In a desperate attempt to save his own life, a quadriplegic physicist journeyed into the Australian Outback and entered the untouched world of a remote aboriginal tribe. The Aborigines healed him and helped him discover his gift for healing others. Now, in this posthumous memoir and guide, author Dr. Gary Holz narrates his extraordinary true story.
Diagnosed with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis, Holz was confined to a wheelchair and took a leap of faith traveling into Australia's far reaches to be treated with powerful, 40,000-year-old healing techniques. In Journey to the Heart at the tribe's request, Holz brings this knowledge to the Western world and reveals this secret medicine for the first time.
Journey to the Heart provides a rare glimpse into the mystic life and philosophies of Outback Aborigines-one of the oldest cultures on the planet-and offers insights into an ancient system of healing that touches on physical, spiritual, and emotional wellness. This guide provides step-by-step techniques for healing the body, mind and spirit.
Praise for Journey to the Heart
"Gary's story inspires us to engage our own life more fully-to awaken our own inner capacity for well-being-no matter where we find ourselves."
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About the Author
Gary Holz, D. Sc., (1950-2007) was a physicist, multiple patent holder, founder of a high-tech aerospace company, and successful businessman. After his healing experience with a remote Outback Aboriginal tribe in 1994, he returned from Australia and became a PsychoNeuroImmuniologist, nutritionist and lecturer. Dr. Holz established several wellness centers on the U.S. West Coast where he worked as a team with his wife Robbie Holz. He resided in the Pacific Northwest with his wife until his passing in 2007.
Robbie Holz is an international speaker and author. Born in 1954, she was raised in the Midwest. Her 23-year career as a court stenographer ended when she became disabled from a reaction to treatment for Hepatitis C. While in her quest to regain her health, she met Dr. Gary Holz, a PsychoNeuroImmunologist and physicist. Robbie later married Gary and they co-wrote Journey to the Heart.
Like her co-author Gary Holz, Robbie has had firsthand experiences with Outback Aborigines. She used the Aboriginal healing principles to heal herself of Hepatitis C. Robbie teaches this ancient healing wisdom through her speaking engagements and www.holzwellness.com website. She has presented at various locations including Australia, Canada and across the U.S. Robbie lives in the Seattle area where she is writing a book on thriving in body, mind and spirit.
For self-healing tips, visit www.holzwellness.com.
Read an Excerpt
Journey to the Heartsecrets of Aboriginal Healing
By Gary Holz Robbie Holz
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2011 Dr. Gary Holz with Robbie Holz
All right reserved.
Chapter OneA Single Step
According to my doctors, I was not supposed to be alive today. But I am. Why I am and how I got well, how I was healed, has been for me a revelation. And a miraculous journey. What I've learned about healing you can learn, too, if you're willing.
The healing was not done through modern medicine, with wonder drugs and technologies. No. For me the healing began on the other side of the world, in the Australian Outback. With ways that are as ancient as the human race itself.
The trip to the Outback began with a single step—a step I took on my way to yet another business meeting. A step when my left foot didn't lift properly. I noticed that I was dragging it a little as I walked. For most people this would have been clear warning that something was wrong. But my life had enough problems. I must have strained a muscle, I told myself. The next day my foot was normal, and I forgot about it.
But then the "dragging" returned. More insistently. The scuff marks across the top of my shoes proved I wasn't imagining the weakness in the left foot. And the tingling numbness wasn't imagination, either. It was real. Too real. I thought about it and decided I had pinched a nerve in my foot and it would disappear in time.
For several months I experienced a period of numbness and tingling in my left leg, followed by a period of normalcy. I could live with the temporary discomfort, but was troubled that the area of numbness was increasing. It worked its way from the left foot to the left calf, then started in the right foot and worked its way to the right calf.
At the time, my high-tech aerospace company was growing rapidly and demanding most of my time and attention. My troubled marriage gave me even more motivation to stay focused on my business and stay on the road. I had no time for symptoms, for pinched nerves, for any distraction. So I bought a cane at a local drug store.
I would have continued living this way indefinitely if I hadn't awakened one morning and discovered that the numb feeling now had me by the short hairs. It had spread to my groin area. It was taking over my sense of maleness. A cane was one thing, but this was something altogether different. I called that day and arranged to take tests at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, near San Diego.
