Spotlight: Mary Sue Comstock
by Colleen M. Quinn
While you may have many close friends, or a family member who is your support system, there may be a special spot in your heart that is reserved for a unique kind of partner – your pet. There is nothing quite like the relationship between a person and their pet. Pets offer support and love in their own way, unconditional and unlimited. It’s understandable then that the well-being of a pet is a priority for their owner, and this goes far beyond just a clean bed and fresh water.
Mary Sue Comstock of Taos, New Mexico, knows that, in addition to physical care, animals need mental, emotional, and spiritual care the same way as people. Through her practice of Healing Touch for Animals®, Mary Sue offers a unique and effective way for animals to heal and maintain their heath through a light, healing touch.
Mary Sue first heard about Healing Touch for Animals®, or HTA®, through a friend in Taos who traveled for a HTA® class in Colorado. Mary Sue followed her lead, and after taking her first class was captivated. The joy Mary Sue found in Healing Touch wasn’t unusual for someone who finds great fulfillment in cultivating healing for others. Mary Sue holds a Master’s degree in Transformational Counseling, and has taught Hatha Yoga for 13 years, and while she’s not currently teaching, she continues practicing this form of yoga.
Healing Touch for Animals® combines healing and animals, which are the two things she is most passionate about. Since she was a child, Mary Sue has always loved animals and felt a special bond with them. Healing Touch for Animals® allows her to connect with animals in a unique and deeply personal way through healing. After her first experience with this practice, Mary Sue became a Certified Healing Touch for Animals® Practitioner, a commitment that required three years of study.
“Healing Touch is a hands-on healing method,” say Mary Sue. “The practitioner uses her hands to clear, energize, and balance the energy around an animal’s body, so that healing and relaxation can take place.” Healing Touch for Animals® was initially developed as an energetic therapy for people, but more recently was adapted by Carol Komitor of Colorado for use with animals using the specific Healing Touch for Animals® method. HTA® addresses the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of an animal, and is a therapy that works well with traditional and holistic veterinary care.
People bring their animals to Mary Sue for everything from anxiety issues to behavioral problems to help heal and enhance comfort during a period of illness. For example, Mary Sue recalls working with a cat suffering from kidney failure: “Healing Touch really improved his quality of life and made him much more comfortable,” she says. She’s also worked with animals that have suffered abuse and need help recovering physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Working with animals in an HTA® session requires patience and understanding of how an animal thinks and feels. “I do a lot of house calls, because the animals feel more comfortable in their own homes,” Mary Sue says. She begins by assessing an animal’s chakras using a pendulum, a method she says is very helpful in determining which energy centers are open or blocked.
An animal’s or person’s energy field can be affected by a number of things including illness, stress, or physical or emotional experiences. For example, a dog who has been abandoned may have a blocked heart chakra, due to the pain and hurt of abandonment. Perhaps the dog makes friends or feels less lonely at a shelter, and then the heart chakra can slowly opens again. But if the animal isn’t able to make a connection with another dog or person, the blocked chakra can lead to physical illness. When this happens, HTA® can be of great benefit.
After assessing the energy field, Mary Sue clears and balances the energy field with her hands, a process that may profoundly relax the animal. This in turn releases endorphins in the body, helps increase circulation, and aids in muscle relaxation – all of which create healing. A session of HTA® lasts about an hour, during the course of which an animal’s energy becomes cleared and balanced. “This will profoundly relax an animal, and assists the physiological process for healing to happen,” Mary Sue says. “And always, the intent of a session is the optimum healing and health of the animal.”
When a face-to-face session is not possible, Mary Sue also offers long distance healing as well. She and the animal’s owner talk by phone about what issues or ailments the animal has and also the animal’s background. Immediately after the phone call, Mary Sue carries out the session in her own home while the pet owner comforts and observes their animal, if possible. At the end of the session, she and the client discuss what was found during the session and what the next steps are.
Mary Sue adds a personal twist to her practice of Healing Touch by combining it with her knowledge of flower and gem essences. Having worked with flower essences for over 20 years, she has found that they wonderfully enhance a session’s effects for an animal. Flower essences, which differ from essential oils, are made from flowers or gems placed in pure water and exposed to the sun. Mary Sue uses the finest and most pure flower essences. Their effects are powerful because they retain the energetic properties of the plant or gem. Different plants and gems have different applications; for example, olive flower essence is useful for fatigue and exhaustion, and borage flower essence can be helpful to a grief-stricken animal or person.
In Mary Sue’s practice, the information she gains from a Healing Touch session is helpful in determining what flower essence remedies would be helpful. For example, if she finds that an animal’s heart chakra is blocked, a remedy of rose quartz or California wild rose can be helpful as both correlate to the heart. After the initial session, clients may greatly help their animals healing by using these remedies in the animal’s drinking water or putting a drop on their nose for the animal to lick. “These are both such gentle modalities,” says Mary Sue, adding that they are very compatible energetically.
