by Betty Ann Baker, Executive Director Healing Touch Buddies
“Healing Touch Buddies, Inc. is a local non-profit health and education organization, dedicated to improving the quality of life of those challenged with breast cancer; providing patients with Healing Touch and volunteer practitioners with instruction and support.”
For the past ten years, this is how our mission has read. It’s remained a factual statement, connecting us to our goals and objectives. It has served as our official communication on what we were organized to do and for whom. What it hasn’t revealed is the immense added value to those of us charged with providing the services. Since our founding in 2004, scores of nurses, massage therapists, physicians, lay persons and clergy have taken the minimum of 50 hours of Healing Touch training required to be a Healing Touch Buddies volunteer. They are representative of the rich variety of cultures and social backgrounds of our area. The common connection is their dedication to reaching out to relieve the suffering of another while striving to live a balanced life so as to be in a position to serve. They found that being a member of a wonderful community of individuals dedicated to lifting others up had significant personal and professional benefits as well.
One volunteer expressed the personal and professional impact of being with her HTB client from diagnosis through surgeries, chemo, radiation and into her client’s post treatment “new normal” life.
“During the past year with my client, I have been able to draw on our training of “serving vs. saving.” I was able to walk with my client through all the phases of her journey, honoring that it was her story and her hard decisions, not mine. By being able to exercise active listening, I could provide the safe space for her to explore her options without judgment or pressure. I’ve been able to use these techniques to also improve my relationships in my private practice and my personal life.”
Another volunteer relates the sense of positive accomplishment at being able to meet the needs of her client in a holistic way, enjoying the results as well as the relationship.
“My client and I looked forward to our sessions. She always felt relaxed and energized after a treatment. And Healing Touch helped her deal with her physical discomfort as well as a lot of other family issues that came up during the year.”
Serving in my roles as co-founder and director has brought me gifts I can’t begin to measure. In our Healing Touch community and especially through our Healing Touch Buddies program, I have developed personal and professional relationships of exceptional quality that I treasure. They define all I would hope to be a part of as I evolve as a person in this life. I so gratefully thank each and every one of our volunteers for bringing so many blessings to me and to this community.