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One cloudy day in November 1994, Julie Motz walked into an operating room (OR) at New York City’s prestigious Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and took a place at the head of the table, cradling the patient’s head in her hands, sending loving, healing energy into his body.
Minutes later, the patient was under anesthesia, and the surgeons made an incision and began to remove his heart and prepare to transplant a new heart into his body. "I talked to him, explaining to the brain exactly what was happening and [preparing] it for shocks and surprises, like being put on the heart-lung bypass machine," says Motz, author of Hands of Life. She is the first nontraditional healer to work in an operating room and now divides her time between working with patients and physicians on the East Coast and the West Coast. "I felt [his body] mourning his old heart when it was removed."1
Motz helped the anesthetized patient cope with memories of trauma, which she says the body re-experiences when the chest is opened. And when the new heart was brought into the operating room, she sent energy into it, an idea inspired by work then under way at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, in which Qi Gong masters were energetically affecting enzyme solutions. She also gave some suggestions to the unconscious patient on how he might treat the new heart to compensate for the trauma it had been through.
As soon as possible after surgery, Motz worked with the now-conscious patient to help harmonize the energy of the new heart and his body.
"From the outset, he slept well, got rid of bed sores from his long wait for a new heart; he had no complications at all," she says.
If it sounds like hocus-pocus, consider this: Of five heart transplant patients with whom Motz worked at Columbia, all had the lowest possible rejection rates on their first postoperative biopsies and lower than normal postoperative pulse rates. In addition, she worked with three patients with left ventricular assist device implants and one quadruple coronary bypass — and none of the nine seriously ill heart patients manifested any symptoms of postoperative depression, a common after-effect of heart surgery.
Motz went to Columbia University to study for a master’s degree in public health, but quickly found her passion in complementary therapies and in energy healing. Her enthusiasm and the success of energy work she did with presurgical patients won her invitations by physicians into operating rooms to help patients with heart disease, brain cancer, breast cancer, and other anomalies.
"Energy work is part of almost every non-Western medical system, most notably in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, which addresses the energy field of the human body," says Motz.
There’s scientific basis for the contact Motz makes with the energy of the patients and even their new organs, she says. "The proteins on the surface of a cell, which regulate much of its internal activity, respond to very low-level electromagnetic frequencies, as well as to chemical substances."
Motz doesn’t know exactly the precise mechanism at work when she is in the operating room, in a patient’s room, or seeing him in her office. "It’s possible that when I touch someone with the intention of healing, I’m activating some not-as-yet understood aspect of the nervous system or the endocrine system, systems that may have energetic as well as chemical components," she explains.
"My own belief is that what we call consciousness is not located in the brain. It exists in every cell and possibly every molecule in the body," says Motz. "We know, for example, that cells are in constant communication with each other. They have to be in order for billions of them to function in that incredibly efficient bureaucracy called the body."
It follows then, that it is possible to communicate with the body on a cellular level, she asserts.
This subtle energy is called "qi" (pronounced "chee") in Chinese medicine, where it is acted upon through acupuncture and massage and "ky" in Japan, where acupuncture and a form of deep-tissue massage called shiatsu are used. In Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, it is called "prana" and it is activated by performing yoga postures and breathing techniques designed to energize the seven energy centers called "chakras" that lie along the spine.
In addition, an energy healing modality called reiki (pronounced "ray-kee") with its origins in Japan, now is widely practiced in the United States.
It’s in working with energy that Motz helps the body avail itself of healing energy. Her heart work was no fluke. Motz has duplicated the results with patients with malignant brain tumors and with advanced breast cancer.
A year after the heart transplant, she was invited to address Columbia’s neurological staff meeting and began working with neurosurgical patients. Shortly after that, she received a grant from the Symington Foundation to do healing work with women undergoing breast cancer surgery.
Motz’ experience with surgical patients elicited some thoughts that she now spends a great deal of time sharing with health care professionals and with patients:
• Patients should train for surgery. "Surgery is a major event in a patient’s life. They should eat properly, exercise, rest, and prepare themselves emotionally for surgery in any way possible," says Motz.
