Relaxation? None for Me, Thanks. Part 1

Relaxation? I don’t think so!

Often when I share my explanation of Reiki (a technique for stress relief and relaxation that also triggers the body’s innate healing ability) with others, I am met with a surprising response. Many people claim that they aren’t interested in relaxing; it just isn’t for them, or they don’t have the time, or they tried it once and it didn’t work, or my personal favorite, life is just stressful, period. Having experienced firsthand the wide-spread transformative power of a lifestyle that includes stress management, I continue to be mystified by this train of thought. I’m not talking about seeking enlightenment by meditating in a cave in the Himalayas, but rather everyday well-being, peace of mind, and a sense of contentment that reaches into all areas of life. Relaxation is a practical, sustainable, effective goal that can be obtained without sacrificing commitments or day to day activities.

I’ve tried listing the benefits of stress reduction that I have personally experienced or witnessed in my friends or clients: improved hormonal balance, digestion, and immune system function; diminished pain, insomnia, depression, and anxiety; enhanced focus; and a greater sense of overall well-being, just to name a few. Simply put, all bodily systems function with greater efficiency when relaxed than when remaining in constant fight or flight mode. I continue to explain that the advantages of a healthier now will be reaped in the elder years with greater mobility, memory, and independence. Still, the blank stare of disinterest usually remains.

So I began to ask myself, what is it that people actually want? What do they truly desire? After only a few moments observing mainstream media, I notice that we’ve been programmed to desire wealth, success, beauty, and romance. Whether or not these goals are truly our own doesn’t seem to matter. It’s what Americans are being encouraged to seek. After some deep contemplation, I believe that all of these objectives may be supported through the use of relaxation techniques, especially Reiki. Of course there are countless ways to reduce stress (yoga, tai chi, meditation, bodywork, acupuncture, time spent in nature or with loved ones, creative expression, and many more). Naturally one should choose the path that is most aligned with one’s own values and interests, but for the purposes of this article, I shall focus on Reiki as the method of relaxation along with the results I’ve personally witnessed.

You’re probably wondering how receiving Reiki treatments could possibly make you more attractive. While I do believe it’s true that inner beauty outshines all else, that’s not what I’m referring to here. While I have observed that many people seem to glow with luminosity following a treatment, still, there’s more. Many of us, myself included, are prone to stress eating. This is the compulsion to use food (very often junk food, fast food, sugary and trans-fat laden food-like substances) in order to numb stress or provide emotional comfort. It stands to reason that if one is not feeling stressed, this particular urge will be diminished. Once I got in tune with my food needs from a physical hunger standpoint rather than an emotional one, it became easier to make better choices about what I put in my mouth. Healthier food means fewer toxins, and excess toxins have been linked to … cellulite! Who doesn’t want less cellulite?

The same follows in regard to excess consumption of alcohol. It is not uncommon for people to reach for a bottle of wine or beer, or even something stronger, to soothe frazzled nerves at the end of the day. Along with the empty calories consumed, I’ve noticed that the results of heavy drinking can include bags under the eyes, unpleasant body odor, bloating, and sallow skin. No stress, no urge to medicate it with booze, or recreational drugs, for that matter. What about frown lines? Diminished with a sense of inner peace. Posture? Improved with lessened tension. Smile? Radiant, and freely shared. Also, I always have fewer aches and pains after a treatment, thereby eliminating that excuse to skip my exercise routine. Already, Reiki has caused weight loss, lovely skin, graceful poise, and a cheerful nature. In my eyes, this relaxed person I have become is much more attractive than the scowling, sluggish, hung-over, slouching grump I used to be quite often. Therefore isn’t it obvious that Reiki makes people more beautiful?

