Healing Our Bodies, Our Spirits, and Our Planet

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Dr. Gerry Snelling with wife Diane (right) and visitor to Snelling Total Wellness (left) (Photo by Robyn Purchia)

Last weekend, the San Francisco Bay Area hosted the largest and longest-running Green Festival Expo at the massive Cow Palace arena in Daly City. More than 250,000 were expected to attend the three-day event, now in its fourteenth year. Crowds gathered to sample brand new environmental products and businesses selling everything from sustainable chocolate to green funerals hawked their products from colorful booths.

But one booth called to me from the masses. There was an aura of calm surrounding it, although its occupant was incredibly busy talking to a visitor lying on a medical table. Only later did I learn that I was feeling the effect of the booth’s Total Shield device, which had been turned on to counteract electromagnetic pollution and create a calming and healthy environment.

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Total Shield device (Photo by Robyn Purchia)

The proprietor of the booth was Dr. Gerry Snelling of Snelling Total Wellness in Marin County, California and he was offering “an experience of profound personal and spiritual healing.” (No wonder something about the booth called to me.) Like many holistic medical professionals, Snelling has a long list of credentials and certifications. But he has a past unlike any other.

The son of a British military officer, Dr. Snelling’s journey began in Egypt and Cyprus where he got a sense of “the mystery of life.” Born a mystical person, he told me he was talking to God when he was five years old. Once when he was ten, he found himself alone in a town miles from home. Hungry and tired, he didn’t have enough money for a bus ticket back to his parent’s house. He remembers telling God that if he was able to find sixpence — the fare for the ride — he would always be a believer. The next step he took landed on the coin.

Dr. Snelling followed his spiritual path. He studied homeopathy, radionics, and acupuncture with Thomas Maughan, Chief Druid of England. He opened Gandalf’s Garden, a mystical community which flourished in late-1960s London and advocated meditation in preference to drugs. He was taught by Shri Brhmanada Sarasvati, also known as Dr. Ramamurti Mishra, who was the founder and spiritual director of Ananda Ashram and established the Yoga Society of San Francisco. He became a swami. He instructed actress and spiritualist, Shirley MacLaine. He befriended Bikram Choudhury, founder of Bikram yoga, although he hasn’t spoken to him in years.

With a past like this, it’s hard not to be intrigued. In the San Francisco area, medical practitioners who advocate alternatives to Western medicine are (thankfully) common. If I walked by the booth without talking to Dr. Snelling or his wife Diane, I would have thought his color therapy eyewear and chart of the interferences to health were another interesting alternative. But Dr. Snelling is so much more than his booth suggested.

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Dr. Gerry Snelling’s booth at Green Festival Expo (Photo by Robyn Purchia)

Dr. Snelling is channeling a connection between our inner spirits, our bodies, and the outside world. His practice is a medical approach to the Hindu and Buddhist idea of interconnection that I’m very interested in exploring. Perhaps it wasn’t the Total Shield that called me to Dr. Snelling’s booth, but the higher being that guided the doctor to his sixpence.

“There has to be a deep connection between the inner environment of the human life and the outer environment of the planet,” Dr. Snelling told me. “My job is to bring people to a sense of health and well-being internally and once there is internal wealth, appropriate stewardship of the world should flourish.”

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About the Author

I'm an organic-eating, energy-saving naturalist who composts and tree hugs in her spare time. I have a background in environmental law, lobbying, and field work. I believe in God; however, I do not call myself a Christian or a Jew or a member of any religion. I am merely someone who finds a spiritual connection to all humans and the environment. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .