A Call to Bring Healing to the World Through Talk and Touch

  • Do you wish someone could just understand you?
  • Could your body use some tender affection?
  • Have you ever wondered what it would be like for you to be listened to, heard, and touched in such a way that your body feels at ease and your chronic pains dissolve?

Combine Talk and Touch

A Call To Bring Healing To The World – Listen to PART 1

Learn The Healing Synergy Of Talk And Touch-PART 2

Learn About The Rubenfeld Synergy Training


Many years ago, actually several decades ago, I was a high school teacher and later a professor of health and physical education teaching a variety of different sports activities (tennis, volleyball, slimnastics, weight training, gymnastics) and dance classes.  The problem was that my body always hurt.

My basic tendency is to want to experience everything.  I tend to overdo things in the process.  When I studied guitar, I took folk guitar lessons, jazz guitar lessons, singing lessons, songwriting lessons and I joined a small rock guitar training group.

So on one of my professional weekend conferences, I took classes in track and field, weight training, fencing and other strenuous exercises.  And then, at the end of the weekend, a friend invited me to go horseback riding.  As the horse leaned forward to eat some leaves, my back made a loud “Pop” sound and suddenly I could not move.  They brought me into a room where I laid on a bench for what seemed like hours.

That incident prompted me to seek out and receive all sorts of body therapy treatments, such as massage, craniosacral therapy, neuromuscular therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, Trager, Polarity Therapy, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement, Rebirthing, Breathwork, Energetic Healing and so much more.  However, no matter which body therapy method I received, the healing was never complete and did not last.

One week before I was scheduled to go before a committee for my dissertation oral exam, I had the good fortune to attend a Humanistic Psychology Association weekend retreat.  That is when I was introduced to the work that has become the foundation for my counseling and healing practice as well as the overriding philosophical approach to my life and my relationships.  I observed my future teacher and mentor, Ilana Rubenfeld, as she performed her magic with a client on a massage table in front of a huge crowd.

That is when I learned the power of combining talk with touch.  Ilana was famous for describing her early experiences when she would receive an Alexander Technique session and start to cry but had to wait until she went all the way across the town to see her Gestalt Therapist where she could talk about what had come up while she was being touched.

Talking “about” your life, your issues and your problems can certainly help to ease the pain and suffering, especially if you speak to someone who cares and understands and helps you to feel better.  But there is something about touch that reaches deep inside in a way that talk alone just cannot do.  In fact, there is a certain gene than can only be turned on and expressed through touch.

So it is with personal pleasure and delight that I am interviewing one of my early mentors in this powerful Rubenfeld Synergy Method which combines talk and counseling and empathic listening with a specific, gentle type of touch.  The synergist, the name given to a practitioner of this method, holds the space for healing to occur.  We do not “tell” our clients what we believe is “wrong” with them as many other modalities encourage.  What we do is that we Listen to the Body and the client discovers their own inner wisdom as revealed through their specific body symptoms.

Please listen to the poetic and elegant way that my friend and mentor, Joe Weldon, describes this beautiful healing work that he has devoted his life to sharing and teaching.  Along with his wife, Noel Wight, he is co-director of the Rubenfeld Synergy Training Institute.

A Call To Bring Healing To The World – Listen to PART 1

Learn The Healing Synergy Of Talk And Touch-PART 2

Learn About The Rubenfeld Synergy Training


Please share your thoughts and responses in the comments below.


Dr. Erica

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Dr. Erica Goodstone is a Spiritual Relationship Healing Expert helping men and women heal their bodies and their relationships through love. Having presented her comprehensive relationship healing programs throughout the U.S. and Canada over several decades, she has helped literally 1000's of men and women to heal through learning how to love. Dr. Erica believes "Where There is Love There IS a Way". When you love, accept, listen and pay attention to your body, trust your own sense of what you truly desire, and strive to understand, appreciate and really know the other people in your life, anything and everything is possible.

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20 thoughts on “A Call to Bring Healing to the World Through Talk and Touch

  1. This is very new to me, I have not heard about it. However from reading and listening to the interviews it seems to make sense. Thanks for sharing your life stories-great lessons.

    • Siphosith,
      Healing Touch and the Mind Body Connection are something you need to experience to understand. If you lived nearby I would offer you a session. It is gentle touch that helps the client to relax, let go of tension. As the body relaxes, so does the mind and new ways of looking at the same situation because easier to see. Emotions get stirred up and can more easily be released. And your body feels so much calmer afterwards.

      Dr. Erica

  2. This makes so much sense to me because when the mind is in stress so is the body. Often that’s obvious to us because we are aware of tight muscles, shallow breathing but with deep seated issues we get used to how our body feels and have no idea it’s being affected.

    It wasn’t until I was in my 40’s and had various therapies that my long term anxiety issues were solved. I now know that my body was never totally relaxed. In a group session we were always asked “how we felt” the week before. It was nothing to do with how we thought but how it was affecting our bodies. It took a while to grasp the concept and become aware enough to be able to answer that question.

    I also went to a massage therapist and I’d reveal things to her that I found much more difficult when sitting face to face with a counselor. We had both just separated after long term marriages and developed a rapport.

    One of the techniques I learned when helping my son with autistic type sensory over-stimulation was brushing (he prefers a very soft brush). I’d talk to him gently and brush his arms, hands, legs and feet to calm him. He always had it with him in his “sensory bag” and his aide at school would brush too. Even as an adult he brings it out from time to time and ask me to brush, or do it himself.