Next, let’s examine the potential for Reiki to help us attract a desirable romantic partner. I know that I personally am more attracted to someone with a calm, peaceful presence that an irritable, or angry person. Receiving healing energy sessions helps me to get in touch with the serenity that is natural to my Higher Self, and allows it to radiate forth. Being less cranky prevents me from repelling kind-natured, sensitive individuals who would undoubtedly make generous and thoughtful partners. Increased contentment and decreased complaining will do the same. Being centered in a relaxed state makes me a nicer person, and helps to motivate people to be nicer to me, which is a lovely self-perpetuating cycle. I am automatically friendlier to strangers in the grocery store or library, thus increasing my opportunities to attract that special someone. Reiki has effectively reduced symptoms of PMS and menstrual cramps, and I probably don’t need to explain how that can benefit my level of desirability! People are naturally drawn to loving, peaceful individuals, so Reiki will help attract wonderful new people into my life and improve my existing relationships too. While I have not yet met Mr. Right, I am quite certain that Reiki will help me do so when the time is right.

So how does Reiki make me more successful? It seems very clear to me that when I was stress-free employee, I performed with more clarity and efficiency. As my immune system was boosted with every treatment, illness was more easily avoided, and attendance enhanced. I became more cooperative and got along better with colleagues as stress-free healthy employee. People were more willing to collaborate with me on projects, and we accomplished more while working harmoniously. In my experience, these qualities were noticed by management and eventually rewarded with promotions more quickly than a grumpy person was. In my private practice, when I am relaxed, I am better able to focus on my client’s needs, more fully present, and a better channel for healing energy which better enables me to serve their highest good, thus increasing their rate of return. As a writer, when I am calm and peaceful words flow seamlessly, almost as if they are being channeled from a higher source.

Entrepreneurs can also benefit from a relaxed way of being. As I become more comfortable in my body, intuitive signals become clearer and divine guidance is more easily accessible. Gut feelings about opportunities, people, and investments are enhanced as the sixth chakra becomes more open. My former employers who managed their stress well were more pleasant to work for than others who let pressure build up and eventually explode. This trickled down into the workplace, reducing staff turn-over and the related training expenses. Also, employees were more enthusiastic, less resentful, and felt no urges to steal from the company as a result of bitterness or entitlement. All of this adds up to a healthy foundation which contributes to a successful business. Everyone, no matter their place in the hierarchy of the company, will achieve greater rewards when operating from a state of calm.

From this, one can deduce that earning power will be increased. But this is not the only way Reiki can contribute to someone’s overall prosperity. As discussed earlier, I have experienced a lesser need for the comforts of alcohol and junk food consumption. These savings add up over time. Better quality of sleep has reduced the need for reliance on caffeine and the daily $4 fix. Let us not forget compulsive purchases. Shopping therapy was not uncommon when I was feeling a general dissatisfaction with my life and needed distraction from chronic stress. We’ve all gone on spending sprees that we couldn’t really afford in an effort to feel better about ourselves or our lives. When I chose to invest in a monthly or biweekly Reiki treatment, the compulsion to numb tension and temporarily escape disappeared as serenity replaced the vague sense of aloneness.

Also, as I continue to get in touch with my spiritual self and find comfort in divine communion, nature, and the simple things in life, I no longer feel the need to keep up with anyone else and purchase unnecessary gadgets or furnishings or expensive clothes. The savings of becoming more fully aligned with my Higher Self continue to accumulate, and I have been able to decrease my workload and enjoy a great deal of free time as a result. This makes me a wealthy woman, in my eyes, even if I don’t have an incredible fortune.

While it is true that the most obvious benefits of any relaxation practice, particularly Reiki, are heightened sensations of peace, joy, and belonging; the secondary benefits stemming from these conditions spill into every conceivable aspect of life. Happy, peaceful people not only tend to be healthier, physically and emotionally, but they are more productive at work, more loving in their relationships, more savvy in their investments, take better care of their bodies, and age more gracefully. Whatever your goals in life, you can rest assured that Reiki is a tool to help you achieve your heart’s desire. Why not seek out a practitioner who can support you? Or take it one step further, and take a Reiki class so you can enjoy the benefits on a daily basis and share them with your friends and family. Reiki is truly a universal instrument that offers each of us exactly what we need.

