‘It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it’ – W. Somerset Maugham
It took a great leap of faith for Lissy Rauber to give up her 12 year job with Sure Copy in Campbell River just over three years ago and devote herself to the healing arts as a full time occupation. The turning point happened in 2007, when she discovered a unique healing therapy called ‘begradrigung’ in Germany (where it originates) or alignment.
When you first experience ‘begradrigung’, it is difficult to tell if you are experiencing anything at all. But that is the point – it is a non-invasive spinal alignment where the practitioner doesn’t even have to touch the patient, yet can achieve results similar to what can be achieved by a chiropractic treatment. While it doesn’t claim to replace chiropractic treatment, this treatment has often helped individuals for whom all other treatments have failed.
Lissy lives in Black Creek, and is the only practitioner of this unique alternative therapy in the North Central Vancouver Island area, and may well be the only practitioner in British Columbia. Lissy came to the area from Germany 15 years ago, and says now that “I never dreamed that I would be practicing the healing arts”. But through a series of seemingly preordained events that occurred over the past seven years, she arrived at doing what she does today – incorporating the alignment technique she learned three years ago with acupressure and healing touch.
When asked what kinds of results people can expect, Lissy explains that before she does the alignment, she observes the difference in the length of her patients’ legs. Often, one leg will be shorter than the other. She works on the person’s area(s) of discomfort with acupressure, then does the alignment. After the treatment, Lissy again compares the difference and in most cases, the legs become even. She has seen people who were ‘out’ by as much as two inches. While they may not think anything has happened during treatment, it is usually a few days afterwards when the changes really begin to take affect.
One of her most dramatic and immediate experiences recently however, was with a woman who had been bedridden and suffering in pain for several months. Her doctor didn’t know how to help. The woman was carried into Lissy’s treatment room by her husband. After the treatment, she was able to walk out on her own two feet, only needing her husbands support. This lady’s doctor was so impressed, that she began referring clients to Lissy.
Lissy has also helped people to give up orthotics, as once their legs are an even length, they don’t require any lifts in their footwear to even up the balance. Many who suffer from chronic back pain find that their symptoms have disappeared, and Lissy has helped hyperactive children to settle down by getting them back in balance. She not only helps people though, she also helps horses.
Horses were in fact, her first patients. Lissy owns a beautiful fourteen year old gelding named ‘Sunny’ who she was hoping to train for competitive jumping. While he possessed all the required physical attributes to be a good jumper, his disposition was once anything but sunny. Baffled by his quirky behaviour (he was unpredictable and generally aggressive), she took him to a horse whisperer, who confirmed that he was indeed a difficult horse. Lissy felt there must be an answer however, and decided to take courses in acupressure.
She practiced on her horse, and began to see some improvement. It wasn’t enough though, and she continued to search for something that would have immediate results. “I have always been attracted to the unknown”, Lissy said, and when she encountered Beryl Thielman, a friend who does healing with crystals, she began to get a sense of where she was going. She investigated alternative healing methods and gained an understanding of how the body’s energy works and the importance of the chakras (seven energy centres located in the body from the bottom of the spine to the top of the head). She took a course in Reiki and became a Reiki master, and received training in healing touch.
It was also around that time that a friend introduced her to the book ‘The Secret’ (an inspirational book that encourages people to believe in their ability to shape their own destiny), and Lissy sensed that she was close to discovering something very important. Then the answer came. “My parents were watching a program from Germany”, Lissy related, “They got very excited and thought it was what I should do.” The broadcast was about a miraculous, non-invasive spinal treatment that was causing waves among chiropractors and orthopedic doctors around the country because of its spectacular and measurable results.
Around this time, she and some friends went to visit a tea leaf reader in Nanaimo. This reader told Lissy that she should quit her present job (she was then still working at Sure Copy) and her new endeavour would burst wide open. She also predicted that she would go to Germany.
Then a strange thing happened. She was driving by the nearby Timberline Resort one day and felt compelled to go into the driveway. As it happened, the owner was delighted to see her as she had a guest from Germany, Susanna Seng, who oddly enough, was a practitioner of the spinal alignment (begradigung) that Lissy had just heard about. Amazingly enough, Susanna was also certified to train others in how to do give the treatment. The training was only available to students who were Reiki masters, as Lissy was, and while it certainly appeared that Lissy had been destined to meet her, she would have to go to Germany to take the training.
At the time, she knew she couldn’t afford to go, but again, destiny intervened. She was visited by a friend whose wealthy sister was visiting her from the States. As Lissy already had a reputation for helping horses with her current methods, this sister felt immediately that Lissy shouldn’t miss the opportunity to get training in the alignment treatment. She booked the flight to Germany for Lissy, using her excess number of air miles. Lissy’s parents also felt that she was meant to get the training, and her father paid for the course.
