Alternative Therapies Program

The Alternative Therapies Program is a system for educating persons suffering from a wide range of conditions and symptoms. The persons participating in the initial 6-month program suffered from diverse ailments such as: multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, cancer, Tourette’s syndrome, profound deafness, blindness, cerebrovascular accident, motor vehicle accident, diabetes, intractable pain and spina bifida.

The Alternative Therapies Program was created and funded solely by Mark Sullivan. There was no charge to the participants

The hypothesis was to allow the participants to help manage their own conditions and to ameliorate their pain and suffering. The dignity and respect for the participants was always evident. The empathy and healing love was in integral component of the program.

The participants were selected by Mark Sullivan to provide a wide range of conditions and greatest potential benefit. The first group of 25 persons were assembled at the large conference room of The San Antonio Independent Living Services (SAILS) headquarters. Twice weekly the participants were gathered together and educated in an “alternative” therapy. The teachers were all compassionate, giving and patient. The participants were all excellent students. They were given notebooks and asked to notate (or have their assistants write for them) the particular alternative therapies which best provided relief and helped with “self-care”. With these notes they could build their own personal “tool-kit” for coping with their condition.

The first course of instruction consisted of Hatha Yoga. It was taught by Adele, and she helped many people who were suffering. Her instruction was calm, healing and illustrated proper techniques of breathing, postures and mental focus. She was an angel for these people.

The second course of instruction was Jin Shin Jyutsu, an ancient Japanese healing art. Jin Shin allowed the students to address their condition through achieving a harmonious balance of energy flow to their mind, body and spirit. This course of study helped to support the body’s ability to heal better when in balance. Several students with neurological disorders responded well to Jin Shin.

The third course of instruction consisted of reflexology. The students and their partners/caregivers were given a directed instruction of reflexology to address the specific anatomic location of their personal disorder. Students with ESRD and nephrology associated maladies reported anecdotal improvement.