Trailblazing in the Institute’s early days - Born Whole by Wes Gietz

Grant and Kirsten photo
Have you ever wished you’d written down all the great stuff that happened when you were a kid? The magical places, the cool adventures with your friends… Well, I (Grant) was lucky enough to get that wish when Wes Gietz wrote a book about the Institute’s early research days in the 1990s. The title is Born Whole: Heal your pre-birth trauma, guide and protect your baby from conception to birth (2019) - and if you are interested in taking a look, it can be found on Amazon’s Kindle or Apple eBooks.
His book gives a first hand account of the excitement of developing totally new techniques and making completely unexpected discoveries. When Wes first started in 1997, he turned out to be a natural at research, and our small team of explorers jokingly called him “Guinea Pig #2”. Our main focus at the time was in testing the hypothesis that peak states were blocked by prenatal trauma, and in mapping those events and states. We also spent time exploring the amazing implications of this new paradigm. Later, Wes was also a guest teacher at some of my training workshops. We all had a blast!

Here’s an excerpt from Wes’ blog:

    Navigating a Different World
    Wes Geitz photo
    Initially the biggest challenge for me was believing that the work was possible at all. This was new territory for both of us, but we soon discovered once we had blazed the trails, they were easy to find and follow. I now believe that these techniques can be learned by almost anyone.

    Over time, we developed a routine. I would enter a deep meditative state, and he would verbally guide me to one of the specific developmental events he was interested in. The first ones we went to were conception, implantation in the wall of the womb, and the first contraction of labor. I would describe what I saw and felt while he recorded, made notes, and occasionally took photos. He would often ask questions or provide explicit instructions.

    During the next several years, Grant and I got together from time to time at various locations in Canada and the United States. We would often work for ten hours a day, and I might be continuously in an altered state for as much as five days. The work was exciting because we were in territory that as far as we knew had never been explored before. It was also rewarding because it felt like we were making significant discoveries nearly every day. We felt like trailblazers.

    Once in a while someone has the privilege of being a true trailblazer. I did not know at the time whether this was true for me; I thought it may have been more that I was like the first person to go through a landscape after a snowfall, only to realize after the snow melts that a trail has already been made by many earlier feet. Years later, as I was writing the book Born Whole (the full story of these journeys), I discovered accounts by people who had independently explored parts of this same territory. It was affirming to discover that their conclusions about prenatal trauma were similar to mine, but I found no one who had done what we did. It was exhilarating to realize that Grant and I truly did create and blaze trails into previously unexplored territory – that we truly were trailblazers.

Sadly, after a few years Wes had enough. The amount of pain one had to face in that early exploratory work was so extreme he eventually moved back to his first love, nature and shamanic practices. We remained friends; and I was delighted when he decided to write a book about the importance of prenatal trauma with stories about those early research days. Thanks, Wes!

From the desks of
Dr. Grant McFetridge and Dr. Kirsten Lykkegaard,
Co-directors of Research
Hornby Island, Canada
Jan 28, 2023