This week we are proud to promote National Complementary Therapy week and would like to celebrate and pay tribute to Billy Baker who has been a volunteer Complementary Therapist for Hospice at Home West Cumbria for over 15 years. Below, Billy shares his experiences and tells us what he has learned on his journey so far.
“I am Billy Baker and I have been a Volunteer Complementary Therapist for Hospice at Home West Cumbria for over 15 years. As this week is Complementary Therapy Week, I thought I would write a brief article about how and why I became a Complementary Therapist.
I was born in Devonshire Street, Workington in 1960 and was brought up at Westfield with a very hard working family. Dad was a blast-furnace man on the steelworks most his life. My early years were very much like a lot of people in Workington at the time. As I grew up I worked mainly in the construction industry and enjoyed physical sports and martial arts.
I married and had four children who now have their own families.
I have always cared deeply about people, volunteering regularly, running a Scouts Group and being on various committees, and teaching at a Karate Club.
It was while doing Karate that I began to feel energy running through my body and hands. This felt very powerful and exciting. I was fascinated and began asking questions, reading books and soon I was enrolled on a Reflexology course in Stirling, Scotland with The International Institute of Reflexology. After a year long course I qualified in 2004.
As part of my training I did a lot of case studies, one of which was a close family member who was diagnosed with lung cancer. I worked with her regularly as Reflexology was giving her some much needed relaxation and ease during her terminal illness.
Soon after, I contacted Hospice at Home West Cumbria and signed up as a Volunteer Therapist, where I met a fellow Nurse/Therapist who was doing Reiki. I knew that I wanted to learn Reiki and so I qualified as a Reiki healer in 2007. During 2006 and 2007 I also did a lot of advanced Reflexology courses in Scotland including ‘Working with Cancer’, ‘Lymphatic Drainage’, ‘Somatic Reflexology’ plus others.
I started working as a self-employed Therapist (part time) from the Senhouse Centre in Whitehaven while also doing home visits. I found that the more people I saw the more I tuned in, developing my own style of Reflexology from all the different courses I had attended, and as I was doing the treatments I could feel the Reiki (universal) energy flowing stronger and stronger.
I have done two in-depth 6 month courses of Cellular Energetic Healing in 2012/13 near Findhorn, Scotland. These courses covered various healing techniques through the Aura (energy body) and Chakras (energy vortexes located in the human energy field) including a lot of self-development work.
This was fascinating work and made perfect sense to me. At the same time I was doing an Integrative Counselling Course in Whitehaven. I had completed 3 years of the 4 year course when I had to stop due to a life changing chronic illness.
If I’m honest, this illness was my biggest teacher and motivator. After 3 very interesting years of being dependant on hospital visits 3 times each week to keep me alive, my fortunes changed and I was given another chance at life.
I am still doing Complementary Therapies, although I am not dependent upon them for income, and I am also still volunteering for Hospice at Home West Cumbria.
So what have I learned on my journey? I started off as a Therapist wanting to fix everyone, I now realise that no one needs fixed, everyone is whole and complete all the time. The majority of people have just forgotten this and so live in suffering e.g. anxiety, worry, fear etc.
I believe there are three parts to being human: Mind/Body/Spirit. Science would call them Energy/Matter/Ether. Religion: Father/Son/Holy ghost.
These three dimensions of us need to be all in balance to remember who you truly are, a dominant mind will result in a weak body and poor spirit (feeling lost deep inside). A person obsessed with body will suffer mentally (never feeling beautiful or perfect enough) and will be lost spiritually. People who focus on only spirit will not make time to look after their body and mind and so end up with physical or mental problems.
So, what happens when you have all three balanced as young children do? You are at peace with yourself and the world, joy and bliss are your natural state of being. In other words you are Love and Light. Which I believe is our true state that we have forgotten. Life gives the experiences and emotional highs and lows that provide us with the opportunity to gradually remember who we truly are, if we chose to.
In my experience Complementary Therapies open an inner door for our clients and give them a glimpse of who they really are:- Peace, Love and Hope (the mind cannot grasp this concept because its way beyond its scope) but people do experience it, and you can see it in their faces immediately after the treatment, until the thinking mind starts up again. It is still the clients choice (even if they do or do not know it) to explore this exciting prospect. If they choose to explore they will be guided along the path by life itself, if they don’t, other opportunities will arise in the future.
In closing I would just like to say that I am passionate about these topics when I talk about them and hope I have not offended anyone. I honour everyone’s choices and beliefs about life. These are my own beliefs at this moment.
I have added a list of influential books below that have guided me along the path I have walked and am still walking. Hopefully they may help you if you want answers and understanding of our life journey and purpose.”
Happy Complementary Therapy Week!
Hands of Light by Barbara Anne Brennan
A New Earth, by Eckart Tolle
Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat-Zinn
A Course In Miracles, by Foundation for Inner Peace
The Wim Hof Method, by Wim Hof
Conversations With God, by Neale Donald Walsh