When it comes to bizarre therapies, this week's -- the Dawson Program -- is top of the list.
Or rather it was when I first came across it and its Australian originator seven years ago. Armed with an eclectic collection of bells and bowls, horns and pipes, Cameron Dawson was a man you could never forget.
Then in his sixties, the Santa lookalike stunned DJ Gerry Ryan into silence on air -- no mean feat -- by correctly identifying and treating his back and digestive problems and a lazy eye.
Bizarre, it transpires, can also be brilliant and, for me, the Dawson Program, based on ancient traditions originating 5,000 years ago, falls into that category. Whenever something doesn't feel quite right healthwise it is my first port of call, and as a result I haven't needed to attend a doctor since first discovering it.
Developed more than 35 years ago, the technique, which is also known as Vibrational Kinesiology, treats a patient by correcting the malfunctions in their electrical field using sounds, affirmations, intention and semi-precious stones.
It is based on the belief that the human body is a self-creating and self-correcting system, given the opportunity to do so. Pivotal to this is the understanding that all life form vibrates at an optimum frequency of 77.6MHz.
Having trained with the late Cameron, Jill Kenny runs clinics in Kenmare and Kilmoyley in Co Kerry.
"When a client comes for a session it is like bringing their car for a service. Non-invasively, we check every bone, gland and organ in the body and get everything operating correctly again by working with the subconscious mind and sound frequencies.
"It differs from other therapies out there in that there is no manual re-adjustment back into alignment. Instead, when we work with the electrical fields the bodily corrections are carried out by the body itself in response to the sound therapy," explains Jill.
As odd as this sounds, I remember distinctly feeling as if the curvature of my spine (scoliosis) straightened itself in a few minutes the first time I heard these fairly weird natural sounds being played by Cameron close to my body, as I repeated affirmations. This was followed by an intense heat in my back for two days. Who needs drugs when nature can do such a spectacular job instead?
To ensure the readjustment held I would play a correctional sounds CD once a week.
"The source of illness in the human body, according to the Dawson Program, is a combination of frequency malfunction, water and nutrient deficiency which can be further exacerbated by chemical damage or exposure to unusual forms of irritation to the cells."
On meeting Jill in her Kenmare clinic, she uses kinesiology to run through a set protocol of questions for my subconscious mind to answer. For those unfamiliar with kinesiology, it is also known as 'muscle-testing' and is based on the fundamental principle that the body doesn't lie.
When asked direct questions with no interference from the rational mind, the body clearly answers by its muscle strength -- if the answer is yes the muscle is strong, if no it is weak.
She gradually goes through the 28 main electrical frequencies of my system including the chakras (the energy centres of the body), the 14 meridians (the pathways that send the energy throughout the body) and the seven auric fields around my body.
Each of these systems, the Dawson Program claims, has individual frequencies that can be affected by shock, causing an imbalance to chemical, physical and emotional functions.
As she encounters imbalances -- such as my sacrum, due no doubt to the pressure of the baby or the two bones that were out of place in my neck -- she plays the sounds of cymbals, horns and Tibetan bowls, while I repeat affirmations relating to the associated emotion.
While she treats people for all sorts of issues, a growing area is that of dyslexia.
"Contrary to popular belief, Cameron's extensive study and work found dyslexia to be a visual impairment problem that has nothing to do with the basic intelligence of the individual.
"The eyesight problem, he believed, was caused by an emotional shock that leads to a malfunction of the electrical system and seeing the results achieved in a matter of minutes with child after child who comes in here unable to read and leaves reading, there is no doubt he was on to something."
Verdict: The Dawson Program is non-invasive and natural, albeit totally bizarre at first to realise the extent of the healing power of sound combined intention. Since then it has been my healthcare system.
A 60-minute session with Jill Kenny costs €100.
To make an appointment call 086 847 0156
How does it work?
THE DAWSON Program combines the ancient knowledge and practices of the Egyptians, Chinese, Hindus, Buddhists and Shamanic healers, the sacred texts — including the Old and New Testaments — with the western knowledge of the body’s anatomy, physiology and pathology.
Some 35 years in the making — 20 years of research and an additional 15 of experience throughout the world — the seed from which it grew was an accident in which one of Dawson’s children fell out of a truck, hitting her head.
Afterwards, her school grades plummeted and he brought her to an elder in Australia who instantly noticed a bone in her head was out of place. On the way home after being corrected, the young child told her dad she could again read the road signs.
This piqued the businessman’s curiosity and, due to his own ill health later, he delved deeper into the ancient understandings shared by all indigenous cultures. The Dawson Program is now practiced worldwide.
As a little-known therapy, no studies appear to have been carried out on the Dawson Program as yet. However anecdotally, the evidence shows significant results in relation to specific problems where often all else has failed, such as fertility issues, dyslexia, learning difficulties and autism.
It has also be found to be effective with a variety of more common conditions from back problems, headaches, panic attacks, depression, ME to MS.