"I was searching for a way to mark the end of my treatment for breast cancer. The idea of mikveh resonated with me - entering the waters helped me release the pain I (sometimes) still feel and it helped me accept and better integrate how cancer is still a part of me and is something I can live with." Karen

There is no "cure" in the waters of the mikveh, but many people do find a sense of healing and wholeness there.

Immersion is used to mark the changes and challenges inflicted by illness and loss. Immersion is also a way to embrace the future with gratitude.

The emotional and spiritual toll that follows many kinds of losses and struggles is not always acknowledged. Many people find that mikveh provides a way to face up to the changes wrought by pain, illness, and loss.

Some of the reasons for a healing immersion include:

After a diagnosis of cancer, as a way to prepare for treatment
After cancer treatment is completed and the "patient" becomes a "survivor"
After divorce
After a period of mourning
After miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion
Upon deciding to end infertility treatment

 

Mayyim Hayyim has a range of ceremonies to help individuals name the fear, despair, faith, gratitude, and hope that are often part of the healing process.

Mayyim Hayyim has also published a book called Blessings for the Journey: A Jewish Healing Guide for Women with Cancer. Written by a group of thirteen volunteers -- cancer survivors, caregivers and health care professionals -- who identified the need for a guide to the journey through treatment and its aftermath, they created an invaluable resource based on Jewish teachings and first-hand experience. To read more about Blessings for the Journey and to purchase a copy, click here.