Knowing better

I’ve come to notice that when I deliberately choose to do something that I know is not in alignment with my values, the consequences are harsher for me than if someone else engages in that same behavior, but without the knowingnes. The difference, it seems, is that not only am I absorbing negativity or toxins from the action, but I am a separating my mind and body from my spirit. It is this splintering that is the most damaging to our well-being.

Reiki, and especially my daily self-treatments, helps guide me to my highest good. It opens me up to receive messages about how to  achieve my goals. Quite often I get a message during my meditation that a certain habit or behavior is blocking my progress.  The most recent example was when several months ago I realized that my morning mug of black tea with agave nectar and almond milk was interfering with my energy field. Well, I was quite attached to the ritual of my morning cup of tea! I carried on, despite the intuitive guidance. Nothing drastic happened; there was no illness or catastrophe that resulted from my impudence. Yet each sip was infused with a hint of guilt because I knew I wasn’t making the decision to pursue my highest good. So now, not only did I have the original deed on my conscience, but the added weight of self-criticism. I believe it was the latter that was more injurious than the former.

Eventually I decided that enough was enough. I wasn’t yet ready to forgo the habit, but I chose to love and accept myself while enjoying my tea. And do you know what? A short week later, I really had no interest in having it anymore. It was easy to replace my morning drink with a cleansing cup of warm lemon water. I had no cravings or withdrawal pains. It truly was miraculous. I brought my mind, body, and spirit back into alignment where they all began working together to support my highest good. Now that I am caffeine-free, I am noticing better quality sleep and more energy throughout the day even though I am naturally waking up earlier. My intuition knew that by letting  go of this seemingly harmless habit that I could accomplish more of what was really important to me. Giving up the judgement and guilt was the key to creating a healthy energy flow and the subsequent ease of making the shift.

Negative thoughts and feelings block our ki (life force energy) as well as our internal guidance. Our spirits know that we are perfect, whole, and complete just the way we are. When we behave in ways that deny this truth, it interrupts the flow of energy that keeps us healthy and vibrant. Simply being kind to ourselves, no matter what our current choices are, creates a shield of dignity that enhances our well-being and motivates us to be truer to ourselves. It might seem ironic, but self-acceptance truly seems to be the magic that produces transformation.

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing for Reiki Attunement

If you are considering taking a Reiki class, it’s important to know that the attunement you will receive  is a profound spiritual healing that cleanses the body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Initiation into the healing art begins a powerful cleansing process that releases toxins and negativity and often lasts for 21 days. Keeping this is mind, some students choose to prepare themselves in advance. This is not at all necessary, but may provide an easier transition afterwards. As always, it’s important to follow your intuition when making decisions.

Removing toxins from your diet and lifestyle will help minimize detox symptoms (headaches, digestive upset, fatigue, aches and pains) and allow you to more fully channel Reiki healing energy. The purer your system is, the higher vibration your energy is, and this creates a clearer channel for Reiki to flow through. Once again, this is completely optional, but will boost your ability if you feel guided to do so. Some students, myself included, decide to implement these suggestions into lifestyle changes to supercharge their Reiki abilities. Your intuition will let you know what is best for you.

Consider reducing or eliminating for a minimum of three days prior to your attunement unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from doing so:

  • all animal products due to the toxins, hormones, and antibiotics found in these foods
  • coffee and caffeine
  • processed foods
  • alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana
  • sugar, sweets, and chocolate
  • TV, radio, and newspapers especially media portrayal of violence
  • gossip

Consider adding to your daily routine as much as possible:

  • meditation, or quiet time for contemplation
  • fresh, organic, local fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens
  • moderate exercise
  • time in nature
  • meaningful connections with loved ones
  • gratitude practice (write three things you’re thankful for each night in a journal)
  • adequate rest
  • creative expression (sing, dance, paint, play, write poetry- whatever makes your heart sing!)