Mary Sue weaves aromatherapy into her Healing Touch work as well. Aromatherapy differs from flower essences in that it uses the concentrated oils of a plant or flower which have healing attributes, like peppermint oil used for muscle aches and pains and for its fragrant properties. Aromatherapy aids in relaxation, which is important to any HTA® session. “I just have such an affinity for plants and their essences!” Mary Sue says. In addition to working with animals, she is an avid gardener. As someone who understands and can work with the core of living things, Mary Sue has created a personal métier that draws on the strength of this essential life.
With her knowledge and skills in facilitating healing, Mary Sue regularly volunteers her time to Stray Hearts Animal Shelter in Taos. She has helped rehabilitate stray and abandoned animals with HTA®, increasing their chances of finding a home and living a happier life. Mary Sue has many success stories of animals recovering with the help of Healing Touch, but one dog in particular remains near and dear to her heart.
When he first arrived at Stray Hearts, a stray named Puffy had many problems, such as fear-biting and fear of walking on a leash. He was scheduled for euthanasia. Mary Sue and another employee were given two months to help him. In that time, Puffy’s progress astounded everyone. “I worked a lot with him, and gradually he let me touch him,” she says. “Now he even walks on a leash!” Puffy has now found a new home, and Mary Sue once again experienced the reason she works with animals. “I just feel so good about Puffy!” she exclaims.
The Equine Spirit Sanctuary is also a recipient of Mary Sue’s skills and time. This horse sanctuary outside of Taos rescues and rehabilitates horses, as well as promotes responsible ownership of horses. Mary Sue believes that Healing Touch is especially helpful to horses, which are particularly sensitive creatures. A proud achievement of hers is the rehabilitation and healing of Buck, a gelding rescued by the Sanctuary.
“There was an area on his spine with real damage. I needed to be really careful when I first started working with him,” Mary Sue says. “His back was so sensitive that if I came near it with my hand, he would reach out his front leg to strike. It wasn’t out of meanness, but because it hurt so much.” Mary Sue continued to work with Buck, “I just continued working very gently over time. He responded very well to HTA®.” Buck eventually healed so much that he allowed himself to be saddled and ridden, a huge step forward for Buck, or Bucky Boy, as Mary Sue likes to call him.
Although she currently lives in the arid climate of the Southwest, Mary Sue has a great love for water and the ocean. This love has extended her experience beyond domesticated animals. She spent a year living in Hawaii and later completed an internship in Dolphin-Assisted Therapy. “Their energy is so amazing,” she says of the Spinner dolphins that interacted with her and others who were there for therapy.
During her time in Oahu, along with other members of a team, Mary Sue assisted a family from Great Britain whose daughter had been seriously hurt in a car accident. Every day off the shores of Oahu, the fourteen-year-old girl was lowered into the water, as the dolphins swam and played nearby. “Just to be close to dolphins can have great effects,” says Mary Sue. After spending two weeks in Dolphin-Assisted Therapy, the girl spoke her first word since her accident approximately three years prior, and moved her legs to a much greater degree. It was a greatly inspiring experience, and Mary Sue plans learning more in the future from these beautiful animals.
While Mary Sue’s specialty lies with animals, she doesn’t forget their human counterparts. She offers Flower Essence Consultations using her counseling skills, and her background and experience with gem and flower essences. She also offers Grief Counseling for those who have lost a pet or loved one, as well as Energy Sessions for people using HTA® techniques. She is also currently in the process of studying Healing Touch for people. More information can be found on Mary Sue’s website, www.starflowerhealing.com.
Mary Sue believes that the benefits of Healing Touch for Animals go far beyond the family pet or rescued animal. “People are so happy to have the help for their animals,” she says. When an animal is helped, so is a person, whether it’s a pet owner or Mary Sue herself. “I totally love it! I love working with them, and I meet a lot of fantastic animals and really great people,” she says.
“The relationship between a person and their animal really touches me. There’s so much love there.”
Mary Sue may be contacted at:4562 NDCBU
Taos, New Mexico 87571
About Colleen Quinn
Colleen Quinn graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Mass Communication. A writer for most of her life, she has been writing for Whisperingtree.net for over two years. In that time, she’s had the opportunity to meet with many practitioners and masters of the healing arts. Using her years of customer service experience and time as an intern reporter, Colleen provides a unique means of expression for each practitioner she meets. She believes that honest interest and open ears are paramount for learning and understanding the world around us. Through her writing, Colleen offers readers a valuable insight into the work of those who are doing so much to help others.