Dr. Christine Gallagher learned about Acutonics while she was working on her PhD. And that was not long after having had her third child. After earning her Doctorate in Natural Health, she opened her own private practice, Journey for Wellness - Center for Natural Family Health, in 2006 in Grand Junction, Colorado. She lives in Western Colorado with her husband of 27 years and their youngest son. Her husband is a criminal defense attorney and a federal magistrate judge, their youngest son is a sophomore in high school and their oldest son is a sophomore at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. Their eldest child, and daughter, is a law student at New York University.
Her practice could serve as the paragon for integrative medical facilities. It’s not just that she incorporates Acutonics into her practice, along with other modalities such as nutrition, Bach Flower Essences, herbology, and homeopathy, it’s her acceptance and integration of the more standard Western approaches to health care that differentiate her. Her clinic also has a massage therapist and a Rolf Structural Integration practitioner. They regularly refer back and forth to each other as well as the medical community at large.
Christine has a Master’s in Religion with a focus on spiritual care and worked for a time as a hospital chaplain. She did her chaplaincy residency program at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. She has written an international cookbook and loves traveling the world, meeting new people and trying new foods. She’s also a certified Iyengar yoga instructor, a singer and musician (who performs regularly with High Desert Opera), and last year became a nationally certified emergency medical technician (EMT).
It’s this last certification that led to her voluntary participation in Guatemala this past October, as an Acutonics practitioner, with Timmy Global Health. This Indianapolis-based nonprofit was founded by Dr. Charles Dietzen, who helps bring quality health care to people all over the world. Christine has a passion for world travel and wanted to be able to help others around the world. Timmy Global Health seemed like an excellent, non religious or political, organization with which to associate.
“We were there for two weeks this past October. We were based in Quetzaltenango (Xela) in the northern mountainous part of Guatemala. I was with a group of volunteers including physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. Each morning we would travel to a remote village sometimes as far as 2 hours away. We would set up a clinic wherever we were - often at a school with no windows or air conditioning or plumbing. The conditions were very basic and school would be closed for the day that we were there. People would walk for hours to see us. Women with babies wrapped in beautiful bundles on their backs and their fronts. Everyone barefoot or with very minimal footwear. Often it was raining and cold.
Originally, I was going to be working with the nurses due to my EMT skills and help with vitals and blood pressure, etc. At the last minute while I was packing, I tossed in three low frequency forks - one zodiac and two ohms. I had communicated with the site supervisor about my skill set, but I knew she would need to feel it to understand Acutonics better.
When I arrived in Guatemala, I did some Acutonics demonstrations on the site supervisor and other volunteers. And they loved it! The supervisor pulled out a brand new massage table from a store room and asked if I could use it. I was shocked and immediately said yes! Apparently, a physical therapist had donated it just the month prior. It was a luxurious treat to have in the middle of these rural areas. Even the physicians didn’t have exam tables and had to makedue with less than optimal conditions.”
What Is She Doing?:
“I was definitely a unique feature of the clinics. We soon decided that people would need to have a “physician referral” in order to see me or else I was going to be beyond swamped. Even the other volunteers wanted Acutonics sessions! It was great to work integratively with the wonderful physicians and other health care providers on this trip. They were terrific and worked nonstop day after day helping people. Everyone was incredibly supportive of my Acutonics work and I was deeply grateful for this opportunity to help others.
Acutonics was a perfect modality to use in Guatemala. The indigenous people in the villages we were in were very modest and conservative. Being able to use the forks through people’s clothing was a terrific asset. In addition, the forks have such a beautiful mind/body/spirit application. Everyone we worked with had suffered terrible emotional traumas during the decades of genocide. In addition, incredible poverty and malnutrition were ever present.
Acutonics could go in and help soothe people’s hearts and spirits and alleviate physical pain as well. Pain was the primary referral to me, and I worked long hours with many translators (Spanish and the different Maya languages such as K’iche and Mam) to help bring some peace to these beautiful people. It was truly an honor for me to be present with them.”
Open Air, Open Hearts:
“People were very open to receiving Acutonics. There was a lot of laughter and giggling. Who’s this lady with these forks? But I was pretty much out in open spaces so it was easy for people to see what I was doing. In one village the mayor decided he was going to have a treatment of Acutonics. Oh my, that was hilarious! All his buddies gathered around to watch and to tease him and take videos on their phones. He told me about his back and shoulder pain and I explained what I was going to do to try to help alleviate it. This particular clinic day we were in a community center. My table was stationed where everyone could see me and there were children running around and playing, pharmacists working with medications, and so much activity all around!
After working on the mayor, he jumped up and announced to everyone in the building that his pain was gone! Oh wow! That was quite a PR moment all around for Acutonics, Timmy Global Health, and the mayor himself. Needless to say, his friends all immediately created a line right next to me (bypassing that “physician referral” idea) and waited patiently for me to treat each one of them.
If anyone is interested in volunteering in Guatemala, be sure to contact Timmy Global Health. They would love to be able to offer Acutonics regularly at their clinics. I found it to be an exhausting and deeply rewarding experience. It lives within me and has made me even more aware of the deeper interconnections of us all. One of my passions is social justice and giving back to people, and I was able to do that in a very concrete way.”
