Upcoming Reiki for Self-Care Class

   

Several years ago, I realized that most of my Reiki students sign up to learn a healing technique to promote their own health, happiness, productivity, and creativity. In short, they want to live their best lives, and many have no intention of offering sessions to other people. It’s something they want to learn for themselves to balance out all the doing and giving that happens every day; the equivalent of putting your own oxygen mask on first.

Woman practicing self Reiki transfering energy through palms, a kind of energy medicine.

With this understanding, I distilled all the vital material from my Reiki 1 certification class (which thoroughly covers sharing Reiki with others) down into a 3-hour Reiki for Self-Care class. It’s the most effective, efficient, and affordable offering in my toolbox to get newcomers started on their healing journeys. I’ve done everything I possibly can to make this as easy and accessible to those who are interested.

I’m delighted to be offering Reiki for Self-Care online on Saturday, September 18, 2021, from 12-3pm eastern. We cover the basics of what Reiki is and isn’t, where it comes from, what it can be used for, and how to do so via Google Meet (a video meeting platform similar to Zoom). Students will all receive an individual attunement to open their energy pathways allowing Reiki to flow at will.

The investment is $85, with a $10 early bird discount if registered by August 18. This is less than the cost of one professional session, making it the most cost-effective way to receive frequent and consistent treatment. Space is limited and registration is necessary.

If you’re wondering why you might want to learn this amazing technique and have healing power at your very fingertips ALL the time, you might enjoy my blog, 12 Reasons to Learn Reiki, where I’ve outlined the essence of the work I’ve been enjoying for the past 18 years. I’ve done thousands of sessions, both in person and long-distance, and continue to be amazed at how powerful, yet gentle, Reiki truly is.

Apply by simply contacting me and letting me know what your goals are, and we’ll take it from there.

Over the Hill and LOVING IT!

Today is my 50th birthday.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

As a modern, western woman, I’ve been conditioned to believe that this is the beginning of the inevitable decline of my health, mobility, cognitive abilities, productivity, and overall worth.

Well, to hell with that! I reject all this nonsense. I am choosing instead to celebrate having survived five long decades in a world whose values are so upside-down. I’m choosing to invest daily in my well-being and have adopted one of Louise Hay’s mottos as my very own.

“Happy, healthy, happy, healthy- dead.”

Meaning, I plan to enjoy myself up until the very end.

I’m not saying it’s going to happen automatically. Yes, my body requires different care than it did when I was younger. Consequences are greater for making unhealthy choices. While society would suggest that I must merely suffer as a result of continuing the behavior that suited me in my 20’s and 30’s, I’m proposing an alternative. Make different choices!

My plan for healthy aging is four-pronged. It is versatile and easily adaptable to any set of unique circumstances and value systems. I believe that if everybody started thinking along these lines, there would be a lot less pain and illness in the elder years.

  1. Cultivate life-force energy (ki/chi/qi/prana). In eastern systems, this is the foundation of health and healing. Here in the west, it’s still somewhat foreign to many. Whether or not we can see it, feel it, or measure it, there is an energy that flows through all living beings. We can enhance this flow through lifestyle choices such as eating natural foods, spending time in nature, moving our bodies, expressing emotions, connecting with loved ones, and getting plenty of rest. Reiki, yoga, martial arts, qi gong, and tai chi are practices designed to build and balance ki.
  2. Minimize toxins. While I’d love to avoid them altogether, in today’s world I just don’t think it’s possible. So I do the best I can with the options available to me. Before I put something in or on my body or bring a product (or relationship) into my environment, I determine its level of toxicity. Yes, this means passing up many things that are quite popular such as donuts and nail polish. Given my 50 voyages around the sun, I have developed the wisdom to see that I value my well-being much, much more than fitting in with an unhealthy crowd.
  3. Manage stress. While I’d also like to avoid stress altogether, I don’t think that’s possible either. Given that I live in the world, and not removed from it on a desert island or mountain top, my options are to just absorb it or take steps to actively minimize its effects. This takes consistent effort, yet I assure you that every investment in reducing stress has a cumulative impact on health and well-being. Enter “stress, disease” in your search engine if you’re curious about the specifics.
  4. Choose joy, creativity, and pleasure. Sadly, these gems are tremendously undervalued in today’s world. In addition to enhancing ki flow, taking this step also activates the connection with Spirit. For me, they are the portal to living openheartedly, compassionately, and generously. I believe they nourish the heart; both in a literal and metaphorical sense. It also tends to draw others to me who are like-minded, which activates an upward joy spiral. Building pockets of enjoyment into every day is an approach that helps me navigate the challenging times with greater ease and prolong the good times with minimal effort.

