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Free healing workshop planned for women of abuse - Oct. 05, 2012


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A forthcoming workshop will offer local women a chance to learn Reiki, a hands-on healing and massage technique that originated in Japan.

Kathy Bockus
St. Stephen
“Reclaiming Self” a free, two-day self-discovery workshop to support healing for women who have experienced abuse, will be held at the Ganong Nature Park Oct. 20 and 21.
The workshop is specifically designed to address issues in the healing process for women dealing with abuse as a result of intimate partner violence (IPV) by a husband or boyfriend.
Workshop facilitators will be Joanne Hansen, B.Sc. RMT, registered Reiki practitioner and teacher with the Canadian Reiki Association and Janet McGeachy, MSW, RYT, registered clinical Social Worker. The workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Hansen said the project is the first of its kind in Charlotte County and is being made possible through the sponsorship of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation, the Fundy Community Foundation and the George and Karen Wolf Fund. Ganong Nature Park is donating its building as the meeting site.
National statistics state 29 per cent of Canadian women have suffered IPV and the abuse impacts them emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually with both long and short term health consequences.
IPV is described as physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse; violence between spouses, cohabitants, ex-cohabitants, boyfriends, between same sex partners or ex partners.
McGeachy will facilitate the group work which will involve narrative storytelling, explaining to participants how people’s lives and relationships are shaped by the stories they tell.
In one workshop segment McGeachy will lead participants in the making of masks. “The masks will show ‘this is me when I was abused’,” said Hansen, “and ‘this is me when I’m moving beyond abuse’.”
Hansen intends to initiate participants to Level One Reiki. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing and well being.
She said Reiki treatments work on a person’s physical and emotional state.
Since the treatments are not covered by Medicare learning to self treat will be an important tool for women recovering from abuse.
“Statistics show many of these women, because of stress and anxiety manifest, physical symptoms. They can’t work, can’t take care of their kids.”
Hansen said Reiki techniques can be hands on, using various hand positions similar to acupressure techniques. “But you don’t have to touch the body, just work the hands above the body.” She said the techniques help the body deal with emotions.
Because the idea of participation in such a workshop might be intimidating for some women, Hansen said referrals are being sought through the Fundy Region Transition House and the John Howard Society. Transportation will be made available to any women who needs it and lunches and snacks will also be provided.
Anyone wishing to register can contact Hansen at 466-2635 or by email at thehealingbasket2009@hotmail.com. McGeachy will also accept registrations by email at jantom1@xplornet.ca .

kathy@stcroixcourier.ca