Jenny Hewett meets Dubai’s first licensed energy healer Barbara Jackle and tries a session at Hands in Hope.
In the late ’90s, following a series of experiments, Japanese scientist Dr Masuku Emoto made an eye-opening discovery – water crystals react differently to positive and negative energies. In his groundbreaking book The Hidden Messages In Water, Emoto depicts photographs of water crystals that have been exposed to pieces of music and words. Remarkably, crystals which had been subjected to Bach’s famous ‘Air On The G String’ created beautiful snowflake-like formations, while water exposed to the word ‘hate’ produced deformed, shapeless blobs. Barbara Jackle, energy healer and owner of new healing centre Hands in Hope in Dubai, argues that human bodies, which consist mostly of water, work in the same way. In essence she says, we react to energies around us.
The German national opened the UAE’s first licensed energy healing centre Hands in Hope in Jumeirah Terrace at the end of 2013. The place is an inviting, family-run modern sanctuary, where the Jackle entourage (Barbara and her daughter Julia) greet visitors warmly. With Julia translating our conversation into English for her mum, it’s easy to feel as though you’re in the presence of a guru. While energy therapies such as reiki are readily available in Dubai, what Hands in Hope seeks to offer is certainly something different.
‘Reiki and kinesiology and a lot of other alternative energies are based on balancing the body and treating it that way,’ says Barbara, who has run her own healing centre in her native land for 20 years. ‘But, what I have is like a gift. I didn’t study it, it was passed down to me from my grandmother. She was helping a lot of people in Germany and that’s what inspired me.’
‘We practise holistic or natural healing. It’s about creating an awareness and getting people to see there is something else other than a vaccination or going to the doctor and taking pills,’ she adds. ‘I’m not going to tell a diabetes or cancer patient to stop taking medicine. But every time they leave a session they might see something else has changed in their body. Perhaps their blood results have improved and the doctor will reduce their medicine,’ she says.
Clients arrive on Barbara’s doorstep with a wide range of emotional and physical concerns, but there are more common problems that standout. ‘People mostly come with back pain, knee pain and sports injuries, as well as chronic illnesses,’ says Barbara. ‘You don’t have to come because you’re sick, you can come for half an hour and get an energy session. It also works with horses and camels as well as for insomnia, depression, fear and anxiety,’ she says. ‘The power of the mind is a big thing.’
So what is Barbara’s gift exactly? It’s certainly hard to pinpoint, so we’re invited to try it out for ourselves. When we lie down in the comfy ergonomic recliner, covered in a white fluffy blanket, Barbara starts the session. We immediately feel warmth radiating through parts of our body. There is an energetic charge that we can’t quite put our finger on, but begin to feel very relaxed and somewhat sleepy. After discussing our concerns, Barbara senses a number of causes (our right meridian line – energy vessels through the body – is apparently blocked) and our top vertebrae, the atlas, is a millimetre out of line, which could be causing the knee pain we’ve had. She clears both.
Once the session is over, Barbara relays her discoveries, most of which we can account for. We feel lively and refreshed, if not a tad drowsy to begin with but recharged. Afterwards, we meet Ahlaam, a patient who has just had a session and she describes a similar euphoria. ‘I was very run-down and exhausted and after each session I go away feeling really rejuvenated and full of beans.
Before my sessions I couldn’t do any squats and lunges and now I can,’ she says.
Later that evening there is some pain in the areas that were focused on during our session, which we’re told is completely normal. The next day, we’re pain free. Barbara explains that energy healing has a place in everyone’s lives, even the fighting fit among us. ‘It’s a good way to balance your life and see the world a bit differently and become more focused on yourself,’ she says. But at the end, it all comes down to one basic principle. ‘Love is the highest universal energy. People need to have a certain degree of love towards themselves and the people around them.’ Just ask those water crystals.
From Dhs600 for a 30 minute treatment. Office 214, Jumeirah Terrace Building, Jumeirah 1 (04 351 7901).
Other centres in town
Cosmic Healing Center
Offers Japanese energy healing therapy reiki as well as pranic healing services.
Karama (04 357 6676).
The Healing Zone
Offers crystal therapy and colour healing, Aura-soma.
Umm Suqeim (04 388 4227).
Reiki Touch Dubai
Thiba Sharaf offers workshops as well as sessions.
Discovery Gardens (050 662 8783).