The Healing Haven

DSC03012There’s nothing particularly remarkable about the walls and front door of this compound. And you’d never know that a couple of rabbits reside inside and that their pint-sized handler has quite aptly named them Cow and Bunny-Dog. You also wouldn’t likely know – unless you’ve been here – that it’s a veritable house of healing. But once discovered, it’s a place that you’ll add to your list of ‘favorites.’

This is where you’ll find Lawrence. An acupuncturist that takes his calling – because, in his case, it’s nothing if not that – uber seriously. In fact, his approach is light years ahead of those of more seasoned or differently-trained practitioners. You get the unmistakable – and unfamiliar – feeling that he actually cares about helping you to heal your body.

A session starts off with an intake; how am I feeling? How am I sleeping? How’s my digestion, my pain levels, the color of my stool? How am I reacting to the supplements, the adrenal compound, the (ever-so-vile-tasting) temulawak powder? How’s it going with the probiotics? Do I still have enough of everything, do I need a refill? What about the exercises? How are they going? And food, are you getting enough lean protein? Complex carbs? I hope you’re using coconut oil regularly! Ok, let’s get you started on X.. (or) how about you stop taking Y.. and let’s see how you’re feeling next time..

Ok so maybe I’ve collapsed a few different conversations, but they’re all about getting the big picture – with details included. A completely holistic approach to my body’s health. Isn’t that what we all need?

Then, contrary to what most medical doctors do NOT do (when you go for a check-up or with an illness/injury), he palpates. Lawrence is unafraid to touch my body. Where do you feel the pain? Does it hurt here? Can you feel this?

He gets to work. Needles are stuck into both ears. “The whole body can be treated just from the ears,” he says. Imagine… Then I feel the needles being strategically pricked into sites all over my body – crown of my head, legs, thighs, back, clavicle, forehead, wrists and ankles – a human pin-cushion.

The worst happens after a needle plunges into my backside and penetrates into a muscle. I know what’s going to happen next: Lawrence will rotate the needle – yes, very gently, but still! – until the muscle twitches – and I let out a barely muffled shriek that tenses up my whole body. I’m transported back to years before, when in Montreal, my physiotherapist did the same, until she stated that there was nothing further she could do to help me.

And yet. Lawrence has found enough tightness and stasis in my body to keep him busy – and me shrieking.

He turns on relaxing music, then leaves the air-conditioned room (first laying a sarong across my shoulders or back to keep the cooling air at bay). In my post-twitched bliss, I imagine the implanted needles shifting my energy, lessening my pain, opening up me up to still more healing.

I never imagined that I’d use the word ‘angel’ to refer to someone who wields a very sharp needle. But so it is. And so he is.

(To top it off, this past week I treated myself to the other half of this healing haven; a hot stone massage, c/o of Lawrence’s wife, Yati. Oh the bliss…)



  1. “It’s a long and winding road……….” So happy you are moving forward in your healing. Thinking of you….

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