By Jan Henrikson
Tucson Green Times – February 2010
Paul Bucky was the resident hippie in a small Colorado mining town. Living off the land and off the grid, he felt like a free spirit, except for a pinched nerve down his leg, which caused excruciating back pain.
Paul Bucky, co-creator of the International foundaiton of Bio-Magnetics and president of th Bio-Touch Center in Tucson, specializes in healing with love. Just don’t ask him how it works. Photo by James Patrick.
For a year he immersed himself in self-healing work: yoga, exercise, meditation, calling upon “God and Guru. And nobody came,” says Bucky.
When the town of cowboys, ranchers, Southern Baptists, and Mormons encouraged him to see this guy who was “doing this weird healing work,” he balked.
“At the time I didn’t want to have anything to do with healers, clairvoyants, psychics, chiropractors, doctors, M.D.s, CIA, FBI,” says Bucky.
Fortunately his truck had other ideas. (“Or so the story goes,” says Bucky, grinning). One day it drove him up the hill to the guy’s house.
Moments later, Bucky, in ponytail and cut off jeans, found himself staring up at a man with a big barrel chest, barely contained in a tight white tee-shirt, a pack of cigarettes rolled up in one sleeve. The man had a duck-tail hairdo, greased back and “a big smile, missing a few teeth,” Bucky explains. “And he had three barking dogs, and I’m looking and going, ‘Well I must be in the wrong place.’”
Norman Cochran assured him he was indeed the healer and opened the door to his house, where Bucky was blasted by cigarette smoke and the sounds of a soap playing on TV.
“I went, ‘Oh, I am impressed,’” says Bucky. No incense or whale music within throwing distance.
He loved the lack of pretense, the sight of Cochran’s wife emerging through the smoke in heavy make-up, pouring coffee.
He loved it even more when Cochran proceeded to perform what is now known as Bio-Touchä, a light touch healing technique using the index and middle finger of each hand. After just two sessions, a week apart, Bucky’s back pain disappeared.
For six months afterwards his whole body “started to adjust itself as if going to a chiropractor, but it did it on its own, just with that light touch and no manipulation at all,” says Bucky.
“Just touch,” said Cochran when Bucky asked for an explanation. Turns out Cochran, a mining engineer, had never set out to do healing work. In 1971, his buddy’s pregnant wife started to hemorrhage. Spontaneously, Cochran knew what to do. He put his hands on what are now called “sets of points” on her body and she stopped hemorrhaging immediately. She eventually delivered a healthy baby.
For the next 15 years, Cochran “just touched” people, discovering different sets of points worked repeatedly for different sets of health challenges. He did it for free, traveling to mining sites, welcoming folks into his home, until he ended up working on 20 people a day. Overwhelmed physically, emotionally, and spiritually, he taught the sets of points to someone else and quickly realized this wasn’t about him being a special, gifted healer. He was given these points to pass on.
Today this healing technique is being passed on to everyone from children to doctors through the nonprofit International Foundation of Bio-Magnetics (IFBM), and the Bio-Touch Center in Tucson.
And Paul Bucky is the self-proclaimed “stooge that met the guy that developed this system.” He is also co-creator of IFBM and head stooge at the Center.
Bucky’s urgency to help the Cochrans pass on this work to as many people as possible peaked when “this little old timer said, ‘Norman and (wife) Carol brought love to the Mancos Valley.’” The word love came out and all of a sudden a light went on. “This was the valley where the Jones’s had hated the Smiths for generations,” Bucky says. “Now they were sitting in the same room with a common purpose.” They wanted to heal their pain.
IFBM’s purpose is to encourage people to grow in their own self-awareness and introduce an application of the Golden Rule: Love Thy Neighbor through Bio-Touch.
The Center is run by volunteers. Anyone can learn Bio-Touch for a nominal fee, and anyone can enjoy a session for free. If so inspired, you can leave a donation.
“We don’t look in the bowl to see how much you gave,” says Chardonai, an instructor at the Bio-Touch Center and president of the IFBM board. “Nobody pays attention to that.”
People often learn sets of points to help loved ones with pain, such as arthritis, sinus trouble, acid reflux, migraines. Others go on to become practitioners. Practitioners don’t diagnose or recommend. They don’t have to be in any particular frame of mind to practice the technique. Neither giver nor receiver need to believe that it will work for it to be effective. Traditional and nontraditional health care professionals use Bio-Touchä as a complement to their own services in private practices as well as in hospitals, hospices, and substance abuse centers.
