When Jeannette Blum was 27 years old, playing with her infant son in a train station in Switzerland, a monk who had been observing her approached and said, “Do you know you have healing hands?”
She was astounded, “but I knew he was telling me the truth,” she says.
“I had always been aware of energy in the human body. But in the Swiss society I lived in, it was not natural to speak about energy, it was considered ‘esoteric.’ So I just didn’t dare,” Jeannette says. The monk’s words were confirmation of her natural gifts.
Expressing herself beautifully in English, one of six languages she speaks, this lovely Swiss woman explains that her education and four decades of service in the healing sciences includes being trained in Europe as a physical therapist, neurological trainer and massage therapist, working in hospitals treating people before and after spinal and shoulder surgeries, and helping stroke survivors regain their mobility.
But what she enjoys most is combining her training with allowing patients’ bodies to speak to her.
“I prefer to shut off my brain, to forget all my knowledge, and just tune into somebody, to ask ‘What can I do? How can I be the best servant for this person?’” she says.
“Then I put my hands on their back and I can feel what to do. I immediately feel hot, cold, tension, where there is not tension. I can feel if tension is in the bones, muscles or meridians,” she says.
Jeannette enjoys supporting people who are ready to move to new places in their lives, as transformation often presents physical challenges.
“So many, many people, they tell me, ‘I would love to have your assistance,’ but they are not really ready to make a change, because they still have fear,” she says.
“You really have to love yourself and to believe ‘I’m worthy to be healthy,’” she says. “This is very hard for some people. A lot of times, they are so stuck in their victimhood. They no longer have belief in their huge opportunities. They have forgotten the wonderful light that everybody is.”
Growing up in the tiny village of Bottighofen, Switzerland, Jeannette enjoyed taking care of the many foster children her parents took into their home. Empathetic and sensitive, she also liked playing with the rabbits and cats the family owned. Looking after the animals “was my first healing intention,” she says.
Though she originally wanted to become a sports teacher or physical therapist, her father, a nurse in a huge psychological clinic, encouraged her to become a banker. Unwilling to disagree with him, she began studying economics.
“I felt very unhappy in this education,” Jeannette says. “My father observed my unhappiness, and I told him I want to be something with movement, with caring for people. Finally he allowed me to become a physical therapist.”
They found a four-year college in another town. “My father could feel I am really passionate and he assisted me,” she says. “He could see my joy.”
In the last year of her schooling, Jeannette began treating people using what she had learned.
“I immediately was successful. I could feel that was my purpose. I felt so blessed,” she says. “I knew I could just touch people and they felt better.”
Upon graduation, Jeannette took her first job in an orthopedic hospital in Norway that specialized in spinal and shoulder surgeries. There she found great responsibility — and great freedom — in helping patients.
“They always had a huge meeting in the morning. Everybody came together: the doctors, the nurses and us. We could say, ‘I will do this and this and this with this patient to rehabilitate him.’ It was very interesting to work there.”
Back in Switzerland, she became a neurological trainer using the Bobath Method. She learned how to help stroke survivors recover, by reminding their bodies and brains of their old patterns of movement, methods she says remain far more effective than what she sees used today in the United States.
“I’m so sad to see how they do it here because I know there are so much more efficient ways,” she says.
‘I was flying’
After working for 35 years in various hospitals and rehabilitation centers, studying to become a kinesiologist, learning how to work with energy, and founding a handful of healing centers in Switzerland, Jeannette was ready for a break.
“My agreement with my family was to stay until my youngest son finished his education. The same day as his graduation celebration, my beloved father passed away. That was in June 2014. In September I left. I felt that now I have wings. I could do whatever I wanted.”
What she wanted to do was learn lomi lomi massage, a traditional Hawaiian technique of massage that a co-owner of one of her healing centers in Switzerland had once demonstrated. She found a Hawaiian woman on Oahu from whom she could learn, whose late husband, the founder of Kahuna Bodywork, grew up on Kauai.
Before leaving Oahu to return to Switzerland, the description of Kauai in a guidebook called to Jeannette. She flew to the Garden Island.
“As soon I walked out of Lihue Airport, immediately I could feel a connection. I had no words, but it was huge. I thought ‘Wow, what’s going on with me?’
“The first three days on Kauai, I was in kind of a dream state because never before something happened to me like this. It was such a blessing, a kind of bliss,” she says. “I was flying.”
‘Wow, that’s possible’
Now, living on Kauai with her partner, Kelly Stevenson, who affectionately refers to her as his “Swiss Miss,” a winking reference to a brand of instant cocoa that uses a “Swiss Miss” as their logo, Jeannette loves helping people heal from whatever is ailing them.
“The only thing I require for someone to become one of my wonderful clients is to be open, to be curious,” she says. “That’s the only thing you have to bring with you.
“We cannot heal somebody. Only the body can heal itself. Everybody has his own healer in himself,” she says.
“All we healers are just conduits, and we give them a push to raise their frequency, their energy, to help them create momentum. Then they can know, ‘Wow, that’s possible.’”
Pamela Varma Brown is a writer and publisher of “Kauai Stories,” and “Kauai Stories 2.” www.writepath.net