Volunteers banded together Sunday to offer “Free Trauma Relief and Healing Workshop” at the Brightside venue in Dayton.
Dozens gathered Sunday afternoon at the new music and event destination, 905 E. Third St.
For four hours professionals in the healing arts provided guided meditations for groups and individuals. There were sessions devoted to yoga and pranic healing, massages and reiki.
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Organizations that provided services included Vegan Dayton, Heartfulness Dayton and Illuminate Dayton.
The idea for the free workshop sprang this week from co-organizers Libby Ballengee, owner of Venus Child Productions, and Anjali M. Brannon, of Beavercreek-based Ayurveda Natural Health Center.
Following the Memorial Day tornadoes, Brannon held a similar workshop for survivors at her Beavercreek location, 1342 N. Fairfield Road. Ballengee said she contacted Brannon to see if the same could be done for the survivors of last weekend’s mass shooting in the Oregon District.
“I thought it would be cool if we offered it downtown and right away while people are really feeling the need for it,” Ballengee said. “It was kind of great that she already had the programming done.”
Brannon led one session for a group of about 17. Brannon instructed the group to sit quietly, close their eyes and start to observe the sensations in their bodies.
“Know that you are safe. It’s over. Scan your body from head to toe. Observe yourself,” Brannon told the group. “Now I want you to imagine yourself as a giant. Huge. Powerful. Like King Kong ... with unlimited abilities. And the person, the shooter, is tiny. Small. Powerless. You can make him as tiny as a bug ... Imagine doing or saying to him whatever you want. Anything goes.”
Brannon later instructed the group to comfort the parts of themselves that were affected by the tragedy. She told the group to create “an impenetrable bubble of safety” initially around the body, and then let it expand to encompass the room, the building, the city and beyond.
Brannon advised the same technique can be applied for virtually any events, past or present, that cause pain either physically or emotionally.
“These people who want to do mass shootings, if they were given this tool they wouldn’t have to do those because they would feel like they got to do it and they wouldn’t actually need to do it in real life,” Brannon said.
After the session, Brannon fought back tears as she described being “deeply affected” personally by the mass shooting in her native city, even though she didn’t directly know any of the victims.
“It’s the first time in my life that I’ve had to think twice about going to a large festival,” she said. “If I’m deeply affected and I wasn’t downtown ... I thought if I’m this way, I’m sure there’s a lot of other people out here that are this way. So I wanted to do something to help us all feel safer in our hometown again.”