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March, 2001

A monthly newsletter dedicated to serving the principles of

physical and spiritual health envisioned in the Baha'i Teachings.

Volume 4, Issue #7




- The Jewish Physician
- The Value of Massage Treatment
- Understanding Various Responses to Touch Therapy
- The Exchange
- An Insight into the Bowen Technique
- Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique: What It Is?
- Codependency, Detachment, and the True Self: Part 2: The Solution
- The Rules of Being Human
- The Meaning of Life Course
- Question of the Month
- Website
- Purpose of the Newsletter




Taken from "Fire on the Mountain Top". This is a true story based in Iran during the early days of the Baha'i Faith.

"Hakim Aqa Jan hurried along the narrow lanes of Hamadan to the house of Muhammad Baqir who, carrying a lantern to light the way, ran on in front. Muhammad Bahir's wife lay desperately ill, shaken with convulsions and crying out in pain. She had been suffering with fever when the Jewish Physician, Hakim Aqa Jan, was called in to see her earlier that evening, and he had given her a few pills to take, saying that she would soon feel better. She had scarcely taken the pills, however, when her condition grew worse and she was seized with severe pains and convulsions.

Hurrying to her bedside now, Hakim Aqa Jan had one look at his patient and the blood drained out of his face. He immediately realized what had happened; instead of the quinine pills he intended to give her, he had handed out strychnine. Not only was the patient now in danger of losing her life, but so was he himself. Indeed, knowing the hatred which the Muslims bore towards his people, Hakim Aqa Jan wondered if this consequences of such a mistake on his part might not affect his family and the whole Jewish population of Hamadan. He trembled at the thought and scarcely heard the question Muhammad Baqir was asking. The latter, sensing the state of the doctor's mind, asked the reason for his extreme anxiety. "I have made a mistake in giving the pills," confessed Hakim Aqa Jan. "Anyone can make a mistake" said Muhammad Baqir. "You did not do this on purpose, and even if the patient should die, no one will blame you for it."

Hakim Aqa Jan could not believe his ears. Was it indeed a Muslim who spoke thus to him, a Jew? But there was no time to dwell on such mysteries when his patient needed all his attention. He rushed out of the house to the nearest drug shop and, having purchased some medicine with which he hoped might be able to save her life, hurried back to sit with his patient through the night. After agonizing hours of suspense in which he did every possible thing within his power to save her, he was at last relieved to see that the danger had passed and that she would live. 

During all this time, the gracious courtesy and the kindness with which he had received in the home of Muhammad Baqir greatly affected and somewhat puzzled the physician. He had had many dealings with Muslims before and was familiar with the way they treated Jews, especially under such unfavourable conditions. The more he thought about it, the more he wondered at the unusual behaviour of this household.

Later, he mustered enough courage to ask Muhammad Baqir about his religious beliefs. "I belong to a new Faith," was Muhammad Baqir's reply, "I am a Baha'i." Hakim Aqa Jan was immediately interested to know about this new Faith and after a period of investigation, became an ardent follower himself.

He was the first Jew to embrace the Cause in Hamadan, and although he did not live more than a few years after becoming a Baha'i, he was able to bring a great number of other Jews into the Faith before he passed away." 




By Kevin Beane, New Hampshire, United States

Webster’s dictionary defines massage as: the act or art of treating the body by rubbing, kneading, patting, or the like, to stimulate circulation, increase suppleness, relieve tension, etc. 

There are numerous massage systems and techniques from around the world. Some examples are Swedish, Thai, Russian, Shiatsu(Japan), Tui Na (China). Systems such as Rolfing or Myofascial Release have a particular focus that includes an awareness of body structure and connective tissue (fascia). Japanese and Chinese systems may include an awareness of the flow of chi (bioelectricity) through our bodies. Balanced chi is considered fundamental to good health. This balance may be encouraged through techniques such as assisted stretching or acupressure (pressing acupuncture points). Some systems focus more on muscles, others on circulation of blood or lymph. Some systems are more often called bodywork or energy work (rather than massage) depending on what their major focus is. Some systems cross professional boundaries and are practiced by nurses, physical therapists, and other health practitioners. 

What kind of problems can massage be used for? This depends upon the approach used and the skill level of the practitioner. Some more common uses are relief of muscular pain, discomfort, general relaxation, and stress reduction (for example, this can help regulate high blood pressure). Many people have experienced the benefits of massage and receive regular treatments for health maintenance and prevention. Although Webster’s dictionary defines massage as the act or art of treating the body, many current practices and practitioners include a holistic awareness of body, mind, and spirit. All dimensions of our being are important to health and a practitioner who has deepened spiritually, as well as in the knowledge of their art, can be of assistance with many problems. Using massage, people have been helped with a multitude of physical, mental, and emotional symptoms related to past traumas. 

