Highlights from the 2010 Healing Touch Worldwide Conference
by Cynthia Hutchison, HTP Program Director,
Photos by Cathy Anderson
For those of you who are interested in a summary of conference events here are some Conference highlights!
Pre-Conference events included two courses, My Helpful HealÂing Touch Childrenâ€™s Class Training taught by Lynn Placek, MA, HTCP/I and the Healing Touch Presentations Class taught by Lauri Pointer, BS, HTCP/I, Level 2 Lead Instructor with HTP. Both of these courses continue to grow in popularity as ways of expanding awareness of Healing Touch to wider audiences. Two committees also met – the international HTP Ethics Committee and the HT Certification Board which certifies practitioners and instructors around the world. The Annual Instructor Gathering met on Wednesday evening and all day Thursday for a total of eleven hours. The Main Conference Events can be categorized into CelebraÂtions, Keynotes/Workshops, Meetings and Social/Self Care Time.
The Welcome and Registration Committee warmly greeted/oriented everyone and then led registrants to a table where they could add fun ribbons to their name badges. For example, along with my ribbons – â€śAsk Me About Accreditation, Ethics Committee, and Speakerâ€ť- a few friends added â€śEasily Excitable!â€ť Chris Gordon (Lisa Mentgen Gordonâ€™s husband) had a ribbon that said â€śCool Dudeâ€ť and Kathy Layte, Co-Chair of the HTP Research Advisory Board ,had about 15 ribbons, reflecting her joyful and colorful personality.
We celebrated our togetherness in an inspiring Opening Ceremony that began with a slide show of photos submitted by attendees who shared joyful moments of their lives. The three sponsoring organizations which came together with one voice to create this wonderful conference were introduced by our Conference Mistress of Ceremonies, Mary Duennes, RN, MSN, HTCP/I. They are The Institute of Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy (HT Spiritual Ministry) founded by Linda Smith, Healing Touch for Animals, founded by Carol Komitor and HealÂing Touch Program, founded by Janet Mentgen, and led by Lisa Mentgen Gordon (CEO) and myself (Program Director). With reverence, we lit the central conference candle fed by the lights of numerous single candles brought to the front of the great hall by representatives from each of the round tables. As the four leaders held hands, Mary, gave an invocation of joyful, healing intention for all attendees, speakers, volunteers and staff.
A dozen representatives of our worldwide community, includÂing students, practitioners and instructors, individually shared inspirational stories about Healing Touch in their communiÂties. We wish we could have told the scores of stories of which we are aware, but we hope that the samples that were offered brought joy, pride and motivation. We dedicated the next hour to an overview of our progress toward national accreditation, which was led by Chris Gordon, Project Manager, and Janna Moll, HTCP/I, President of Energy Medicine Specialists. During their presentation Chris and Janna put out a call for more volunteers, to serve as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for our team of test writiers for the new certifiÂcation exam. By the end of conference on Sunday, the number of attendees who volunteered to serve as SMEs far exceeded our expectations. We now have close to 90! National AccreditaÂtion continued to be an â€śexciting topicâ€ť all weekend. Watch for ongoing news on this project in your monthly HTP community newsletters and upcoming issues of Energy Magazine.
The evening concluded with Jetta Petrie, LCSW, trauma therapist, Sundancer and Sacred Pipe Carrier, who led sacred drumming and then remained afterwards for those who wanted to continue. Drumming and dancing has historically been a favorite activity at HT conferences.
Regarding Keynote Speakers, HTP believes in sharing the wisdom that is rich in our own community and therefore conÂsciously recruits HT practitioners who are inspirational speakÂers to be presenters at our conferences. At the same time, our philosophy is to extend our circle and our knowledge to other leaders in energy medicine who can enhance our knowledge and our community with additional and varied knowledge. This year we invited two keynote speakers who are not HT practitioÂners, but who are closely aligned with us in the field of energy medicine and in heart centered philosophy.
Cyndi Dale, a well known author and beloved teacher/speaker of Energy Medicine, presented Celebrating! HealÂing With Joy. She is an easy fit with HTP and has committed herself to collaborating with us for continued articles in Energy Magazine and future projects. The first word that pops into my mind describing Cyndi is JOYFUL. Other words include beautiÂful (inside and out), humble, funny, fun and deeply inspirational.