What happened next knocked the wind out of me. The doctor advised, "At this point the most educated guess says you are suffering from chronic progressive MS—multiple sclerosis." He cautioned that it was not easy to diagnose my symptoms, but the huge battery of tests that I had taken strongly pointed to MS.
I was speechless. All I could do was cling to the words "educated guess." Maybe he was wrong. My mind began scrambling for loopholes. This doctor had admitted that multiple sclerosis was difficult to diagnose. I could be suffering from stress—perhaps from the turbulence in my family life. My first marriage had ended in divorce and my second marriage was rapidly heading for the same rocks. My children from the first marriage were cold and distant. And there was the constant pressure of running my business. Surely that was enough to cause some stress-related symptoms. That was it, I was certain. I just needed some rest, an escape from the stress for a while. Then I'd feel healthy again.
As my mind continued to marshal its arguments, the doctor continued. "We can give you medication that will ease the pain. Unfortunately, there is no known cause for multiple sclerosis, and therefore we have no cure."
Those two words stopped the chatter of my mind and began to repeat like a broken record. No cure. No cure. The doctor droned on in a voice so flat he could have been lecturing to a classroom of bored medical students.
"Many of the characteristics of this disease suggest that it is an autoimmune disorder. In other words, antibodies begin to attack the cells that make myelin in the fluid surrounding your brain and the nerves of the spinal cord. When that myelin is destroyed, your body replaces it with a scar-like material we call plaque. As this layer of plaque accumulates, the function of that particular nerve system deteriorates."
He recited that there would be periods when I would experience an increase in pain and a worsening of symptoms—an "exacerbation." Although it was a temporary state and the symptoms would decline in intensity with time, there would sometimes be a permanent result such as numbness.
Then in a slightly softer voice—as if he finally remembered he was talking to the patient, the one for whom there was "no cure," rather than a class of students—he added, "I know it's no comfort but the reality is, we simply don't know yet how this will affect your life. The course of the disease varies from person to person. It is impossible to know what course yours will take or how severe it will become."
Even though I needed to hear what he said, it was too difficult to listen. I seemed to be outside myself, watching the entire scene from someplace else—someplace safe. In the strangest way, I was fully aware yet absent. Where was my reaction to this news? I should have been horrified. But somehow, no emotions came. I felt no fear, no anger, no self-pity, no sorrow. I felt nothing. Just emptiness.
The next seven years of my life were a nightmare. The symptoms worsened. I began taking Prednisone, a powerful steroid that had debilitating side effects. All the doctors could do for me was to increase the dosage of my medication, which had less and less effect as time went on. Eventually, I was being hospitalized every six or seven months.
For four years I continued dragging myself around airports and boardrooms, forcing myself to "walk" on two canes because I was afraid that once I got into a wheelchair I'd never get out again. Finally, in 1988, I gave in. I got a chair. That was also the year that I began taking a liter of Prednisone a day through an IV. I thought things couldn't get much worse.
But they did. In 1994, my doctor told me that I was losing the battle. My internal organs were shutting down. I should begin to get my affairs in order. He cautioned that I had two years to live—at most.
Two years. I was 43 years old and had two years to live. I received my death sentence with despair. By then, I was spending most of my time in a wheelchair, had almost no feeling in my body, was catheterized, and could barely lift my arms to feed myself. Even so, I knew I was not ready to die. There was still so much that I wanted to experience.
And so I grieved. I grieved for the loss of things large and small. Like wading in the ocean and feeling the gentle touch of the water on my toes. Like bouncing a grandchild upon my knee. Like making love. My desperation was deep and black, and I felt totally alone.
And then there occurred a series of what I would have called strange coincidences, except that I have since come to believe that there are no coincidences. Seeking relief from the unrelenting depression, I stopped in at a local jazz club. Perhaps the music would take my mind off my problems. It was so crowded that I almost turned back, but somehow felt compelled to go in.
