LAKE PLACID - I had no idea what I was walking into when I met Dr. Karen Kan in her Lake Placid office for an interview.
It wasn't the first time I had met Dr. Karen, as she likes to be called, and I did know a few things about her. She earned a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry at McMaster University in Ontario, and a doctorate in Medicine at the University of Ottawa, where she graduated magna cum laude. I knew that she is an acupuncturist in her own private practice, and also that she and her partner, James Gann, have performed West African drumming at Crow Fest, the Reason 2 Smile World Music Festival and other events, and that they are also prize-winning figure skaters.
I did not know before the interview, however, that in her practice Dr. Karen Kan deals with ghosts.
Dr. Karen Kan
(Photo — Martha Allen)
Don't get the wrong idea; Dr. Karen is clearly a down-to-earth person. Board certified in family medicine in both Canada and the United States, she worked at the Adirondack Medical Center and then taught family medicine as an assistant professor in a residency program at the University of California in Santa Monica. She studied acupuncture in Ottawa and California.
Still, there's more to her practice than that.
Dr. Karen is careful to differentiate between religion and spirituality. As she says, "Although acupuncture is extremely effective in relieving pain and stress and supports the body's self-healing mechanism, my passion is the mind-body-spirit connection in health. Spiritual medicine is a relatively new arena, and very few MDs are trained to handle spiritual imbalances. That is my forte."
She went on to explain, "For a very long time, I've understood the importance of the mind-body connection in illness and wellness. There is a lot of research in this area over the last couple of decades." She recommends a documentary, www.theconnection.tv.
I assumed that Dr. Karen's Chinese heritage was the basis for her study of acupuncture as well as her adeptness in negotiating with the spirit world. Not so. The acupuncture she practices is Western, and the teachings of Bradley Nelson, author of "The Body Code" and "The Emotion Code," introduced her to ghosts. Her practice is neither traditional Chinese medicine nor traditional Western medicine, although it contains elements of both.duced her to ghosts. Her practice is neither traditional Chinese medicine nor traditional Western medicine, although it contains elements of both.
"Western medicine shines when it comes to emergency interventions and surgical innovations, but we do a dismal job with chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome. Drugs don't help the body heal but cover up the symptoms and often have dangerous side effects. Each patient coming to my office gets assessed for trapped emotions and other energetic imbalances because it is possible to support their own self-healing by dealing with these imbalances," she asserted. "Once the body's energy is recharged, it knows how to heal itself."
Back to the ghosts.
She maintains that health problems - physical, emotional, mental and spiritual - have various causes. Many are caused by trapped emotions. Some are inherited from ancestors, and can be removed. There are also health problems caused by ghosts, spirits who attach to living people for various reasons.
In one instance, a patient was badly hurt in a fall as a small child, and the spirit of a woman rushed up and attached to him to try to help, never letting go until Dr. Karen eased her transition back to the spirit world.
"Ghosts don't always know that they are dead," Dr. Karen explained. Their reasons for attaching, however, are not always altruistic or loving.
They may have had addictions while alive. By latching onto a living human-this makes me think of a lamprey eel-the spirit hopes to get a hit of whatever his host is having.
The patient and the doctor or counselor must resonate with each other, Dr. Karen believes, for a cure to be successful.
"I wouldn't be the right person for everyone," she cheerfully averred, meaning that her practice is too alternative for some.
"I came to the ghost stuff through Dr. Bradley Nelson's Body Code," Dr. Karen added in an email. "However, I have expanded way beyond the Body Code when it comes to the spirit world. Although I cross over ghosts regularly, I often deal with evil spirits, demons, Dark Watchers and 'monkey' demons (they create chaos), and I close negative portals, removing implants energetically with the help of the archangels."
While she is no doubt correct when she says her methodology is not right for everyone, local people I spoke with were enthusiastic about Dr. Karen and her practice-and not least about the ghosts.
Where does Dr. Karen get her energy? She maintains several blogs, a radio show that airs Sundays at noon, has written and published a book, "Guide to Healing Chronic Pain: A Holistic Approach," that sells on Amazon, and is hosting "A Holistic Health Retreat & Conference" sponsored by several members of the Adirondack Wellness Network in Lake Clear this May. In her spare time, she may be skating with James Gann on the rink at their home under giant whispering pines.