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The Art of the Natural Therapist by Jo Hanstead July 2013

Just about everyone can learn to play a few notes on an instrument, or draw a picture. Some will be happy with a taste, others will carry on exploring interesting techniques or creating new forms. In every expression of creativity people have differing talents and potential.

We may –

  • Have a gift, a natural, untaught ability
  • Work hard and become proficient
  • Never really get the knack
  • Combine talent and training to good effect
  • Use for business or pleasure
  • Compare with an ideal
  • Celebrate our uniqueness
  • Be driven by success, fame
  • Be entranced by the creative process
  • Become a master

As natural therapists, like other artists, we are here with our unique mix of talent and training, special or general interest. Some we meet will love what we do, others will not resonate with it. Another nice comparison is with gardening. The obvious thing about gardening is that plants grow by themselves. However egotistical a gardener, they cannot claim to be the power behind the expressions of the life force they tend. Sure, plants can be nurtured and given the right environment, and some gardeners have greener fingers than others. But the best us humans can do is allow nature to be expressed to her best advantage.

What we do as natural therapists is far more basic than say creating a beautiful work of art, or making music. People, like plants, have a life force. We simply use our talents and or skills to slightly modify the environment, which helps

  • Re-engage the self-tuning of the instrument
  • Re-engage the self-cleaning of the picture
  • Organically strengthen the plant
  • Hold a mirror up to what is

This could for example be suggesting changes to someone’s diet, or helping the body/mind release some stress, helping the system to re-align. The mirror is that many techniques are simply reflecting back to the intelligence of the system how it is, which precipitates healing.

Every healing art has a philosophy, a science and an art. The philosophy, or model, gives the parameters and framework, ideally open to appropriate change. The science allows reproducibility, improvement and street cred.

Without art, no composition would hum the inner ear of the musician, illuminate the inner eye of the artist. Without our art, we become mechanical. The fact that we work with living beings allows us, within the protecting parameters of our science and philosophy, to be creative, inspirational and in awe in our support of the process because we know that nature is doing the work.

I was never much good at painting. Musically, I have always been able to play by ear. I don’t know whether as a child I had a natural gift as a bodyworker, it was never on the family agenda. But now, this particular expression of talent/experience marvels daily at how even a minute invitation can liberate a person’s ability to rebalance and heal.

I was fortunate to train as a McTimoney chiropractor in 1985, and soon after in craniosacral therapy. It is clear having worked in this medium for many years that often less is more and what creates harmony is light and shade, sound and silence, fast and slow. McTimoney chiropractic is a light, swift intervention, craniosacral therapy is very slow. Both are gentle and subtle; inviting, not forcing the body to unravel. Doing as little as possible and letting the creative principle lead.

Everybody is an exquisite masterpiece, a symphony, a unique flower in the garden of the beloved.