Article Published in About Town

Summer 2002 - Go To Article on About Town Website

Miracle Healer Next Door
By Cait Johnson

            Living quietly on a side street in Barrytown is a small woman with a generous heart and a Russian accent whose healing gifts are having a big impact on those privileged to know her.   Her name is Lara Chkhetiani, and she is a folk healer, what Americans might call a medical intuitive, like Caroline Myss, able to diagnose with her hands and also able to cure.   Originally from the Republic of Georgia, she was trained in Moscow where the attitude toward folk healing is deeply respectful: over twenty years ago, the Soviet government gave its official seal of approval to alternative healers in that country when Brezhnev was cured of his partial paralysis by folk healer Guna Davitashvili.   Since then, folk healers have been working side by side with allopathic doctors and technicians in an alliance far more common abroad than in this country where alternative healing is often viewed with suspicion by the established medical profession.   Lara was "discovered" by Guna Davitashvili in 1981.   Since she emigrated to our area, stories of the miracles she has worked have been steadily growing.   But then, her life is a bit miraculous in itself.             When she was not quite twenty, Lara was diagnosed with a brain tumor.   Her devoted father brought her from their home in Tbilisi to a Moscow hospital and then, desperate to find help for his daughter, he sought out Guna, Brezhnev's healer, and brought her there to meet Lara.   What happened next was completely unexpected.
            In her soft voice with its charming Russian accent, Lara remembers: "Guna take one look at me and she can see, she knew I had the gift.   She tell the specialists to hook me up to machines that measure energy."             The experts were about to receive the shock of their lives: when they took readings of the electrical charge emitted by Lara's hands, the needles were off the gauge.   "One machine have five little bulbs that light up.   If one light up, it means you have a lot of energy.   When they test me, all five light up."             The doctors immediately went into action, eager to verify, quantify, and channel this amazing gift.   "First they teach me how to give the energy by breathing, then letting it out.   They start me with plants.   Then they give me patients, to see what I can do to help them.   Many diagnoses: one woman with cysts in breasts, a man with chronic insomnia, another with a fibroma of the bladder.   " Lara saw them for just three minutes a day for five days.   At the end of five days, the cysts had shrunk, the insomniac was sleeping soundly.   ("He send me flowers," Lara says), and the fibroma was completely gone.   Then repeat radiology showed that Lara's tumor was gone, too.             " I have to heal people, otherwise energy gets stuck in my body," Lara explains." And I love it.   I love to help people.   " When I first met Lara, I was immediately struck by her warmth and kindness, all the more striking when you hear what she has been through in her life: some of the details are pretty horrific.   But she has remained a truly generous person with a gift ofopen-heartedness that draws people to her and makes them love her unreservedly.   And the miracles continue.
            I met one man whose painful bone spurs had left him practically crippled.   "He didn't think Lara would do any good, he didn't believe in any of it," confided his wife.   " But I made him go.   He saw her a few times, and nothing seemed to be changing.   I told him, 'One more visit, just one more', so he went, grumbling.   And the bone spurs dissolved, just like that.   The doctor showed us the x-rays.   It was amazing."             Another grateful client, whose arteries had been almost completely blocked and who was facing extensive surgery, wrote an article about Lara for his local newspaper after her treatments healed him.   "The doctors couldn't believe it," says Lara.   "They kept looking at the test results and shaking their heads."

            I spoke to a number of Lara's clients, all eager to share their experiences and their enthusiasm for Lara's healing gift.   Richard, an entrepreneur in his mid-fifties, says, "I had a team of holistic practitioners working on me for five years.   I had deep-seated stress, constant headaches, a brick-like neck and back.   Lara did more for me in six months than that whole team could do in all those years."   Jane, a retired teacher, had suffered for years from low-grade chronic fatigue.   "I'd been to a lot of people about it and never had much benefit.   Then I started seeing Lara.   Now," she says, "I have an amazing amount of energy, more than I've ever had in my life."

Photograph of Lara Chkhetiani            Healers need healing, too, and some of them have found Lara.   One therapist I know takes his entire family to see her whenever they're not feeling well.   Another told me, "Lara has helped me move through a lot of old feelings that I was just cycling through over and over.   I've tried many therapies, many methods, but Lara has made more of a difference for me than anything else.   It hasn't been overnight, but I can honestly say
my quality of life has jumped ten points."
            While all of this may sound weird, mysterious, or murky to Americans, it should be noted that several ancient Asian healing systems map the patterns of energy flow in the body; both acupuncture and acupressure, for instance, are grounded in the knowledge that healing results when blocked energy is released.   Lara works on that energetic level, sometimes barely touching her clients, but with noticeable results.   As one woman, a college administrator in her mid-thirties, says, "I'm sensitive, but when she puts her hand on me, I can feel it almost like acupuncture in my muscles.   I really don't understand how it works, but I know it does work.   I see Lara for my stress. It's like seeing a shrink, only very direct.   When she touches me, I calm down." Marilyn, a musician in her mid-50s agrees: "I'd noticed a tremendous change in a friend and she told me she'd been seeing Lara.   I'd suffered from depression for years and so I thought I'd give her a try, sort of as a last resort.   Lara really helped me unstick the energy.   It was the crucial step in being able to move on."
           " Lara is the real thing," says one friend.   "People can spend thousands of dollars, train and study for years and still not be able to do what she does naturally.   She has the gift.   But she isn't puffed up about it.   She sees people right in her house, sometimes her kids are there.   It's very relaxed."
           How did we get lucky enough to have "the real thing" living in our midst?   When Lara's home was burned to the ground during the civil war that erupted in the Georgian Republic in the early 1990s, she fled with her family to Moscow and eventually found her way to America, seeking political asylum.   She arrived here with only one suitcase and $250 in her purse.   But everywhere she goes, she helps people, and they have been eager to help her in return.   "She is a gift," says one devoted client.   "Anyone who knows Lara loves her.   She is an angel."
           Until recently, Lara has kept a low profile.   But now, with word spreading and a biography in the works, this healer may be on the brink of well-deserved fame.   We aren't suggesting that people abandon allopathic medical care if they seek treatment with Lara; it is important to remember that she comes from a tradition of partnership with the medical professionals in her country.   She can be reached at (845) 758-4342.


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