Looking Back to Peru

It was my trip to the Amazon in 2011 that began to open me up to reiki in a bigger way than I had ever known. I decided to go to Peru with Healer 2 Healer to do work with a village in the jungle in exchange for medicinal and spiritual knowledge of the people there.

Our main healing modalities were acupuncture, reiki, and massage. We were hosted by Paititi Insititute, and they brought some herbal medicines as well.

Sarah ready for our ride on the Amazon River
Sarah ready for our journey on the Amazon River

Right now Healer2Healer are in Peten, Guatemala – the birthplace of the Mayan calendar. Some of the people who I met in Peru are in Guatemala – and their posts have me reminiscing. From Healer2Healer’s website:

Healer2Healer combines Unification Maya with the continuation of it’s community clinic in Peten, Guatemala. The trip is in two parts, the first part is Unification Maya, which includes traditional Mayan Teaching. Past teachings included Nahual lift path meaning, Sunrise Ceremonies, and healings by Tatas. The second part of the trip is the Healer2Healer clinic in Peten. This includes unforgettable clinic days, 7 NCCAOM CEUs, practice and trainings in acupuncture, H2H protocol, Reiki, auricular, moxa, and cupping. Join us for the Unification Maya, the clinic or both!

Man, I would have loved to go on this trip!!

So much has happened since my trip to Peru. I am currently in the midst of launching a full-on reiki practice where I am giving reiki, holding reiki circles, and will be teaching reiki — as well as teaching yoga and continuing to explore the chakras and energy systems of the body.

I am certain I will travel with Healer2Healer again.

Below is a video of Sarah Swanberg, an acupuncture student who joined Healer2Healer last year. I got to know her a little bit, she is a very giving person — as was everyone on that trip — before the Healer2Healer trip she was doing work with Habitat for Humanity. She is a beautiful, clear light. She talks about her experience at the clinic:

(Update to this post – 4:53 pm, December 26, 2012: I just received an email from the Paititi Institute. Because of the massive deforestation in the jungle, the region where I did my work with Healer2Healer has become a malaria epidemic zone. It looks as if Paititi will have to move their preserve closer to the mountains. Here’s the full story.)

Are you able to “change” your mind?

“Human future will be designed on how conscious we are able to make ourselves. If we can change our minds we can take hold of this process [of our role in planetary destruction] and halt it.” – Terrence McKenna

film by Dean Jeffreys

ayahuasca embroidery and altar
sacred plant ayahuasca. “grandmother”

“Siblings – Peru” Hand-printed Linocut

I created this print for the people who helped me raise funds for my trip to Peru with Healer2Healer. These two children were at our clinic everyday, the young girl was very curious about the acupuncture and the reiki going on in her village. She hovered around the edge of the clinic while we worked—she greeted us every morning, and said good-bye to us every evening.

I am still processing this trip—there are so many levels of adjustment. First, just the aspect of giving healing energy and having it openly received is so beautiful; second, the amazon jungle is so full of life and healing and danger and sensuality—there is an enchanted energy there that seems to be lost on the western world; third, the power of the plant medicine that I learned about and experienced is still reverberating throughout my consciousness.

It is so apparent that whatever we do (especially as a collective here in the states – but even as individuals) has a ripple effect all around the world. I feel much more relaxed about my own existence and my ability to live in a good way. I feel like I went to a core place in my own being, am emerging slowly, but everyday am picking up speed—and I am ready for it.

Some of these prints are for sale. I am donating 10% of the sales to Healer2Healer, so that they may buy supplies, etc., for their upcoming journeys around the world. Hopefully in the near future, I will be able to join them again.

The print is an original linocut, pressed by hand with a brayer. (It is the same process as a woodcut, but rather than using wood, I used linoleum to cut the design). It is made with archival printing ink and is on Arches BFK acid-free paper. The image with signature measures about 4″x4″.

I think creating this piece in a slow, laborious manner, helped me to ground my experience even further.


patient sees improvement with alternative treatment – H2H Clinic, Cauhide, Peru

This man came to our Healer2Healer clinic three times, and saw improvement through treatment. He received auricular acupuncture, reiki, acupuncture and massage.

I think many of this man’s family members showed up to clinic as well.

translator: Ariana Arroyo

No politics, no religion, just compassion

There is so much to sort through from this journey – from the incredible life that is everywhere in the jungle, to the gigantic shantytown that is the city of Iquitos, to the rejection and integration of what is indigenous in that region of Peru. For instance, there are parts of Iquitos where the homes are rows and rows of shacks that have no electricity. On the same streets where people have no plumbing and where the roads are dirt and there are no sidewalks, you will see a lit up billboard of a tall, thin, scantily dressed, and—though Hispanic—very pale-skinned woman selling high-heeled shoes! (Seriously! What is that saying?) Then, a few blocks later, you see a shipibo inspired statue on a manicured grassy hill, or shipibo inspired tapestries for sale on the edge of the Amazon river in a part of the city that is designed for tourists.

On the flight home from Lima, I sat next to a woman who introduced herself and then asked me what I was doing in Peru. When I told her about Healer2Healer she launched into her missionary rap – how she loves Jesus and has been going around the world talking to people in Argentina and Ethiopa and letting them know they are part of the lost tribes of Israel and how they can save their souls by taking Jesus in their hearts. I let her go on rather than tell her how I feel about preaching and converting and telling people they are lost.

Cauhide is a place that I imagine doesn’t get many “outside” visitors. It was wonderful to be welcomed there, and to not have an agenda other than to ease some distress in a place where the suffering of people is largely ignored.

