Reiki for Goals

Reiki is often described as a hands-on healing technique for stress relief and relaxation. While this is absolutely true, it is not the whole truth. This divinely guided energy removes mental and emotional blockages and reestablishes alignment with our spirit. The Reiki symbols can be used to support us in achieving our goals, provided those goals are aligned with our highest purpose and highest good. If we agree to take action towards these goals by committing to healthy lifestyle changes, the power is amplified even further.

I want to further explain this lofty idea with practical examples that I have witnessed in my own life as well as in my friends’ and clients’ lives. I also want to be clear that while Reiki can be used to support someone release addictive behavior such as alcohol or tobacco, it is not a magical quick-fix. It is one ingredient in a recipe (a powerful and effective ingredient, for sure); not the recipe itself. Energywork can only help people as much as they are willing to help themselves. And it is not a substitute for professional medical care. A compliment, but not a substitute.

After reviewing my session notes from the past two months, I am pleasantly surprised at the full spectrum of challenges that I’ve used Reiki to ease. “Stuckness” is a complaint I often here from my clients. Reiki can help illuminate as well as blast through areas where we are blocked or unclear. In fact, clarity is another hot topic. Often times people know that they have strayed from their paths, but are unsure how to get back. Reiki can help dispel the fog and activate the intuitive center allowing us to receive guidance from a higher source. “Monkey mind” is a Buddhist term for the constant loop of thoughts that play repeatedly in our heads, contributing to anxiety and tension and insomnia. We all have it, although less and less with awareness and mindfulness practice. Reiki can help calm those busy monkeys down.

Weight loss, or more specifically overeating, can be addressed during a series of treatments, as can major trauma (physical, emotional, or spiritual) that has been held in the body over time. I’ve helped a client experience a more harmonious relationship with her ex, mainly through shifting her own expectations and releasing pain points that triggered her for years. I’ve used Reiki to support concrete goals such as relieving knee or shoulder pain as well as more mystical goals like spiritual growth or finding one’s life purpose. In my eyes, any goal that is in alignment with the principals of love, joy, peace, freedom, and equality can benefit from the added boost of healing energy. Finding a new home or vehicle or job, attracting the perfect clients or friends, planning the ideal vacation, conceiving a healthy child, feeling at ease in day to day life, releasing old resentment or guilt, finding a spiritually connected life partner, feeling confident during a presentation or exam, …. I could go on and on! But I think you get the idea. Reiki for goals. It helps.

I’m Too Busy

I am a huge proponent of self-care and actively participating in creating my own well-being. When I share my strategies with others, the most common response I hear is, “I don’t have time to do all that. I’m too busy.” It seems to me that when we are most busy, it is when we most benefit from paying attention to the needs of our bodies, minds, and spirits. Today I need to leave my house by 8:20 to give a massage at 9:00. (Now this is quite unusual. Generally my day starts later.) My last massage of the day begins at 6:30 pm. It will be a rather long day, even with a few substantial breaks throughout. I realized that I absolutely cannot skimp on my routine. And if I can do it all before 8:20 am, so can most  people. At least those without young dependents.

I have already given myself a Reiki treatment, and tuned-up my crystals that are supercharging long-distance Reiki for a few clients. (https://pamelahipp.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/supercharged/). I’ve hydrated myself with warm lemon water, rinsed my sinuses with the neti pot, sat at my altar connecting with the divine and getting clear about my intentions. I briefly practiced pranayama, meditated, bounced on the rebounder, and did a condensed strengthening yoga series. As these words came bubbling up during savasana, I decided to postpone the walk I often take to feel the first rays of sunlight until later this afternoon. Self-care does not need to be rigid. It does need to be a priority, prepared for (I set myself up for success the night before and make sure I have quick and easy meals ready to go.), and practiced daily for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

In general, it seems best to avoid the pitfalls of TV (trust me, I haven’t seen the news in years. You will survive, perhaps even thrive by not subjecting yourself to world tragedies before breakfast) or Facebook. I usually don’t even turn on my computer or look at my phone until my routine is complete. Today I needed to share these words, and have set a timer for 30 minutes to allow time for creative expression without sacrificing anything. My breakfast is leftovers from dinner the other night, waiting to be heated on the stove, and eaten while sitting down, and chewed thoroughly. While the sauce pot is simmering, I will pack my lunch and a snack to keep my body fueled in a healthy way. I can be washed and dressed in about 15 minutes as superficial appearances are not a priority. Yes, I will comb my hair & brush my teeth, but I do not feel the need to poof or smear or primp. I probably will not get to the dishes this morning and that’s ok.

I have honored the body temple with nourishment, hydration, and movement and aligned my spirit with my mental/emotional body, and clearly seen the day I wish to create. And I had fun doing it. And best of all, I did it out of love for myself and the joy of feeling great and being energized all day long, not fear of illness or punishment or judgement.