Janet Quinn, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been supporting HTP for over a year through her biannual offering of the telecourse Touching Body, Tending Soul, a spiritual perspective on healing which taps into Perennial Wisdom. She presented the closing keynote – The (other) Joy of Healing: Dancing at the Edge of Evolutionary Transformation - gracefully and joyfully bringing us to a place of completion. Janet is a longtime leader in holistic nursing, caring science and Therapeutic Touch. She shared perspectives on the inner path of the healer (which is different from the outer path), the characteristics of mature spiriÂtuality, the â€śdark night of the soul,â€ť the necessity of living out of the spirit of love, forgiveness and the present moment, and the requirement of stripping away our self identity in order to be an instrument of healing, which leads us to joy. Janet is truly one of the most inspirational speakers I have ever experienced.
Keynotes from within our community included Sharon ScanÂdrett-Hibdon, Carol Komitor, Linda Smith and myself. ShaÂron, Carol and Linda – who are well loved, highly respected and knowledgeable – came prepared to teach from innovative and thought provoking perspectives. Sharon and Carol entered the room wearing Sherlock Holmes type hats while looking through gigantic magnifying glasses as they wove their way to the stage to present Being the Sleuth: Detecting Culprits in Energy Disturbances. Lindaâ€™s keynote address was The TransformaÂtional Power of Intention, Touch, and Earthly â€śMedicinesâ€ť. As for me, I offered my first ever keynote to the HT community on the topic of Symbology and Sacred Geometry in Healing Touch. I had great fun preparing for and presenting and I esÂpecially enjoyed showing so many beautiful slides that accomÂpanied my words. As I explained to the audience, the interest in using symbology and sacred geometry in my HT practice was rooted in the fact that I am neither kinesthetic nor gifted with ESP, so using geometry and symbology has been a valuable tool for me.
Eleven workshops were offered during conference to provide a wide variety of optional topics of learning. You can click here to visit the conference site and read about these great presentations!
Rudy Noel, Janetâ€™s friend and colleague, spent an afternoon with a large group of attendees to share his wisdom and exÂperiences in clinical practice. Rudy is known for bringing Mind Clearing and the Hopi Back Technique to the HTP curriculum. He continues to be a dedicated friend to HTP.
The annual Healing Touch Professional Association MemÂbersâ€™ Meeting (HTPA) open to everyone was led by our very heart-centered and unbelievably productive executive direcÂtor, Sharon Robbins. Sharon shared an extensive list of HTPA accomplishments over the last two years. These included her report on high attendance of HTPAâ€™s monthly business teleÂconferences (interviews with successful HT practitioners who share their experiences in growing their practices). Sharon also reported on steady growth of membership which now exceeds 1200, liability insurance for students and practitioners (not only HTP but also 75 related energy medicine modalities), new or strengthened relationships with other professional organizaÂtions, extended member benefits, upcoming new programs/benÂefits, and the HTPA membersâ€™ directory and website.
At the conclusion of the HTPA Membership Meeting, Sharon invited the HTP/HTPA Elder Council members and Lisa MentÂgen Gordon to come to the stage. As Sharon Scandrett-Hibdon acknowledged the many contributions Lisa has made as leader of HTP these past five years, the Elders wrapped Lisa in the ceremonial quilt which had belonged to her mother. The signifiÂcance of the ceremonial quilt is that Janet commissioned the quilt to be used in ritual to honor those in HTP leadership roles. This was the first time it was used since Janet wrapped me in the quilt at a ceremony with instructors in May 2005. (That gathering was Janetâ€™s last meeting with her HTP instructors -with 44 in attendance- and was held at Shadowcliff Retreat Center in Grand Lake, Colorado, the place where Janet was inspired to create Healing Touch.) Lisa, totally taken by surÂprise, had no idea that she would be honored by the Elders in this way. Tears streamed down her face as she was held in love, honor and protection by the nine elders on stage, as well as, all the Conference attendees who rose to give her a standing ovation.
Â Our annual Pinning Ceremony held on Saturday afternoon honored many of our new HT Certified Practitioners, including the mentors who supported them. Check the conference photo album to see the smiling faces of some of our new practitioners!Â Â
Â HTPâ€™s Annual Banquet and HT Worldwide Foundation Live Auction was Saturday evening and included ALL attendees as part of the conference fee. The pre-dinner music and post-dinner dancing was a blast, the food was delicious, and when the Auction started, Rita Kluny HTCP/I, RN and Roberta Davis Lewis, HTCP, kept us laughing almost non-stop while they raised a record-breaking $13,000.00 for the HTWF who provides funding for HT research and humanitarian projects. Our entertainment committee, led by Walle Adams-Gerdts and Tina Devoe, â€śsprinkled inâ€ť comedic skits and songs brought by our talented community members! The Canadians humorously educated us non-Canadians about their provinces (eh?), and Sue Hovland and friends taught us â€śage defyingâ€ť facial expresÂsions which we all practiced together! Bob Nunley, Dean of Faculty at Holos University, who had serenaded us with his guitar for two days, also led us in several uplifting community songs at the end of the banquet.
