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Well-being / New practices : Discovering healing with Elya Hasson

« The more you cleanse a certain number of emotions, the more you achieve the feeling of being aligned with what you can do best »

Elya Hasson

In recent years, and even more so in this time of pandemic, there has been a growing interest in holistic therapies and a rediscovery of the benefits of alternative traditions and practices on the body and mind. With so many possibilities and teachings flourishing, Elya Hasson’s “Le grand livre du healing” is a useful book. After several years spent between Europe and the United States experimenting with alternative medicines and holistic traditions, Elya Hasson reviews in this book sixty known or confidential techniques that allow one to increase one’s energy and feel good on a daily basis. Here are some tips from a passionate person on how to take care of yourself. 

Today you are publishing a book on healing. Can you first introduce us to this practice in a few words ? 

Elya Hasson : Healing is a global term that encompasses all alternative medicine practices and holistic traditions. Healing is different from wellness, because it goes beyond that, by including a spiritual dimension and an integrative approach to the human being. 

This practice covers some sixty different techniques, such as acupuncture or shamanism, which I discuss in my book The Big Book of Healing. The art of healing in 60 techniques from alternative medicines and holistic traditions. I distinguish between ‘major’ and ‘complementary’ methods. The major methods are those that allow you to heal yourself with the different axes Body-Mind-Self. This is for example the case of kundalini yoga which is becoming very fashionable. Its impact is very transformative! As for the complementary methods, they act on a particular moment. They lead to a letting go, as acupuncture does, but their action will be more limited and they are not enough to transform us. 

Kundalini yoga 

Kundalini yoga is one of the ten existing forms of yoga. It takes its name from the Sanskrit term “kuṇḍalinī” which refers to an energy that is believed to be present in everyone and to evolve along a channel located in the spine. Considered by some as the original yoga, it is particularly powerful in its effects, based on a body and breathing technique and integrates relaxation and chanted or silent meditation. Kundalini yoga is said to have a psychological and even spiritual action in addition to its physical action. 

What are the benefits of healing ?

Healing is an opening to oneself, it favours the path towards oneself. The techniques and medicines it encompasses will clean up a certain number of projections, limiting beliefs, fears or anxieties that clutter us up, to make us feel a better version of ourselves. The more we cleanse a certain number of emotions, the more we reach the feeling of being aligned with what we can do best. The practice of healing allows us to reach moments of serenity that make us feel that we are in the right place, at the right time, and that we are in full possession of our abilities. The benefit of healing is a real letting go that allows us to move forward in life. 

You are a business leader, a digital expert, with important responsibilities. How did you get into healing ?

The digital world has always been part of the family history. My grandfather and my father ran IT companies. There is a kind of family atavism in the interest for the internet. At the same time, in both my families – I am half Auvergne and half Turkey – the intuitive part was also important. For my Turkish great-grandmother, it was normal to draw cards, to go to a fortune teller or to read in the coffee grounds. My family is a combination of an intuitive and irrational approach, and a more rational and scientifically normed approach. As a leader, I operate half in inspiration-intuition-listening mode and half in thought-construction-action mode. This is a very important balance which, in my opinion, is the key to success. It allows us to understand true human nature. Today we live in a system where thinking and doing are the main things, but part of understanding the world is also contemplation, listening to life and being receptive. Before the period of Greek antiquity, we ‘listened’ to the earth, whereas since then we ‘think’ about the earth.

What was your first contact with healing ?

From the age of 11, what my parents were telling me didn’t resonate with what I felt about situations : I had a number of flashes that had no logical explanation, but which proved to be true most of the time when confronted with the facts. Being a rational person, I like to have a scientific approach, even if it means understanding the irrational. However, this way of receiving information became too crazy and I decided at the age of 22 to start psychotherapy. I wanted to understand how the brain worked and how certain beliefs were put in place, both for the sake of personal development and for the interest of such an approach. So I did five years of Freudian psychoanalysis, five years of Jungian psychoanalysis and five years of Gestalt, which were the practices available in France at the time. Twelve years ago, I went to live in the United States, in Los Angeles. I found myself in an environment where it was normal and even healthy to disconnect. All the people in my professional environment – the Internet – from start-ups to large groups, and in particular those working in Silicon Valley or in the field of innovation, practised this disconnection thanks to healing techniques. That’s when I became interested in kundalini yoga, and then I went on to do shamanism and experiment with a number of practices such as family constellations and astrology. The healing approach is not to do Freudian psychoanalysis for ten years: it’s a more integrative approach, often linked to nature and meditation, whereas in Europe we are more into a thinking approach. 