Lissy stayed in Wetzlar (near Frankfurt) for three weeks with Susanna, learning one on one how to do the alignment. Upon returning home, she immediately incorporated this training with her existing techniques and came up with her own name ‘Helarion Energetic Alignment’, to distinguish her approach from that of others. (Helarion was a fourth century saint and healer). She has found that patients benefit most when she works on their areas of pain or discomfort first with acupressure, then completes the treatment with the alignment. Most people respond to the alignment after just one treatment, and if they need further attention, Lissy will do follow up session using acupressure and Reiki .
She continues to work on horses, who can suffer from misalignments from carrying people on their backs.
In people, she has seen blockages released in the spinal column, knock knees straightened, sloping shoulders and crooked necks brought back into proper alignment.
To contact Lissy and make an appointment call: 250-337-1845. She works from her home at 2138 Miracle Beach Drive from Monday to Wednesday, is in Campbell River on Shoppers Row on Thursdays, and does treatments in Courtenay on Fridays.
Rivercorp, the economic development body for Campbell River, hosted a well attended gathering at the Maritime Heritage Centre on January 28, bringing together community stakeholders from various arts and cultural organizations and businesses to discuss short term goals and recommendations for expanding cultural tourism in the region. The meeting and workshop were organized by Brad Bradbury, CEO of Rivercorp, and facilitated by Bruce White, the Cultural Tourism Advisor from BC’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts.
White started off the meeting with a discussion of cultural tourism, defined as “travel to experience the authentic cultural identity of BC’s people, places and activities.” He acknowledged that the Campbell River region has had a long history of tourism, going back to its days at the turn of the 20th century as a sports fishing mecca. However, since sports fishing is no longer the major attraction to the region, and the City recently experienced a major loss of economic revenue with the closure of the Catalyst Mill, the region was going to have to find ways to strengthen its economy and its touristic appeal. In British Columbia, tourism is considered to be on par with forestry in terms of importance to local economies and the Campbell River region is well situated to exploit its rich cultural heritage as a draw to visitors.
He encouraged attendees to consider the needs of the traveller, which consists of providing a safe and secure environment, while offering many things to see and do. Attendees were divided into four groups and asked to brainstorm ideas that could result in the Campbell River obtaining a stronger identity as a cultural destination – such as new or bigger events initiated by the arts, heritage and First Nations sectors of the tourism industry.
Rhonda Harper, manager of the Visitor Information Centre in Campbell River, was among the attendees. “I love the excitement and the positive energy coming from all different sectors”, she said. Rhonda has seen consistent numbers of visitors coming to the area, despite dire predictions for 2009, but feels that Campbell River has a huge untapped potential and needs to look for ways to make it easier for visitors to get around the city. Signage was identified as one of the most important areas needing improvement, as the Inland Highway in particular causes travellers to pass by the city on their way to northern destinations on the island, without finding the visitor information situated in the city centre or finding out about the city’s major attractions.
Other recommendations included identifying Campbell River as a waterfront city, with more activity taking place in parks along the waterfront and at the new Spirit Square in the centre of town. Most participants were in agreement that the old moniker of “Salmon Capital of the World” is clearly outdated, and that other more relevant assets of the region should be promoted like readily available fresh seafood and distinctive local wines, and wildlife viewing.
“I think that the workshop is very timely for Campbell River and its social, cultural and economic development”, commented Ken Blackburn, Executive Director of the Campbell River Arts Council. “Cultural tourism has the potential to have a great impact on our community and in our province. Campbell River is well situated to take advantage of new opportunities.”
The Arts Council, Campbell River Art Gallery and Museum at Campbell River for example, would like to see a more coordinated marketing effort being made through a specific cultural tourism brochure and website.
Tom Sewid of Discovery Marine Safaris identified the region as being on ‘the fringe of the frontier that makes up beautiful BC’. In his 25 plus years as an aboriginal wildlife and tourism guide, Sewid has seen a significant growth in aboriginal cultural tourism and plans to expand on the concept of giving tourists an authentic experience, like canoeing and barbequing salmon in the traditional First Nations manner. “I dress like an Indian nine months out of the year”, he said, “that’s what people want.”
Two more workshops are to follow, and Rivercorp and the Ministry expect to have recommendations in place by March 30th of this year, with hopes of implementing some of these new ideas before the summer tourist season starts. If this past meeting was any indication of the dedication and enthusiasm shown by participants in finding solutions, then it is quite possible that they will meet their goal.