As multi-dimensional individuals, who we go to for massage and for what reason can vary greatly. It is best to consult first with a massage practitioner to find out if they think they can help you and if you feel comfortable with them. This is more important than what their technique is called. A competent practitioner will know when something is beyond the scope of their practice and be able to refer one to the appropriate health professional.

We are all ultimately dependent upon God for health and healing. A holistic view of health recognizes spirit as the source and strives to help the patient find balance in their lives. With balance, we are best able to realize (harmonize with) the health that flows through us continually. To help achieve this balance one may utilize one of the various massage styles mentioned as well as healthy diet, exercise, meditation, and prayer. 

“Thy name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy. Nearness to Thee is my hope, and love for Thee is my companion. Thy mercy to me is my healing and my succor in both this world and in the world to come. Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise." (Baha’u’llah, Baha'i Prayers,1985 edition, p. 87, U.S.A.)

A massage practitioner or any other health professional that has truly deepened on this prayer can be of immeasurable help and service. This knowledge can access healing potential that is beyond the power of the intellect to understand or adequately explain. Self deepening on this prayer will help access health and healing from the source of our being.





Taken from a publication produced by the Client Relations Committee of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, Canada


Massage therapy is a hands-on manipulation of the soft tissues of the body - muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and joints. One goal of massage therapy is to release tension. 

Tension release comes in different ways. For example, you could be getting a massage, and you could start to tremble. Your trembling could be a spontaneous release of tension similar to an ordinary experience you've had before. Remember, for example, a time when you bought more groceries than you'd intended. You were really dragging by the time you got home, and when you finally put the bags down, your hands began to tremble. You were experiencing a spontaneous release of tension that built up from carrying the heavy parcels. Laughing or crying in the course of a massage, like trembling, could be nothing more complicated than the spontaneous release of tension. At other times, tension release may be associated with remembered experiences stored in the body. 


Our bodies store experiences. For the most part we function on automatic pilot, integrating new experiences with existing memories already stored in our bodies. In other words, we process incoming experiences automatically without paying conscious attention to detail.

A massage therapist tells the story of treating someone who was experiencing extreme tension in her neck and shoulder. During massage, the tension began to let up, and the client began to cry and talk about how unhappy she was with her boss. As she told her story and experienced the feelings associated with it, the client began to turn her head and move her shoulder more freely. In other words, the client had been functioning on automatic pilot - integrating stressful work experiences with existing stressful memories already stored in her body. Without being consciously aware of it, she had been tensing up her neck and shoulder during encounters at work and experiencing her boss as a "pain in the neck." 

The client regained mobility in her neck and shoulder when she made a connection between the bodily tension she was experiencing and how things had been going at work and then, with the help of massage, let go of or released the tension.


Ordinary or story-telling memory occurs automatically in response to a particular cue or trigger. For example, a person sees a brooch like one worn by grandmother and remembers the events surrounding grandmother's death. Seeing the brooch triggers a memory that the person experiences as a story he or she can tell about how grandmother died.

Any one of the five senses can trigger memory. Sometimes the trigger is a context similar to the context in which the memory was originally planted. Other times it's an image, a gesture, a taste, a smell, a sound or a touch. For many people, being touched is associated with having been touched in childhood. For such people, massage therapy may trigger childhood memories. 

Persons undergoing a series of massage therapy treatments may experience a memory returning in bits and pieces - some sights, some sounds, some thoughts, some physical sensations. The bits and pieces may eventually come together as a story the person can tell about an episode that occurred in the past. The gradual re-experiencing of an episode that has been stored in the body as neuro-muscular tension is often accompanied by a gradual release of pent-up energy and emotion. 


Responses to touch therapy such as the ones described in this publication are normal. If you have any experiences you do not understand, tell your massage therapist. He or she can reassure you. If, after talking with your massage therapist, you continue to be concerned about your responses, ask your therapist to refer you to someone who can help you put your experiences into context.





What is the role of a massage therapist? How do the principles and treatments of massage assist us with our health? 


For years I suffered from a horrid case of tendonitis in my right wrist. This was caused by years of computer work, mainly mousing! I tried everything, from medication to physiotherapy, brace, anything at all, to no avail. The pain always came back with a vengeance. The episodes of pain were longer and more intense. Sometimes to such extent, it would prevent me from doing simple things such as comb my hair or dress myself. Then my doctor said there was one other thing we could try! I was ready for anything. I went to a massage therapist. I did an intensive six months, which was once a week for the first three months and then once a month, and then followed by once a month for another year. I have been pain free for almost 2 years I believe. Or when the pain comes, it is not too great, and a couple of sessions with my therapist takes care of the problem. 

