Celebrating No Headaches!

One of my greatest joys as a massage therapist is helping people reduce or eliminate pain through a body-mind-spirit approach. When a client tells me that she hasn’t had any headaches since her two appointment two weeks ago, I get excited. When she tells me that it’s very rare for her to go that long without a migraine, let alone a “regular” headache, I’m practically jumping for joy.

smiling woman wearing black jacket and pants jumping in brown open field
Photo by Pete Johnson on Pexels.com

Lately I’m seeing more and more clients for headache relief, many of whom have tried all sorts of medications, various therapies, or dietary changes. This particularly client is getting Botox injections, which help but don’t eliminate her pain, and wear off weeks before her insurance company is willing to pay for the next round. Massage seems to be bridging that gap without contributing any unwanted side effects.

The best part of this story is that I’m using good ole-fashioned Swedish massage. No fancy techniques. No deep tissue. No discomfort whatsoever during a session. My goal is to activate the relaxation response, in which the body’s internal feel-good pharmacy gets triggered. Digestion and nutrient assimilation are enhanced, the immune and lymphatic systems are supported, the cardiovascular system calms, and the endocrine system is supported.

Swedish massage manually promotes the relaxation of muscles and encourages circulation and the elimination of cellular waste and toxins. It’s rather like wringing out a dirty sponge, then running it under fresh hot water. As the body adjusts to its new, less-constricted state, internal mechanisms are nudged to promote balance from within. The combination of the relaxation response and the manual “wringing out” therapy is a two-pronged strategy for reducing headaches.

Many of my clients are able to reduce frequency, duration, and/or intensity of chronic headaches with one or two massages each month. For them bodywork is a form of alternative care which prevents them from seeking medical intervention. Many others are less than satisfied with the results of their medical intervention, and get great relief from massage as a complementary therapy.

You don’t need to give up modern medicine to enjoy the benefits of massage. It might just be the key that allows you to celebrate a fortnight free of headaches. And a fortnight after that. And another and another. Why not give it a try?

"I need you to Reiki my vagina."

Not the greeting I typically receive from clients! But this woman has been suffering from chronic yeast and bacterial infections for the past eight years. Ugh! So she is on a mission and doesn’t beat around the bush.

One of Reiki’s superpowers is that it is activated by intention. Beginning practitioners are taught a series of hand positions to transfer the healing energy, but it’s not at all necessary to touch the area we are treating. We can hover over the area or “beam” the energy from our hands to the target, and as we gain skill it becomes easy to solely use the power of intention to focus the energy on a zone we cannot touch such as breasts, genitals, or rashes.

So it wasn’t the request that surprised me. It’s not problematic to treat the sexual organs. It was the candor of the request that really captured my attention. It got me thinking that in 16 years of practice, no one has ever said anything like this to me! It seems likely that some of my other thousands of clients suffered from some sort of vaginal distress.

Which got me thinking of how sexuality has somehow been excluded from attention in much of the holistic healing world. While it’s quite common for people to share extremely personal details about their digestive tract or emotional trauma, very rarely have I treated someone who expressed a wish to activate dormant sexual energy or experience more powerful orgasms.

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

And it’s not because Reiki can’t help with these things. It totally can! Simply decreasing stress, releasing stuck emotions and improving circulation will invariable be beneficial; setting a specific intention will be even more powerful. Yet somehow the perception that our sexual health and pleasure isn’t worthy of healing or is too shameful to talk about pervades. Well, I am here to help break this pattern!

It is completely normal and perfectly acceptable to desire a happy, healthy sex life. There is nothing un-spiritual about wanting to experience greater ecstasy or more freedom and confidence in the bedroom. Or kitchen or garage… Hey, no judgment here! Regardless of the source of this seeming taboo (patriarchal, cultural, and religious conditioning; your time is up!) we can reprogram our thinking to embrace our sexuality and seek holistic health care support for maximizing our inherent ability to enjoy consensual physical union.

It may indeed be uncomfortable for you to speak to a practitioner about your goals for enhancing your libido. If it’s the first time you’re doing so, you can expect to stammer and blush. If you’ve done your homework and chosen an open-minded, progressive, and compassionate practitioner, he or she can help you get the words out. A big part of what I do is listening respectfully and guiding clients to a clear statement of intent. It’s just part of the job.

