupuncture is effective for treating a wide range of health related issues such as digestive, respiratory, neurological and muscular disorders. It is also effective in treating urinary, menstrual and reproductive problems. Acupuncture is being used in greater frequency in conjunction with conventional Allopathic medical treatments to reduce pain after surgery or to alleviate nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy.
Kayla went to an acupuncturist after reading an article that said acupuncture would help to clear up her skin. The acupuncture sessions initiated a healing a crisis by bringing some of the deeper levels of trauma held within the body to the surface. Kayla was able to process the early life trauma later on when we had the opportunity to work together during the individual healing sessions. Acupuncture has also helped to balance the organs and systems and mitigate the discomfort that some people experience after a healing session when the body began to cleanse itself of toxicity.
Yoga and Tai Chi
There are a wide range of benefits associated with the practice of Yoga and Tai Chi. Some of these benefits carry over to other forms of martial arts and dance. Consistent practice helps to build strength and flexibility while increasing the flow of oxygen and life force throughout the body. It gets us moving in a way that causes us to burn calories. Moving our body helps to relieve depression by decreasing the stress hormone cortisol and increasing the serotonin. Lowering cortisol also helps to boost the immune system. It also helps us to move the stagnant emotional energies trapped within the body so they can be processed. It also helps the body to dispose of toxic waste and fight off infection by increasing the drainage of lymph. Slowing our breathing down while focusing in the present shifts the balance away from the sympathetic nervous system’s fight or flight response to the parasympathetic nervous system’s calming and restorative functions.
One of the great benefits of practices such as Yoga, Tai Chi and dance is that it gives us an opportunity to reconnect with our feelings and physical bodies. Some people manage to connect with their bodies while bypassing their feelings. I once worked with a Yoga instructor whose organs and systems were shutting down. She kept trying to force herself into various yogic postures thinking that would somehow turn her health around. She would glaze over any time I called her attention to relevant issues. Another disappeared when the feelings and impressions of having been sexually abused by an uncle made their way to the surface.
Deep tissue massage, Rolfing, Cranial Sacral, Chiropractic and other forms of body oriented therapy
There are so many aspects of our present day society that are taking us further away from our feelings and physical bodies. Body centered therapies help us to become more grounded by reconnecting us to our feelings and physical bodies. They cleanse the body of toxicity while increasing circulation of blood and oxygen and stimulating the functions of all the organs and systems. They also bring emotions and other stresses held within the body to the surface so we can process them.
I often encourage people to do deep tissue massage and other forms of body work before the individual healing sessions. These therapies enable people to be more open and responsive to the healing sessions by relaxing the body and mind and breaking down the defensive armor.
Prayer and meditation
I see lots of people that go to churches and temples whose physical and subtle bodies are in horrible shape. Many sit there attending services and spend their time praying and reading whatever holy book they ascribe to and yet they’re not doing any form of practice that would enable them to heal the emotional wounds or develop their bodies and minds.
Traditional American Indians definitely spent time in prayer. And I also remember some of the old Native American doctors saying “God helps those who help themselves.” Tremendous emphasis was placed on doing the intensive practices that develop one’s connection to the higher power and on taking effective action.
Meditation helps to change the structure of the brain by facilitating the development of new neuropathways, which are the connections that make sensory, cognitive and emotional processing possible. Consistent meditators show an increased thickness in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain associated with attention, higher thought and planning. Consistent practice also helps to prevent the shrinkage of the brain that often takes place as people age.
Meditation helps to heighten our sensory perception and increase our attention span. It gives us greater emotional stability by helping to create a sense of calm and centeredness. And that increases our ability to function in high stress situations. Our capacity for empathy and compassion also grows.
Some forms of meditative practice can be harmful. I worked with a number of people who were part of an ashram in upstate New York who were intentionally using meditation to disconnect from their feelings, physical bodies and the realities of their everyday lives. Some were dangerously dissociated to the extent that it left them emotionally destabilized. Any form of practice that causes us to disconnect from our feelings and physical bodies can have a very detrimental impact.
