This article was posted on the Hull Sun webpage and Patriot Ledger video links...
Hull woman leaves state job in Boston to share her healing ways
Posted on July 11, 2010 by cathleen.jeffrey
Grace Walsh of Hull said she knew she was making a move many others wouldn’t even consider in this economy when she took an early retirement package from her state job of 20+ years working in an IT department to follow what she has always felt has been her life’s calling to be an intuitive healer.
Standing in the her studio room, Walsh said she has always been in touch with her Native American roots.
“I have Cherokee ancestry, and I’ve always been in touch with my great grandmother, who was full-blood Cherokee, who I never knew. She actually died 10 years to the day before I was born,” said Grace.
A photo of her great grandmother sits atop a table in her studio, where native memorabilia and a large picture of three Head-dressed elders adorn its walls.
Being a Reiki Master Teacher and Shamanic practitioner, Walsh explains that Reiki helps one to heal their mind, body and spirit.
Walsh said that since she was little, she has always had strong intuitive powers, and she has practiced Reiki for about a decade, which she refers to as being relative to “an energetic tune-up,” in which a client will experience relief from stress and feel completely relaxed.
But she said she had always felt like there was something missing, which she discovered a little over a year ago.
She was looking online and came across a book by Jim PathFinder Ewing called "Reiki Shamanism: A Guide to Out-of-Body Healing", so she ordered it.
It arrived in her mailbox the very next day.
Walsh said the words at the beginning of Chapter 2 deeply resonated with her, so she went online to read more about Ewing, and she discovered he would soon be holding his first workshop on the book matter, which she immediately signed up for.
With her husband joining her at the workshop, Walsh explains, “That was the missing link. It was combining my native heritage healing ways, which is embedded in your DNA, and it finally brought things full circle for me. Once that happened, I couldn’t keep my day job anymore in the state of Massachusetts in the IT Department,” she says with a laugh.
“We crunched numbers,” she said, adding that her husband told her they could manage and encouraged her to follow her calling.
Walsh said she realized that retiring last year at age 52 would not give her the larger pension she would have received if she stayed another 10 years or so, but she said she feels what she’s losing in one way, she is making up for by having more years to attend to her true calling of helping people to heal themselves.
A steady warm summer breeze floats in through the large picture windows of the studio with soft native flute music playing from speakers, as Grace provides a mock demonstration of a Shamanic Reiki session on Bill, while speaking in a calming tone about the journey that brought her to follow her dream.
As a master teacher of Reiki Shamanism, Walsh said she does not have the ability to snap her fingers and heal someone, but rather she is helping clients to heal themselves.
She describes Reiki as, “opening up one’s energy centers to release anything you may be holding there that is not for your highest good … all of your life’s experiences are embedded in your energy field. It’s like an onion… a perfect example everyone can resonate with is somebody dies and you go to a wake — you remember and sense and feel probably every wake you’ve ever been to, especially of those people close to you. That’s an onion — its the energy — the layers. If he has a wound there (she points at her husband laying on her Reiki table) I’ll feel a pull there when I’m going over that area… and he’ll say ‘yeah I really injured it last week.’ ”
Every session begins with Walsh having a client inform her of any health ailments they may have, so she can be cognizant of those areas, explaining she wouldn’t want to lay her hand over someone’s heart if they had a pacemaker.
“It’s not a massage,” Walsh explains as she hovers her hands inches away from Bill’s head.
She said at times she will place her hands on someone, and other times a client will say they feel the Reiki more if she doesn’t touch them, so she follows the wishes of a client.
“I’m not a medically trained person,” Grace said, explaining she doesn’t diagnose ailments in people, though she said she’s often able to sense where someone has a problem.
“Reiki goes where it needs to go, one can think of it as the intelligence of the universe” she said, explaining that while she may simply be touching someone’s head, they may be feeling it in their hands or feet, or wherever they need the healing.
Walsh said she has worked on people who have a myriad of concerns from stress to battling cancer.
One of her clients is an 85-year-old woman “who is a worrier,” Walsh said, explaining she only needs to work on that client for about 20 minutes. She usually falls into a deep sleep and then wakes up feeling totally refreshed.
