By Mary Kinlen, CMT, BA
Mary Kinlen
Photo taken in Asheville, NC 1998

In 1979, in the spring of my life, I began a fascinating journey into the world of holistic preventative health medicine but not because I wanted to; rather, I was feeling old and run down while neither modern medical science nor psychiatric medicine could help.

My physician said it was all in my head so I went to a psychiatrist who told me it was all in my body. My problem was simple: I was 29 years old yet felt like I was 80. On a scale of 1 to 10, my energy level was about 2. I was willing to try anything, even a chiropractor, who, back in those days, was considered a quack.

I sat on the table and began to cry after he asked me why I had come; I was feeling so low. I didn't think he could help me because conventional medicine didn't have any answers and he wasn't a “real” doctor according to the AMA.

After he checked my eyes using a modality called Iridology, and my skin, throat, muscles and bones, he told me I had a form of toxemia in that my body's cells were impacted with “toxic waste.” I had never heard of that term except as it applied to nuclear power plants.

I was surprised when, instead of giving me a drug prescription, he told me his job was not to suppress the symptoms or affect of my illness but to target and eradicate the cause of it.

He began my treatment with a spinal adjustment. He also gave me instructions for a weekend long “Master Apple-Lemon Cleansing Fast” I'd be doing that consisted of ingesting a cup of unfiltered apple juice with the juice of a fresh squeezed lemon every other hour from 8a.m. to 5p.m. with distilled water and enzymes in between. I also had to do an enema first thing on each day of the fast.

Imagine my shock and horror when, on the second day of the fast, I released a very long black ropey “chain of hardened, putrefied proteins, carbs and fats” the chiropractor said had probably been inside of me since childhood.

I remembered how my mother made me drink a quart of milk every day and the chronic constipation I always seemed to have. The same thing happened the final day of the fast. He said the toxins/poisons from those “chains” were constantly being reabsorbed into my body's cells; hence, the “toxic waste.”

The next thing he wanted me to do was a week-long “Fruit and Vegetable Feast” that consisted of eating as many fruits, veggies, homemade veggie broth as I could, with little or no dairy. I got a baked apple for dessert with honey and a bit of cream! He said that just as the Apple-Lemon Fast's job was to clean out my cells, the Feast would refill my cells with life-giving oxygen and vital nutrients.

By the end of the week, I could really feel the difference: My nose wasn't stuffy for the first time since I was 7 years old! I also had more energy, stamina, and no depression, yeah! In addition, I could see better, as if there had been a film over my eyes; again, for the first time in years, I could see the true color of my eyes—blue-gray with a yellow rim around the pupil!

The last thing he asked me to do was a “Liver–Gallbladder Flush,” which meant four more days of the Feast; then, on the fifth day, I would take laxatives, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, and at bedtime, olive oil with lemon juice. The next morning, I released over 100+ dark green kidney bean shaped objects. Would they have been gall stones in my forties, I have wandered to this day.

Funny what heights the spirit can achieve when it no longer lives in a prison house of skin. I was skipping, running and jumping like I hadn't in years. In less than three weeks, I had been given back my life and the ability to take care of my four year old daughter. As a single parent who played both Mom and Dad to my child, that really meant something!

At the time, we were living in the San Francisco Bay Area, on the valley floor of the mountains in the village of Mill Valley. It was there I found holistic healers of every kind at a time in the US when health food stores weren't cool and hardly anyone had heard of "organic" anything.

A decade before that, in 1969, I had begun to study Eastern Oriental Philosophy, Theosophy, the Tao, I Ching, Yoga, the Bible and other holy books, Psychology and Metaphysics with a never-ending thirst for more and more of this higher knowledge. After being healed by the chiropractor, I increased this body of knowledge with facts about herbs, vitamins and what they did for our bodies I'd never hear about on television. I gained experiential knowledge of "Prana," via yogic breathing. The most important thing I've ever done for myself is daily meditation. This is where I learned what Jesus Christ meant when he said "The kingdom of heaven is within; seek ye first the kingdom and all else will be added unto ye." Daily meditation has an accumulative effect/benefit that must be experienced to be fully appreciated. The answers are there—within.

As the decades rolled by, I found myself living in such places as Telluride, CO, Woodstock, NY, New York City, Virginia Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Chicago, even moving to San Francisco three times. It's my home away from home, I guess. After 28 years of training and research, I opened up a holistic practice in Asheville, North Carolina in 1997. In 2006, I returned to college and got a degree in English/Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. At present, I am a graduate student in the Adult Education program at IUPUI and Ball State Universities.

I did my first massages in 1969 for my California friends and saw what a healing force touch could be; my adult young friends were thirsty for physical, non-sexual, loving, structured touch and kneading of the muscles. Their bodies were starving for touch. Are we all after we become adults? To this experiential knowledge, I began learning about the Universal Energy Field (UEF) and the Human Energy Field (HEF) in 1983, receiving formal training in Healing Touch in 1993-1996.. Some of my teachers have been Isabel M. Hickey, Stephen Arroyo, Dane Rudyar, Lynne Plamer, George Van Vlanderan (a founder of Eselan Institute), Roslyn Bruyere, Patricia Hayes, Judy Potter, Janet Mentgen (founder of Healing Touch), Susan Morales, and my immediate and personal families (my biggest critics). I am a board certified massage therapist (CMT), and Healing Touch practitioner.

For more of the story on what it took to become the 60-something healer I am today, as well as read what my friends, customers and other healers want to share, be sure to check out my new blog in 2013. I want to hear what YOU have to say!

-- Mary Kinlen, CMT, BA