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




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.


June Specials

In honor of the blossoming summer, I feel inspired to offer a special to support people in letting go of anything that weighs them down. Summer is a time for lightening up, feeling playful, and having fun. Even for grown ups! What better way to enjoy the warmer weather than by shedding excess baggage, worries, or unwanted habits?

I am offering a series of long-distance Reiki sessions designed to do just that. When purchased by 6/30/14, a package of four will cost only $120. Regular price for this package is $150, making this a savings of 20%. Long- distance Reiki treatments are an energetic rebalancing and may be received from the comfort of one’s own home, anywhere in the world. This is part of the magic of Reiki; healing energy is not encumbered by the limits of time and space. The four sessions may be scheduled anytime within six months of purchase. Check out my post on long-distance Reiki if you’d like to learn more about this amazing technique.

Also, for my local friends, I am offering a complimentary Aura Cleansing with any 60 or 90 minute Reiki treatment. This is an excellent way to clear your energy field of any unwanted influences. It supercharges the release of blockages that prevent us from becoming our most healthy, most luminous, most magnificent selves. Many energy healers, myself included, believe that disease and imbalance begins in the aura and over time solidifies into the psyche or the body. Releasing the beliefs and energetic blueprints which make us unwell allows the body to return to its innate vibrant, healthy state. Support your true self by letting go of anything that no longer serves you, and feel how this helps you lighten up. Good for any session booked in June or any gift certificate purchased by 6/30/14 and used within six months.

To sign up, contact me at Or check out my website Luminous Heart Massage & Reiki for more information.

11 Ways I Use Reiki Before Breakfast

It’s my goal to illustrate the broad range of possibilities each and every one of us has to use Reiki to improve our lives on a daily basis. Sure, a full treatment with a professional practitioner is an amazing, transformative event, but setting the intention for healing throughout the day, and boosting it with a blast of Reiki has a synergistic effect, transforming our lives from the inside out. We don’t need to rely on someone else, or the formality of lying down for an hour to receive the benefits of Reiki. It can be incorporated into our daily flow and used to support our goals, whatever they may be. So I lovingly present to you this less-than-comprehensive list of the ways I casually use Reiki to improve my mornings.

1. Upon waking, I do a quick body scan. If I notice any aches, I take 3-5 mins to place my hands on that area and visualize golden, healing light releasing any blockages or toxins or limiting beliefs that may be contributing to my discomfort.

2. Upon rising, I sit for a moment on the edge of my bed, and flow Reiki into my aura, filling myself up to capacity with the white light of unconditional love. This serves as an energetic force field, protecting me from negative energies; only love may now enter my energy field.

3. While washing my face, I beam Reiki through my eyes into my reflection in the mirror. I acknowledge that I am a spiritual being with the essence of pure consciousness and that I am divinely loved and guided. I take a few seconds to work on a blemish beneath my eye that my dermatologist calls a “barnacle” (yuck! no thank you!) that is benign but unattractive. It is shrinking over time.

4. I Reiki my toothbrush for good dental health. (If I were a person who showers in the morning, while shampooing, I’d Reiki my brain for focus and clarity, and then every inch of my body, along with the soap and hair products, and the very shower head so that I would be rinsed clean with the purity of healing energy. I do this at night before bed, but there’s no reason it can’t be done in the morning.)

5. I bless my tea kettle and the water within to nourish my cells with Reiki healing energy.

6. I Reiki my wallet to attract the abundance and income I need to follow my Divine Life Purpose and enjoy my life to the fullest.

7. I Reiki my calendar so that everything flows smoothly in Divine Order, for the highest good of all.

8. I take a short walk to the ocean’s edge to say a prayer for the day. I place my hands on my heart adding the intention that my prayer be boosted by Reiki.  (Yes, indeed, I am very lucky in this regard! Prayers can be offered anywhere, I just so love the water that it adds an extra “oomph” to my prayers. And by the way, it was by Reiki’ing my prayers that I manifested such a lovely home!)

9. While there, I take a moment to channel Reiki to my friends and family who are in need of healing, love, or support. (Level 2 Reiki classes teach a long-distance symbol which boosts the capacity to transmit energy to those who are not geographically present, but I truly believe that it can be done by Level 1 practitioners who intend to do so from the heart center.)

10. I invoke Reiki energy during my seated meditation to clear any blockages and allow me to be fully present in silence and stillness so that I may know myself, my truth, and the Will of the Divine.