Precisely because it was so crowded, I ended up talking to a woman from Australia. She happened to be a naturopath. We happened to talk about alternative healing methods, and especially those of the Australian aboriginal people. She happened to know some extraordinary healers in an aboriginal tribe in the Australian Outback. She happened to have the phone number of one, Ray Gelar, who spent part of his time in Brisbane. She happened to give it to me.
That was strange enough, but even stranger is that I had a strong urge to call him. It was completely out of character for me, but I did it. I called Ray. I asked him if he could help me. And although, as I found later, he and other healers in his tribe did not normally work with outsiders, he agreed to work with me.
* * *
A week later, this man who had devoted his life to physics, to logic, to hard cold facts, rolled his wheelchair onto a plane bound for Australia. My family thought I was insane. There was a part of me that thought I was insane. But another part of me was saying that this was my only chance. What did I have to lose?
At the end of a grueling 18-hour flight sitting upright in my wheelchair, I was met in Brisbane by Ray. He told me that he was taking me to a village in the Outback where I would be working directly with another healer, a woman named Rose, and that he would assist her. A 7-hour drive brought us to the village, where I met Rose and began the work of healing. She told me that the aboriginal people do not run a clinic out of their village. They do not treat outsiders, but they had agreed to treat me. In fact, she told me that I was the first outsider in over forty years with whom this tribe had shared their medicine.
When I asked Rose why I had been allowed to come, she stated simply that the 'Big Guy'—God—had told them that someone was coming from the West, and that they should get ready for him.
Under Rose's care, I began working eight to ten hours a day with the 50,000-year-old aboriginal system of emotional, spiritual and physical healing. Within a short time, I experienced the first miracle—sensation began to return to my body! The following days were joyful. I first began by moving parts of my body that had been paralyzed for many years. Then I became able to stand and, with some support, to walk.
As my body continued to heal, I was summoned to a meeting with Old Healer, the ancient aboriginal elder who supervised my treatment with Rose. Old Healer told me that not only was I going to recover from my illness but that I was destined to help others. "Someday you will be a powerful healer," he proclaimed. "You have enough power in your body to light up a small city." For the rest of my stay, he revealed, I would be learning not only how to heal myself, but also how to heal others.
During my time in the Outback, I not only regained my health, but also found my own life's work as a healer and a teacher of this ancient medicine. Before I left Australia, I made a commitment to my aboriginal friends that I would take the gift of healing they had shown me and share these healing techniques with others. I also promised to explore and develop my own healing gift.
After my return to the U.S. in 1994, I continued to recover and strengthen my body while I earned a Master's degree in Nutrition and a Doctorate of Science in Immunology. I wanted to see how Western medicine could complement the ancient healing secrets of the aboriginal people. I then opened a clinic and began working with those who needed healing. Since then, I have relieved the symptoms of terminal diseases such as cancer and HIV/AIDS, as well as chronic illnesses like macular degeneration, arthritis, and scoliosis.
Aboriginal medicine offers us much that is unique. I was a man who had devoted his life to intellectual pursuits, following the logic of the head. What I found in the Outback was a system that could teach me to know and trust the wisdom of the heart. It was a system that was strong enough and thorough enough to transform my entire way of looking at life, for it was really my belief system that was manifesting as MS in my body and literally killing me.
I know that the healing secrets of the aboriginal people have worked not only for me but also for thousands of others. I want to share them with as many people as I can. The most important thing I want to communicate through telling my story is that there's hope for you—no matter what illness you might have—if you are willing to search for answers. If modern medical science has done all it can for you and you are still not well, seek out alternatives. In 1994, I was given two years to live. Many years later, I'm still here. I am living proof that there is always hope if we can just journey to the heart.
Chapter TwoThe Outback
After more than 18 hours of plane travel, all of it sitting upright in my wheelchair, I was finally in the Brisbane airport. A steward had collected my luggage and pushed me to a payphone so that I could call Ray, my only contact in this immense continent. I had been unable to get any sleep for the entire trip, and now the combination of exhaustion and apprehension began to catch up with me. Everything felt surreal as I dialed the number.
Just over a week earlier, I had been sitting in a jazz lounge, talking to a woman I had just met. I had told her about the death sentence my doctors had given me and she had told me about aboriginal healers. And here I was, alone in Australia, dialing a number that was my only link to those healers. A number that no one was answering.
