When I first started Heilkunst treatment with Carol-Ann Galego, I was still very much afraid of myself. For years I had been running towards the future to be rid of the past but clearly the source of my traumas was still a part of me. I cultivated the parts of my life that were ‘under control’ but I never stopped being afraid of the black hole. Describing my fears as a black hole is appropriately dramatic: vague fears with unrecognizable sources can be terrifyingly shape-shifting.
The part of my life that I was used to being critical of was my sexuality. My relationships were a thoroughly distracting roller-coaster ride that left messes everywhere. When Carol-Ann and I began working together I made my sexual issues the focus of our work. But Carol-Ann quickly took the drama out of my life story by pointing out that the mistakes I seemed doomed to relive in my relationships were really only a single issue on repeat– and finally there was room to address my deeper issues concerning trust that I had carried since childhood.
Carol-Ann does not treat any of her health practices as a kind of petting zoo: she expects her clients to recognize their own responsibility rather than stroking the egos they allow to remain caged. Working with her changed my life because she unquestioningly believes that anyone can be healthy. While she is innately optimistic about large-scale healing, she does not dismiss the importance of dealing with immediate symptoms of illness throughout the larger healing process. Carol-Ann’s clients learn from her sense of responsibility to herself; she demonstrates to them that any healing process that leads to improved health truly is more pleasurable than momentarily relieving (but ultimately self-destructive) behaviours. This principle lies at the foundation of Carol-Ann’s work. If a person does not believe that being good to themselves is what will make them happy, they will never leave the petting zoo.
If you expect medicine and health practitioners to magically make you well, working with Carol-Ann would seem particularly lacking in coddling. But if you can imagine a world where being responsible for your own health is a tender act of love, she would be a truly inspiring guide.