I suspect that once the initial discomfort of making the transition passes, you will notice an improvement in your overall energy, mood, and comfort level. You might even notice that it feels really good to only choose healthy, high vibrational foods and activities. If you’re like me, you’ll begin to feel the negative impact of toxins and heavy emotions and opt to avoid them when possible. Or, you might have no interest at all in this process, and that’s perfectly fine as well. Reiki operates through the intentional activation of anyone who has received an attunement from a Reiki Master. These suggestions are just icing on the cake.

Uncovering the Truth

Yesterday I was once again reminded that healing the spirit is the only true remedy. I had an incredible pain in my back throughout most of the day. It felt like my left kidney was trying to escape my body. The pain was dull and constant until I moved; then it was sharp and startling. I was so grateful for the gift of Reiki; otherwise I might have been lured into seeking a cure on the physical level that would have been ineffective and perhaps even injurious. No amount of ibuprofen can fix a spiritual wound. Massage or stretching might have provided temporary relief, but not actually have addressed the deeper issue.

So I sat with my discomfort and dug deeper. What was happening? How was I feeling? Well, I was worried about an event that night. I felt concerned that it would be difficult for me to remain in my integrity without creating disharmony. I was expecting to see someone who triggered me deeply and might challenge me to either suppress my truth or create a bit of an unpleasant scene. Neither of those options were acceptable to me at this venue. This awareness made all the difference. It was an impossible situation and I wanted to attend nonetheless.

I remembered that in Chinese medicine, the kidneys are related to fear. Worry and concern are  mild forms of fear. I also recognized that the pain was in my third chakra, the seat of personal power, which was clearly out of tune due to these circumstances. My mental/emotional misalignment created a physical pain in the corresponding area that had nothing to do with my muscles. This discomfort was not at all related to what I did or did not do that morning in yoga class or how I slept or moved.

So, knowing this, what to do? Well, I gave myself a Reiki treatment, focusing on the mental/emotional symbol as well as the painful area. I was gentle with myself, acknowledging that it really was an difficult situation and that I was courageous for being willing to show up anyway. I created a strategy for how to handle any unpleasantness and came up with the response, “I’d rather not discuss this now. It is my sole intention to focus on the celebration at hand.” I accepted that it was a temporary condition and that it would be over soon enough. I gave myself permission to leave early. And guess what? It worked! No, the pain did not disappear immediately; the energetic misalignment was still present due to my remaining anxiety. But my awareness shifted and I no longer felt powerless. The sharp pain dissolved completely and the dull pain lessened. And after I got home, I treated myself to a long sunset walk and a hot bath and the next morning I felt 95% better. Thank you, Reiki!

Headaches? What Headaches???

Once again I have been reminded why it is that I love my work so much. Helping people release stress has a huge impact on their daily lives, allowing them to be healthier, more productive, more joyful, and more vibrant. Today I gave a therapeutic massage to a professional young woman who is very active and in the midst of planning her wedding. To say that she is busy and stressed is a huge understatement. This was her second session with me. After realizing the immense benefit of the previous treatment, she decided to make massage a part of her health care regime.

During our check-in today, I asked about her headaches. She looked at my blankly for a beat, then a huge smile spread across her face. She had completely forgotten that her primary complaint three weeks again was extreme neck tension that led to frequent and severe headaches. After just one massage the headaches had stopped completely. What a tremendous blessing! We still have a lot of work to do to create balance in her muscular structure, but the gift of living without the dread or pain of an aching head was great progress.

I do my best to educate my clients of the benefits of scheduling regular massages to stay ahead of the tension. For many people, a monthly session helps them to manage their stress and prevent incidents of pain and debilitation. I have one client who in theory knows this, but seems unwilling to prioritize self-care. She almost always cancels her appointment due to a family or work related situation, then calls several weeks later in great pain. I believe she could avoid the pain if only she got into a regular routine.

