Karlo Berger
Whole Health Solutions, LLC
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Providence, RI 02906 USA

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Heroic Women Healers: an ABC


It’s the emergency room TV dramas that capture all the attention. How can I teach my kids that the quieter work of holistic healthcare is heroic too?

Hopefully Harvard

Dear Hopefully,

It’s time your kids learned their ABCs. In keeping with this issue’s women’s health theme, I offer your children this abecedary of female holistic heroes:

A is for Maya Angelou, whose story of self-healing, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, has inspired millions.
B is for Barefoot Shiatsu, popularized in the US by Shizuko Yamamoto (www.imss.macrobiotic.net).
C is for Caroyln Myss, Ph.D., medical intuitive and author of Anatomy of the Spirit.
D is for Dance Movement Therapy, pioneered by Norma Canner, subject of the documentary A Time to Dance (www.btifilms.com/aboutnorma.htm)
E is for Brooke Medicine Eagle, Earth Wisdom teacher and author of Buffalo Woman Comes Singing.
F is for Five Rhythms, the movement meditation developed by urban shaman Gabrielle Roth (www.gabrielleroth.com).
G is for Rosemary Gladstar, considered the mother of modern herbalism in North America (www.sagemountain.com).
H is for Hawayo Takata, who brought Reiki from Asia to the western world (read Reiki: Hawayo Takata’s Story by Helen Haberly).
I is for Ida Rolf, originator of RolfingŪ Structural Integration (www.rolf.org).
J is for Dr. Janet Travell, the mother of myofascial trigger point knowledge and JFK’s physician (www.myofascialtherapy.org).
K is for Kitchen Table Wisdom by Dr. Rachel Remen, a force in the mind/body health movement.
L is for Louise Hay, writer, healer, and a founder of the self-help movement (www.LouiseHay.com)
M is for the Millions of unsung midwives, witches, shamen and mothers who have done most of the world’s healing work.
N is for Dr. Christiane Northrup, who challenges women to listen to their bodies’ wisdom (www.drnorthrup.com).
O is for Outstanding, a way to describe Catherine Coulter’s classic book Portraits of Homoeopathic Medicines. She helped keep homeopathy alive during its darkest time in the US.
P is for Palliative Care, developed by Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement (www.stchristophers.org.uk).
Q is for the spiritual Quest of Boston’s Mary Baker Eddy, healer and Christian Science founder. (www.marybakereddylibrary.org)
R is for Renee Caisse, the Canadian nurse who popularized Essiac Healing for cancer in the face of a hostile medical establishment (www.essiacinfo.org).
S is for Spiritual Midwifery, a book that helped revive midwifery in the US, written by Ina May Gaskin.
T is for Susan Taylor, Editor of Essence Magazine and writer of the popular column In the Spirit.
U is for Utthita Trikonasana, a triangle pose in Iyengar Yoga, a style that senior yoga instructor Patricia Walden has helped popularize (www.yoga301.com).
V is for Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain, who helped launch the personal growth movement.
W is for Olga Worrell, the famous Methodist psychic healer and author of The Gift of Healing.
X is for the X-ceptional work of Dr. Candace Pert, discoverer of endorphins and author of Molecules of Emotion.
Y is for Rosario Yamberla, the acclaimed Quichua Ecuadorian shaman. (rosarioyamberlahy@hotmail.com).
Z is for New Zealand, one of the many countries where Healing Touch, developed by Nurse-Healer Janet Mentgen, is practiced (www.healingtouch.net).

Now they know their ABC’s. Who are your female holistic heroes?

Karlo Berger’s business, Whole Health Solutions, helps people across the country find the most talented and experienced caregivers in their community, and helps holistic healers make the right connections for success. The author wishes to thank David Anick, Bonita Buchanan-Jones, Amalia Cordova, Karyn Mandan, Kira McGovern, Giordana Mecagni, Judy Partington, Susanne Sandberg, and Elisabeth Taylor.

First published May 2006

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