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The Legacy of Janet Mentgen: Stepping into My Power

janet169x210I often look back to the fall of 2005 as a major turning point in my life. Within days of my 50th birthday, I completed the 5th level of training required to become a Healing Touch practitioner. My husband hosted a wonderful surprise party for me, attended by family and friends. I was busily completing my application for certification and looking forward to attending the Healing Touch Worldwide Conference, where I would meet hundreds of practitioners and instructors from around the globe, including our founder, Janet Mentgen.

A few days after the surprise party, the excitement was replaced with grave concern for my father. He underwent hip surgery, knowing the risks for his age, and he was not doing well.

Although I was looking forward to meeting Janet, I knew I needed to be with my family. I cancelled the trip, not knowing that Janet was very sick with cancer. She died the following week, on September 15th.

Six weeks later, after many ups and downs, my father passed away as well.

It was a bittersweet time in my life. I continued to move forward, delighted that my certification had been approved and I would be joining a group of practitioners at a local holistic healing center. At the same time, I was grieving the loss of two people I loved and admired.

Years later, as I reflected on the intensity of those two months, one of my mentors told me something I will never forget:

“When a woman’s father dies
she steps into her own power.”

Indeed, my new career would become an extremely significant part of my life.

For 10 years, I have been a Healing Touch practitioner at WholeHealth Chicago, the Midwest’s largest integrative medicine clinic, where I have the opportunity to work with a dynamic team of healthcare providers. I have become a Healing Touch Certified Instructor. I am an avid reader of anything related to energy medicine, quantum physics, consciousness, and the art and science of spirituality and healing. Ever hungry for information and opportunities to exchange ideas, I host practice groups, mentor Healing Touch apprentices, and attend continuing education workshops whenever I can.

Through it all, Janet Mentgen continues to influence me. I might be in session with a client, using one of the techniques that she created or adapted from other energy medicine pioneers. Or, I might be teaching a class and describing her life and legacy to my students. Janet is always present.

Janet often said, “Just do the work!” which has a twofold meaning for me. As healers, we sometimes fear that we can’t help others until we are completely healed ourselves. She agreed that the human condition inevitably presents us with challenges, and was adamant about the importance of ongoing self care. But, in spite of our own issues, we need to “just do the work” or it will never get done.

Secondly, it is exactly in the midst of life’s turmoil that we can “do the work,” and thus become re-centered, re-grounded, and better able to continue on.

Janet was also fond of saying, “Wherever you step, you bring light to that part of the world.”

Just imagine the globe covered with illuminated footsteps! What an inspiration! Janet knew that whenever we step up to facilitate healing in others and ourselves, we make a difference. Her vision was that someday Healing Touch would be known, respected, and practiced in every home, school, and healthcare facility throughout the world.

I had no idea in 2005 that my father’s death and Janet’s influence would intersect so profoundly in my life. Though I never met Janet, I know her through her work and through the stories that live on.

And, even though my father, a highly talented and respected dermatologist, never lived to see where this unusual “healing hands” work would take me, I think he would be proud.


The Healing Touch Program Vision: To inspire and empower humanity to achieve holistic health, healing and wellbeing
Our Mission…To establish Healing Touch in every home, school, and healthcare facility through heart-centered community, education and practice.

Read more about the life of Janet Mentgen HERE.


Katie Oberlin

A Healing Touch Certified Practitioner, Katie received advanced training in shamanic healing at The Power Path School of Shamanism in 2014. Her travels have taken her to power spots in the southwestern United States, as well as Mexico and Peru, where she has worked with shamans from the Q’ero and Shipibo indigenous healing traditions.

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