If you’re in the Philly area, I’d be delighted to schedule a treatment for you. To be 100% clear, using Reiki for sexual healing is completely non-sexual. It is simply the application of spiritually guided life-force energy for the intention of your choosing. Never ever, never ever should it include contact with the genitals; or any other area you’d prefer not to be touched for that matter.

If you’re not in my neighborhood, my long-distance Reiki package discount is available for another week. Contact me if you’re wondering if it could be a match for you and your needs.

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Will Reiki Help My…

Short answer? Probably!

In the past week I’ve shared Reiki for a wide array of issues. A sick cat, indigestion, misplaced libido, bladder pain, shoulder pain, low back pain, foot pain, general anxiety, travel anxiety, “ruffled edges”, depression, feelings of disconnection, worries about an upcoming difficult situation, healing of sexual trauma and all the resulting false beliefs and suppressed emotions, and stress eating.

Oh yeah, I did a healing attunement and blessing for a new home, and have since received excited reports of family harmony and children playing peaceably together and eating vegetables. That was fun. And very exciting for the parents and me too as it’s now a new service I’m keen to offer. More on this in the near future!

Reiki can be helpful for physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and circumstantial issues. It’s my go-to strategy for anything that ails me and no doubt my students get tired of hearing me ask if they Reiki’ed whatever it is that they are complaining about. I might sound like a broken record, but that’s just because it works. It works every single time! Often like magic. Not always in the ways we want it to, but it definitely works.

Here’s the thing. Reiki always supports our highest good. So when it seems like it isn’t working, often there’s a reason that we just aren’t seeing.

When Reiki wasn’t able to help me sleep past 5 am, I eventually realized that I was supposed to get my butt out of bed and make productive use of that time.

When the housing situation I desired didn’t materialize, I eventually realized there were lessons I needed to learn in my current location first. If I had just moved away, I would have taken all my problems with me. Thanks, but no thanks!

When my ankle continued to bother me for nearly 3 years, I eventually realized (with the help of a series of synchronicities and a medical intuitive session ala Laura Bruno) it was a message from my Spirit about being neither fully grounded nor moving forward as guided. I wrote more about this discovery in Reiki fail?

Reiki won’t help you find peace in an abusive relationship or soul-sucking job. It definitely won’t help you binge chocolate chip cookies without an inflammation response or ignore resentment that is festering deep inside. For sure it won’t make your mother change her diet to support better health if she isn’t interested in doing so, and it won’t make your baby niece sleep when you want her to. Trust me, I’ve tried all of these things and failed!

But the failure was mine. Reiki didn’t fail; it always had my back. None of those attempts were in my highest good. The problem is that I often don’t know what’s in my best interest. I’ve spent most of my life pursuing goals that were shiny on the outside and hollow on the inside. My limited human brain is generally unaware of my soul’s plan for sharing the gifts that are uniquely mine.

Not to worry! Reiki has an innate intelligence that is spiritually guided. It knows much, much better than I do what I need to be happy, healthy and fulfilled. Learning to trust that Reiki is 100% supportive allows me to surrender attachment to my ego’s plan and receive the gifts and guidance that flow to me.

Will Reiki help your xyz? If it’s in alignment with your highest good, for sure! If not, it will likely help you see that your thoughts are misguided and reveal the bigger picture. Either way, it will help you uncover your soul’s perfection and the unique medicine you have to share.

There’s still time to take advantage of the long-distance Reiki package special I’m offering to support you on this road of self- discovery. 10% off a series of five sessions, through 1/31/2020. Contact me if you’re wondering if this is a good match for your needs.

Reiki Master Teacher Training and Personal Healing Quest

I’m delighted to announce a new certification program! I’ve been dreaming up this concept for years and have finally worked out the logistical kinks. Reiki Master Teacher, sometimes called Advanced Reiki or Reiki 3, is the pinnacle of training in this healing system. Often it’s taught in a weekend intensive, and it’s entirely possible to receive the certification without ever giving one single treatment.

I wanted to go a different route. A more scenic route. One steeped in devotion to practice. My passion is encouraging students to develop a daily routine for exploring a personal healing quest and uncovering their soul’s calling. Along with unconditional compassion and non-judgment, I believe this is the foundation of becoming a quality practitioner and teacher.