My heart sank as I heard the ringing stop and an answering machine pick up. But then I heard Ray's now-familiar voice saying, "Hi Gary," and I breathed a sigh of relief. He had left a recording for me on his answering machine. He told me there was a reservation at a nearby hotel under my name and that once I'd had a chance to rest, he'd contact me. The message ended: "By the way, Mate, welcome to Australia."
I was so tired I could hardly wheel myself to the taxi stand. At the hotel registration desk that night, I had so little control over my hands that I could only manage a shaky X for a signature. Finally I was in my room. I stretched out on the bed, fully clothed, and immediately fell into an exhausted sleep.
Just after 9 a.m. I awoke to a knocking at the door. "Hey, Mate, it's Ray. Are you ready to go?"
"I'm just getting up," I responded as I fumbled my way out of bed.
"Okay. We'll go along in a minute."
I don't know what I expected, but Ray was a wonderful surprise. He had been terse, almost rude, when I had first called about coming to Australia. Now, as I opened the door, the grin he flashed me was like a mischievous little boy's. Dressed in khaki shorts and a brightly-colored sports shirt, Ray was average in height and weight, with light brown skin and a tousled mass of silvery-gray hair. One eye socket was closed over an injured eye, and his shirtsleeve revealed the stump of his right arm. He appeared to be in his late forties. For some reason, I felt a powerful and immediate connection to him, as if I'd known him for a very long time.
After a quick stop at Ray's apartment, we made our way through Brisbane, past densely-packed buildings and apartment complexes much like any city in the States. I saw no sign of overt poverty, though Ray let me know that many aboriginal people who had relocated to Australia's cities struggled to make a living. Within fifteen minutes of leaving the outskirts, we were driving through an open, bare countryside of nothing but rock and sand. The sun and heat were fierce, beating down on the car.
We approached a river, the only sign of moisture in this parched landscape. Sunlight shimmering over the ripples lifted my spirits, as I'd always loved water and had been a competitive marathon swimmer.
Ray glanced over at me, then tilted his head toward the river as the road swung away from it. "Say goodbye to the world as you once knew it."
I turned my neck as best I could for a last glimpse of the beautiful river, my mood plummeting as abruptly as it had risen. Did Ray mean I should say goodbye to life? To water and food, to my children and everything I had loved? Was this journey only about accepting my imminent death? At that moment, I had no idea what lay ahead for me in Ray's tribal village. Several weeks later, returning over this road past the same river, I would realize that he'd been telling me to say goodbye to my old belief system and the way of life that was killing me.
The farther we went into the Outback, the worse the roads became. We were soon following a badly paved, one-lane asphalt road, the ride bumpy and dusty. The last sign of "civilization" was a shack sitting by itself at the side of the road. Ray pulled right up to its window and ordered hamburgers at this Outback equivalent of a drive-in, our last chance to eat and drink before the remaining six or seven hour drive to his village. I was ravenous, after no dinner or breakfast, so eagerly bit into the meat patty between slices of white bread with no condiments.
Ray took a bite and nodded in approval. "As usual."
It wasn't until days later that Ray, under duress, confessed to the real identity of that unique-tasting burger. It didn't come from a cow. Cows are scarce in Australia. It was crocodile.
After eating, we drove further into the baking desert. Around three in the afternoon, thirsty and gritty with dust, I asked Ray how far we still had to go.
"Not far," he answered. "Believe me, Mate, this is a short drive by Australian standards. Now, if we were going to Perth, it would take us a good week's worth of driving. Be patient. We could be going on a walkabout, you know." He grinned.
Excerpted from Journey to the Heart by Gary Holz Robbie Holz Copyright © 2011 by Dr. Gary Holz with Robbie Holz. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Contents1. A Single Step....................1
2. The Outback....................7
9. Operating Manual....................75
10. A New Program....................83
11. Spirit Guides....................90
12. Love and Forgiveness....................97
What People are Saying About This
"Gary's story inspires us to engage our own life more fully -- to awaken our own inner capacity for well-being -- no matter where we find ourselves." Jim Macartney, Author of Crisis to Creation