Why I Go to Congress

My “Top 10” reasons for visiting Congress as part of Voice for HOPE

I live in Washington DC, and every year or so, I take a break from my regular activities and devote a day to reaching out to members and staff in our US Congress. My goal is to ensure that the voices of the wide variety of CAIN healers (I use CAIN to mean Complementary, Alternative, Integrative and Natural), as well as the voices of their clients, may be heard and considered as our legislators make decisions affecting health care.
Voice for HOPE (HOPE stands for Healers of Planet Earth) gives me the valuable skills to do this.

Voice for HOPE (VFH) is a nonprofit organization that helps our policymakers understand how important it is to us, their constituents, to have the freedom to choose our own paths to wellness. Research shows that at least half of all Americans use one or more CAIN modalities, but that fact often seems invisible to our congressional representatives. Bear in mind that ubiquitous health support practices such as the use of vitamins, meditation, prayer and body/mind movement classes all are considered to be in the CAIN category.

I have to say, when I started with T’ai Chi 33 years ago, it was just because I enjoyed doing it so much. I could never have envisioned then that it would become the darling of medical researchers, recommended by Harvard, U MD, the Mayo Clinic, and considered part of the CAIN healing modalities.

Lately I have more and more people coming to class to help with balance, relief of back pain, recovery from surgery, management of chronic pain and Parkinson’s symptoms, or to deter the progression of osteoporosis, spinal stenosis and much more. My participation in Voice for HOPE events has empowered me to embrace and understand the importance of my role as a health support person for my students.

Each year Voice for HOPE hosts three or four
HOPE on the Hill events, which include setting up an appointment with your Congress member’s office as well as a professional training on how to present yourself as a resource to them. The unique Voice for HOPE message is a “bring to” of collaboration and service, in contrast to what they typically see in Congress: people who come with a goal of getting something from them. For us, it’s empowering and fun. For them, it’s eye-opening and helpful. Think of it as a way to ”heal” our relationship with Congress.

In addition, the philosophy behind Voice of HOPE’s mission is compelling: we are a transpartisan effort. CAIN healing is a matter that interests and concerns everyone; we come to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all legislators, representing all constituents, to work together to pave the road ahead.

Here, then, are my “Top 10” reasons for visiting Congress through Voice for HOPE’s HOPE on the Hill events:

1. It’s empowering!  As someone working in the CAIN arena, it’s empowering to have my voice heard.
2. It’s powerful! Learning how to take a transpartisan approach to accomplishing a goal, rather than choosing sides, is good training for life.
3. It’s healing! The transpartisan approach offers a healing influence to the entire political system. What a treat it is for healers who typically work to heal bodies to apply their skills to healing the body politic.
4. It’s an honor. The Voice for HOPE approach offers equal respect for all healers and modes of healing.
5. It’s exciting! We get to actually visit Congressional offices and to see and be a part of democracy in action.
6. It’s good citizenship. Participating and contributing to the national health care conversation feels great and helps restore pride in our nation.
7. It’s gratifying! I love being in an environment where CAIN practitioners are recognized and respected as valued health services providers.
8. It’s energizing! It’s great to be a part of an effort that brings CAIN practitioners from far and wide together in collaboration.
9. It’s enlightening! Hope on the Hill is a powerful learning experience, with valuable lessons learned about healing, politics, citizenship, health care, people, and effective advocacy.
10. It’s good for business! Hope on the Hill is a wonderful CAIN practitioner networking opportunity.

Come join me for Voice for HOPE’s next HOPE on the Hill event June 13-15, 2016 and experience it for yourself!  More info at "