Perfection is not the goal. Consistent application of the healing tools at our disposal is. Reiki is the greatest, wisest teacher I’ve ever met! The experiences I’ve had treating myself and others have taught me infinitely more than any book or class could. It’s my intention to share this understanding and gently but firmly guide students to allow Reiki to reveal it secrets through observation.

Granted, this is no easy task! It requires patience and diligence and courage. Especially courage. Facing our wounds, fears, resistances, and limiting beliefs requires stamina, curiosity, and tons of courage. It is much, much easier to show up for a weekend workshop. In this program, you really have to work to earn the certification!

So I’ve developed a six month training that is largely independent study. Six of the seven classes will be held online for everyone’s convenience. We will meet in person only once for the attunement. There will be reading assignments and practice, practice, practice to keep us all busy for the weeks in between.

We’ll cover the traditional material including the master symbol for spiritual healing, opening a practice, and how to give initiation attunements and healing attunements, which are super-potent treatments. And we’ll discuss many of the more nuanced aspects of giving the best sessions possible. In my teaching I share the tricks that I’ve figured out over the past 16 years giving thousands of treatments. I learned the hard way, but you don’t have to!

If you’re interested in diving deep and immersing yourself fully in the Reiki pool, let’s connect and see if this is a good fit for you. You can join from anywhere, with the exception of the second class, when we’ll gather in my office in Philadelphia. The cost is $777, with an early bird discount of $77 off, available through 3/1/2020. Classes are on the fourth Thursday of each month, 6-8:30 pm eastern time, beginning in March. Details can be found here.

2020: The Year of Perfect Vision

Full transparency: I am borrowing this tag line from a student. But it’s just so brilliant I have to share it! 20/20 is the term ophthalmologists use to describe normal eyesight. Well, we’re taking it a step further and claiming 2020 as the year of Perfect Vision, the foundation to uncovering the soul’s calling as well as the guidance and motivation necessary to pursue it.

It’s helpful to know where you want to go before your start charting your journey. It’s also helpful to clean out your trunk so you’re not hauling around crap from the past decade on your adventure. Perhaps most helpful of all is tuning up your vehicle, paying attention to all the systems that allow it to run smoothly. Self-care, -kindness, -discovery, and -awareness are the corollary steps in creating an intentional lifestyle.

For me yoga, Reiki, and nourishment are essential building blocks in this process. No news there; you’re heard me say this 10,000 times already! Over the past year I’ve benefited greatly from several other teachings that really upped my game, and I’m very eager to share them here in the hopes others might also profit. If you’re looking to maximize your potential in the new year, you might find some guidance here.

I could spend the next month extolling the virtues of these lessons. Instead I’ll provide links to websites allowing you to do your own research. The three teachers I’m mentioning have a variety of courses as well as very generous newsletters which can be a risk-free gateway into their work. I respect and admire their contributions to personal growth and spiritual awakening and am incredibly grateful for the wisdom they’ve shared.

Sharon Blackie’s Courting the World Soul online course totally blew my socks off. I’m still digesting the amazing material of this 8 week course, which is a mix of depth psychology, mythology, and more. She has set me on a journey of discovering my roots to help find belonging in a world that generally makes no sense to me.

Layla Martin offers a free Radiant Queen Masterclass which includes simple practices for liberating the wild feminine energy that most of us women were taught very early on to lock down. She’s a vibrant teacher of tantra, sexual empowerment, and liberation from the bonds of patriarchal programming. I highly recommend checking this out, especially if that last sentence makes you uncomfortable!

I’m really learning a lot from Rick Hanson’s Growing the Good yearlong meditation program. His background as a Buddhist and neuro-psychologist reveals a fascinating intersection of east/west, ancient tradition/modern science. Understanding my nervous system better allows me to experience calm more frequently. ‘Nuff said!

Perhaps more transformative than all of the above is the time I’ve spent in nature. I just can’t get enough time amongst the trees! Sitting by the creek breathing the ki-infused air is where my deepest healing and best ideas happen. I’ve applied to a volunteer training program to further my knowledge of the local wooded treasure as well as to gain skills for sharing it with others. If you’re in the Philly area, Friends of the Wissahickon offers loads of guided hikes. Wherever you are, no doubt there is a patch of land that needs your appreciation.

And finally, I’m over the moon with my latest oracle card purchase. The Wild Unknown Archetypes is a beautiful deck and has been tremendously helpful for accessing my inner wisdom. They’ve been a big hit at recent community Reiki circles and I’m planning to bring them to this week’s event. Join us if you’re in the neighborhhood!

