I had my first healing experience long before working with energy was an intentional part of my path and consciousness. It was a natural reaction to a life threatening illness that re-awakened in me the spiritual healer that dwells in each and every one of us.
In 1975, I served with the U.S. Air Force in Seoul, Korea, as a broadcast journalist for Armed Forces Radio and Television. While stationed in Seoul, I contracted a very virulent form of Hepatitis B. In a few days, I went from being a healthy, energetic young man to weakening, losing my appetite, a lot of weight and becoming very jaundiced.
When I arrived at the 8th Army Evac Hospital in Seoul, (the hospital that the “M*A*S*H” movie and television show were based upon), it was clear to the doctors that I was very ill with hepatitis. Within hours of being admitted, I was placed on the VSI List (Very Seriously Ill), the military equivalent of “critical condition.”
They informed me that my blood tests showed indications of significant liver destruction and that two other service men that had similar infections had not survived air evacuation to Clark Air Base Hospital in the Philippines. Then, with little bedside manner or compassion, I was asked if I wanted a JAG officer to come to the hospital to prepare my Last Will and Testament. They even went so far as to have the Red Cross send a telegram to my mother in New York intimating that I was near death and offering services in her time of need!
Instead of being frightened, I actually felt a tremendous sense of calm. Keeping my sense of humor, I requested that my radio buddies play Donovan’s hit song “Mellow Yellow.” I had an inner knowing that I was going to be fine and started becoming pro-active in my healing process.
I asked the doctor to bring me an anatomy book with the picture of a healthy liver. He asked me why and I responded that I wanted to meditate and visualize a healthy, radiant liver. (Remember that this was 1975 and visualization meditation was not part of popular consciousness or even mine at the time. I just sensed the need to do this.) He looked at me with an incredulous expression and then reluctantly agreed when I argued that if I were dying, it wouldn’t do any harm.
I was grateful when he returned with the book and mustered the energy to keep myself alert and study the pictures. Asking the nurse to draw the curtains around my bed, I began meditating and visualizing a healthy liver and an overall radiance around me.
At that moment my inner voice told me to place my hands over the area of the liver. A warm, tingling sensation seemed to jump from the palms to the abdomen and I went deeper into meditation. At some point, I must have fallen asleep.
The next thing I knew, it was 5 AM the following morning and the nurse was gently waking me to draw the now too familiar blood samples for testing. About two hours later she came back and apologetically said she needed to “stick” me again as the lab had “messed-up” the tests and needed to repeat them.
Two hours later the doctor came in with a quizzical expression on his face and asked me what I had done the night before. When I told him what happened, he smiled, said I was crazy and began laughing nervously. I asked him why and he said the blood indicators had dropped over night to near normal and that it appeared I was going to be fine.
Not only did I survive, but also a series of wonderful after occurrences took place. Two weeks later I was discharged from the hospital and the doctor noted in my official medical record, “This is the luckiest S-O-B I have ever met in my life!”
Six months later, a liver scan showed complete regeneration and an otherwise “unremarkable” liver.
Many years after that, I heard that volunteers were needed who had suffered Hepatitis B to donate blood for a new vaccine. I went to the blood center and gave samples for evaluation. The physician running the program called me and told me that they couldn’t use my blood because there was no indication I ever had the disease! This was confirmed in later testing and examinations.
I am grateful for the lessons I learned about healing, spirit and faith from this experience. It truly re-opened me to the nature of the healer that dwells within all of us, and prepared me for the work that changed my life.
And to that doctor out there … if you happen to come across this column and remember me, thank you for the book!
Perhaps, someday, I can return the favor.