“The nice thing about this technique is you have the tools,” says Bucky. “There are no secret formulas – all you need are fingers. We touch lightly on the skin like a butterfly.”
Two little girls learned Bio-Touchä to help their mom with cancer.
“It gave them a feeling of empowerment, and it gave their mom a feeling she could talk with the girls about what she was going through,” says Chardonai. “She could say, ‘I don’t feel well after the chemo. Can you work on my tummy?’”
“For me, the idea of teaching that’s exciting is everybody gets it,” says Bucky. “The minute they learn the points, they’ve got it.”
How does it work? Like Cochran, who has since passed away, Bucky doesn’t try to explain how or why. “Some people call it energy. Some people call it spiritual. Some people call it psychological. Some people say it’s just placebo. Some say it’s just touch,” bucky says. “We leave everybody to define how and why it’s working. We just know that it works.”
Their mission is to make Bio-Touch as accessible and inclusive as possible.
“As soon as I walked through the door, this feeling of peace and acceptance and love was in the air,” says Chardonai about her first visit to the Bio-Touchä Center.
She’d just had a heart transplant, was going through a divorce and had no money. The woman who greeted her assured her a session wouldn’t cost anything.
“I said, ‘You’re helping me because you want to? You want to help people?’ She said, ‘Yeah, that’s why we do it.’ And I said, ‘I’ve got to be a part of this.’”
Chardonai hadn’t felt that kind of love since 1984 when her heart stopped for 56 minutes. For 20 hours, she was in a coma. “I spent a lot of time on the Other Side. And I experienced this pure acceptance sort of love,” she says.
Her Bio-Touchäsession was the first time in years anybody had touched her because they wanted to help her feel better. “Not because they wanted to cut me open and put in a new heart, not because they wanted to take blood, it was just because,” says Chardonai. “No strings attached. No ‘be back in a month to see me.’ No laws, no rules, no judgments. Come if you like, don’t come if you don’t want. It’s up to you. And if you want, we’ll give you a hug.”
Emotional and physical peace enveloped Chardonai. She’d been suffering with peripheral neuropathy. “The pain got so bad, I was crawling around because I couldn’t stand. Nothing helped until I came here.”
A few months after starting Bio-Touchä, she saw her neurologist for one of her regular visits.
“What are you doing?” he asked. “Nerves don’t regenerate. Yours are.”
Love brought volunteer and board member Horace Barnes to Bio-Touch as well. Love and a dream.
Barnes had suffered years of back pain, a souvenir from the war. Rather than undergo surgery, he decided to live with it. Then one night he dreamed he walked into a building. A young man greeted him and asked how he could help. When Barnes told him about his back pain, the man instantly put his hands on him.
“This heat started at the base of my skull, went all the way down my spine, real hot heat. And that’s what woke me up,” says Barnes, 75, wearing a Navy hat.
The next morning when he woke up, he braced for the inevitable pain of stepping onto the floor. It wasn’t there. His wife Lillian was flabbergasted. A few days later, Barnes happened to catch a segment about a Bio-Touchä class on Access Tucson TV.
They showed the same technique Barnes experienced in his dream. “It shocked me,” he says. He located the Center – an exact replica of his dream building.
“They explained that you could come here and learn this Bio-Touchä,” says Barnes. “I wanted to work on my wife, who has arthritis real bad. I’ve been here ever since. That was three years ago.”
“People come in and they look like the before cartoon, just frazzled,” says Chardonai. “They have a session and leave smiling. Sometimes people refer to it as Bio-Bliss.”
Gary Schwartz, Ph.D., Director of the Human Energy Systems Laboratory at the University of Arizona, and his wife and collaborator Dr. Linda Russek, refer to it as “resurrecting the reputation of touch.”
Their research, performed in 2003, measured stress, pain, feeling cared for, and energy levels. In over 600 sessions in four locations in Arizona, Hawaii, California, and Amity, a local drug rehabilitation center, they found significant changes in pre- and post-sessions of the Bio-Touch technique.
Post-session, people reported feeling less pain, less stress, more energy, and significantly more cared for.
Then they added blood pressure measurements and found a significant post-session drop in people who had high blood pressure.
In 2004, Dr. Kenna Stephenson studied 18 healthy post-menopausal women, ages 62 to 84. Half received Bio-Touch sessions once a week for four weeks. Half did not. The half who received Bio-Touch showed a significant increase in interleukin-12, an immune system molecule known to increase resistance to infection and cancer.
“Research is another language,” says Bucky. “It measures effects, but it still doesn’t show us why it works. Simple pain going away is a miracle to me.”