I also believe that headaches are a message from our bodies that we need to slow down and take better care of ourselves. If we listen to this message and find a way to get more rest and mediate tension, quite often they simply go away. It really brings me great joy to assist my clients in this process. There is absolutely no need to suffer anymore. Massage is not the only way to manage stress, but it is one of the most effective and enjoyable ways to release tension. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of relaxation for overall health. Let a trained professional help you re-establish your innate well-being and say goodbye to chronic headaches once and for all.

It Starts with the Spirit

As I continue to immerse myself in the realm of healing, I am noticing more and more how it all starts with the spirit. As my own personal practice deepens I am uncovering spiritual wounds, some of which are decades, even lifetimes, old. As I work on these issues, repairing the damage from the countless times I abandoned or betrayed myself to please another or gave up on my dreams because they seemed too improbable or difficult, I notice the subsequent emotional and mental distress that developed. As this pain lingered in my psyche, sometimes it settled into my body in the corresponding chakra or organ and caused physical ailments or discomfort.

For example, lately I have been feeling tightness in my neck. When I turn my head there is a crunchy sound and some limitation in the range of motion. Attempts to remedy this from the outside have achieved only temporary results. That’s because it’s a symptom of a deeper issue. Stretching or massaging the muscles feels great and of course is beneficial to the body. However, as I sit with the pain and open to the meaning it carries, I realize it is actually the result of a lifetime of being afraid to express my true self blocking energy flow in my throat chakra. This fear is perhaps justified due to previous experiences, but now it is not serving my highest good and it’s time to let it go. No amount of bodywork will cure pain that stems from spiritual misalignment. Reiki, on the other hand, uses divinely guided life force energy to heal the original wound, and reminds me of my true nature, which is fearless.

As I concentrate on this concept during my daily self-treatment and Reiki meditation, I can slowly feel the tension melting away as my muscles no longer feel the need to protect me from condemnation or restrain me from speaking my truth. I feel chronic low-level stress and anxiety that I’ve come to accept as normal begin to fade as I remember that it is safe for me to speak my truth. I am growing to realize that many people will not care to hear what I have to say, and that’s just fine. I’m not saying it for them, although if they are ready, my words might benefit their well-being. I am speaking the words I do for me, because it is my path to share the wisdom I receive from Spirit, whether it is received or not. Interestingly enough, as I freely communicate from the heart, I am discovering the path to recovery from all that ails me. Truth is medicine and as I tend to my spirit, all else is healed.

 

Reiki 1 Class, July 2014

Level 1 Reiki Class 

Sunday, July 27, 2014 

9am -6pm

Pacific Grove, CA

(Also, dates TBD in August for Level 1 & Level 2! Contact me to suggest a preferred date.)

Reiki 1 is appropriate for everybody; there are no prerequisites. It is a great beginning for those interested in healing one’s self, friends, and family in addition to learning to provide energetic support for transitions, releasing negativity, and creating new habits.

This class will cover the basics and history of Reiki, hand positions for treating self and others, practice time, and creative ideas for ways to use Reiki on the fly. Students will receive the level 1 attunement and will leave with the capacity to give a full session, as well as with a manual and certificate of completion.

Keep in mind that practice over the next several months is crucial, and offering at least one session per week will help to solidify abilities. It is common for students to experience a detoxification after the attunement, so be prepared to support yourself with good self-care, rest, and hydration. You may also wish to prepare for the attunement with a cleansing diet of pure foods and beverages during the preceding week(s).

The class will be quite small, with a maximum of six students so that individual attention may be provided. It will be held in a private residence in downtown Pacific Grove. Students will receive an hour lunch break. A simple, healthy, gluten-free vegan meal will be provided or students may chose to bring a meal so they may enjoy time together.

Cost is $175. A non-refundable $50 deposit reserves your space. Contact Pamela to sign up or with any questions. 