Supercharged

I’m excited to a have a new tool in my healing toolbox. I’ve learned to charge crystals with Reiki to send energy. After choosing the stones (or more accurately being chosen by the stones) I wish to work with, I cleanse them with Reiki, intention, and rock salt to remove any impurities they may have absorbed in the past. Then it’s quite simple to program them to absorb and transmit healing energy. One of the great things about Reiki is that it is not hampered by the dimensions of time and space. With the use of the long-distance symbol learned by level II Reiki students, healing may be sent anywhere and perhaps more interestingly, anywhen. This can be done without the use of crystals, but I’m noticing more powerful effects with the stones’ assistance.

After practicing on myself and close friends, I’m feeling more and more respect and awe for this amazing technique. A friend I haven’t seen in over six months asked if I could give her a massage for her birthday. It was a rather last-minute request that I was unable to accommodate due to a previous engagement. Wanting to offer her something to contribute to her celebration of birth, I offered to “program” a crystal to send Reiki over the course of her birthday. We chose the time of her birth as a starting point, and I set up the treatment to begin then and continue over the next 24 hours. Alas, I do not have the luxury or stamina to spend all my time in meditation healing my friends. That’s where the crystals come in; once charged with Reiki and intention, they keep the energy flowing continuously.

While I was charging the rose quartz that volunteered for this mission, I was overcome by a sudden and overpowering itching sensation in my left knee. Man, it was crazy intense! I’ve learned to recognize bodily sensations of unknown origin to be clues. This clearly was not my itch, but guidance from a higher power to tune-in to her knees. When I plugged into her energy field, I did notice stagnant energy in her right leg, but nothing in particular with her left knee. I was puzzled, but continued programming the quartz to do its thing.

Now, keep in mind that I haven’t seen this woman in ages and that she mentioned absolutely no specifics about her physical health in our communications. When I asked afterwards if she had any idea why my left knee was outrageously itchy, she replied, “I don’t know. It’s my right knee that hurts.” Aha! There was an actual issue with knee pain. I realized that during the time I was charging the quartz, I imagined her facing me, so my body was mirroring hers. My left knee was facing her right. Of course! It makes perfect sense. What a great learning opportunity! I’ve learned to see the client in my mind’s eye standing in front of me, so that I am looking at their back to avoid any confusion over bilateral body parts. And even more importantly, I’ve been reminded yet again to trust Reiki and my intuition to guide me and the healing to exactly where it needs to go.

She later reported that her knee is much better. Why am I not surprised?!?!

Spiritual Growth

For the past three months, I have been working with a fellow suffering from the darkness of depression. He reported feeling completely apathetic and fatigued all the time. He called me after hearing about Reiki from a colleague and decided that it was worth a try. He was getting desperate as several months on prescription meds had made no improvement in his mood or energy level.  Each session he announces that he is shifting and beginning to feel more like himself. He is showing an interest in moderate exercise, small social gatherings, and hobbies that had been completely absent on the day we met. In fact, when I asked him what activities brought the most joy into his life, he looked at me blankly and was unable to respond.

Last week his intention for the session surprised me. He wanted to focus on spiritual growth. Now, this is by no means an unusual request for a Reiki session. In fact, it’s one that is so aligned with the principles of Reiki, that I believe it is a natural side-effect of all Reiki sessions. My surprise derived from the fact that he had not mentioned any interest in spirituality or expansion of consciousness at all during previous sessions. His intentions had been strictly in the mental/emotional realm. As a practitioner, I am keenly aware of my client’s needs and comfort zone, and am able to meet them where they are. Reiki is amazingly versatile and can be used for physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and/or energetic purposes with ease. He asked for help balancing the psyche, so that is what I focused on while knowing that his spirit was also receiving a dose of healing.

I believe that as his mind grew more clear and his emotions more balanced, he naturally came to realize that the source of his distress was spiritual in nature. I also believe that Reiki helped guide him toward this realization when he was ready to receive it. He is now understanding with more and more clarity that his lifestyle for many years was not aligned with his spirit. He ignored the increasingly demanding messages from his intuition that he was off track, not wishing to be bothered with making changes, until finally his discomfort became so intense that he sought the healing that would help him return to himself. Now that he is aware that an injured spirit is the underlying factor of his depression, he can begin to make small, simple changes to his daily life that will correct his trajectory, putting him back on his own evolutionary path.

I’m truly amazed at how this process unfolded organically, in just the right time and space for him to understand and be willing to accept his mission of re-alignment. The healing energy of Reiki is spiritually guided and therefore allows each of us to receive exactly what we need, exactly when we need it most. And that is the beauty of this work! There is nothing to do except allow it to flow. The Divine takes care of the details. However, it is ultimately up to each of us to follow through with the action we have been guided to take.

