By Alexis Costello (Winter 2019 Issue: Kinesiology Creatures)
A: How do you normally describe what you do?
N: I’m an energetic therapist and healer working with animals. I do many forms of energetic work, taking care of their inner health and well-being through herbal medicine as well.
A: Can you tell us a little bit about your background in the alternative health world?
N: It started when I was about three years-old. I started to experience different levels of energy work. I didn’t know what it was, and my parents didn’t know what it was, but I grew up with it. I’m an only child and I pestered my parents to get me a cat. Sadly, the cat that my dad came home from work with was semi-feral – we noticed after a couple of weeks that he wasn’t really responding, and he was hiding from myself and my parents. I managed to coax him out and got him to be a little more friendly, but I noticed he had a hard ball in his stomach. I was seven at this time. We took him to the vet and the vet diagnosed a renal tumor sadly. My dad explained what this meant and that we would probably have to make the decision to have him put to sleep. The vet said to bring him back in six weeks time. We took him back to the vet and the tumor had disappeared. Now, in this time I had been doing energetic healing work; I’d been sitting with Timmy every day on my lap just channeling energy. I can’t explain what I felt then or where it came from; all I knew was that Timmy was responding very well. Now, I’m not that egotistical to say that it was anything that I did that shrunk the tumor, but the vet was absolutely astounded, and bearing in mind this was 1977 at the time, so veterinary medicine was not what it is now. But you could see on the X-rays that the tumor was there and then it had disappeared. That was a really eye-opening experience and my first experience of giving healing to an animal.
A: So that was when you were seven, and you had no training, you were just intuitively sending love…
N: That’s right. And Timmy actually passed away another eleven years after that, he died of old age.
A: Fast forward to a few years later, I know you do have a background in kinesiology work?
N: Yes, I graduated in a number of health therapy modalities ‘round about ’96, ’97 because I was doing a psychology degree and when I had six months left to go on a nearly 5-year course, I had a stroke. It was the date of my first wedding anniversary and it turned my life around. I didn’t know whether I wanted to go back to my psychology degree or whether I wanted to totally change my life. I had refused all orthodox medicine and had looked into complementary methods to get back to full health. I decided to finish my degree in psychology but not practice, rather I would practice complementary therapies. So I finished with kinesiology, reflexology, body massage, etc. and then I went on to teach those modalities.
A: So let’s talk about that shift then, because I’m guessing that when you were studying these techniques, the intention was to work on humans. How do you go about working with animals? Do you have to adapt energetic techniques for animals, or do you find that it is the same as working with people?
N: It’s vastly different! Humans are far more complex creatures. They have preconceived ideas about how a treatment is going to work and how it’s going to get them back to full health – animals don’t have any preconceived ideas, so we have to read them a lot more than we do a human body. Animals present themselves in a different way. We can read between the lines with humans. With animals we are reading their energy and body language and it’s totally different how we apply the modalities. Working with animals in England is highly regulated and we’ve got a law in place which is a 1966 veterinary protection act which prohibits lots of therapists from practicing with animals. It’s good because it stops lots of people who are practicing quackery, but in another way, it makes it harder when a certain form of simple healing could be as effective as veterinary medicine.
A: Tell me a little bit about your new book – what inspired it and how did it come to be?
N: I started writing the book about 7 or 8 years ago and it took me a long time. I used to take a lot of notes and I have about 12 different journals because I’ve worked with hundreds of animals over the years. So I drew on the experience and I thought, people might like to read and figure out how to help their animals more. So while it draws on my experience it is also very much a ‘How To’ book; how you can heal or begin to initiate healing with your own animal. It is meant to work alongside orthodox medicine as well. It took a number of years and from pitch to publication it took another 2 and a half years, but fortunately the first publisher my agent approached accepted it.
A: So this is actually helping the reader to be able to use some of these techniques, in their own life, with their own fuzzy best friends.
N: Yes, that’s exactly what it is.
A: Tell us one of your craziest stories working with animals!
N: Well I have quite a few! One that stays in my mind was a cockerel who was so aggressive, he’d actually killed four of the flock he was in. Cockerels really do get a bit of bad press and they’re not all that aggressive 99% of the time, but he was extremely aggressive. He would attack anybody; he had attacked the owner’s two grandchildren and the postman – the postman refused to deliver letters because one day he found the cockerel on his back where he had begun pecking his neck! So I thought, crikey, I’ve got my work cut out for me. When I went to the home (of the bird) I sort of sat down and the guy who owned the bird said, “I wouldn’t sit down, don’t risk your life!” but I sat down anyway. The cockerel was intrigued he started circling me, he settled on my arm and was tearing at me and I thought, crikey, I want to end up with my eyes intact! I don’t want them to be pecked. So I sort of raised myself up gradually and he sort of sunk to the floor and just looked up at me and I thought; we’ve made some sort of connection. We ushered him into his run on his own and I worked on him distantly. By the end of the session, which was about 50-55 minutes, he was pressed up against the side of the pen of the mesh against my hand. And that took, just the 50 minutes. I see him now because I treat their pony and every time he sees me he runs up to me and flaps his wings and it’s almost as if we have a cuddle. We understand each other. And he’s not aggressive anymore. The postman actually just comes through the gate now, whereas before he was just leaving the letters in a hole in the hedge.
