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The Healer as an Instrument for Wholistic Healing

by Dr Daniel Benor(more info)

listed in clinical practice, originally published in issue 95 - January 2004

Many caregiver factors contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of any clinical intervention. Approaching healing wholistically, we can enhance the potency and effectiveness of our caregiving.

A Healing Environment

"We begin to see… the importance of selecting our environment with the greatest of care, because environment is the mental feeding ground out of which the food that goes into our minds is extracted."
Napoleon Hill

The vibrations of a caregiving space are palpable. Soft colours, comfortable seating, inspiring and healing pictures and gentle music all contribute to relaxation at the least, and can promote healing.

Welcoming, Smiling

"…love cannot enter where there is one spot of fear to mar its welcome."
A Course in Miracles

Offering a warm, welcoming greeting can set the tone for healing to occur.

Music can facilitate relaxation and healing. Suggesting the practice of relaxations or meditations while in the waiting room can divert careseekers from fretting, helping them shift into a self-healing mode.


"When you give your undivided attention to something, there is a softening and opening in the listener that allows access to the meaning underneath the words."
Betty Burkes

Careseekers come for help with a load of experiences, stresses, new and old hurts, anxieties and questions. Providing a safe and healing environment in which they can unburden themselves of at least some of this load is a healing in and of itself.


"Intimacy of touch,
Eternity of soul,
Urgency of thought,
Miracle of health,
Embrace of God."

John O'Donohue

Touch conveys acceptance, caring, love and healing. At the very least, a warm handshake can set the tone for positive caring interactions. Where massage or other manipulative therapies are part of the process, this becomes a major aspect of the healing intervention.

Touch must be respectful, however. People vary in their receptiveness to this, and we must be sensitive to those who are uncomfortable with physical contact and need a safe distance and space within which to process their own healing.


"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and deep, loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen…"
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

It is essential to establish that indescribable chemistry which links people into more effective relationships for work, pleasure and healing, which creates an atmosphere within which respants (responsible participants) can feel safe to share their anxieties, examine their problems and explore new ways of dealing with them.

Healing Intent

"This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness."
HH The Dalai Lama

Holding an intent for healing for the highest good of all can facilitate healings that are often profound and far beyond the expectations we might hold if we approach healing with limited focus and set goals.

Clearing the Vessel Through Which Healing Pours

"As a result of our energy commitments, we – our minds, hearts, and lives – become woven into their consequences. Our faith and our power of choice are, in fact, the power of creation itself. We are the vessels through which energy becomes matter in this life."
Caroline Myss, Anatomy of the Spirit

In all of the above, it is utterly important for caregivers to be as clear and centered as possible. Otherwise, issues raised by careseekers will put the caregiver on the defence and this will block the healing process.

It is not uncommon, for instance, for nurses and doctors to put people who may be in terminal stages of illness in the furthest most room from the nursing station, at the very end of the ward. This protects the staff from being reminded of their own limitations in caregiving and of their own mortality – as our society is strongly death fearing.

"If the heart is not pure, the Great Spirit cannot be seen."
Black Elk

Sounding a Note With Which Careseekers Can Resonate

"Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness… "
Bahai' Prayer for Peace

When the caregiver has done her own work of clearing the dross of past hurts and has opened to energetic and spiritual awarenesses, she is able to serve as a human tuning fork. Creating an environment of healing and spirituality, she will create an atmosphere in which careseekers will be able to resonate with the healing and spirituality within themselves.

Self-Healing Instructions

The more we can place the responsibility for healing on the careseeker, the more he will be able to manage and advance the process of healing himself.

I usually instruct people in one or more self-healing approaches, such as relaxation, meditation, imagery, WHEE (Wholistic Hybrid of EMDR and EFT), journalling, prayer, self-healing energetic exercises or specific activities that will invite new ways of perceiving the world and relating to it.

Reflection on Lessons Learned

"All acts of healing are ultimately our selves healing our Self."
Ram Dass

We are all on a path of healing. Careseekers come with, and as, lessons to caregivers, which may be every bit as important and profound as the lessons offered by the caregiver to the careseeker.


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About Dr Daniel Benor

Daniel J. Benor, M.D. is a psychiatrist in New Jersey who blends wholistic, bodymind approaches, spiritual awareness and healing in his practice. He is the author of Healing Research, Volumes I-IV and many articles on wholistic, spiritual healing. He appears internationally on radio and TV. He is on the Advisory Council of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychotherapy (ACEP). He is editor and producer of the International Journal of Healing and Caring ­ On Line See more by and about Dr. Benor at:

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