Impressions of Heilkunst

I began treatment with Carol-Ann after having my first child, moving provinces, and losing a family member. Although I began treatment without any urgent physical problems I hoped to help, I did find that we had a lot to talk about in the sessions. Particularly, I found that as I spoke with Carol-Ann, we would talk about fears or worries that I hadn’t even been aware were having an impact on my life, but that I was actually very relieved to address. As a listener, Carol-Ann is generous in her interpretations and gentle in her response. I also found her willing and firm in her assurance that her role was to support me in my decision-making and not to judge, and I found this relieved a lot of the tension that might exist around meeting her patients who come from different life and treatment backgrounds.

During my treatment, careful attention was paid to the effect my treatment would have on my nursing baby. The remedies she gave us and the ideas she proposed all had the intention, and indeed result, of being gentle. It was helpful for me to have someone to provide an informed idea and thought process that differed from the at times rote information being given by the public health nurses. I found her approach to nurturing a baby was not backed up by fear as is often the message health practitioners imbue, but rather joy and confidence. This also helped me make decisions as to feeding and sleeping for my baby that I am comfortable with.

I think Carol-Ann expects of her patients that they challenge themselves to make the changes they need to make in order to improve their health and happiness, but it is a challenge that she is prepared to walk with you to meet.

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January 10, 2013

Impressions of Heilkunst

I have had a couple of experiences with Heilkunst treatment in the past, but my experience with Carol-Ann has been of a very particular nature. I have been thinking for days what it is exactly that sets this treatment apart, and I think it lies in the fact that Carol-Ann is really a little bit punk rock. I’ve felt confident in her thorough understanding and application of Heilkunst methods and schools of thought, but even more than that I’ve felt confident that I would never receive from her a textbook response. For me, one of the most important aspects of her thoughtful engagement with Heilkunst is that it is just that, an engagement, and never a rote following of rules and doctrine that didn’t consider who I was and what I was experiencing. I trust in Carol-Ann’s treatment in large part because I sense that she is entirely open to change and evolution in her practice, and that she will always be willing to take a radical stance should the need arise.

I began treatment with Carol-Ann during a year of many changes in my life – I moved to a new city, left behind friends and community, and began a new, serious relationship (the first of such a kind in many years.) The biggest concerns I brought to Carol-Ann were issues around anxiety and emotions – my difficulty in feeling able to contain my emotions, and the fears I had around how this lack of containment had negatively affected my relationships.

I found that Carol-Ann has a light touch with hard questions, sometimes leading the conversation in such a way that I would only later realize she’d been guiding me toward a new understanding. I think the way in which she honors feelings of desire and anger and grief and fear is enormously important. The fact that my dropper bottles would read “For fear of being too much” was emblematic of this approach to me – that I would never be treated for BEING too much, but rather for my FEAR of it. Such an approach is more radical, and rare, than it would seem. Prior to beginning this treatment, I had sometimes, in desperation, thought of finding someone who might prescribe me some kind of drug that would help with these issues, even though to do so would have affirmed a perspective on emotion that I intellectually disagree with. But therein lay the problem – I knew what I didn’t agree with, but I didn’t know how to articulate a way of thinking that did feel right. My sessions with Carol-Ann have led me to a place where I have stopped pathologizing myself, and instead feel more focused on what it might look like to find containment for myself, in a way that is not confining or judgmental. That I can view my emotional reactions as a sign of health – that I can FEEL and isn’t that wonderful – is the most important paradigm shift I think I’ve ever experienced, and it is this shift in perspective that has allowed me to really begin to work on how I can feel like my best self.

My sessions with Carol-Ann would leave me feeling affirmed and resolved. I think what I initially wondered, as I began to reflect on our treatment, was how to articulate the series of seeming contradictions she embodies as a practitioner – like how to be uncompromising and yet not judgmental. There is a firmness to Carol-Ann and the challenges she puts forth, but there is also, about her practice, a gentleness. Gentleness, empathy, and the best kind of punk rock attitude.

5 Feb, 2013

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Impressions of Heilkunst

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.

29.01.2013

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Impressions of Heilkunst

Heilkunst treatment for me is a conscious moving toward the healthiest expression of myself. I began Heilkunst treatment after a difficult break-up and a death in the family, coming to Carol-Ann with these sores that I had been keeping open and allowing to define me. Sessions with Carol-Ann addressed deep feelings of self-worthlessness and degenerate competitive impulses, and breached the grief that had become such a large part of me.

I feel as though I’ve increased communication between my body and my life – those two were somehow separate before. It sounds simple, but it never really occurred to me that how my body is doing is how I am doing. Understanding this opened up a clear avenue for me to begin a renovation of self – through regimen, a body is something you can work on and see clear results. Focusing on regimen and working to increase my physical health allowed me to draw parallels of improvement and strength in the more complex emotional parts of myself. 

Heilkunst puts you in charge of your own health. I learned to assume authority over my own body – even, or especially, in the presence of those who have been trained to steer the body of another towards an often inaccurate definition of health.

I had been plagued with debilitating menstrual cramps since I was a young teenager and had come to accept these as inevitable, immutable. Through sessions with Carol-Ann, I came to understand that it was possible to change this painful pattern in my physiology. I now experience my menstruation very differently and cramps are now often completely absent from my period. Seeing that I could change this part of me that I thought was fixed gave me courage to challenge other qualities in myself I disliked but had come to accept as permanent.

I see my experience with Heilkunst as a deep unpacking of the self. I have been able to work through layers and years of emotional baggage. I have learned to listen to my gut. If you are willing to take an active role in your own health, willing to be your own primary caregiver, and willing to be honest, Carol-Ann will assist you in discovering a sustainable, empowering, and healthy expression of self. 

January 28, 2013

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