Sitting Down with Dr. Gail Gillespie from Affordable Healing Arts
Before writing this article, I expected to be interested in Dr. Gillespie’s practice as a licensed psychologist; what I learned and experienced was much more inspiring and healing than I could have ever imagined. Dr. Gillespie has been with AHA! (Affordable Healing Arts) – located in suite 220 inside the New Orleans Healing Center – for over three years. She is both a licensed psychologist and a practitioner of an alternative healing modality known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT, aka “tapping”). Dr. Gillespie was particularly drawn to Affordable Healing Arts’ welcoming and diverse community of healing arts practitioners.
“I was drawn to the philosophy of AHA!, which brings affordable healing to people in our community who may not typically have access to the types of services that we offer. I really wanted to find a way to help heal the community after the storm. After returning to the city after hurricane Katrina, one of the first things on my list was to find The Healing Center and see how I could get involved.” She then elaborated about how Affordable Healing Arts has grown into a pillar for the community.
“AHA! is a community of independent practitioners offering a wide array of healing arts modalities. We have licensed mental health practitioners, as well as Asian bodywork therapy, conscious connected breathing, Reiki, hypnosis, massage therapy, and music therapy practitioners all in one center. It is really exciting to see the place continuously grow as we gain more healing arts professionals.” The passion that this group of practitioners has about their healing work is very clear. Showcasing their passion while offering affordable healing to the community, members of AHA! created Relax, Release, and Renew – a 12-week series held every Tuesday night at 6:30. In this series, each of the AHA! practitioners presents various ways in which to enhance their coping skills and live their lives more fully. A mere ten dollar suggested donation makes this series affordable, and no one is turned away for financial limitations. While this series ends next month, more is planned in the future. Other affordable activities are ongoing at AHA!, such as $5 Qigong classes, which owner Debra Howard offers every Tuesday and Thursday at noon on the fourth floor. More information on AHA! can be found at http://www.affordablehealingarts.com/
No one seems to have more passion for showcasing their healing art than Dr. Gillespie. Her whole face lit up and you could feel her energy and excitement when discussing Emotional Freedom Technique. It was hard not to get excited yourself. “Emotional Freedom Technique (aka “tapping”) is a technique in which one taps their fingertips on various meridian points on the body to reduce or eliminate physical or emotional discomfort. Based on the philosophy of Chinese meridian/acupoint theory, individuals hold “blockages” in their energy system. These blockages can lead to emotional and physical dis-ease. Tapping clears these blockages, thus allowing the energy to flow freely through the body, and clearing the root cause of the physical or emotional problem.”
Dr. Gillespie had countless stories and examples about how she has seen EFT heal big challenges. She recounted one story that really humbled her. “An individual who works in the New Orleans Healing Center came to my EFT class this week. A traumatic foot injury left him walking with a cane and with a daily pain level of 10. After one round of tapping, he said his pain level had diminished to 6.5, which he said was “miraculous”. Another individual in the class had a football injury six years prior and his shoulder pain was at a level 7. After one round of tapping, his pain was down to a zero, which he said had never before happened in the past six years. With an expression of disbelief, he was able to maneuver his arm more freely than he had in years. This tapping technique works on emotional challenges in the same way – by clearing the emotional blockages that hinder an individual’s progress in life. When emotional healing takes place, the physical body often heals correspondingly.”
When I started the discussion and demonstration with Dr. Gillespie, I was not expecting to feel so moved by her practice. I was moved by hearing passion in her voice and witnessing miraculous healing. Dr. Gillespie provides a demo of EFT on the last Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM in Affordable Healing Arts. She also offers this technique to both children and adults in individual sessions. More information on her practice can be found at www.drgail.info.