Magic Hands

(reposted from Sept 2012)

Nearly every prenatal client in her 2nd or 3rd trimester comments that I have “magic hands” or have found the “magic spot.” Once the baby starts to show, ladies lie on their sides for a treatment. This position not only accommodates the changes to their bodies, but also allows easy access to the lateral rotator muscles of the hips and the gluteals. These muscles get unduly challenged during a pregnancy as it is their job to counterbalance the growing belly and keep women from falling forward. Once you understand muscle anatomy and the actions they perform, it really is no “secret”.

Nonetheless, I do enjoy hearing the deep breaths and sighs in the first few minutes of a prenatal massage when I hone in on the area that causes distress. Even though I have never been pregnant myself, I do know first-hand the relief and joy that one experiences when these deep muscles are overworked and achy and receive targeted bodywork. I know exactly where to find the tight spots because I have felt them myself from the inside out and on hundreds of clients. I often find myself reminding these ladies that I am, after all, a trained professional and it is my job to know these so-called tricks when they complain that their partners have failed to ease their pain.

There are so many benefits to both mother and child during prenatal massages. Circulatory, digestive, and lymphatic systems are stimulated, toxins are released from tissue for elimination, the nervous system is soothed, and muscle fibers are elongated. The body’s natural healing ability is boosted when one is relaxed, and hormones are better regulated and swelling reduced. Sleep quality is improved, along with moodiness and clarity. I could easily argue that these benefits increase the well-being of those who live with a pregnant lady. For this reason, I find that family members and partners are often eager to learn massage techniques to apply at home. Getting professional bodywork greatly enhances one’s health and comfort level; why not supplement by taking a class or getting a private lesson from a therapist? With a little training, everyone can discover their very own magic hands.

Creating Sacred Space

Yesterday one of my clients paid me the best compliment ever after her massage. She said, “You create great sacred space.”

Wow! I was speechless for a moment. What a lovely observation, and such a kindness for her to share it. I believe that creating space is a necessary foundation for effective bodywork. In fact, I’ll take it one step further to say that it is the bridge between a therapeutic massage and healing. I strive to see the art of touch as a sacred act and to witness the divinity within each and every one of my clients. The most advanced massage techniques are rendered powerless if the person receiving them does not feel safe, comfortable, and accepted. In order for someone to truly let go and relax, they need to trust their therapist. Creating sacred space is the key for making this happen.

Sacred space can be created anywhere at anytime. It has absolutely nothing to do with fountains or statues or crystals. Of course, these items can be included and no doubt contribute to the healing energy of a treatment room. However, in my eyes, sacred space is actually more a way of being than one of doing. In my humble opinion, bringing one’s awareness fully into the present moment while remaining fully centered in the heart and unconditional love is the basic recipe for creating sacred space. It can be done on a crowded subway car, a desert cliff, a grocery store, bedroom, temple, office, or beach. It only takes a second, but sometimes it takes a lifetime to remember that the divine is within us all.

Don’t Look at Me!

Several times each week, I work with clients who desire the benefits of massage, but are obviously anxious or even terrified about getting undressed. As a recovering shame-aholic, I understand this dilemma completely. When you dislike your body, you want to hide it. You don’t want anyone to know your secrets of imperfection for fear of being rejected or humiliated. I lived most of my adult life like this. It’s debilitating and isolating to experience the world through these lenses. As a compassionate person and professional therapist, I want everybody to be 100% comfortable during each session, so I take the time to explain that I will leave the room while clients undress as much or as little as they wish, and that they will be covered and their privacy protected. Yet I often still recognize that look of panic in their eyes while we are chatting before the session begins.

One day after working with a client like this, I was bicycling home and came across a hawk resting on a fence. I stopped to witness this creature’s majestic presence. I contemplated how regal this bird looked and felt a wave of inspiration. This hawk has never, not once, been ashamed of it’s body or feathers or beak. It has never thought, “Oh, if only I was sleeker or faster or more colorful.” It does not sit around criticizing itself or categorizing its faults. It just simply is. A hawk accepts itself exactly as it is, without a need to compare itself to another. (Or at least, so I imagine!) Can you visualize a beautiful bird like this hiding its head under its wing whimpering, “Don’t look at me! I’m not worthy. I’m just a hawk. I should have been an eagle.”??? NO!

So why do we humans treat ourselves this way? I believe it’s because we’ve forgotten who we truly are; that we are unique individuals with talents and passions that contribute to a better world; that we are worthy of being loved and accepted just the way we are. Not because of what we’ve done to prove this worth, but just simply for being ourselves. What a relief it is to drop the constant stream of self-criticism and to relax into the comfort of self-acceptance. I invite you to try an experiment and invoke the spirit of the magnificent hawk next time you feel doubts about your appearance, performance, or worthiness. It’s impossible to feel ashamed about anything when you’re in the flow of proud hawk energy.