I’ve spent the past two decades organizing my life around these four principles. It certainly didn’t happen all at once. Nor was it always easy. Going against the standard motto: “work, suffer, work, suffer-decline, sick, dead” is revolutionary. Other people don’t always appreciate the changes we make as these changes can challenge their world views and often put projected responsibility back on their own shoulders. Yet, taking one step at a time while absorbing the rewards along the way creates a positive feedback loop that is very encouraging.

Pick one small change you can make today and start there. Perhaps take the money you’d spend over the next few months on soda and buy a water filter so you have access to the purest hydration possible. Or visit the farmers market for the best quality produce in your area. Go for a walk before work or own your break if it isn’t sweltering outside. If is, make a playlist of upbeat tunes and dance in your living room.

Just one thing is all it takes to begin. This is the foundation for a shift that can have a huge impact on your wellness over time. Make it something simple and easy or it won’t be sustainable. Once you get the hang of it, add another simple, easy shift. And another and another.

If all goes well, thirty years from now you can join me on the dance floor to celebrate my 80th.

Free 5 Day Qi Gong Challenge

You might recognize Lee Holden from his PBS specials. I just came across his work on Facebook. I like what he has to say about health and wellness so much that I’ve signed up for this program. While it doesn’t begin until July 19, I received a bonus session when I registered that was so enjoyable and beneficial I’ve decided to do it every day until the challenge begins. It’s simply, easy, and safe for all fitness levels.

According to his website, he has helped more than 100,000 students

  • Heal from injury and disease
  • Slow the aging process
  • Feel better than ever
  • Maximize their energy

I’m a beginner to this technique, so I’m not going to try to describe its origins, practices, or effects. You’re better off learning directly from the master! Despite my lack of expertise, I did want to share this opportunity with you as I can see the immense value. Qi Gong and Reiki both work with cultivating and balancing life-force energy. They pair together quite nicely!

Here’s a link to his blog, 8 Reasons to Sign Up for the Free Qi Challenge. I feel confident that nearly everyone can relate to at least one of these reasons! From there you can find a link to register. I hope you will. I’d love to hear what you think if you give it a try. I’ve already (after just two sessions) noticed a decrease in anxiety and better quality sleep. If you struggle with either of this issues, I think you’ll agree that 20 minutes per day is a reasonable investment to enjoy relief.

Catch ya later, I’m off to practice!

Massage Doesn’t Have to Hurt!

Recently I was talking with a friend who’s also an occasional client. Many moons ago we did a series of three massages over the course of a month to treat shoulder pain which had been plaguing her for years.

“To tell you the truth,” she said quietly, with a sheepish look on her face, “I didn’t think the gentle work you did would be effective. As it turns out, it was exactly what I needed to experience a deep healing.”

We have this erroneous belief in our culture that a therapy needs to be aggressive to produce results. That somehow the more painful a treatment is, the better the outcome will be. I’ve heard reports of clients not returning to me, or others with similar technique, because “it didn’t hurt enough.”

True story! It didn’t hurt enough. Which begs the questions, how much should it hurt? Or what is the origin of this mistaken belief that causing pain is a realistic strategy for releasing pain?

Pain, or even the hint of possible future pain, stimulates the fight/flight/freeze response which activates a sequence of physiological reactions, including the tensing of muscles. Tense muscles tend to pull joints and the skeleton out of alignment and impede the circulation of blood, which delivers oxygen and removes toxins. This is a recipe for more pain!

Perhaps in some extreme cases, this might be beneficial, but in my experience as a giver and receiver of massage for nearly 20 years, gentle touch produces much more beneficial results. Creating a soothing, relaxing experience can alter the body’s chemistry, promoting healing as well as circulation, and allowing muscles to soften rather than contract. A type of somatic trust develops organically, with the body learning that it will be comforted and acknowledged rather than attacked and punished. Think “ahhhhhh….” vs “OW!

