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Stephanie Gutz, MSW

Traditional and non-traditional approaches to healing and personal growth


This website outlines my practice in integrative healing.  My interest in traditional and non-traditional approaches is both personal and professional.  

About a decade ago, life handed me a series of stressful events that left me feeling depleted for several years.  The circumstances--aside from juggling 60-plus hour work-weeks-- included undergoing several surgeries, and I wondered if having so much anesthesia played a role in my fatigue.  I also wondered if I had adrenal burnout from the chronic, cumulative stress.  

I felt fortunate that, through my background in social work, I had access to many "evidence-based" methods for stress management and self-care. I've long been someone who exercises, practices yoga, mindfulness meditation and guided imagery and I used these in my efforts to bounce back--although, in retrospect, I wish I had acknowledged my high stress response and intervened sooner.  I studied at the Harvard Mind-Body Medical Institute (its former name) for professionals and utilized these approaches for my self-care:  I tried biofeedback, ate well, rested, and enjoyed time with friends and time in nature.  Many of these conventional approaches helped, but the tiredness and sense of depletion persisted.  I'm 6 feet tall -- an Amazon, of sorts -- and  was a Boston-qualifying marathon runner.  But now, I felt exhausted after running only a few miles.  I felt like my nervous system had a short-circuit.  

In addition to the traditional approaches, I have also studied various complementary and alternative medicine approaches (also known as "CAM" or "integrative") over the years.  My study of integrative approaches began during my work in oncology--a field where many patients explore other means of improving their health besides conventional cancer treatments because conventional treatments alone can't always promise a complete cure.  

During my work in psychosocial oncology, I learned of a new energy healing method through an Andrew Weil, M.D. course about integrative medicine approaches for treating depression.  At the time, I had been skeptical about energy work and I especially doubted distance healing was possible. (So if you are skeptical about this yourself, I understand.)  I'd had a brief, positive experience with Reiki, but to me, energy medicine sounded like wishful thinking and a little too "out there."  When I continued to feel depleted after a few years of using the conventional approaches--and having had some life experiences that led me to be more open to energy medicine--I decided to try this new form of energy healing to see if it could help.  

To my surprise, just a day after the distance healing I felt like my previous energetic self again.  The feeling of depletion was gone and I felt both relaxed and energized.  I was amazed, excited and grateful.  I was surprised that it had worked so quickly and the fact that worked from a distance blew my mind.  

This helpful experience with distance healing left me humbled about my prior skepticism--I realized that my skepticism had been unfounded and that this new energy medicine had great potential to help people.  I decided to study this energy healing method so I could offer it to others.  I knew this was not widely offered in Western medicine.

I'm now an advanced practitioner of this new energy healing modality, called "Awakening Heart" energy medicine.  I still work with the traditional, evidence-based methods, but I’ve found that often energy medicine can work more quickly and effectively than conventional approaches.  And I find that in many situations it is helpful to integrate traditional and non-traditional approaches for the best results.  

Welcome.  I hope all who visit this site find something that helps you reach your healthiest path.