A patient I’ll call “RG” contacted Keyvan Golestaneh after attending one of Keyvan’s workshops in Paris, France. The man was overweight, pre-diabetic, slept badly, suffered poor digestion, endured ongoing depression, and was bothered by the skin condition known as psoriasis. He took prescription medications for hypertension, high cholesterol, and asthma—yet each problem persisted.Within a year, with Keyvan’s help, RG’s cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure numbers fell to a healthy range. His bloating and gas were gone, along with 40 extra pounds. The man’s skin cleared up and he was sleeping seven or eight hours every night. He stopped taking his medications and no longer felt depressed.“I’m certain I could not have made these significant health advances,” RG declared, “without Keyvan’s guidance, knowledge, advice, and support.”For the 52 year old, San Francisco Bay Area-based healer and practitioner of Natural Medicine, such testimonials are common. What’s Keyvan’s secret? The answer lies in a mix of personal experience and professional expertise rarely found not only among conventional physicians, but so-called holistic or alternative practitioners as well. These attributes, coupled with intuitive gifts and intrinsic talents, make Keyvan a powerful healer. “I often work in or on multiple dimensions simultaneously,” he explains. “No one plan works with everybody. My approach depends on where a client is in his or her life-process and what that person’s goal is. Such work takes a great deal of sensitivity to what people are saying as well as to what they’re not saying. I rely on principles—one could call them ‘laws’—I’ve discovered through my personal searches and work with people spanning two decades. This involves the wisdom of life and its pragmatic application to everyday problems we encounter.” Keyvan believes he developed much of his sensitivity during an unusual childhood. His father was an Iranian, physicist, and fine-art painter; his mother a French Jew who survived a Nazi concentration camp. Keyvan grew up among diverse cultures, switching from one language to another and exploring varied traditions of thought, philosophy, spirituality, and healing. He also discovered the conflicting disharmony of human life. This affected him profoundly and motivated him along his life-search and path.© Richard
“In a real sense, Keyvan had conducted an experiment on himself by manipulating his body, first through yoga and then with diet.”
“I felt great desire to understand this world and my place in it,” recalls Keyvan. “I became interested in yoga during high school, something that wasn’t popular in those days.” After years of study, he became a yoga teacher and melded it into the work he does today. In those days yoga was not nearly as popular as it is today. “Yoga was a practice,” Keyvan remembers, “that had concrete results and altered my experience as an embodied consciousness. It helped me see that what I did with my body and mind had great impact on my health, my life, and how I felt.” “I started to connect with the non-material dimension of reality people also call spirit”. This was the beginning of a series of explorations Keyvan made during his formative years. On an academic level, this led to an anthropology degree and coursework in philosophy, with a particular interest in understanding why different cultures had different views of reality and truth. At the same time, Keyvan found joy in using his body and voice as tools of expression. He immersed himself in music, theater, and dance—leading a rock band and joining a modern dance-theater troupe. From such activities arose inventive talents and an eagerness to communicate. Expression and creativity, he realized, are at the heart of healing.“But around this time I started getting severe headaches,” Keyvan says. “They were short, but the most painful things I’d ever experienced. I went to a doctor, who couldn’t find anything essentially wrong with me and prescribed codeine. I was left with an unanswered question: ‘If there was nothing wrong with me, why was I having such severe headaches?’ The mainstream biomedical community had no answer.”This wasn’t the first time Keyvan was disappointed by conventional health care. Earlier he had consulted physicians about skin problems that had reoccurred since early childhood. Standard medicines and topical skin creams were prescribed at the time, but his eczema and psoriasis inevitably returned. He later discovered these medications had serious negative impacts on his body and immune system. “As I grew older,” explains Keyvan, “I was determined to find out how to take care of these skin problems and headaches myself, through more natural interventions. I found that fats—especially animal fats—affected my skin condition directly. Other foods had negative impacts, too. These experiences, coupled with some personal beliefs, prompted me by my late teens to stop eating meat and radically change my diet.” In a real sense, Keyvan had conducted an experiment on himself by manipulating his body, first through yoga and then with diet. He continued experiencing first-hand how the body works through an ever-widening circle of modalities and traditions. These included meditation, nutrition, acupuncture, acupressure, herbal medicine, movement therapy, bodywork (Rolfing, Alexander and Feldenkrais methods among them), and both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Spiritual teachings played a key role, too, as Keyvan became a student of a Spiritual Adept Master and moved into an ashram to live under his guidance. Keyvan also wanted to discover how indigenous peoples and those in traditional cultures treat illness and heal the soul. This led him to participate in an in-depth participatory study of Shamanism, write an unpublished book entitled Wild-Analysis, earn an advanced degree in counseling psychology, and spend years developing an approach to healing he calls Internal-Processing. The latter is a central tool Keyvan uses to help people heal their bodies and minds as well as to better understand and reconnect with their true, or higher Self.