While we might be able to force a muscle to temporarily release under duress, it’s indeed possible to cultivate long lasting healing with a more gentle approach. If you’ve shied away from bodywork due to upsetting experiences in the past, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you were hurt and even more sorry if it prevented you from seeking further treatment.

While many massage therapists will disagree with me, there are plenty of us who are willing to work with you in a pain-free setting. A simple inquiry will help you discern who is a good match for your needs. And if you’re wondering why your aggressive therapy isn’t producing lasting change, you might want to switch it up and try a different approach.

Massage. It really doesn’t have to hurt!

12 Reasons to Learn Reiki

Reiki has a growing reputation for successfully supporting cancer and surgical patients. Yet it has many additional uses. Taking a Reiki 1 class is an easy, affordable way to gain instant access to healing, cleansing, renewing life-force energy. All at your very fingertips! As the ability to practice is transferred from teacher to student during an initiation called an attunement, it’s not dependent on any special skills or specific lifestyle. You don’t need to be psychic, enlightened, or identify as a “healer” to practice Reiki.

While many clients are content to receive professional treatments, many others desire more consistent relief. I’ve compiled a short list of the most common reasons for doing so that I hear from students. If you can relate, you might consider signing yourself up for a class! It will reduce your dependence on a practitioner, enabling you to receive healing on a daily basis.

Photo by Puwadon Sang-ngern on Pexels.com
  1. Managing stress and anxiety. Aside from the fact that these maladies are highly unpleasant, they’ve also been linked to an increasing number of life-threatening diseases. Relaxation is becoming accepted as much more than an indulgent practice available to the likes of Hollywood divas frequenting day spas, but also as a wise investment in one’s health.
  2. Reducing chronic pain. Relieving stress reduces inflammation, which in turn reduces chronic pain. While arthritis, for example, might not be curable, many people with this diagnosis are able to reduce, or even eliminate, the pain with consistent treatment.
  3. Healing trauma. As if enduring a traumatic event is not terrible enough, it has long-term effects on the nervous system, causing survivors to live in a state of near-constant fear. Repeated activation of the physiological relaxation response can rewire the hair-trigger alarm systems of those struggling to acclimate to life after trauma.
  4. Releasing limiting beliefs. I’ve yet to meet anyone who didn’t pick up any limiting beliefs in childhood which prevent them from living their greatest, most joyful lives. Statements that begin with, “I never…”, “I always…”, “I’m just the type of person who…”, “I’m too this or too that” become ingrained in the subconscious, preventing us from pursuing our dreams. With diligent application, Reiki can help us rewrite our inner scripts and uncover our true power.
  5. Recovering self-esteem. For anyone who has developed a sense of insecurity due to past experiences, it’s hardly news that this way of being can be debilitating. By connecting folks to their deeper selves and inner knowing, innate self-esteem that has been fragmented or covered up can be reclaimed, allowing for greater personal freedom and contentment.
  6. Cultivating clarity. Often students don’t know exactly what they are seeking but do have an acute awareness that something is missing from their lives. Reiki can help put them in touch with intuition, a sense of knowing that is much deeper than the intellect. For those who feel stuck in health, career, or relationship, developing clarity can reveal the way forward.
  7. Healthy aging. There’s a common misconception in our culture that everything just starts to fall apart after age 40. Sadly, this is coupled with a sense of resignation and hopelessness. I’d like to argue that neglecting and abusing one’s body does cause increasing damage, and for many people, 40 years is the tipping point when such mistreatment can no longer be sustained. Reducing toxicity and inflammation while stockpiling life-force energy can go a long way to promoting better health through middle age and the elder years.
  8. Support through a difficult time. Relocation, new parenthood, death of a loved one, divorce, and other big life changes are highly stressful. Reiki can provide comfort through challenges that might not be avoidable, but don’t need to be downright incapacitating.
  9. Letting go of unwanted emotions. Resentment from old hurts can be a consistent drain of one’s energy and trigger undesirable coping mechanisms such as overdrinking, overeating, overworking, etc to numb the pain. Letting go of justified anger can seem impossible without external support. Yes, someone might have done something careless or even cruel in the past, and you might have suffered as a result. And at some point, you might choose to stop any needlessly suffering despite the damage that was done. Reiki can help find the inner resources and resilience to let go so that you can move on.
  10. Frustrating or inadequate results of medical treatment. Many people show up in my office after having run through the gamut of medical tests and procedures that simply haven’t provided the desired relief. Because Reiki works on the mental, emotional, spiritual, and energetic realms in addition to the physical body, it can often foster balance where modern medicine is unaware that balance is lacking.
  11. Enjoying optimal health, happiness, and productivity. While Reiki isn’t a magical cure-all, it does help everyone access the greatest health available to their unique selves. Sure, I remain sensitive to wheat products and susceptible to type 2 diabetes despite my daily practice. That’s unlikely to change in this lifetime. But within these parameters, I enjoy the best health possible for me. Experiencing optimal health goes a long way to being happy and productive. It builds a strong foundation upon which we can then layer creativity, connection, vitality, and success.
  12. Discovering and aligning with your soul’s calling. Once all the above concerns get sorted, it’s so much easier to hear the still, small voice within guiding you toward the plan your soul has for you. When there are fewer distractions from aches and pains, petty grievances, unnecessary triggering of the fight/flight/freeze response, limiting beliefs, outdating coping mechanisms, debilitating insecurities, and upsetting negative self-talk, there is so much energy freed up to explore our heart’s desires and innate talents which are keys to uncovering our unique mission for this lifetime. It’s in there somewhere, and Reiki can clear out the muck that stands in the way!