• Talk the patient through the surgery. Not only can you alleviate anxiety by telling the patients, step by step, exactly what will take place during the surgery, but you can help them form a creative visualization of the process and the healing afterward.
• Patients should be permitted to have whomever they wish with them in the operating room. "Within reason, of course, but if there is someone who can help the patient feel relaxed as he or she comes into the OR, so much the better. I have seen waves of terror literally rolling off people as they are being wheeled [in]," she says.
• Part of the brain is conscious during surgery. There is evidence that the auditory nerve functions even under anesthesia, and Motz contends the body is fully conscious of what is happening during surgery. "The patient hears everything that happens during surgery. Surgery is traumatic to all parts of the body, but it is also an opportunity for the body to heal old traumas, which tend to surface during surgery. I can intuitively feel these things and talk to them and help them release," she says.
• Make the OR atmosphere as healing as possible. The patient’s ability to hear during surgery can be used to his benefit for healing, says Motz. She suggests soft music, spoken affirmations, and healing statements during the procedure.
• Realize that every patient comes to you for a reason. Physicians and health care professionals get as much energy from their patients as they give, says Motz. The relationship is one of complete trust on the part of the patient, so it is important for health care professionals to open up.
Motz suggests that health care professionals should become emotionally involved with their patients. "[Emotional] walls don’t work. Open yourself to why this patient came to you. If you don’t like a patient, realize you are human and refer him to someone with whom he can connect. It will promote healing for all concerned."
• Tap into your own energetic healing capabilities. Energetic healing is not a special skill, says Motz. "I believe it is in the human gene pool. It’s just a matter of focus. Most of us went to school for 16 or 20 years learning to be analytical. That’s the only reason we think our intuitive powers are beyond the norm," she says.
Motz’s recommendation: If you are a health care professional, you are interested in healing. Learn more about this type of healing. Courses in reiki healing work are available all over the United States, and she suggests that physicians and nurses take these courses to familiarize themselves with energetic healing and its potential effects.
Motz says she realizes her healing methods are not well-accepted and often are widely questioned. In fact, they are so widely questioned that a San Francisco Bay-area internist who invited Motz to do some healing work with her patients doesn’t want to be identified by name for fear of ridicule from her colleagues.
"Julie has an amazing gift," says the internist. "I don’t know how she does it, but she is somehow able to divine what is happening with a patient and how that is affecting the patient’s body. It’s pretty incredible to watch."
The internist recalls a session Motz had with a patient that had such a profound effect that years later, patient and physician still discuss it. "There are things in medicine we don’t understand. There are many things that defy scientific explanation — at least for today. Who knows what we may find scientifically in the coming years that will validate all this?" asks the internist.
Her conclusion: "It helps my patients. I have no doubt about that whatsoever, and whatever helps my patients is fine with me."
Motz does get accolades from Steve Sinatra, MD, a cardiologist from Manchester, CT, and author of Heart Sense for Women.2
"What Julie is doing is familiar to anyone who has worked with energy, but may seem strange to those who haven’t experienced it before," says Sinatra. "She is actually effecting healing on the cellular level, working to repair DNA damaged by physical, emotional, spiritual, or environmental trauma and bringing the patient into the realm of healing."
On a physiological basis, Sinatra explains, he subscribes to the theory of tensegrity (the ability to balance tension and compression). Trauma damages DNA and actually causes cells to change shape, at which point the DNA locks up and begins to go into degenerative mode and is unable to repair itself.
Over time, this process follows one of two options: First, it results in chronic degenerative diseases such as arthritis. Secondly, it begins a process of cell death such as heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. A third deadly choice is for it to mutate into a new cell line, such as tumors and cancer. When the trapped energy in the connective tissue is removed, the DNA unlocks and healing occurs.
"We know cells have a memory, and if trauma is part of that memory, then this kind of healing can be very effective," says Sinatra. "I strongly believe in bioenergetics and this is a classic example of how it can be used."
(Julie Motz can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
1. Motz J. Hands of Life. New York City: Bantam Books; 2000.
2. Sinatra S, Sdinatra J, Lieberman R. Heart Sense for Women. Washington, DC: LifeLine Press; 2000.