Learning to work constructively with our feelings as a meditative practice
Many of us are running to so many different practitioners and doing all kinds of healing modalities and spiritual practices and yet we’re so resistant to being present with our own feelings and physical bodies. There were times in my past when I was very resistant to the painful feelings that arose when relationships were not working out the way I wanted them to. My resistance to the painful feelings reinforced the patterns of abandonment and unrequited love despite the fact that I was going through the vision quest. I had to learn to become fully present by breathing softly and deeply while centering my awareness in the middle feelings so that my body and mind could become receptive to the healing presence working on my behalf during the vision quest. Only then did I heal and my relationships change for the better.
There are so many things about living in our modern day world that are making it difficult for us to remain fully present. We need to be doing practices that help us to become more firmly rooted in our bodies. Our life experiences and any subsequent feelings that arise need to go through a process of digestion. The following the steps listed below will help us to facilitate this digestive process.
1. Begin by acknowledge what’s happening.
2. We then ask ourselves what am I feeling in response to it?
3. We notice where these feelings are located within our bodies.
4. We begin to breathe softly and deeply while centering our awareness in the middle of these feelings or any bodily sensations. We then continue to follow the feelings and bodily sensations as they go through their progression.
The digestive process that takes place as we breathe into our feelings and bodily sensations helps us to work through internal conflict in a way that facilitates growth and the development of a strong and healthy foundation.
Another valuable practice is to breathe softly and deeply while focusing our attention on any area of tension that we experience within our body. It might be our neck and shoulders, abdomen or the muscles around our eyes. Breathing softly and deeply with our attention fully immersed in any areas that are tense will help us to release the tension. It will also help us to bring feelings that operate outside of our conscious awareness to the surface so that we can process them.
Choosing the resources that best address our needs
Psychotherapy, diet and nutrition, deep tissue body, hypnotherapy, meditation and other modalities and spiritual practices provide us with resources that facilitate healing. We all need to explore and chose the combination of modalities that best serves our needs.
There’s a tremendous gap in our model of healing which is clearly evidenced by the fact that many of us are holding such deep emotional wounds. Most people never fully process the underlying emotions that are fueling their anxiety and depression. Many never fully heal from a painful breakup or divorce or they struggle indefinitely with patterns of abandonment and unrequited love. The vast majority of those who have suffered from emotional, physical or sexual trauma continue to carry these wounds for the remainder of their lives. The stresses held within cause the physical and subtle bodies to break down and that accelerates the aging process.
There are a number of exceptionally powerful healers in places like Brazil and the Philippines that can physically reach into the body and remove tumors or perform other kinds of miracles. I highly recommend that anyone with a malignant tumor or large fibroid work with one of these healers if the opportunity presents itself. Many of these healers are exceptionally gifted when it comes to addressing physical issues and yet they do not directly address the underlying cause of the imbalance within the mind.
There were many exceptionally powerful doctors among the Native American tribes in times past. Traditional doctors among the Native American tribes would go out alone to fast for four days and nights without food or water. It was during the vision quests that they received various gifts or healing powers. These native doctors allowed other forces or beings to work through them to facilitate healing that would not have otherwise been possible. Indigenous healers from parts of Central and South America, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries in various other parts of the world possess similar gifts and capabilities.
Younger generations of Native Americans lacked the stamina and discipline of their elders. Most of the ancient knowledge and healing power has been lost. I’m very fortunate to have had the opportunity to train with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa tribe. Horace would transmit portions of his own healing gifts to me. He would then have me go out on the vision quest to earn the right to work with these gifts of healing.
I had the opportunity to work with a number of exceptionally powerful healers along the way. But it was primarily during the vision quest the traumas of my past healed. Parts of the vision quest feel like a near death experience as portions of my life begin to flash before my eyes. I can at times feel the presence of other forces or beings working within my body to facilitate healing. I can feel my whole body – mind system being reformatted and the highly charged emotions being digested. The wounded parts of me can then heal and reintegrate.
One of the women I work with recently said to me that she feared that she wouldn’t heal the traumas of her own past unless she also went out on the vision quest. The vision quest is far too powerful for most people, although some could work up to it. Fortunately, this same presence works through me to facilitate healing in those I work with during the individual sessions. The people I work with experience many of the same benefits.
©Copyright 2014 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.
Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. To learn more go to http://www.doiohm.com Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.