A: When you say that you are working distantly on the bird; what techniques are you using with that?
N: I work with a technique that I developed over the last 20 odd years. It works with colours and it works with different channels depending on whether the animal is suffering emotional, behavioral or physical issues. In terms of the cockerel I was working with, I was basically working with the root Chakras because that it where all dominance and aggressive tendencies are formed. So I worked to release any blockages or any tension that might be in the root chakra. I used both of my hands to channel the energy all of the way through his body and then a release at the base chakra.
A: What misconceptions about working with animals do you see in our field that you would like to clear up if you had an opportunity to?
N: I think the main one is that people leave (this kind of) healing as a last resort after all orthodox medicine has failed, and then they come to healers expecting us to be a miracle cure at the end of the day. When, in fact, healing works to balance the body so the animal can stave off illness and you turn on a self-healing mechanism within the animal, so it’s sad that people leave healing as the last resort. We’re not miracle cures. We’ve all got time on this earth and we’re all part of the cycle of death, birth, rebirth, so we’re never going to stop animals from passing on when their time is ended. But that’s one of the misconceptions that we have. I’m just an ordinary person, and I really don’t like it when people say, “Oh you have a gift”. We all have that gift – it’s built within us from our ancestors. They didn’t have the modern medicine that we have today, so they worked with plants, they observed the seasons, they worked with nature to bring about healing and healers do that today. It’s nothing special, we’re all capable of doing if we open our hearts and our minds to recognize what we can do and what we are capable of achieving with both animals and humans.
A: I completely agree with you because we get a lot of that. There’s an Andrew Weil quote that I like where he says that a healer is someone who was sick and got better and a great healer is someone who was sick and got better quickly. We are our own healer; and I can come over and offer you knowledge or insight or remove stress, but in the end it’s up to you, not me.
N: Exactly – you can’t heal someone else if they’re not willing to be healed or willing to be part of the process. You can give them the tools and then it’s up to them how they use those tools. People say to me, “having a stroke (and I was only 25 at the time), that must have been so disturbing.” It was the most frightening time of my life – I didn’t know if I was going to live or if I was going to die. But it was the best thing that ever happened to me because it enabled me to be where I am today. I turned myself around with my own self-healing; it was enlightening and a wake-up call for me. It moved me forward.
A: Do you find that animals in general are very receptive to the work or do they have blocks against it as people sometimes do?
N: They are very receptive towards healing. Often you will get animals who don’t know what the energy is and don’t understand it, so they will move away and it might take two or three sessions before you can have a breakthrough. But any block that an animal has will nearly always come from their human, because animals are very good at mirroring what a human is actually feeling. They take on board the energy that the human may be emanating during the session; so if I get a nervous person who has brought their dog to me, and they’re twitching, the dog can pick up on that and the dog may not be as relaxed as they would be if the human wasn’t there. There’s a lot of mirroring going on. For instance, if I go out to see an animal that has some sort of skittish behavior, I’ll look at the human and how they are behaving and generally the animal is imitating them. There’s always that connection there.
A: Any books, courses or resources (other than your own) that you would recommend for practitioners who want to learn more?
N: I can’t really recommend any courses but there are lots of books out there. When people contact me in the first place they will ask, “what course do you recommend?” It depends what you are interested in because healing is multifaceted. There are lots of multifaceted levels, even within energetic work; you have chakras, spiritual healing, reiki, there are all these different avenues that will turn one person on and another off. Others want a more direct source and they are drawn to herbal remedies or [[Bach Flower Remedies]] – it depends. Whatever facet you are interested in, there are books out there. Have a look on the net and find our what works for you. But I think that if we can look at what we need, this often helps our animals as well. So, how do we need healing? Our animals will take to that as well.
Don’t think that being a healer is for the ‘gifted’, anyone can do it. With an open mind and an open heart and the belief that you can make a difference to the animal, the human, the plant kingdom. We have the ability to heal, it’s just pulling it up and recognizing it.
Read the magazine where this was originally published: gemskinesiology.com