“The older they get, the lighter their energy field is. Like we’re younger and we’re dense, but the older you get, the lighter your energy field is, so they don’t need as much work,” she said.
“When I get to her feet, she starts snoring. It’s like I can see it just coming down, grounding her,” said Walsh.
Walsh said she typically works on a client for about an hour.
Though many credit Japanese Buddhist Dr. Mikao Usui with introducing Reiki to the world in 1922, Walsh says forms of Reiki have been around for thousands of years, saying that it’s origins are truly shamanic in nature.
She said its an instinct everyone has. An example Walsh gives is that when most people fall and bruise their knee or elbow, or burn themselves, they often “instinctively” will immediately place their hand over the wounded area, hence, laying their own hands over their ailment as a means of healing themselves.
Walsh said she understands some people’s apprehension with this alternative medicine therapy.
“After the inquisition, all of the natural-type healing practices were deemed demonic, or the devil’s work, so they were kind of squelched; but its natural, its intuitive, it’s getting in touch with nature, because the body has phenomenal ways of healing itself… more and more people are stepping out into the open and acknowledging who they are and what they do, because we live in very challenging times, and we need it,” she said.
Walsh said she has done a lot of self-healing work, and while she doesn’t dissuade people from seeking mainstream medical help, she said there are also tremendous benefits to be had in alternative medicine.
“So many people take so much medicine these days, and it creates more symptoms and more symptoms, and doctors prescribe a new medication to get beyond that,” she said.
Walsh describes her own personal experience of switching from traditional medicine to energy healing to cure an ailment.
“I had problems with my feet (plantar fascia) 12 years ago, and I was taking big doses of Motrin and some other anti-inflammatory that was prescribed for me, and it didn’t do anything; and all of a sudden one day I said, ‘You know what, I’m spending my whole day focusing on this, and I don’t want to do this the rest of my life — it’s not even getting any better, so I need to get to the root of the issue, and I’m not taking this medicine anymore. And that kind of catapulted me into the energy healing,” she said. Looking at the root issue of that ailment shamanically, she realized that feet represent how/where we are walking and was yet another affirmation that it was time to walk her true walk.
Asked if she believes Reiki can actually cure physical ailments, Walsh responded by citing an example of someone who has back problems, “Maybe there’s too much weight on their shoulders. Maybe they just can’t take the weight anymore. There’s a lot of ways to look at it. And if you can find that underlying reason, then, yes, you can actually heal the physical condition.”
“Many of us grew up in very traditional families with very firm belief systems, and some of them serve us well throughout our lives and some of them don’t serve us well at all; and at some point in our life, we all need to discern what works for us and what doesn’t, and that I think is the key — learning to recognize things that are not working… and making those changes. And it takes being honest; you have to really be willing to look yourself in the eye, you know, look yourself in the mirror, and say what is going on? That, is the hard part!” Walsh said.
She said everyone exudes energy and suggests people simply rub their hands together, then slowly move them apart, feeling the energy they have created with their hands.
“At times there are metaphysical reasons for our physical symptoms,” Walsh said, explaining that, “The healing doesn’t come from me — healing comes from you — I just help to open that door for you.”
Laying on the cushioned Reiki table, Bill describes the energy he is receiving from Grace’s hands as being “very warm,” and shares a story about his brother being diagnosed with cancer.
“He’s a curmudgeon, commonsense straight-shooting kind of guy, but after his first Reiki session, he had Grace come back several times,” said Bill.
Walsh says she feels fortunate that her husband is supportive of her pursuit to follow her life’s calling and that she has been free to begin to grow her business, conduct workshops and follow other creative outlets she’s interested in, such as sewing.
She has one additional pursuit she’s working on;
“I’m writing a book about how I got where I am. It started out being spiritual poetry, and then it wound up to be my story,” said Walsh.
With a smile and a gentle laugh, Walsh says, “A few things to re-infuse my retirement pension... It’s all doing what I love, and it’s all good things and good medicine, and I’m very excited and grateful to be here.”
You can learn more about Grace Walsh and her upcoming workshops on her Web site, www.EarthenSpirit.org.
Cathleen Jeffrey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.