Scene: Local spiritual group teaches healing

BY JUSTIN MERELL, Staff Reporter

A lively crowd of around 30 people attended the Ellensburg Metaphysical Network’s monthly meeting on March 7. The Ellensburg Metaphysical Network hosts speakers discussed topics from metaphysical philosophies to spiritualism and healing modalities.

This month’s meeting featured Anna Marie Newman, who presented Healing Touch therapy.

Healing Touch is a patient-centered integrative therapy dealing with body, mind, spirit and emotion using energy based concepts. Integrative therapy is an approach to healing where traditional and holistic healthcare methods are used concurrently.

“It’s not alternative,” Newman, a registered nurse for over 40 years, said. “It’s integrative. You don’t have to choose between one or the other.”

Newman, a Certified Healing Touch Instructor, stopped practicing clinical nursing and has been practicing Healing Touch for 20 years.  She began teaching level one and two Healing Touch classes four years ago in an effort to expose people in Central Washington to the benefits of Healing Touch.

“I’ve seen it work,” Newman said. “I’ve seen people go from severe pain to no pain or to being able to rest comfortably.  It’s one of those things you need to experience; the work speaks.”

She has taught the Healing Touch Program to doctors, nurses and massage therapists although one does not have to be a healthcare provider to learn Healing Touch. Newman has taught people looking to help a suffering loved one, so they can actively participate in the healing process; this kind of compassion stands out as the theme of Healing Touch.

It is a testament to the program that Western healthcare practitioners are endorsing its usage.

“When I see physicians in my classes . . . I know that the trend is changing and doctors are interested in what more they can do for their patients,” Newman said, “Doctors really want their patients to do better.”

In 2011, the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation accredited Healing Touch as a provider of continuing nursing education.  Just this year, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies granted accreditation to Healing Touch Certified Practitioner’s for complying with their Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs.

“The recent certification with the ANCC is a powerful statement,” Newman said. “All these accreditations occurred because Healing Touch has standards of practice and a code of ethics.”

In integrative medicine, these certifications are unique to Healing Touch. Consistency across the program, from the training of instructors to the usage of standardized notebooks, is crucial in distinguishing the Healing Touch Program from other methods of healing. There are five levels of workshops, which can take around two years to complete in order to apply for certification.

Newman says that people do not need to be certified in order to practice on their family, friends or through volunteer work.    Individuals can help others heal with what’s provided in level one workshops.

The Ellensburg Metaphysical Network is establishing itself as a setting for people in the community to learn about the diverse amount healing modalities around.

“[The network] is in its infant stage,” LeAnne Watrous, one of the networks founders, said. “That’s where it’s going to build: to have a place where people can network.  A place where people can learn and bridge the gap between the intellectual side and the spiritual side.”

The network’s other founder, Karin Stanley, owns the New Perspective Healing Center where she guides healing meditation and integrated.  She invites everyone to check out the meetings and see what the network is about.

“The goal of the network is to bring awareness. Let [people] know there are alternatives to healing with all forms of our being: emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally,” Stanley said. “That there are different tools out there [people] should at least investigate.”

Andrew Jenkins and Malissa Clark, a senior fashion merchandising major, were the youngest in attendance at the meeting.  Both have been attending the Ellensburg Metaphysical Network’s meetings since its inception.

“It’s nice to see there’s support from longstanding community members,” Jenkins, an active member of the Ellensburg EDM community, said. “The one thing we could use is more word, especially with the younger community.”

At last month’s meeting, David Newcomer, Central professor of philosophy and religious studies, discussed the parallels of medical and spiritual healing techniques.

Next month’s speaker will be Franki Storie, a Native Shaman who will be discussing meditation and various healing techniques through Native American and other techniques.