“There’s more to life than people usually acknowledge”
By Sarah Bronson
Greg Goltsov, 27, doesn’t waste any time. The Massachusetts native has lived in Israel for less than two years, and a few months ago he was still studying Hebrew at Jerusalem's Ulpan Etzion. Yet, the certified Reiki Master fulfilled one of his dreams last month: the opening of a Holistic Healing Center, a one-stop shop for inspirational workshops, energy healing and holistic therapies.
Currently the center is housed in a two-bedroom apartment in Jerusalem's Old Katamon neighborhood. As a non-profit organization, the Holistic Healing Center charges participants "whatever they think is the value of the service provided to them, based on their finances," Goltsov said.
"The point is to expose and educate people about [holistic treatments]. Why is the pain still here? Why are you still feeling this way after so many years? Let's try to change your life instead of having you take medication for the rest of your life."
As an undergraduate at Brandeis University, Goltsov spent three years at his campus' crisis hotline, counseling students. Some just needed to talk about exam stress or tension with their parents; others were suicidal. He eventually abandoned his plan to attend law school in order to pursue a career in social services. He served as a mediator on the staff of the Massachusetts Attorney General and as a life-skills counselor for young people with mental illnesses.
Then he enrolled at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, where for two years he studied "energy healing, how to become perceptive, how to help others - and working on myself in deep, powerful ways," he said. "I was the biggest skeptic in the world until I was introduced to this work. But this stuff changed my life, and I hope to use it to help others."
Two years ago Goltsov came to Israel on an all-expenses paid Birthright program, and decided to stay. He remained in Israel for 9 months, studying Hebrew, visiting relatives, exploring Jerusalem, and attracting about 30 clients for his services in Reiki and Quantum Touch, before returning to the States briefly to prepare for his formal immigration.
It was then that he decided that a donor-funded center for holistic healing was "an idea whose time has come."
"My tourist visa had expired," he explained, "and I couldn't get it renewed because there was a strike. It got me thinking that there was this huge infrastructure for passports, people whose jobs were dedicated to paperwork. But what infrastructure was there for people who were saying `I'm in pain, and no one can help me' or `I feel like a failure'? There were resources for paperwork but not [free] ones for improving the quality of your life."
Currently, all the practitioners at the Holistic Healing Center are volunteering their time, either as a community service or in the hope of winning private clients. Goltsov is raising funds through the center's registered non-profit organization in Israel and its complementary non-profit organization in the U.S., American Friends of Holistic Healing. He says that eventually he hopes to hire permanent staff, pay the practitioners, and open more centers around Israel and the world. The center's first events have included workshops with a top sports trainer and mental conditioning expert on "how to build the life of your dreams"; career and life counseling with a graphologist and guided meditations. On and around September 11, the center will offer a free healing clinic and group workshops designed to "work through the pain surrounding that day."
"There's more to life than people generally acknowledge," Goltsov said of energy and other holistic therapies. "We all know it's there. The love between a mother and child, the feeling in the room when someone else walks in... We are all connected. To do this healing on a professional level means to tap into [these energies], amplify it and focus it in a way that does the highest good for that person."