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Journey into self-healing

Thu, 01/31/2019 - 9:30am

My first memory of being fascinated by the body’s ability to “self-heal” was falling off my bike on gravel and making a mess of my knees. My mother patiently clean the wounds (while I screamed my head off), applied anti-bacterial cream, and large bandages. Magically in a couple of days there was a scab and in less than a week my knees were almost like new. Was it the medicine or the bandage that made my knees better I wondered? When my friend Jill fell out of our favorite climbing tree and broke her arm a large white cast was applied after the doctor set the bone back in place and in six weeks it was better than new. Certainly, my mother keeping the wound clean and the doctor setting the bone were the catalysts for the healing, but the ultimate healing, I came to realize the actual healing was done by the body itself.

By the time I was diagnosed with a very aggressive breast cancer 20 years ago. I was the executive director of the Center for Holistic Medicine at New York United Hospital with 14 holistic practitioners on my staff. Although I had a strong belief in the body’s ability to heal itself, I relied on surgery and chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells. But I also, immediately started using Reiki Energy Healing, meditation, visualization, Chinese herbs, and yoga. to support my body in the healing process. The outcome: an extraordinarily fast recovery from surgery, an immune system that stayed strong and a white blood cell count that never wavered during aggressive chemotherapy treatments. By this time, I also had a holistic practice in Connecticut and my oncologist at New York Cornell Hospital in NYC was so amazed at my recovery that she set me up with an office in New York once a week and started sending her patients to have sessions with me before having bone-marrow transplants.

Most alternative solutions are based on knowledge gleaned from ancient, indigenous cultures, reaching back over 3,000 years and had been lost to us in our medical mire of high technology, HMO’s, and insurance driven care. In my opinion it is this medical swamp that has driven Americans into the offices of alternative practitioners throughout the country; spending billions of dollars looking for relief and cures for the enormous increase in cancer, auto-immune diseases, and chronic conditions that have no magic cures or quick fixes from the medical community.

Holistic medicine and alternative modalities have become much more available over the last 25 years witnessed by the boom in yoga classes, energy workers, naturopathic physicians and massage therapists in every community. In general, Holistic Medicine is an attitudinal approach to healing. It looks at each case, be it an accident or disease, as a total experience of the individual – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. In most cases in modern medicine the injury or illness is segregated and only the affected area is treated. Holistic means greater than the sum of its parts. In a holistic approach to healing the focus is on the whole person not on the disease or injury.

Holistic or alternative practitioners in general embrace a philosophy that incorporates five approaches to healing that provide an underlying foundation for their modality:  1. Celebrate the uniqueness of everyone; 2. Include the patient as an equal partner in the treatment plan; 3. Recognize that the quality of the relationship between patient and practitioner is as important as the technology;  4. Understand that the true nature of healing occurs from within; and 5. Support each patient in a safe, caring, and effective way.

In the weeks and months to come, I hope to offer some “Alternative Solutions” that will assist you in harnessing your own healing abilities. An 8-week series, “Journey into Self-Healing” will be held at St. Columba’s Church, 32 Emery Lane, Boothbay Harbor, on Saturday mornings Feb. 2 through March 23.

Editor’s Note: Judy Milinowski will be writing future installments in her new blog hosted on the Boothbay Register and Wiscasset Newspaper websites. Watch for it! In the meantime, visit or contact Judy at

Judy Milinowski, Certified Behavioral Kinesiologist and Reiki Master is the former Executive Director of both Wainwright House the oldest holistic/spiritual center in the US and the Center of Holistic Medicine, New York United Hospital. She has been practicing and teaching Self - Healing techniques for over 30 years. She has had the honor Studying with Shaman and powerful healers in Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala and on the Navajo Reservation. She has studied with the renowned Qi Gong Master Ken Cohen. She completed the Medical Professional Training Program at Dr. James Gordon’s Center for Mind/Body Medicine in Washington, D. C. and a USUI Reiki Mastership.