Journey’s end - Sunday Tribune 2004

Niamh Hooper went on the ‘Journey’ with healer Brandon Bays and was blown away
Brandon Bays believes repressed emotional conflict can manifest itself physically

LEAVING your cynicism at the door is advisable when it comes to The Journey with American mind-body expert Brandon Bays.

Diagnosed with a large tumour at 39 and told the only option was immediate surgery, the New Yorker refused. Having spent 20 years in the field of mind-body healing, she was going to try to heal herself first.

Looking beneath the surface for something deeper, she underwent a profound process and to her surprise discovered that stored in her tumour was an old unresolved memory of childhood abuse. Her immediate reaction was “it couldn’t be that” as she felt she’d already dealt with it, but she went with it. Once the old issue was resolved and forgiven, and the lesson the tumour had been sent to teach her learned, her body went about a natural process of healing on its own.

Six weeks later, she returned to Cedars Sinai Hospital and underwent every test available. She was pronounced completely tumour-free, without drugs or surgery.

Thousands of people have since followed her lead in cellular healing, releasing themselves from physical illnesses and chronic pain, using the process pioneered by Bays’ personal experience.

The Journey is not just about physical healing. All of us have blocks in our everyday lives that manifest in the form of anxiety, overeating, overdrinking, depression and low self-esteem. Undergoing the Journeywork can clear out these blocks or limitations completely.

The Journeywork is now being used worldwide in hospitals, prisons and by police officers working with violent criminals. The South African government is financing the introduction of it into the country’s schools.

Curious, I headed off to London for the weekend and joined Bays and 200 others for The Journey Intensive.

Trained in Reiki and a fan of alternative health, I was surprised at my scepticism once there. It all seemed a bit too saccharine and touchy-feely. I didn’t fit in. I felt a fraud. I was happy and healthy, to the best of my knowledge, and around me were people with life-threatening illnesses. There must be something in that, I thought, but I tried to remain open.

Little did I know that that’s the basis of the Journey — connecting to your truth. Granted this all sounds like Psychobabble Central but hold that snigger just a second.
“Your body is the barometer of your soul, your gut is your crap detector, listen to it,” Bays tells us. “There is a knowing inside which will tell you what is true and what is not; the Journey is about discovering what is true for you. The only place inner truth can talk to you is through the body. It never lies.”

Her story of the gruff, no-nonsense 67-year-old English baker, Jack, who had no previous experience of holistic healing is one of Bays’ most compelling examples of the body’s ability to heal. Three years before he met Bays, Jack discovered he had a tumour on his lung and was given three months to live. A combination of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and determination arrested the spread of the tumour, but Jack came to see her for a reason. He wanted to know why it had appeared in the first place.

Bays believes repressed emotional conflict can manifest itself physically, and, even if the condition heals it may reappear if the memory of that trauma is retained in the cells. The only way to resolve the issue is to uncover that emotion, find the root cause and make your peace.

Often this process involves peeling back layers of associated emotions such as loss and grief, which in Jack’s case, lay beneath the rage he had carried around for 40 years.

Jack’s journey took him back to the death of his mother during the second World War when he was a child. He was in school when a bomb landed in his section of town and he panicked. he ran home but she wasn’t there, and running through the town he found her in the street, dead. The 16-year-old filled with rage he could never express for the untimely death of his young mother.

‘Your body is the barometer of your soul, your gut is your crap detector’
At the end of Bays’ simple process, he had forgiven all. At a check-up a fortnight later, doctors could find no trace of the tumour.

Whetted by a host of stories, it was time for action. And courage. There are two processes — the ‘Emotional Journey’ during which you drop through layers of emotions into the core of your soul and the ‘Physical Journey’ into your body, guided by your own inherent wisdom. At the end of the weekend, one man said: “Two hours ago I thought you were all nuts believing in this stuff. Now I’m beginning to think I was the one who was nuts.”

For my part, like many others, the things that emerged were things I wouldn’t have thought of in a million years. A variety of seemingly unconnected things came up — one of them being a childhood memory of being abandoned in France on a family holiday. What felt like hours to me at the time was probably a matter of minutes but my body’s cells logged the trauma.

My processes complete, I felt at peace. Since then the coldness I’d felt around my hips for years despite very regular exercise has disappeared and there’s no trace of psoriasis, the skin condition for which there is no known cause or cure.

Sounds too simple to be true? It worked for me.