Below is a video of Healer2Healer volunteer and reiki practitioner, Lynda D’amico. Though we share the same reiki teacher (Geordie Numata), I first met Lynda in the Amazon rainforest. Immediately I was struck by her beautiful gentle energy, and we became fast friends.

Kristin Reed Discusses her experience in Healer2Healer Clinic

This is Kristen Reed’s third Healer2Healer trip. She discusses her experience with Healer2Healer in Guatemala and Peru. She practices reiki and auricular (ear) acupuncture. She was instrumental in keeping the flow of patients moving smoothly and was a great help to me and many of the “rookie” Healer2Healer practitioners in both the jungle and at the clinic.

Living in New York City, besides being a healer and a teacher, she is a painter, photographer, graphic artist, and art activist.

I am grateful to have worked with Kristin, she has inspired me not only as a healer, but as an artist.

To learn more about Kristin, see her website, kristinreed.com.

Kristin getting ear acupuncture while enjoying a refreshing Inca Cola!

Photo: Holly Troy

Last Day of H2H Clinic in Cauhide – Interview with Sergio

Sergio, a Healer2Healer patient who was in his 80s, is featured in this video with some of his family members. He received treatment from us over a few days. When he first came he couldn’t walk without a stick and he was in a lot of pain. As each day progressed, he felt better and better. By the last day, he claimed he could lift his arm over his head and “run”.

On the last day, he sought each and everyone of the H2H members out to thank us and give handshakes and hugs.

Special thanks to Ariana Arroyo for translating.

Carlito near the clinic. Sergio is in the background. This is the first day – before treatment. Notice Sergio’s expression – truly a different energy by the end of clinic!

photo: Holly Troy

Healing in the Amazon

The Amazon is in need of good vibes right now! Please send your energy in a good way.

Tata Pedro and Healer2Healer member in Guatemala

I will be meeting with a group of alternative medical practitioners called Healer2Healer in Peru. Healer2Healer is an international organization based in New York City that brings volunteer alternative medicine practitioners – such as acupuncturists, Reiki practitioners, and medical massage therapists – to rural indigenous communities.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

I am raising funds for the trip. Please check out my fundraiser.

Below are excerpts from a letter by Frederic Bernal Lim, Founder and Executive Director of Healer2Healer. It details the success of their last trip to Guatemala as well as includes a letter of thanks from one of their students:

Our trip to Quiche from June 23-July 1 accomplished what we set out to do: Reach out to the Q’anil Womens Group and Teach them NADA auricular acupunctuure and some very basic acupuncture needling protocols . . .

Peruvian child

The space where we had the teaching and clinic was donated by the current Mayor of Santa Cruz del Quiche.The needles and supplies were generously donated by Lhasa, OMS and Helio. Below is an email I received this week from Alicia L, a student we trained. It is a letter of thanks to our group with special thanks mentioned therein. I copied and pasted Alicia’s original email and translated it as best I could. It is an example of the impact we have in a community far from us.

(translated from Spanish) hello Frederick! Alicia L. sends greetings from Quiche, Guatemala!! I hope you are well. Unfortunately, at the previous occasion I could not share with you and express how grateful and happy I am for having met you and Tom and the other people who came and especially Cheelsi. Greetings to her. She is very nice and special for me and my children. Please send her my greetings when you see her. ……….

It is very good to learn ways to help people who need it most and the power to heal is not about the money; On the contrary, often an illness appear that perhaps develops from the imbalance in our lives. For me Reiki is very significant to help heal people. On one occasion I dreamed that a student of my husband called me to say goodbye because he was going to die. Days later the dream became reality: At 3am the cel rang and it was he with a heart problem and had no hope to live so the doctors told them he needed heart surgery costing 200.000 quetzales. And they for being poor could not do it, in addition he belonged to a community and complicated the matter more. I felt at that moment that I ought to go and help. Not thinking, I just went. It was half hour away by car and an hour walk to get to his home. Without going further I began to cry as he was almost dead!! I thought, “God, what can I do for him?!” …..

Then I remembered Mila who taught me that Reiki does not cause damage and it was a way to heal. Without thinking any further I set out to give Reiki. To my surprise was that it was a miracle. More than three months since then, he is well and that he got married and didn’t invite me. Noboday thanked me but my greatest joy is to see him so happy and eager to live. It is one of the many experiences I had ….

And therefore I don’t want to stay stagnant. I want to learn more help to individuals, but with my career now (studying nursing) I have more contact with persons and so I can see from their social-state and psycho-spirituality, and that of their families and community. So in a very respectable way I would in some way I could be helped to keep learning. Nothing more to tell you. I would just like to wish you all success in your work and especially those performed by focusing health-assistance from alternative medicine. … waiting for your return email I dismiss myself and extend my hand in gratefulness…. have a nice night

Rainforest Update – notes on October 4, 2008

In Peru, Oil companies are trying to persuade the indigenous people to give up their land for drilling. Amazon Herb Company has helped 13 tribes along the Rio Pisque create a federation – so far 8 tribes are against the drilling.

Amazon Herb Company has been bringing them information to show them what has happened in Ecuador to the land and to tribes that have let oil companies drill.

Oil Companies have to work a lot harder now to get into the rain forest to drill.

ACEER in the rain forest – visited with the Amazon Center of Research and Curricula, so that they can see how the Amazon helped the rest of the world. 17 communities involved. The people are ecstatic about this, they are excited for their future. Learning about the eco-system.


– new opportunities for extraordinary health – industry is growing as people age and educate themselves and understand the value of organic and natural ingredients rather than synthetics

– a chance for people to be able to secure their financial destiny while staying healthy and helping their ones stay healthy. financial security and independence

– a cause that respects a healthy planet – people are choosing to buy sustainable and earth friendly products