Women Healing Women Conference

The Women Healing Women program, sponsored by the Religion, Health, and Healing Initiative of the Center for the Study of World Religions, with funding from the Germeshausen Foundation, empowered women healers by creating dialogue among women physicians, nurses, alternative and holistic practitioners, ministers, and mental health professionals and by facilitating their pilot projects. This conference showcased those projects.

Starting times for each event segment, in hours and minutes, are shown in parentheses after each segment title.


  • Blessing (0:00)
  • The Rev. Maureen Chase
  • Welcome (0:01)
    Diana Eck, Acting Director for 2003-04, CSWR
  • Women Healing Women: The Personal IS Political (00:03)
    Susan Sered, Research Director, CSWR Religion, Health, and Healing Initiative
  • That You May Paint Tomorrow (00:21)
    Poem by Susan Lloyd McGarry, Project Coordinator, CSWR Religion, Health, and Healing Initiative
  • Keynote Address (00:24)
    Women's Support in Healing: Acts of Women's Collective Power in Three Rituals
    Edith Turner, anthropologist and author, University of Virginia
  • Mini-presentations by women healers on their innovative projects:
    • Medicine Voice Project: Women With Breast Cancer Find a Healing Voice (01:07)
      The Rev. Maureen Chase, certified SpiritSong teacher and energy healer
    • This experiential eight-session workshop, held at the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden in fall 2003, introduced women with breast cancer to techniques for using the voice as a source of healing.
    • Health, Healing Rituals, and the Role of Fatima (01:17)
      Noor Kassamali, MD
    • Fatima, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad, is invoked by Muslim women in traditional healing rituals. Through interviews with Muslim women in the greater Boston area, this project explored the range of women's prayer practices and how Muslim women integrate these practices with other healing modalities, including allopathic medicine.
    • The Best Is Yet to Come: Women Talking About Sex and Menopause (01:28)
      Gina Ogden, PhD, marriage and family therapist, and
      Mary Maxwell, RN, nurse practitioner
    • This project explored sexual issues for menopausal and postmenopausal women, stimulating group discussion on cultural, relational, emotional, and spiritual issues as well as medical, moral, and psychological ones among women of diverse sexual orientations and ethnic, racial, and economic backgrounds.
    • Postmenopausal Stories of Mexican and Mexican American Women (01:37)
      Edith Silvas Villalobos, MDiv candidate, Andover Newton Theological School
    • Using face-to-face, open-ended interviews in both English and Spanish, this project explored the psychosocial responses and folk and biomedical treatments of perimenopause and menopause in Mexican-born and Mexican American women in San Antonio, Texas.
    • Re-Membering: African American Women Healing Through Sharing (01:45)
      Jacquelyn Smith-Crooks, EdD
    • This oral history project about health, healing, and spiritual resources in African American communities brought together elders and younger women to affirm and validate ways in which intergenerational connections can help them to reclaim the power of resources that they have for healing.
    • Empowering the Caregiver: The Touch of Compassion (01:54)
      Patricia Warren, Reiki Master, licensed massage therapist
    • This project taught home health aides and nursing assistants to use compassionate touch in their delivery of personal care to patients in nursing homes, with homebound elders in their own homes, and with elders in assisted living facilities. The project's dual goals were to help the health aides recognize the spiritual potential of the work that they do, day in and day out, and to train the aides to use the touching involved in helping their clients bathe, walk, and dress as opportunities for healing.
  • Closing song (02:02)
    Lydia Knutson, chiropractor