“Keyvan applies universal, nature-based principles custom-tailored to patients’ specific needs and circumstances.”
“Yet I couldn’t see practicing any healing, therapy or helping anyone else without going through a personal process myself,” Keyvan points out. In order to deal with his own health problems he had to deal with dimensions of emotion and psyche that could either inhibit or encourage taking self-responsibility—and thus create conditions necessary for optimum health. Keyvan’s search lead him to develop the approach to healing he embraces today. After teaching classes in yoga, mediation, acupressure, and Structural Body Therapy for many years, he launched the Lapis Holistic Healing and Rejuvenation Center. “Through Lapis,” he explains, “I integrate a variety of means of expression, methods, and systems. I find that whether a treatment ultimately works really depends on the individual person and whether the self-healing abilities of that person’s body are activated. My approach is very different from the Western biomedical perspective, although grounded in the latest advances in science.” Keyvan applies universal, nature-based principles custom-tailored to patients’ specific needs and circumstances. His focus is on “Conditions of Health,” not simply illness. A central concept is that a shift must occur in one or more body-mind systems in order to change symptoms. Facilitating such changes and removing obstructions to life-force as energy is at the heart of this work. While he may pursue variety of approaches in treating a patient, Keyvan believes adherence to an appropriate diet is the number one practical tool any person has at his or her disposal: for disease treatment and prevention as well as creating conditions that maintain good health. “No one particular diet is absolutely appropriate for everybody,” Keyvan explains, “although certain dietary principles are applicable to all. I’ve developed variations on something I call a purifying-balancing diet that’s used for various body-types and this is key to the healing process.” Keyvan sometimes suggests eating uncooked foods. One of his clients has written a bestselling book on the subject, Raw Foods Made Easy. “Working with Keyvan,” Jennifer Cornbleet wrote, “showed me the connection between my lifestyle and my emotional health, and helped me heal and become whole. I am truly blessed by his guidance, knowledge, wisdom, compassion and healing on all levels.” But needs and processes vary among individuals. “I work a lot with herbal medicine,” Keyvan notes. “I also might recommend a client have acupuncture or bodywork—or both. In addition, manual medicine and energy work are important in my practice and I’ve discovered a direct relationship between what are called meridians in acupuncture and myofacial tissue manipulation.” When it is understood that the systems of the body, mind, and psyche are integrated—and affected by lifestyle choices and everyday activities—the interventions Keyvan advocates can have cascading effects and even unexpected positive consequences. “My clients,” he says, “may discover connections between their principal health issues and other problems in their lives. As a result, their responses to life fundamentally change. They often have more energy, feel happier, and are not so emotionally unbalanced or challenged. “ This is not to say that Keyvan is invariably successful in treating all patients. If there is no significant improvement within 90 days, he may try a new approach. Other times, Keyvan may feel a client is unable or unwilling to follow his suggestions. Or he may conclude the patient would be best served by consulting another practitioner, including a standard Western-trained doctor.“The important part of healing people is helping them to learn the principles and means necessary to develop self-responsibility,” Keyvan believes. “This is at the heart of health—as well as life’s meaning. It affects both our embodied and spiritual lives. I’m convinced that the principles of health and healing apply to everyone, regardless of specific problems.” By combining the best of the Western approach with the more holistic and intuitive philosophies of Eastern and indigenous health traditions, this is a practitioner who truly offers a kind of “World Medicine” not seen before. “I look for ways to help people connect to life (which necessarily includes Spirit) by whatever means necessary,” Keyvan concludes. His patients are the obvious beneficiaries.
© Richard Mahler, 2011
Keyvan Golestaneh conducts workshops internationally and offers consultations and individual guidance both in person and during his travels as well as long-distance via Skype and Zoom.