Bernadette's Personal Story
In the mid-1980s, I was Assistant Director of a sports medicine facility in New York. While treating the injuries of others, I struggled with my own very painful and unstable back. It was hard for me to brush my teeth, stand straight, make love, or get up comfortably from a chair. I began practicing the exercises I had been teaching to my clients and, in addition, received traction, hot packs, ultra sound and electric stimulation. I did not improve and I couldn’t understand why.
I had been a practicing Physical Therapist for over 10 years, I was well read on the current treatment protocols – and my back was not responding to treatment. Why? Was I destined to have this horrible pain for the rest of my life? Was I going to need surgery?
I had seen so many people have surgery and continue to experience the same level of back pain. At a continuing education class, my instructor told me I was an accident waiting to happen – that if I did not do something very quickly I was headed for serious knee trouble. “My knees, too,” I thought. “They don’t even hurt.” I was embarrassed, afraid, crooked (from the pain) and felt lost. It seemed I was falling apart.
Then a colleague directed me to the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State. The Osteopaths there believe that the body is a self-correcting mechanism, if given the correct input, and that the entire body is a series of interconnected systems. As I learned this approach, and at the same time received treatment, I started to feel better. I began to have hope.
Briefly, the craniosacral rhythm is a rhythm of health that flows through the body from head to toe. When it is interrupted for one reason or another (trauma, stress, grief, fear, anxiety) an imbalance or a dis-ease process begins. I learned that whiplash injuries can cause many types of damage, including neck, back and even gastro-intestinal problems. I learned that ankle sprains (I can’t tell you how many times I sprained my ankle as a kid) can cause knee and back injuries. But most importantly, I learned that when a person’s body begins to hurt, it is sending a cry for help. Pain is a great masquerader, and if you chase pain it becomes just that – a chase. Many times, while you are busy chasing the pain, you miss the cause of the dis-ease and/or imbalance.
By 1992, I was feeling better and life was good. I was happy – I was making a difference. Then people with more complex imbalances began coming for treatment: people with diagnoses of diabetes, multiple sclerosis, autism, Parkinson’s, auto-immune diseases, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancers, HIV, attention deficit, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, traumatic brain injury and migraines. They felt better when they left my office but their relief did not last. Again, I felt powerless – I wasn’t making a lasting difference. What else could I do? Where were the answers?
Then, I learned about Esoteric Healing from a friend of mine, and started to take classes in 1992. Esoteric Healing is an energetic modality based on the Tibetan Djwhal Khul as channeled by Alice Bailey. There are 26 books written on this subject. Through this work I began to understand the emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of a person and how these aspects impact their overall physical health. I continued studying, but fearing I would be laughed out of the medical profession, I did not share with anyone what I was learning.
I had been studying Esoteric Healing for two years when one of my manual therapy clients asked me, “Can’t you do anything else to help me?” Her condition had greatly improved, but she was still not where she wanted to be. I told her about Esoteric Healing and asked if she would like to try it. She agreed, and felt better after the first session. I was amazed at her response — I didn’t understand it and was thrilled by it at the same time. That experience pushed me further along in trying to understand the nature and workings of the human constitution. I wanted to know why some people heal and others don’t, and how I could help people like myself who had not benefited from more traditional approaches. Again, as I was learning this work I was also feeling better and better. So, I began to apply the Esoteric teachings to those people that had been coming to me with more complex imbalances and they began to get better. Once more, life was good and I was happy. I was making a difference.
In 1994 I developed my first case of PTSD… It was a scary time. I remember driving to the bank and ending up at the post office and Not knowing how I got there. I was having a really hard time sleeping and when I did manage to fall asleep I was having horrible nightmares. I was shaking during the day… I could not focus, I was bouncing checks. My relationships were falling apart. I felt hopeless. I tried psychotherapy, EMDR, 12 step programs, Homeopathy, Reiki, therapeutic touch, shamanic work, healing touch, Polarity to name a few things. 9 very long months later I had an advanced Esoteric Healing session and felt the PTSD come out of my brain and my body, I felt normal again. I could function again
My treatment model today is to combine manual therapy with Esoteric Healing/Energy Medicine. I ask my clients to give me 3 emotional things they have NOT been able to resolve on their own. I evaluate a person’s entire being from head to toe, decide what is out of alignment, what is weak and what is tight, on a physical, emotional and mental level. Then, with their help, I allow their body to come back in alignment. People respond in a positive way – they begin to heal vs. being cured, which is an important difference.
Realizing I have only two hands, I completed the training to become a teacher of Esoteric Healing / Energy Medicine in 1999 – one of only 4 active teachers in this country. I can treat just a few individuals myself, but I can teach these skills to many people at one time – and they, in turn, can help themselves and others. My journey now is to help empower as many people as I can to participate in the care of their health and well- being. My dream is to teach the principles of Esoteric Healing/Energy Medicine to as many people as possible so that their lives are happy and that they are making a difference.