    Listening to Joe talk about his daughter showed me what a minefield it can be for parents dealing with teenagers striving for independence and whether to use direction, protection, correction or connection. What they need one week may not apply the next 🙂

    • Sue,

      You have certainly had lots of experiences that brought you to know yourself well.
      That is probably why your writing is so easy to identify with. You’re a great teacher,
      talking about difficult technical issues, social media, blogging, web sites, yet you
      manage to explain it in such an easy to understand way.


      Dr. Erica

  3. I have to admit Dr Erica,that I have not heard of this therapy before, but it seems to make perfect sense …Touch and Talk. The body seems to hold and contain much pain, illness, emotion and fear that is not healthy … and it seems these can be released when the right combination of therapies is found, The Rubenfeld Synergy method sounds powerful …I am listening to Interview 1 right now.
    It is good to hear how the foundations for your healing practice came about, and I feel this technique could be very releasing.
    Very interesting to know there is a gene turned on and expressed by touch.I am not surprised,because I feel touch is an important factor between humans, but I am intrigued to hear it exists – how wonderful is that!
    Fascinating …I am going to see if this is practised in the UK.
    Thank You 🙂

  4. Hi Erica,

    Your post reminds me of a gentleman here locally who has “Cuddle Therapy”. The creator believes in the healing power of touch (and talking). His clients hire him for cuddling and meditation sessions and he will discuss anything with them during these sessions or remain silent. He found that his service fills a gap for people who don’t have any closeness or connection in their life so they feel isolated and alone.

    Only is San Francisco, eh?

    • Rachel,

      The type of mind body awareness therapy which combines talk with gentle touch is not just a simple matter of hugging or cuddling. This is a powerful method that affects and even alters the nervous system, based on several techniques including Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais Awareness through movement as well as Eriksonian Hypnosis and Gestalt Therapy. In the training there is a high level of supervision – small groups, trainers and trainees, as well as a series of private sessions with trained and certified synergists. So please don’t lessen the value of this beautiful healing modality by thinking that anyone can just touch and soothe another person’s life issues by hugging and cuddling.

      Dr. Erica

  5. Interesting you mention Ilana Rubenfeld. I did a workshop and a seminar with her in 1978 – encouraged her to rev up her courage to claim her Synergy work as distinctively her own. Thanks for reminding me.

    • Mary,

      Ilana Rubenfeld’s gentle yet powerful approaching to healing has been the foundation of my work with individuals and couples. There is an allowance, an acceptance and a respect for the wisdom of the individual and the messages brought by their body. Ilana certainly did rev up her work and claim it as her own.

      Dr. Erica

  6. This is some truly fascinating stuff Dr.Erica!

    This whole process of combining touch and talk. That must have been quite a revolutionary breakthrough for the industry!

    You certainly are having an amazing life’s journey thus far!

    As I’m reading all of your professional experiences and all of the different methods that you’ve personally encountered thus far, in your personal and professional journey, I’m left wondering how in the world do you have or find the time to fit it all in!LOL!

    Amazing! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! And glad you recovered from your back injury!

    • Mark,

      Our bodies reveal to us what our subconscious mind is believing. Consciously we may say “I am feeling fine,” but our emotions are all riled up and we don’t even realize it. But our body knows and lets us know, if we listen. Awhile back I spoke with the teacher of a spiritual group who had recently broken her ankle. When I asked what has been going on in her life, she shard: “From the time I got to America I kept saying that I can’t get my footing, I have lost my footing.” Her ankle was telling her that she needed to find a way to ground herself, to feel okay in this new country.

      Dr. Erica

  7. Very interesting technique Erica!

    When I read that Ilana went to an Alexander Technique session and start to cry but had to wait until she went cross town to see her Gestalt Therapist where she could talk about what had come up while she was being touched,it struck a cord with me.

    When I’m touched, I laugh. My Acupuncturist explained to me that it was a “release” and it was OK. I have always been embarrassed to get a massage because I laugh hysterical until it was explained to me my body was releasing energy.

    I think the talking and touching work well together because we do hold certain issues not only in our mind, but in our bodies too.

    Thanks for such an interesting article!


    • Donna,

      It is so important for you to be able to express whatever emotions emerge during a session. I once had a client who started shaking from head to toe. That really frightened me but luckily I was working in a place with other Polarity Therapy Practitioners (one of my training certifications) and my teacher explained that this can happen, but usually only once. It is the body releasing tensions and trauma, probably for the first time.

      Laughing can be a nervous energy. There may be emotion buried underneath that is worth looking at.

      Dr. Erica

  8. Interesting article, Dr. Erica.

    The whole mind-body connection is always a fascinating topic. I’ve been involved in healing through both touch (meridian stimulation) and movement (Laban Therapy).

    Your post here is my first introduction to the integration of talk into the therapeutic process. I’m anxious to hear your interviews with Joe Weldon to learn more about that.

    • David,
      I didn’t know you had been involved with meridian stimulation and the Laban method. The body mind connection is fascinating and so many people (medical professionals, counseling professionals and the public at large) know very little about this. Our bodies CAN heal naturally when we grasp the meaning behind the injury or illness.
      Dr. Erica

  9. I find touch great and really just mellows me out, like another form of meditation. Unfortunately right now I haven’t had that… though Kim has offered to… I may just have to. I was actually studying specific points in kyusho (the study of vital points) to get the best results in relaxing… however, having another person do that is a lot better than me doing that.

    • Nile,

      As valuable as it is to know the healing points on your body, it is not quite the same when you do it on yourself. Just the work of stimulating the points prevents you from going into a full state of relaxation. On the other hand, when you sit or lie quietly while someone else touches your points or enables your muscles to let go of tension, you can much more easily let yourself relax. And then, with a skilled Synergist, you can share the thoughts and feelings and images that emerge, make sense of them and heal something in your emotional life that you never quite understood before.

      Dr. Erica

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