Morning Self Care Activities/Practices offered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning, included Kripalu YogaDance with Nancey Kinlin, Spring Forest Qigong Exercise with Ann Cathcart, and Watsu with Elaine Lutz. Based on their excellent evaluations and attendeesâ€™ requests, we hope to incorporate some self care classes as part of next yearâ€™s afternoon events for those who prefer to sleep in a bit longer in the mornings!
Richard Shulman raised our joyfulness and consciousness with his inspiring and improvisational keyboard performance and storytelling. Richard is a longtime friend of Healing Touch and creator of First Rites, his well known CD for HT practice and meditation. Richard played for our ceremonies and also lifted our spirits with a concert Friday evening.
Â This year we also offered a film option on Friday evening – The Living Matrix â€“ The New Science of Healing, sponsored by the HT Professional Association, which was well attended. The post-film discussion was facilitated by Mary Jo Bulbrook, HTCP, Ed.D. Authors and Book Signing. HTP is boasting about several HT and HT related books authored by some of our practitioners, instructors and leaders. Recently published authors and their books that we proudly recommend to you are (1) Nancy Bat-tilega, author of A Story of Grace: Holistic Healing after Diagno-sis of Breast Cancer; (2) Joy Heartsong, author of Awakening the Tiger Within: Nine Paths of Healing; (3) Dorothea Hover Kramer, author of Healing Touch Guidebook: Practicing the Art and Science of Human Caring, Creating Right Relationships: A Practical Guide to Ethics in Energy Therapies, and Second Chance at Your Dream; (4) Linnie Thomas, author of The En-cyclopedia of Energy Medicine and (5) Cheryl Hardy, author of Collecting Your Bones: Becoming Your Authentic Self.
This yearâ€™s conference featured over twenty vendors repre-senting a wide variety of organizations, and energy, artistic and health related products and educational materials. The vending area was popular, spacious and easily accessible with some-thing for everyone. Energy Magazine, now in its fifth year of publication with readership over 15,000, distributed orange buttons which said â€śEnergy Magazine â€“ Iâ€™ve been published!â€ť to the Conference attendees who have been contributing au-thors, as a way to honor and thank them for their contributions over the years. We hope YOU will consider writing an article for Energy Magazine! Post-Conference offerings included six courses and a four day retreat with Janet Quinn RN, PhD, FAAN, one of our keynote speakers. The course titles and instructors were: Carolyn Eberle, LPC, MA and Franny Harcey, HTCP, Healing Concepts to Transform the Energy of Illness and Emotional Distress into Wisdom and Light. Dorothea Hover-Kramer, EdD, RN, CNS, DCEP, Healing Touch and Energy Psychology Resources for Building Healthy Relationships.
Janna Moll HTCP/I, CMT, SEM, MSN, Energy Medicine in Surgery (including a hands on field trip to a major teaching hospital surgical department with hospital staff). Greg Pitstick and Bill Brown of LGM3, LLC, Growing Your Practice Using Social Networking. Linda Smith RN, MS, HN-BC, HTCP, HTSM-CP/I, CCA, How to Expand Your Healing Practice with Essential Oils. Julie Wright, SHTP, CCA, CEBS, CHC, Energy Medicine Prac-tice: Mastering the Energy of Money. In addition to listing the agenda, resources and vendors, the HTP Conference Booklet also included the list of our seventeen beloved HTP/HTPA Elder Council, nine of whom were able to be present at this yearâ€™s Conference. Another listing included twenty groups/programs or affiliated professional organi-zations that support Healing Touch Program. Denise Lewis Premschack, Executive Director of the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energy and Energy Medicine (ISSSEEM) volunteered her services again this year at our conference and events. Our hope is that you will plan now to attend the 2011 Confer-ence August 25-28 in San Antonio and join us for continued growth and learning, community celebration and joyful, impact-ful togetherness!