Much of my working life was spent as a registered nurse. For thirty-eight years, I did the traditional nursing role (and enjoyed it!) but I also spent time providing complementary health care to those who were interested. My small private practice offered Craniosacral Therapy, The Trager© Approach, and Therapeutic Touch©, and I often taught classes in Therapeutic Touch.
Thirteen years ago, I was teaching an intermediate level Therapeutic Touch class in Salem, Oregon when it was made plain to me that I would be writing a book on Therapeutic Touch. I had retired to bed on the first evening of the weekend class, and was sharply awakened midway through the night by a voice. I was surprised because I am a heavy sleeper and because I was in the bedroom alone. The voice said, “You will be writing a book about Therapeutic Touch and the title is “Reflections on the Art of Therapeutic Touch.”.
Ever the skeptic, I replied “Yeah, right! What do I know about publishing a book?”
The answer came back, “Don’t worry about that. It will be taken care of when the time is right”.
Now, I don’t know if that voice was audible to anyone else. I would have said I was dreaming except that I was wide awake at that moment. I don’t even know if my reply was out loud or if I was thinking it. All I knew was that I had been given an assignment and I had better take it seriously.
Over the next few years, I obediently began writing chapter after chapter, covering much of the material that I use when I teach Therapeutic Touch classes. As time went on, I was often asked to teach at the national Therapeutic Touch camps that occur annually. At these camps, the mentor is expected to give a presentation on some aspect of Therapeutic Touch, in addition to their general teaching responsibilities. I began incorporating these topics into my chapters as well.
I was faithfully amassing the material for a book while at the same time being unsure about the publishing end of things. It was blind faith all the way! There was a period of many years when I did not write due to health challenges but always I got back to the manuscript when I could.
One of my students over the years was a Therapeutic Touch practitioner from British Columbia who mentored with me for a full year. We met by Skype each month to discuss her case studies and she completed her course with me very successfully. She is also a poet, and had written many beautiful poems about the experience of practicing and receiving Therapeutic Touch. It occurred to me that I should incorporate her poetry into my book as a way of shifting the reader from a mental, left-brained way of considering my content to a state that also incorporated the heart. This was an uncommon thing to do with non-fiction, especially considering other books that had been written about Therapeutic Touch, but I knew the idea was just right. My poet friend was excited by my suggestion, and submitted a series of her poems for me to consider. Her thought was that I would incorporate one or two of the poems, but I knew when I saw them that I needed a poem for each chapter.
After consideration, I placed a poem at the end of each chapter so that the reader could pause after absorbing my content, and allow the poetry to wash over her mind, allowing the ideas to sink into the heart as well. When I began to assign poems to each chapter, I found that I ended up using every single poem and the ideas of the chapter matched the poem in every case! It was becoming very clear that whoever owned the voice that gave me the book writing assignment was still involved in my process!
I also needed to find an editor for my book. I don’t mind writing but I know very little about actually preparing a book for publication. As it turned out, one of my good friends was working as a freelance editor for non-fiction writers. She edits for professors who were publishing, and for writers of philosophy and theology. Her skills were excellent and she managed to improve my book immeasurably with each edit. I found it amazing that, when I needed an editor, she simply appeared.
I could sense that the writing phase of my book was complete and now I faced the publishing challenge…. What to do? I began to research the idea of self-publishing by reading about it, and also by reviewing self-publishing newsletters and journals online. By a process of elimination, I reviewed each company, comparing the characteristics that I considered important. I weeded through a lot of information until only one self-publishing house remained. It was BookLocker!
I was amazed at the smooth and easy way that all those years of writing and the long hours of working with my editor evolved into an actual book that I could hold in my hand. The beautiful cover is appreciated by every person who sees the book. I never contemplated writing a book until I was assigned that task, and then all the positive forces lined up so that I could accomplish the job. This experience has been guided and supported from the very beginning, and I am finding that the Therapeutic Touch community is receiving this book with open arms and positive reviews!
Students who embark on the journey of Therapeutic Touch© begin by learning a technique – outward steps and processes that help them to understand how to intervene energetically to foster better wellness for others, and how to understand themselves as a healer. As they develop through experiencing the healing process over time, things begin to shift and change. Their awareness of the energy dynamics occurring in the field of their recipient grows and diversifies. On an internal level something is also happening. They begin to open to the deep core of intelligence that flows just beneath the surface of their awareness-the timeless self. From this source, come the intimations about how best to intervene in the flow of energy so that their recipients become more deeply whole. Their skill with a technique has become the mastery of an art. With this mastery comes a new understanding, for slowly they perceive that the intelligence of the timeless self is the selfsame power that flows through the energy matrix underlying all of material reality. The truth becomes apparent: We are all one. There is no separation. And we use that truth to offer healing to our world.
Through discussion and poetry, readers of this book open to a reflection of their own experiences as they traverse the journey of Therapeutic Touch© and of healing in general.
By sharing her journey from being a new student of Therapeutic Touch through her growth as a TT artist, healer, teacher, and mentor, Maria Arrington created a space for me to reflect on my own journey to TT as a lifeway. She made the process of coming to know one’s inner-self available to me in a new way.
– Mary Anne Hanley, PhD, RN, QTTT Sul Ross State University
The personal stories, heartfelt experiences, and creative metaphors in Reflections on the Art of TT describe the rich journey from beginner to experienced Therapeutic Touch therapist. This book gave voice to my own internal evolution and these descriptions will also provide a guiding light for TT students in their own evolution as TT therapists.
– CheryAnn Hoffmeyer Ph.D., RT, QTTT, Chai Holistic Health Services; Retired professor, MacEwan University, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Maria Arrington’s book is deeply insightful and is written with compassion and intelligence. It is a true reflection of her deeply evolved journey with Therapeutic Touch, learning, practicing, teaching, and living this amazing healing way. The poetry by Tama Recker is profound and is beautifully in sync with the author’s intentions for each chapter.
– Marilyn Johnston-Svoboda RN,EdD.
Maria Arrington is a retired nurse who has practiced Therapeutic Touch© for forty years. She works as a practitioner, teacher, mentor, and lecturer both at home in northwest Montana, but also nationally. Her background in healing extends to every aspect of wellness from pediatrics to hospice care.
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