11. I beam Reiki through my eyes as I am preparing my breakfast (and my lunch which I usually do simultaneously) and intend that I will receive Divine Nourishment through this food to sustain me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Now, you may be thinking that there’s no way you have time for all of this! It has taken me a decade to perfect this morning ritual by analyzing my priorities, experimenting with different techniques, and noticing the extreme benefits of following through. This is the devotional practice that allows me to be my very best, to feel good in my body and good about myself, and to be fully charged to be of service throughout the day. The point that I especially want to make clear: the addition of Reiki doesn’t take any extra time. It merely comes from the intention of adding healing energy to what I am already doing. You could wake up, bless a cigarette and a pot of coffee and three donuts with Reiki, and you would be more aligned with your Higher Self, more energized, more centered and grounded than if you just smoked, caffeinated, and stuffed your face.

Reiki can be a wonderful addition to virtually any lifestyle. I encourage anyone who is remotely interested in holistic health, spirituality, well-being, or living a life filled with peace, love, joy, truth, and freedom to explore the possibility of taking a class and receiving the attunement so that you may fill each day and your heart with Reiki. And watch as you are gradually motivated to spruce up your morning routine and make the time to connect with yourself and the divine. Just wait and see how it spills out into every area of your life.



Speak UP!!

I can’t express strongly enough how important it is for clients to speak up during a bodywork session if they are uncomfortable for any reason or think their needs are not being met. If you are receiving a treatment, that time is for you, for your healing and benefit, and you are ultimately in control. Clients often tell me that they are nervous about their massage because the last time they were on the table, it hurt, and they were afraid to speak up. I am here to encourage you to never ever, never ever allow someone else, even a trained professional that you have hired, hurt you. And if they try to tell you to breathe through it or that pain is necessary to achieve your results, you have the power to end the session.

Over the past eleven years, I’ve had a handful of complaints from clients. The befuddling thing is, usually they don’t complain to me, but to the front desk. After the session is over. And after it is possible to rectify the situation. Someone complained once that I used too much oil, another that the lights were too bright, and one that there was too much noise in the spa. Once I passed a man I had just massaged in the waiting area, seething because his wife hadn’t come out yet. Her therapist was gifting her with extra time, and he was so angry about waiting that he complained I shorted his time, even though he was happy when we parted. These episodes were all quirky issues that I couldn’t really have done much to fix. The legitimate complaint that surfaces once or twice every year or so is that I didn’t use enough pressure.

I’m pretty tuned in to a client’s nervous system and am reading their muscles’ responses during a massage. Generally, I am using enough pressure to encourage release without triggering a defensive reaction. That means that I never want my client to feel pain while on the table; they might very well feel some discomfort if their goal is therapy for an injury or unsticking a long term stuck-ness; but not actual pain. So naturally the client who believes “if it doesn’t hurt, it’s not working” is not a good match for me. Overall, I’m pretty good at weeding this personality type out, and either educating them to my approach, or admitting that I can’t meet their needs. Sometimes, though, they slip through the cracks, and end up feeling frustrated on my table.

The reason I encourage people to speak up, is not to demand that I do what they want, but to at least make it possible. If someone is wanting more pressure than I am willing to deliver, if they ask, I can explain my reasons. If theydisagree, and the session is just beginning, we can stop, and they can go on their way without paying, and find a more suitable match. A few weeks ago, I was working on a woman who had run a marathon the day before. Essentially, her muscles were traumatized. She asked for more pressure, and I slightly increased to the maximum I felt appropriate, and she commented “yeah, that’s good.” She answered “good” to my check-in during her turn-over, and again at the end. But she told the front desk that she kept waiting for more pressure. If she had repeated her request, or been truthful during the check-ins, I would have explained that I was worried about impeding circulation in muscles that desperately needed fresh oxygen delivered and toxins to be carried away, that her fight or flight response was already right on the edge, and that I was supporting her desired goal of relaxation and circulation by using a medium-firm pressure. If she disagreed with my technique, I would have offered to stop then and there. We were only 15 minutes into a 60 minute session, so I wouldn’t have charged her and she could have booked with a more aggressive therapist.

It is really important that clients learn to stand up for themselves. Don’t be afraid to speak up, especially if the bodywork is hurting and you haven’t requested an intense session. Don’t ever let your therapist bully you, or believe that they know more than you do about your own body. If your temperature or position is uncomfortable, let us know- we can help you! We don’t want you to be shivering or wish your head was half an inch higher. It is our job to make you comfortable. It is your job to tell us if you are not. If you have special needs, it’s best to discuss them ahead of time so the therapist can decline or be prepared as they see fit. If you’re wanting something and you’re not getting it- ASK! Don’t wait until it’s over and too late. You might not receive exactly what you’re wanting, but at least you won’t have to pay for something you don’t.