The quote most apropos to my six years as a certified practitioner is, “On the journey of life, it’s okay to stop and ask for directions.” While not a daily mantra, I found I needed guidance from time to time from my mentor, Paul Bucky. Here is an example that I share in greater detail in my book.
During my first year as a practitioner at the Bio-Touch Center, I had a new recipient, Jake. Jake was a nice-looking, thirty-something year old man. I explained the process and after he filled out the paperwork, I read that he was seeking help with psoriasis, a skin condition. Thinking nothing of it, I asked him to remove his shirt while I left the room to wash my hands, as practitioners do before a Bio-Touch session.
My heart dropped to my stomach when I re-entered the room—there were angry, scaly, red patches all over his chest, abdomen, and back! I had never seen, let alone touched, anyone with such a severe skin condition. I remembered hearing about psoriasis in television commercials, but having to touch a recipient with that condition using my bare fingers caused my mind to go blank. I couldn’t remember if it was contagious or not. (It is not.)
I remembered hearing in class that our comfort as practitioners was as important as our recipients’ comfort, but I knew that didn’t absolve me from working on Jake. My heart told me that if I truly wanted to help people, this was part of the deal. So, I faked a smile and did my best, trying to touch the least crusty “safer” areas on his body.
After the session, Jake met me at the front desk and made an appointment for the following week. What was I going to do? I didn’t relish the idea of having to touch his skin again. Then I was filled with guilt and self-doubt. Did I have the capacity to “love thy neighbor as thyself,” a guiding principle of Bio-Touch?
I forced myself to talk with Paul about this, although I was embarrassed to admit my true feelings. I worried that he’d have less respect for my commitment to help people feel better.
“Ah, a test for Debra!” Paul exclaimed. “You’re really being challenged here.” He explained that practitioners never had to do something they weren’t comfortable with, and never had to touch someone if their condition was contagious. In fact, it was sensible to ask a recipient if their condition was contagious. And then he said, “Now, as far as not wanting to touch Jake again—even knowing he’s not contagious—there’s only one way to think about it. It’s just another challenge on your personal journey— through Bio-Touch—to conquer your pre-conceived judgments and fears. Once you accept your challenges with love, they’ll disappear.”
I wanted to believe him. And even though I still had trepidations about Jake’s next appointment, I took Paul’s advice and opened my heart to Jake and the challenges presented to me. Well, thank goodness, when Jake returned for his next appointment, he said he was less stressed out, and his skin was so improved, I could touch him with ease.
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change.”
This quote from author Paulo Coelho perfectly captures my growth as a certified practitioner. I’ve had many heartwarming experiences—and a few harrowing challenges—along my journey’s path, but I’ve learned and grown from each, and know that I will continue to do so.