Social Justice Genes:
“I was born in the terrible year of 1968 in Boston, Massachusetts. My mom was a social worker and my dad was getting his PhD in Theology. He’d marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. in Birmingham. We have always been a very politically active and social justice-oriented family, at a grass-roots level. My brother is a professor of Economics at the University of Delaware and studied shade grown coffee and its impacts in Costa Rica. My parents regularly travel to India and parts of Africa for their work with helping to end HIV/AIDS stigma and bring medical help and human kindness to others. They started a nonprofit organization called The Center for Health and Hope and are truly an inspiration to me.”
Coming Full Circle:
“When I was six months old, my parents moved back home to South Dakota. I spent the first twelve years of my life in Mitchell where my dad was a college president and my mom a professor of social work. It was a great childhood filled with extended family and fun. When I was 12, we moved to Denver and I was exposed to even more opportunities.
I have always been interested in helping people one-on-one and find the mind/body/spirit connection fascinating. When I was in high school, I had the privilege of studying Mandarin Chinese and Chinese History and Culture. I was able to study for two months in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China the summer of 1985.
In college I started out as an Asian philosophy major at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. But I ended up switching over to the religious studies and women’s studies departments for my major and minor. It was all excellent. Upon graduation, I did a year-long hospital chaplaincy residency for clinical pastoral education. When that was complete, I moved to Denver with my husband (we met in college) to attend seminary and earn my master’s degree.
After seminary, my husband and I focused on starting a family. We have three wonderful children who are now aged 16, 20, and 22. When our youngest was around 2 years old, I decided I wanted to go back to school and earn a doctorate. During my five years in the doctoral program, I met Donna Carrey and Ellen Franklin at a conference. They were doing a special three-hour workshop on Sound Therapy. Acutonics brings me back to being 16 all over again and studying Taoism and Asian Philosophy. I’ve come full circle.”
Three Kids and a PhD Aren’t Enough—I Know, I’ll Take Up Acutonics Too:
“Within minutes of experiencing Acutonics and hearing about it during this workshop, I knew it was what I had been searching for from a healing modality. Acutonics could combine all of my various studies into one.
It was amazing! Donna and I sat on the floor for an hour after the workshop had ended. She even took me into the bookstore area and showed me which forks I should start with. I knew with intense certainty that this was what I was meant to do. I had these three little kids — two, six, and eight years old. And I was in this PhD program and still I said, I’m gonna do this Acutonics certification program. It was meant to be. I finished the Acutonics certification right before my PhD. My dissertation was on Acutonics and increasing joy.
During my studies I opened up an integrative clinic here in Grand Junction, Colorado. One of my Acutonics teachers - Sylvia Pelcz-Larson - was instrumental in pushing me to start practicing. She told me not to wait until I felt like I knew everything. In fact, one will never know everything and then one just gets stuck and doesn’t start. She was right! I worked on getting over my fears and just start working. Along the way, I was mentored by Jude and Paul Ponton and traveled many times to learn from them. In addition, I’ve stayed connected to Donna and Ellen and took many classes from them and literally sat at their feet to learn more and more. So many intelligent and gifted people that have graced me with their knowledge and presence in my life. I am deeply grateful!”
“Since day one in private practice, I’ve been lucky enough to make a profit. I live in a very supportive town and most of my friends are physicians and other health care providers. We refer to each other and have a good reputation. We trust each other and work hard to provide the best care for people using all the available health care options out there.
I feel like I’m a pretty rooted and grounded, intellectual person. And I have the time to be with a patient and really listen. Appointments are from 1-2 hours. I look at the person’s diet and discuss the gut microbiome. I do a lot of wellness counseling. Which is where my pastoral care background comes in. I bring in other modalities and a lot of compassion. And I don’t pretend I can do everything. I regularly refer people to their physician, physical therapist, psychologists, and other healers. That engenders trust and shows people that I’m truly about their mind/body/spirit wellness.”
The Joy of Acutonics:
“The Acutonics healing system is so powerful in such a gentle and almost magical way. It just transports people. They sink into this relaxation state while being joyful. Even if just for one hour, they connect to something deeper, more spiritual. It lightens them and it does stay with them. My PhD dissertation was an experimental research design with 40 volunteers. Twenty were in a control group and 20 were in the experimental group. The focus was whether one could increase joy and decrease depression with Acutonics. In short - absolutely! (Oriental Medicine Journal will be featuring an in-depth article this spring about my dissertation results.)
Plus, Acutonics is terrific for acute and chronic pain, infertility, grief, digestion, and depression. Any time you can increase joy in someone, that’s a good thing. It’s even on my intake form: What gives you joy? This gives me an important clue into a person’s life. Joy gives people meaning and a sense of purpose. It builds resilience and connects us to others.”
“I attend yearly conferences with Dr. Andrew Weil and the University of Arizona’s integrative medicine program. I read medical journals and try to stay on top of this ever-changing medical landscape. I try to always keep one foot in the world of Western medicine and the other foot in Eastern healing. I tend to think of myself as a ‘bridge person.’ I try to bring the best parts of all these amazing healing options we have around us to others through my own work and referrals to other. Acutonics is a wonderful modality to bridge all of these different wisdom traditions. I’ve even attended births and used Acutonics on women in hospitals with physicians and nurses present. They are gracious and curious, and it is a wonderful way to bring a new baby into the world!”