I think what happened was that with the other therapies, it focused only on the location of the pain. But with the massage, the therapist started from the neck and shoulder to release the tension from the originating location. Then she would move to the more local pain area. I would recommend it to anyone!

- Atusa Nemat, Vancouver, Canada


I am not a registered massage therapist, but rather a graduate of a two year community college program in Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the study of medicinal plant extracts (which in France and England can only be studied as a medical specialty). The client's history is taken (emotional, physical, spiritual factors are taken into account) and a personalized blend is made. This may be applied through a full-body massage, through inhalation, or as a bath blend. There is great emphasis on the body-mind connection, and on lifestyle factors which influence the well-being of the client.

- Christine Nightingale , Ontario, Canada


"With the hands of power I made thee and with the fingers of strength I created thee" (Baha'u'llah, Arabic Hidden Words, p. 12) 

"Bind ye the broken with the hands of justice"  (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 52)

"Sometimes one can benefit a sick person by placing one's hand upon his head or upon his heart." (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 254) 




By Meryl Cook, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

A Bowen treatment consists of gentle, rolling movements on specific points of the body. These stimulations activate a systemic response so powerful that a few minutes' pause is observed to allow them to be integrated. A pattern of movements and pauses continues throughout the treatment. The rhythm is soothing and most patients fall asleep at least once during the session. Benefits are usually apparent within two sessions, even when long-standing conditions are being treated. 

The Bowen Technique was developed in the 1950's by the late Tom Bowen in Australia. Bowen became a celebrated therapist, regularly treating over 13,000 patients a year. In 1987 the Bowen Therapy Academy of Australia was founded by Oswald and Elaine Rentsch, who were the only people commissioned by Bowen to document and teach his original work. Since 1987, over 9,000 therapists worldwide have taken Bowen training.

Bowen practioners have claimed success in treating musculoskeletal problems such as back and neck pain, frozen shoulder, scoliosis, sports injuries, TMJ alignment and carpal tunnel syndrome. The technique is also claimed to be effective with internal conditions such as migraines, digestive and elimination complaints (including hernia), colic in babies and respiratory problems - including asthma.

The Bowen Technique is considered to be safe to use on everyone - from newborns to the elderly, even for pregnant women. It is effective for both recent and long-standing conditions. The treatments are usually done on a bed or massage table, but can be adapted to the patient sitting - even to those confined to a wheel chair. 

The Bowen Technique is unlike most other forms of bodywork. It does not involve deep massage, or adjustment of the bony structure. There is no forceful separation of fascia, or directing of energy by the practitioner. Many of the Bowen moves coincide with acupuncture points, but it is not acupressure. Similar to homeopathy, it is thought that the Bowen Technique stimulates the body to heal itself and to regain balance.

I have been practising the Bowen Technique for five years, and it continues to amaze me. While the technique is relatively easy to learn, and I have had great success from the beginning, the more I practise Bowen, the more I learn from it. In my practice I have had the bounty to use the Bowen Technique to assist moms during labour and delivery. I have also been blessed with the opportunity to assist patients with environmental illness and individuals recovering from cancer and chemotherapy. The Bowtech website is at If you would be interested in further information about the Bowen Technique, I would be happy to assist you and you can contact me at





By Bill and Phoebe Anne Lemmon, Quebec, Canada. (The technical information was gleaned from the brochure of the Sunrise Health Centre, Ottawa, Canada.)

The Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET), named for its developer, uses chiropractic, kinesiology, and acupuncture in a breakthrough treatment that desensitizes the body to a host of allergens and has resulted in curing many chronic conditions and illnesses.

Computerized allergy testing and muscle response testing determine what allergens are to be treated. The three-step process begins with nerve stimulation down the spine while the client holds a vial of the allergen. Then specific acupuncture points are stimulated by massage or needles. Finally the client rests for twenty minutes.

We were drawn to NAET, because we suspected we had allergies. In our cases, we did not manifest classic symptoms of rashes, sneezes, swelling, and the like. We were grateful that a friend told us about NAET. While being on this program, we have noticed a marked reduction in fatigue and mucous, and, for Phoebe Anne, who had become increasingly depressed about Quebec's winter, a total absence of negativity during the winter months.

We are happy to let others know about NAET and refer those interested to the website at





By Carmen (Mathenge) Turner-Pluta, California, United States

To recap Part I briefly, codependency (which the author believes to be a form of attachment) is a condition that arises due to having an inadequate sense of self and being focused on pleasing or fixing others in order to gain approval or validation.