Pamela Hipp

Reiki Master Teacher

Certified Massage Therapist

831-233-8899

 pamelahipp@massagetherapy.com

 

 

Perpetual Learning

I’m spectacularly excited to be taking a Reiki level 1&2 intensive workshop later this month. It may seem redundant to retake a course I completed a decade ago, but I truly believe that there is always more to learn and that being attuned again will have powerful energetic benefits. It made perfect sense for me to go back to the basics as I am preparing to teach a level 1 class next month, and many more to follow. It’s my intention to experience as many different teachers as I feel drawn to and immerse myself in learning; this will no doubt greatly benefit my clients as well as my own spiritual growth. There have been important downloads received by Reiki Master since the time Usui Sensei developed this treatment nearly 100 years ago. As consciousness begins to expand, Reiki continues to guide us to greater healing. I don’t imagine that there will ever be a point when I feel that I’ve learned enough, or know it all. Expansion carries infinite possibilities and as long as I am willing, there will always be room to grow.

The teacher I have chosen to study with soon has filmed this short series of videos which I am happy to share with you. She explains the process of a Reiki treatment while working with a young man who had never heard of Reiki before that day. It’s fascinating to watch her unique style that is clearly intuitively based as well as the obvious relaxation he is experiencing. I get revved up watching this, knowing that her definition of Reiki (it makes no sense, but it works!) is so very true, and that while words may not do this healing treatment justice, the experience of it is a blessed event. I hope you sense the same joy I feel from witnessing this exchange.

Reiki Support for All

As I am leaping into the role of Reiki teacher after more than a decade of treating clients, I am most excited about the possibilities that will appear for my students as they begin to practice. Many people view Reiki merely as a treatment that can be offered to friends, family, pets, or possibly paying clients. This is perhaps the most obvious use for sharing the gift of Reiki, but certainly not the only application. It is my strongest intention to impress on my students how Reiki may be used for self-healing, for releasing old beliefs that keep us stuck and stagnant, and for supporting our spiritual growth as well as our goals. Yes, of course it’s wonderful to offer our services to others, but as we also tend to our own needs, the gifts we are able share increase exponentially. As we fill our own energy reservoirs with love and light, we overflow and naturally exude these qualities in our daily lives.  And more importantly, when under pressure we are better able to respond with kindness and equanimity.

This is why I have become a huge proponent of the concept of teaching Reiki to the masses- not just to those interested in the healing professions. As an introvert who enjoys spending time in contemplation and solitude, I never expected to become a teacher. I am quite happy with the model of a massage therapist and Reiki practitioner who works with clients one-on-one in a quiet, peaceful environment. Yet the pull to share the gift of Reiki with many has compelled me to step out of my comfort zone and into the mini spotlight of teaching. I am using Reiki to help me prepare in a variety of ways. It is this way of thinking that I want to pass along to my students; follow your heart, even when it’s scary, and call upon the energy of the divine to assist and guide you along the way.

I have created a Reiki Vision Board with images and words that represent my goal of creating a successful, harmonious class that meets everyone’s needs. It’s helpful for me to have a visual aid to focus my attention on that which I wish to manifest. As I concentrate on the feelings that my vision board evokes, I send Reiki to this goal. I know in my heart that I will be supported while preparing and teaching and that the energy of Reiki will show me the way. I am spending quite a bit more time at my computer than I am used to, and I am finding that frequent breaks for a mini self- treatment or Reiki movement meditation increases my productivity immensely when I return to my desk. I am acknowledging my concerns and worries about being a teacher, and using Reiki to help me heal any insecurities. I have programmed and charged a quartz crystal to send continuous healing energy both to me and to the future class. I activate Reiki before I begin to work on my class outlines or promotional materials, and find that words flow much more easily when I do.

Truth be told, I wouldn’t be able to teach this class, small as it may be, without the healing I received from Reiki. While I try to schedule a trade with another practitioner and attend a Reiki circle every month, I believe it is the work I am doing on a daily basis for myself that has provided the transformational shift that is allowing me to step up into a new role. Incorporating Reiki into my day (rather than viewing it as something that happens every now and then while lying down on a massage table) has had a tremendous impact on my life. I dream of a world in which everyone has the tools necessary so that they may heal themselves from the inside out and reap the benefits of having this healing energy available at their fingertips.