Leap of Faith

Labrys Healthcare Circle

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There are ample happenings in the Labrys Healthcare Circle this year. Laura Knoff has written a new cookbook and has sent to a publisher a second book on healing with foods. Juliane Barner continues to practice Jin Shin Jyutsu. Cait Cain is in her last year of acupuncture studies. Joan Margaret and Janis Irvin have added the Bio Electric Meridian Energy Regulator or BEMER to the Meridian Stress Assessment System (MSAS) in our menu of health modalities. The office has been certified GREEN by the Bay Area Green Business Program.

And I am celebrating twenty years in the business of serving you, my community. Thank you, our clients and patients, for choosing the Labrys Healthcare Circle practitioners to guide you in your quest for better health. Thank you Laura, Juliane, Cait, Kristi, Tia, JB, Susan and all the many women who have served as staff members through the years. I would not be here today without you.

Cait Cain has been my apprentice for six years. The last four she has been in school to earn a license so we can add acupuncture and herbal medicine to our Labrys Circle offerings. We are looking forward to her graduating this year and taking the board exam next year.

Additionally Cait studies Applied Kinesiology (AK) in a monthly workshop in our Labrys School of Self-Healing Arts for Wimmin and Girls. Three weekends in last year she attended seminars with me. The two in Los Angeles were to learn updated muscle testing in Professional Applied Kinesiology, a new school of the International College of Applied Kinesiology. The third seminar in Burlingame was an introduction to Quintessential Applications, an AK protocol. Cait works with a few clients under my supervision, using Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique and basic Applied Kinesiology.

Janis Irvin continues to work as my technician with the Meridian Stress Assessment System (MSAS). Clients may schedule sessions to evaluate their health as reflected in their chi/qi meridians. Together Janis and I read the data produced by the computer including an individualized graph superimposed on the Table of Homotoxicology. Based on this new information we can then recommend changes in a client’s foods and food supplements regime.

You may have noticed in my treatment room a wall chart which says it all: The Six-Phase Table of Homotoxicology. As we become ill, our symptoms and diagnoses progress to the right through six phases from excretion and inflammation to degeneration and dedifferentiation. Our dis-ease also progresses from the top of the chart from the skin down through the respiratory tract, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal system and other tissues to the immune system and psyche on the bottom, usually the last to show symptoms. As we heal, we retrace the illnesses up and to the left, until the spirit, mind and body are well.

Ask me on your next visit whether regular MSAS reports would benefit our understanding your case. By repeating the exam each 3 months, we can watch the changes of your illness in the meridians of qi.

The most visible change in the Labrys office is the addition of the BEMER, a mat you lie on over a massage table. Kristi Matthews, our office goddess, is glad to accommodate clients who add BEMER applications to their healing journey by scheduling weekly sessions. Kristi will read my prescription in your file, hand you a cup of filtered water to drink, settle you onto the table/mat in the back office and set the BEMER control panel to an eight minute session of calming/energizing energy. This is followed by a 20 minute intensive application to an area of discomfort or pain. A favorite spot to use the intensive applicator is on the liver, to improve its function.

You may also receive a BEMER session during your treatment while I am working with you. It amplifies my good work and speeds your healing.

Anything in this basket is yours for a donation to the Women’s Cancer Resource Center.” This is the sign on the basket you’ll find in Kristi’s room in the center of the suite. We are offering you herbs, food supplements, Traumeel samples and things like that. It’s popular among those of us who like to browse for bargains.

The new ACE project we added last fall equinox, the Northern California Women’s Music Festival, was unable to raise the funds by January this year to insure production of a fifth annual festival in August. We continue to fund raise so that we may help produce one next year. Please send your tax-deductible donations payable to Associates for Community Education at our address above.


This is the mother of all Labrys Update articles, covering six years. We last published Volume Eight in September, 10,002; in patriarchal years, that translates as 2002. Although we’ve not published Labrys Speaks, we have been working joyfully in the Labrys Healthcare Circle to bring our services to our clientele.