It’s my sincerest wish that 2020 brings you great peace, health, wealth, and happiness. Perhaps one of these tools can help you further your goals. As always, I’m available for Reiki (in person and remote) and massage sessions to get your year on track and uncover the benefits of Perfect Vision.

You Don't Need to Know How and Reiki Package Special

One of the most common questions I hear from Reiki students and clients is, “How do I heal…”. My eczema, my finances, my relationship with my mother, the trauma lingering from childhood abuse, shoddy self-esteem, karma from previous lifetimes, addictions, phobias… You name it, my answer is always the same.

Set an intention and add Reiki. Combining the power of the mind (via intention and attention) with the healing of spiritually guided life-force energy is the formula for soothing whatever ails us. I used to want to make it more complicated, to have specific recipes for each and every circumstance, but that’s just not necessary. I’m learning to appreciate the ease of this one-size-fits-all approach!

In my self-care practice, I treat a sprained ankle the same way I do disappointment or getting out of debt. I invite Reiki to flow for whatever purpose I have in mind. Then I pay attention.

I pay attention to insights and intuitive nudges that arise from within me as well as synchronicities that point me toward guided action. When blockages and resistance arise, I use Reiki to uncover what’s underneath, and then I use Reiki to treat that.

I keep repeating this process as I work through the layers that keep me separate from the experiences I desire. I also use Reiki to help myself accept that wherever I am is exactly where I’m supposed to be, and to release the limiting beliefs that I don’t deserve to have all the goodness that I long for.

I use Reiki to help me let go of the habits that prevent me from receiving my heart’s desires and to notice the clues the universe gives me about how to move toward my goals. When I encounter obstacles, I Reiki them; and when I feel stuck, I Reiki that. Usually what’s underneath it all is a false message I’ve adopted as a result of cultural conditioning or an outdated coping mechanism. Once discovered, I Reiki that too.

I know this time of year can be difficult for many of us. It certainly is for me. I take extra measures to protect my mental and emotional health. To help you do the same, I’m offering a discount on a series of 5 long-distance Reiki session, only $360. Normally $80 each, you save $40 when purchasing a package by 1/31/20. Gift certificates are available as well.

You don’t need to know how to heal this anxiety, depression, auto-immune condition, neurological disorder, PTSD, or anything else. Reiki knows how. All you need to do is receive treatment and take inspired action. Contact me with any questions or to arrange purchase of a package and schedule your first session.

Will One Session Help?

I get this question a lot. People want definitive answers before committing to a session. My short answer is, yes. Every session helps. Each step we make towards improving our health and wellness counts. 98% of my clients leave each and every session feeling better than when they arrived.

And… it’s really not quite that simple. I liken healing to getting out of debt. Will one payment help reduce your credit card balance? Sure. Will it eliminate the deficit that has been accruing for decades? Maybe, but probably not.

It’s the same with massage and Reiki treatments. The results depend on so many factors that it’s impossible for me to predict with absolute accuracy how long it will take for any particular issue to be resolved. The intensity and duration of any discomfort is an important consideration as well as lifestyle choices. Activities, thoughts, and behaviors that add to or detract from the underlying imbalance most definitely play a roll. Willingness to let go and embrace change will certainly enhance the efficacy of every treatment, as will efforts to cultivate and preserve the body’s physiological relaxation response.

Consider the goal of being debt free. The degree of debt, income, spending habits, savings and gifts must all be calculated. It’s much the same in healing. Are you making more deposits into your health and wellness account than withdrawals? Are you reducing your harmful spending habits? Are you willing to take on extra work to boost your healing income?

These are all investments beyond the scope of any one treatment. So while yes, one session will help, it’s ultimately your participation in the process that will speed your arrival at the finish line. I’ve seen clients experience tremendous progress through making healthier choices on a daily basis as well as clients who remain stuck on a plateau if receiving bi-monthly treatments is their only contribution.

There’s no right or wrong  here. I’m happy to help clients maintain their health when seeing me is the only effort they are able or willing to make, and I enjoy supporting those who wish to take more active roles and rely less on my efforts. There’s a place for everyone in my practice. But if you want to get better faster, you’ll need to get involved and start making frequent deposits into your health account.