The other day, a patient thanked me for reminding her that it wasn’t her fault that she has Hashimoto’s Disease. That fact seemed obvious to me but for her it was a revelation. “Thank you for helping me to see that my thyroid gland is not my enemy,” she said, “for recognizing that my symptoms are a potential source of information. It doesn’t help for me to be at war with my body when it’s actually trying to tell me what I need to heal.”
Earlier this week, as I removed the final acupuncture needle, another patient reflected, “I never realized that my anxiety is actually my excitement in disguise. The answer isn’t medication, it’s daring to take a leap even though I feel afraid.”
And not long ago, with a look of amazement at the end of a session, another patient exclaimed, “I thought I was coming here to get some acupuncture and get rid of my back pain. What I’ve discovered instead is more of my Self! Now, my back pain isn’t just better but I’m not doing the things that made it hurt in the first place. Instead, I’m taking the risk to be myself more and do things that actually matter to me.”
Each day in my practice, a patient in some way thanks me for offering them a way to see their symptom, impasse, problem, and ultimately their life differently. Frequently, the moment of excitement comes when, rather than simply settling back into their “old self” again, someone I’m working with finds a way through to a surprising shift, a new possibility they couldn’t have reasoned with their rational, thinking mind.
This discovery for me is the true magic of our medicine — the capacity to support transformation instead of settling for fixing a symptom or facilitating a person getting back to their old, familiar habits and patterns. I have come to call this aspect of our work Alchemical Healing. It’s what keeps me inspired, enthralled, engaged, and committed after over thirty years of practice. It is also what keeps me believing that healing and transformation are possible for human beings and the planet, despite all appearances to the contrary in the current culture of our country.
Benjamin and I created the training and mentorship programs of A New Possibility to support ourselves and others in learning how to use Chinese medicine – the Five Elements and Five Spirits – as well as somatic and depth psychology, flower essences and essential oils, astrology, and other alchemical systems to more effectively support transformation in the treatment room, in our communities, and in our own lives.
Our programs will teach you concepts, skills, and practices that support the healing of psychosomatic, psycho-spiritual, and emotional symptoms. They will help you know more about yourself as a person, as a healer, and as a force for change. But our ultimate goal is to open a doorway that has been closed by modern Western consciousness between our current physically-oriented reality and the realms of the intangible — the space of magic, myth, and the imaginal world of the soul, which is the place where true transformational healing can occur.
Whether you are a practitioner, student, patient, or person on a path, if you are hungry to know more about who you are and how to be a more effective agent of healing and change at this critical time on our planet, if you want to get to know us and begin to explore this work, consider joining us for An Introduction to Alchemical Healing, April 5 – 8 at Menla Retreat Center in the Catskill Mountains.
We will begin our next year-long Alchemical Healing Mentorship in October 2018. Registration opens in April. Participants in the weekend Introduction at Menla will receive a 20% discount on the Mentorship tuition. Contact us for full details.
Here’s what previous participants have said about our work:
“The Introduction to Alchemical Healing weekend at Menla was so enriching … and beautifully presented – an aspect, I have found, that is lacking in so much education today and yet so valuable in how we absorb and process information.” – Katherine Jaeger
“I am so grateful to you both for all the work you do and how emotionally and spiritually generous you are. It is contagious. The thoughtful work and dedication it takes to create an environment that induces a room full of people to keep moving toward the big Self is not lost on me.” – Colleen Garvey