From where there are no words. An autoethnographic exploration of the phenomenon of energy healing from the perspective of the healer.
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This thesis is an exploration of the phenomenon of energy healing told from the inner world of a healer. Briefly, this complementary and alternate medicine (CAM) modality involves the manipulation of subtle energy fields to affect health, something that I have known for over 15 years. Because energy healing is experienced differently by different people I chose to use autoethnography to capture and share my own personal understanding of this phenomenon. This methodology allowed me to delve into my intimate stories and experiences and through the writing process, I learnt more about energy healing than I had initially expected. In finding my personal voice and investigating the silence that has accompanied my relationship with this much maligned healing practice, I was able to explore the stories that had remained in the shadows: tales that had been influencing my relationship with this phenomenon for many years. This thesis also includes conversations that I had with my teachers and fellow healers. As I reflected on our discussions, I followed themes that appeared when we spoke and I discovered not only a deeper personal understanding of the phenomenon of energy healing, but a new profound awareness of myself. In the final presentation of this thesis, I have shared my discoveries as stories and anecdotes and I have surrounded these tales with my artwork. It is my hope that the colour and movement of my paint brush will help translate the emotions and sensations that I have known in places where words have trouble traversing. The experiential sense of knowing that speaks from my intimate perspective of this alternate healing modality comes from a private journey that is imbued with awe and wonder, stumbling and doubt, and an inspiring sense of connection - a perspective that is absent in the academic literature on energy healing. In sharing this inner world with my readers, I hope that my writing and my artwork have captured a small fragment of the elusive and esoteric nature of this phenomenon, something that for me exists in a place where there are no words.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
CommitteeHampton, Mary; Murray, Lee
Copyright DateApril 2014