This year my dream of resuming publication of Labrys Speaks has morphed into a new web site, labryshealthcarecircle.com. Again we can fulfill our mission to increase our understanding of our natural healing abilities and demonstrate that we are our own healers. Using this new, flexible method of communication we can teach the healing arts of our grandmothers to nurture and care for ourselves and each other. I can feel all of our grandmothers’ smiles beaming with pride.

Krisit and Joan
Photo by Cathy Cade

The wimmin working in the Labrys Healthcare Circle have changed as our lives grow. Kristi Matthews is our new office goddess, replacing Lenn Keller, filmmaker, who for a year followed Deb Paschke, massage therapist, who had worked here for six years. Kristi is in her third year at the front desk, managing my scheduling and collections, plus the hundreds of details of keeping my business running smoothly and the office environment beautiful.

Rainbow and I met at the Northern California Women’s Music Festival, where we help staff the event in Laytonville each August. Rainbow promotes wellness in all forms from diversity facilitation and teaching conflict communication skills to filling-in for Kristi several times per month as office goddess.

Back office work includes cleaning the offices regularly and is performed by Juliane Barner, who is also a healing arts practitioner. Joan’s bookkeeper is Tia Paquin, who replaced Gina Zeller when she left for Switzerland a year ago.

Our newest member has rejoined us: JB. With occasional issues of Labrys Speaks designed by Jessica Bucciarelli and Kathryn Bader, our primary designer has been JB. And now she designed our new web site, enabling us to resume publication for Associates for Community Education and also expand outreach for the Labrys Healthcare Circle. Her business name is DRAGA design.

We now have three healing arts practitioners with separate businesses: Laura Knoff, nutrition consultant; Juliane Barner, Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner; and Joan Margaret, chiropractor, Applied Kinesiologist and practitioner of Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique and Bio Geometric Integration.

Cait Cain, a student in her last year at Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, has been my apprentice for five years at the Labrys Circle. She is currently working with clients at the acupuncture school clinic and with a few clients under my supervision, using Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique and basic Applied Kinesiology.

Janis Irvin joined the Circle three years ago as a technician offering Meridian Stress Assessment sessions, using a computerized instrument to determine the health of 14 systems of the body. Janis will assess your meridians and give you a colorful graph chart of your current health. During your next office visit with Dr. Margaret, I will explain how this information helps us determine the direction of your treatment plan. By avocation Janis studies nutrition and is trained as a chemical dependency counselor.

Although no longer a member of the Labrys Circle, Deb Paschke, aka Morgan, is still a massage therapist and has moved to a west Berkeley location, selling jewelry as well. Juliane works as both paid and unpaid staff at the Charlotte Maxwell Complimentary Clinic for women with cancer in Oakland. Laura teaches wholistic nutrition education at Bauman College in Berkeley. And Joan works full-time at the Labrys Circle offices.

Out on a Clef Voices: Lesbian Choral Ensemble

As many of you may remember, we tried to buy the three building complex in which our offices are located. That was equinox, 10,000: Thyme Square. Mama Bears Bookstore and Café had just closed as an Oakland gathering place for wimmin and we wanted to build an East Bay wimmin’s center with A Room of Our Own for meetings and dances, martial arts and a small café. You may even recall the three fundraisers there featuring performers: Out On a Clef, Voices: Lesbian Choral Ensemble, the Tribads and Alix Dobkin, singer and songwriter.

Alix Dobkin

But, alas, the finances didn’t pull together in time, another buyer won the chance to buy the property and he has been a fine landlord. Spring Friedlander, Laura Knoff and I who were the board members of Associates for Community Education, our 501 (c) 3 non-profit, returned the unused donations and continue to be involved in the women’s community in other ways.

Now that we are getting web savvy, we will be writing articles and publish them here on our web site Each time we add or change the educational material, we’ll send a fe-mail notice to those of you who want us to do so. Just e-mail us to give us permission to send notices to you irregularly. No promises, but perhaps as often as twice a year on the equinoxes.