Bianca Dye: "Here's what happened after I sought out a 95-year-old healer to fix my anxiety."

Who even am I? Ugh.

I’m lining up at sparrow’s fart at a temple an hour outside of Ubud in Bali with six other women, searching for answers from a healer.

Six women. Apparently, the men are off surfing and actually enjoying their holiday.

The guy inside the temple was supposed to be #amazing and help me be more #grateful. And yes, to heal me.

Why does a 43-year-old radio announcer who overshares on social media and is finding dating really hard and confronting need a healer? A woman who gave up the grog but then realised her anxiety was just too bad so had a drink of sober day 150? Why does a gal like me need to be “healed” anyway?


What about all of the above?

The world of #wellness has us all obsessed. Instagram says I’m right about that.

Bali is evidence. It’s full of women wanting to know how we can fix ourselves. How can we heal our wounds, our daddy issues, how our exes f*cked us up? Our insecurities and desperate need for acceptance? And there I was, one of them, desperate to see this 95-year-old Balinese “healer”.

I had asked on Facebook if there was someone in Bali I should go and see in the world of spirituality, and people had raved about him. So being the FOMO wellness freak that I am – I had to go. The thought of NOT going was adding to my anxiety.


Here’s what’s interesting. Why did I think that sitting with a 95-year-old man putting his hands all over me and babbling about his interpretation of my “baggage” was going to help me? What could he really do or say that would change the course of my life?
I have spent my whole life searching for meaning, happiness and for the answers to my monkey-mind restlessness. I bought my first self-help book, (The Alchemist) at the age of 19, looking for answers.

And guess what? I’m still freaking looking,  and it hits you like a kale smoothie to the face that it NEVER ends – there are no real “answers”. Sometimes we get little nuggets of answers and we eat them up and feel satisfied for a while until that feeling raises its ugly head again & we realise that we know nothing and off we trudge in our worn-out Birkenstocks & yoga pants to YouTube or to the next “wellness seminar” or “tarot reader” or bookshop to see if we can steal someone else’s “answers” for a little while.

Image: Eat Pray Love

So, that's how I ended up at the Healer's, where it's first-in, best dressed. I arrived second, but we still waited over an hour while he slept. No-one dared wake the "master".

Then he woke. The Healer was VERY old, and wrinkly, and wise-looking. He beckoned me and I scurried to him.
He sat in an old, plastic chair and dragged me between his legs and proceeded to attack my ears . He does his "reading" from your EARS - he pinches them really hard and if you wince, that's where your "pain" is being pent up and that where you need to heal. My ears were most painful when he pinched the area that related to my lymph nodes.
I YELPED in pain & he laughed at my jumpy reaction and kept repeating, "Yes lymph node, LYPMH NODE".

Listen: We need to talk about the cult of wellness. Post continues after audio.

Then he motioned for me to lie down on a mat and he poked me with his bony hands all over and grabbed my toes - each toe tells him a story about you, apparently. When he grabbed my second toe in and from the pain of where he pressed me, he discovered  that I have bad anxiety and need to "rest my mind".
Every time he grabbed the toe between his bony fingers he would smile and look to the rest of the group and nod knowingly, like "Ahhh see this woman suffers badly yes?" and everyone else would nod back at him (because what else would they do?).
And then he said, "You have two years to have a baby - that is all." I gulped. Tears welled up, because let's be honest - I'm 43 - I didn't think I had THAT long in the first place.

Did I get healed? Well, he told me that my mind "talked too much" (no shit, Sherlock) and that my "lymphatics" were not good. He did not tell me I'm about to meet the man of my dreams who actually gets me, or that all my years of IVF were not for nothing and that one of my frozen eggs will actually take one day and I'll be a mum. He didn't tell me that anxiety is actually a gift thats going to help others, or that I'll write that book. Nope, he didn't tell me any of that.

It's hilarious that the real reason we go see a "healer/psychic" is because we want them to tell us what we want to hear. We don't really want the truth, do we? I sure as hell don't. I can't handle the truth.


Maybe that's the take home? Maybe you actually have to re-assess what you do want when you're faced with hearing news that you don't wanna hear. Maybe it reinforces your life goals. It kind of did for me...

I left feeling even more empty than when I arrived. The experience made  me realise that seeing a healer in Bali was not going to solve any of the BS I had made up in my head. The only way I can face this stuff is to actually deal with it all head on.

Confronting as it was, seeing the healer healed nothing. But it opened my eyes to looking at the real reasons that I searched so frantically for the answers outside of my self. So, for that, I have to thank him.

We don't have to have to have it all figured out to be able to move forward.

Amen to that!