Focus On Healing Book Reviews April 01 2010

Upfront U Kaiora - April 2010

Reviewed by  Jan Patterson for the Breast Cancer Network

Are you interested in an alternative approach to healing? Perhaps you have suffered a serious or long term illness and thought about exploring healing strategies alongside those in the mainstream. This user-friendly, visually attractive book will appeal to people who are open to exploring holistic approaches to healing with a focus on self-help and personal empowerment using a range of safe, natural and preferably low cost therapies.

The author, Jennifer Barraclough, spent 30 years working as an orthodox medical practitioner in England, with a special interest in the psychological aspects of cancer and other medical conditions. Disenchanted with aspects of orthodox medicine, Jennifer developed an interest in natural healing. A spiritual healing course proved to be a turning point which led her to begin integrating the best of orthodox and alternative systems into her healthcare practices. She is now a Bach Flower practitioner, life coach and spiritual healer in Auckland.

Focus on Healing emphasises that healing is not always curing and looks at positive ways of dealing with illness, acknowledging that everyone is unique and needs to find their own programme. Part I of the book introduces the approach, including the benefits of a positive focus, achieving a balance by making choices around various types of treatment and talks about self responsibility and its limits. Although certain lifestyle choices and negative patterns are major risk factors for many diseases, she dispels the idea that people create their own illness deliberately.

Part II deals with the theoretical background of healing looking at mind-body-spirit connections and our personal energy fields. It emphasises the importance of living in harmony with each other and nature. Treatments such as acupuncture stimulate the energy pathways and there is reference to the Law of Attraction which relates to attracting energy both positive and negative thus "creating our own reality".

Part III looks at practical self-healing and outlines comprehensive strategies including affirmation, visualisation, attitudes to the body, the physical environment, processing negative emotions and the benefits of joy, happiness and humour. It focuses on healing from within and not being a passive recipient; singing one's own song and encouraging creativity; embracing spirituality and relationships and using healing as a catalyst for personal growth.

Part IV deals with professional treatment and care, focusing on making informed choices around natural versus orthodox medicine or combinations of both. The author suggests that although professional diagnostic assessment is always advisable, the benefits and risks of orthodox professional treatment do need to be assessed. The message is to be well informed.

Punctuated with personal stories of four women with a strong commitment to self-healing of body and mind, this easy-read book introduces a large range of alternative healing methods to be used alone or in conjunction with orthodox medicine. It provides opportunities for those with serious and not so serious illnesses to take a more active part in their healing journey and make positive changes in their lives.


Organic New Zealand - March/April 2010

Reviewed by Philippa Jamieson

Focus on Healing is a useful introduction for people interested in natural healthcare, particularly those with a longterm medical problem who want to take an active role in their healing process and consider different types of healing. The book looks at health and illness in a holistic manner, taking into account mind, body and spirit.

The author does not assume prior knowledge on the part of the reader. She explains pros and cons of the main types of natural healing in a clear and even-handed manner. She also says orthodox medical treatment should be considered alongside holistic treatments as there are times when it is appropriate.

The value of the book is probably primarily for those embarking on a healing journey, although no doubt others who have already done a lot of reading and research into their (or a family member's) health problems will still find worthwhile insights.

Throughout the book numerous other books (and some websites) are mentioned for readers to follow up if they are interested in a particular way of healing. It would have been useful for these sources to have been collected together in a bibliography or further reading section at the back of the book. Fortunately, the contents list and the index will be helpful to readers wanting to look up information about specific topics.

Jennifer Barraclough is a Bach flower practitioner, life coach and healer in Devonport, Auckland. Before coming to New Zealand she worked as an orthodox doctor in England and had a special interest in the psychological aspects of cancer and other medical conditions.