Why are you writing a book on healing now ?

While it is true that I finished writing this book just before the pandemic started, I started writing it five years ago. It all started with a personal story. I was supposed to go to Israel with my boyfriend at the time, but when I arrived at the airport at 5am, I got a text from him saying : « I’m not going, I can’t explain. It’s very complicated, I’m not coming. » So I ended up flying on my own and I promised myself that this would never happen to me again. I was determined to find out what was going on, because I thought that I must have been the cause of this event. So I went to a hotel room and wrote for ten days in a row. I wanted to put everything I had in my head on paper : my thoughts, my beliefs… and here I am with 200 pages! After this “automatic writing” phase, I told myself that I had things to share. At the same time, I was often asked by people around me for advice like “What would you do in such and such a situation ? Have you ever tried this practice ?”. When I looked up the different healing techniques on the internet, I realised that I had practised them all and many times. So I went back to my 200 pages and added to them, explaining how healing had changed my life. Not only did I want to share my experience so that it could be useful to others, but I also wanted to democratise the practice of healing. In France, we know acupuncturists, psychoanalysts and naturotherapists, but these practices are only the tip of the healing iceberg : there are many others ! 

What are the specificities of your method ?

This is not “my” method. I don’t have my own method. In this book I discuss all the techniques and how I combined them. For example, after a ten-year battle, I had a child by in vitro fertilisation. I am firmly convinced that it was not only traditional medicine that contributed to the success of the operation. Seeing a pelvic osteopath or an acupuncturist are for me fundamental points that help with implantation. Moreover, according to some physiotherapists, alternative medicines increase the chances of success of a medically assisted reproduction by 30 to 40% ! In France, these approaches are not much advocated, even as a complement to traditional medicine. In fact, my method is to combine the different approaches : generally, I combine three different techniques and explain how this has helped me. 

You even offer a tarot deck to practice healing : can you tell us more ?

With my goal of democratising healing, I wanted a light and fun introduction to the subject online. With the illustrator Hélène Froment, we thought that a card game would be a good introduction to the book. This is a method used by Jung : he suggests drawing the cards, because according to him, they are a dialogue between the conscious and the unconscious. When you draw the cards to a person, they will interpret them themselves and reveal what they need. I’ve had fun drawing the cards for a number of people, especially the unbelievers, and every time we’ve been amazed, and I was the first, to see how true the cards are. I have even seen people crying afterwards ! The cards really do tell what a person is going through, and the challenges they are facing at any given time.

What is the impact of the pandemic on the practice of healing ? Is the public turning to the practice more in these troubled times ? Is the number of practitioners increasing ? 

That’s what they say, but I don’t have the statistics. In terms of the outlook for the market for alternative medicines and holistic traditions, it is predicted that the market will quadruple by 2027 ! Surprisingly, the strongest growth is expected in Europe. It is true that Asia and the United States are already very familiar with these practices and are more into a preventive approach than a curative one. In France, health sites such as Top Santé are seeing a sharp increase in the number of visitors. I think that these practices will develop : the public is more curious, more open to discovering other techniques, especially in this period when people are not in great shape. Many people are looking to work on themselves to feel better. 

What advice would you give to people who want to start a daily practice ?

I think the best way to start is to be open and try a few practices to find out which one has the most impact on you. It’s not necessary to have a daily practice, although that’s good. 

To find what works for you, you have to try several techniques, and I’ve found that it’s often the one that makes you feel the most uncomfortable that turns out to be the best for you ! You can start with fairly standard techniques like guided meditation or acupuncture. Sometimes, as in the case of a cold, it is better to see an acupuncturist who will eliminate a certain number of toxins and you will feel much better without having to see a doctor ! 

To make it easier to familiarise yourself with healing, I have set up the website where I propose a newsletter that allows you to discover a new practice every week and to share your experience and the benefits you feel.