Significance of the Self: Don’t the Baha’i Writings say we should forget the self and think only about others? Didn’t Baha’u’llah say “Loose thy soul from the prison of self”?(1) Then why does an inadequate sense of self create codependency? Or why isn’t codependency good, if it causes us to be focused on others? First, the Baha’i Writings tell us that man has a dual nature:

"In man there are two natures; his spiritual or higher nature and his material or lower nature. In one he approaches God, in the other he lives for the world alone….In his material aspect he expresses untruth, cruelty and injustice; all these are the outcome of his lower nature. The attributes of his Divine nature are shown forth in love, mercy, kindness, truth and justice, one and all being expressions of his higher nature." (2) 

Picture a circle of light, representing our higher nature (true self), surrounded by a dark circle representing our lower nature (ego or false self). The lower nature, described as “hating, angry, selfish, guilty, ignorant, judgmental,” is attached to the material world by a cord labeled “fear.” This represents fear of abandonment, rejection, loss, failure, not having enough, not being loved, being alone. The higher nature, described as “loving, peaceful, generous, joyful, aware, accepting” is attached to the spiritual world, that is to God’s Manifestation (i.e., to Baha’u’llah if we are a Baha’i, or to Christ, Muhammad, or whichever of God’s previous Manifestations we accept) by a cord labeled “unconditional love.” 

"O Son of Spirit! Love Me that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee." Know this, O servant!" (3)

God’s love for His creatures is always available, but to receive it, we must learn to love Him. Otherwise we are like an electric appliance that is not plugged into the power source. The way we plug in the cord is by keeping our attention focused on God. Perhaps this is why, when we ask the Universal House of Justice what to do about a problem, they often advise us to pray, meditate, and read the Writings. We say, “I know that, but they haven’t told me what to do.” But they have, because -- and here is the most important point -- when we focus on our fears, our material self expands, and our spiritual self shrinks; but when we focus on God’s unconditional love, the reverse is true: our “true self” expands, and our “false self" shrinks. Picture that circle representing the higher and lower natures with the bright light expanded to fill most of the circle; or picture it with the dark part expanded and only a little light remaining in the center.  Which do we choose?

In a dysfunctional family, we don’t get a sense that we are valuable, we matter. When we are going through the normal stages that children go through (e.g., at age 2 we say 'no' a lot and we are not ready to share yet), the message we get is that there is something wrong with us. So we acquire an inner sense that we are defective, and that no matter how hard we try, sooner or later everybody is going to find out. As a result, we are always focusing on other people, trying to “psych out” whether they’ve discovered the awful truth yet. This leads to focusing on our fear and neglecting our true self.

There are two meanings to the word “self.” We have one word, in English at least, for two entirely different concepts; sometimes “self” refers to the ego or lower nature, and sometimes to the higher or spiritual nature.  Shoghi Effendi sums it up this way:

"Self has really two meanings, or is used in two senses, in the Baha’i Writings; one is self, the identity of the individual created by God….The other self is the ego, the dark, animalistic heritage each one of us has, the lower nature that can develop into a monster of selfishness, brutality…It is this self we must struggle against…in order to strengthen and free the spirit within us and help it to attain perfection." (4) 

Baha’u’llah writes:

“Noble I made thee, wherewith dost thou abase thyself?…Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful, and self-subsisting.” (5)

“Could ye apprehend with what wonders of My munificence and bounty I have willed to entrust your souls, ye would of a truth, rid yourselves of attachment to all created things, and would gain a true knowledge of your own selves - a knowledge which is the same as the comprehension of Mine own Being. Ye would find yourselves independent of all else but Me, and would perceive, with your inner and outer eye…the seas of My loving-kindness and bounty moving within you.” (6) 

It seems that it is within our own self that we find our connection with God - that is, our feeling of a personal and direct relationship with the Manifestation. Thus, to ignore our true self is equivalent to disconnecting from the power source. If we have gained conscious awareness of both “selves,” then we will recognize when we have shifted our focus in the wrong direction, and will learn to shift back to the spiritual path. Shoghi Effendi writes:

“Self-sacrifice means to subordinate this lower nature and its desires to the more Godly and noble side of ourselves. Ultimately, in its highest sense, self-sacrifice means to give our will and our all to God to do with as He pleases. Then He purifies and glorifies our true self until it becomes a shining and wonderful reality.” (7)

Codependency prevents or hinders our spiritual development. When we are too busy focusing on other people - pleasing them, getting angry at them, worrying about them, or taking care of them - we don’t have time to find out who we are and what God wants us to do. Have you ever heard yourself saying, “I really need to say some prayers but I just don’t have time?” That’s just like saying, “I want to use the vacuum cleaner, but I don’t have time to plug it in, so I’ll just run it over the floor anyway.” Yes, we are supposed to care about other people and help them, but in order to do that with wisdom, we must first focus on our own relationship to our Creator.


1. Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, Persian, #40
2. ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 60
3. Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, Arabic # 5
4. From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, December 10, 1947. Hornby, H. (1983), Lights of Guidance, p. 113
5. Baha'u'llah, The Hidden Words, Arabic #13
6. Baha’u’llah, Gleanings From the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 326-327
7. From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual
believer, December 10, 1947. Hornby, H. (1983). Lights of Guidance, p. 117-8




Author Unknown

1) You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but make the best of it because it's going to be with you the rest of your life.

2) You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called Life on Planet Earth. Every person or incident is the universal teacher.

3) There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of experimentation. "Failures" are as much a part of the process as "Success".

4) A lesson is repeated until learned. It is presented to you in various forms until you learn it -- then you can go on to the next lesson. 

5) External problems are a precise reflection of your internal state; pain is how your subconscious gets your attention. First it whispers, then it yells. When you clear inner obstructions, your outside world changes.

6) You will know you've learned a lesson when your actions change. Wisdom is practice,  practice, practice.

7) Others are only mirrors of you. You cannot hate or love something about another unless it reflects something you hate or love in yourself. 

8) Your life is up to you. Spirit provides the canvas; you do the painting. Make things happen for yourself; don't sit back and watch or wonder what will happen. Take charge of your life or someone else will.

9) Your subconscious rightfully determines what energies, experiences and people you attract -- so, the only foolproof way to know what you want is to see what you have.

10) Your answers lie inside you. Children need guidance from others; as we mature, we trust our hearts, where the laws of spirit are written. You know more than you've heard, read, or been told. Listen to your heart and trust your instincts.

11) There is no right or wrong, but there are consequences, everything has a value and a price, you pay now or pay later. 




By Khosro Deihim, England, United Kingdom (This course is produced by the team of the George Townshend Travelling Baha'i Teacher Training and Teaching Project) 

We would like to inform the friends about this study course entitled "The Meaning of Life" which is available in 14 three hour video tapes with 218 page course support notes which were reviewed and approved by the National Spiritual Assembly in the United Kingdom.

The course is specifically aimed for those who are interested in the deeper aspects of our existence on this planet and our role in life. The course material is based on 45 years of research and study of the Baha’i Faith Scriptures and Writings. We recommend these videos and course notes for presentation to and use of interfaith fellowships, churches, synagogues, mosques, societies, clubs, adult education departments, schools, libraries, television broadcasting services and Baha’i deepenings. THE COURSE SYLLABUS

There are four parts to the course:

1) Spiritual awakening
2) Developing our spiritual gifts: mind, emotions, will
3) Global harmony
4) Planning to achieve the goals

For those who wish further information, please write to Mr. K. Deihim at 65 Grosvenor Road, Dalton, Huddersfield, HD5 9JB England U.K., telephone: code +(0) 1484 - 429490 or send an e-mail to:




The April issue will cover the issues of mental health.

Here are a few questions and comments from the readers:

1) How do psychiatric prescription drugs affect the soul?
2) I wish to explore the issues of depression, psychological and spiritual imbalances and sometimes this can lead the patient to want to commit suicide.

3) Can we say that depression which is very common in our time could be
cured by closeness to God?
4) How does one live with a person with depression and mood disorder?

Personally, I think depression and mood disorder are a spiritual condition, however, my doctors have told me that it could also be chemical.

Dear Readers:

Do you have any information, solutions or comments in response to the above issues? Please send them to the newsletter and we will share them in the next issue.




You can visit the website, obtain back issues and the Healing Through Unity Course at:




"Healing Through Unity" is published for the purpose of sharing thoughts, comments and experiences on how the teachings of the Baha'i Faith are being applied to physical and spiritual health. Other than the quoted Holy Writings, the material in this newsletter represents the thoughts and opinions of the writers and has no authority. You are free to copy articles, provided you indicate the source of the article. There are 10 issues per year; it is not published during July and August. The newsletter is produced in Ontario,  Canada.

Please send your stories, comments, suggestions or "Question for the Month" ideas to Frances Mezei by e-mail: -- . 


Many thanks to all of you who sent such wonderful contributions for "Healing Through Unity" Newsletter. The decision to select and edit material submitted for publication is determined by the editor. If you have a change of e-mail address, please inform me with your old and new email address. To cancel the subscription, please send message to: --  

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