HEALING TOUCH & HOSPICE
A series of three articles on Healing Touch and hospice
by Ann Seckinger, MM, BCC, CHTP
A PAIN-FREE BREAKFAST The man was shriveled up in his bed with recurring pain from stomach cancer. His wife was beside herself with the thought that he might die and she was exhausted from his pain throughout the night. I explained energy work and Healing Touch to her. She was open to anything that might help her husband. I asked permission of the patient to do a technique called Chakra Spread to ease his pain. Permission granted. I held his hand to begin the Chakra Spread and proceeded to do energy clearing. I could feel the prickles against my hand slowly dissipate. I could not observe any other outward sign because the patient had fallen asleep. Because I am a chaplain, I called the technique a Blessing Prayer, and did the Mind Clearing technique with the wife to ease her tension headache and intense anxiety. The wife asked me to return again. When I visited the patient and wife a few days later, the wife said that the day after my visit, her husband woke up and wanted to go out for breakfast; a favorite thing they had done together in the past. Somehow, she had been able to move him into the van and they had a beautiful morning at their favorite breakfast restaurant. I returned several times and taught the wife the Blessing Prayer. They were never able to go to breakfast again, but he did die peacefully. Healing Touch made a difference in the life of this dear couple. I can only humbly walk the path of knowing that Healing Touch and hospice help bring comfort to the dying.
CALMING RESTLESS AGITATION The family was Buddhist, they said that I could visit. When I entered the room of the patient in the large, elegant bed, I saw that the patient was young, probably only in her 40′s. She looked as though she was experiencing restless agitation. This term is used in hospice to describe someone in the final days of dying when everything is out of whack and the muscles just flare out. The young woman couldn’t get comfortable. The few people gathered around the bed were speaking Chinese or Mandarin. The husband spoke limited English; he stared at me as to say “Can you do something?” I started over to the left side of the bed and thought that this family would understand chi so I explained the chi of Healing Touch and that my intention was to help with the restless agitation. The husband nodded his head in acceptance of anything that would help his wife. The small woman was not in one of our hospital beds so I crawled next to her on the big bed and I began a technique called Magnetic Clearing. I started slowly at the top of her head and then continued clearing through her field. My intention was for her highest good, and I kept carefully repeating my movements. She quieted down after many strokes through the field. My back was beginning to hurt from the awkward position that I was in on the bed. Because she had come to a stillness, I crawled off the bed and stood off to one side. The husband knelt down by the side of the bed, and put his head on the mattress. My tears that had welled up in my eyes began to stream down my face as I saw the husband weeping beside his wife. I was able to visit one more time and a Buddhist monk stood at the front side of the bed as I continued doing Magnetic Clearing for relaxation. The monk smiled at me as he saw the woman was comfortable. She lived only a few more days. Healing Touch compliments hospice care and helps me as I cry my way through some days.
EASING THE HEADACHE OF A HOSPICE PATIENT’S DAUGHTER-IN-LAW Entering the room at the Board and Care, I saw my hospice patient in the hospital bed in the center of the room. He was asleep and resting comfortably, showing no sign of pain. The woman in the room looked up at me from the chair where she was sitting and her eyes squinted, barely opening to the lights in the room. I saw excruciating pain in her eyes. It turns out she was a daughter -in-law who had been staying with George through the night for the last two nights so he wouldn’t be alone. She had a pounding headache, and it actually hurt me to look at her. I explained that I was a the hospice chaplain and I was also certified in Healing Touch. I told her I knew a technique that could ease the pain in her head. She agreed to accept my assistance and I stood behind her chair in order to do a technique called Mind Clearing to ease her headache. Her head was buzzing and felt very heavy with grief and emotion about her father-in- law. Slowly her head and neck began to relax. I continued doing the technique until I felt a shift in the energy and the buzzing around her head stopped. When I came around from behind her chair, her eyes were open and she smiled a lovely smile. “What was that you did? My headache is gone,” she said. “Tell me about energy work.” And so I explained how I have been certified as a Healing Touch Practitioner for more than 15 years and I use techniques at times to reduce pain and stress in my hospice work. Her eyes were wide open with amazement. She was able to stay that night with George, her kind father-in-law.