I could keep going, but this seems a good place to stop. If you have any questions about your specific needs, I’d be happy to set up a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation. Chances are I’ll say, “Yes, Reiki can help with that.” It’s a rather miraculous technique that continues to surprise me even after almost two decades of practice. If you’re interested in signing up for an online class, I’m offering Reiki 1 in a 4 week series beginning May 25, 2021.  

Online Reiki 1 Classes

I am delighted to announce the next round of beginners’ Reiki classes. If you’re interested in reducing stress, anxiety, tension or pain; cultivating the greatest wellness available to you; accessing intuition, clarity, focus, and creativity; releasing unwanted habits, stuck emotions, or limiting beliefs; and basically living your best life possible, this could be for you!

Over the past year I’ve really come to appreciate the benefits of hosting classes online. Not only does it make them more accessible, but it allows for shorter, more frequent meetings without sacrificing convenience. This seems to promote retention and assimilation for many students. Plus, no need to forfeit the blissed out feeling by getting in the car to drive home!

Four Tuesday evenings, 6:30-8:30 pm, eastern time

May 25, June 1, 8, & 15, 2021

$225 investment. $25 off early bird discount through May 14.

Contact me to register; space is limited for more personalized approach and greater connection.

Anyone who has taken Reiki 1 with me may sit in free of charge, space permitting.

Now Offering Virtual Reiki!

Over the past year I’ve been repeatedly asked if Long-Distance Reiki is done via Zoom. In fact, I’ve been asked so many times that I’ve decided to offer Virtual Reiki sessions, even though Reiki doesn’t need any assistance from technology. If you’d rather pluck out your own eyeballs and eat them than attend one more video meeting, never fear, old-school long-distance sessions are still available!

I’m recognizing a growing need for people to be seen and heard. Truly listened to and witnessed. While I don’t need a camera or microphone to do sessions, I have become aware of the value of the additional comfort this can provide. I suspect there is also an issue of accountability involved. People want to know that I’m actually there doing my job and not off somewhere doing Jell-O shots and playing cards. Fair enough!  

This optional adjustment to treatments allows me to add in an extra component of deep listening. For those who’d like to spend a portion of their sessions sharing about what’s up in their lives, I can provide a compassionate ear while simultaneously transmitting Reiki. For those who wish to simply state their intentions and rest quietly, that’s a choice as well.

I recently finished an Mindful Self-Compassion meditation course. During each class we would break into small groups and participants would take turns sharing about how their practices were going and the effects that were extending out into their worlds. The others would simply hold space by listening with compassion, without judgment, and without mentally preparing a reply. I got as much out of this exchange as I did from the techniques we learned! Sadly, quality listening isn’t a skill that’s taught in our culture and it’s pretty rare to have the opportunity to speak freely to a compassionate listener.

Another option is to receive coaching to tailor personalized intentions. These are simple phrases which can be used as mantras for rewriting your inner scripts, becoming aligned with your soul’s purpose, and focusing your attention on that which you wish to create. Clients often tell me how helpful it is when we collaborate and fine-tune their intentions since it’s not always clear what they want until we explore what’s happening beneath the surface. I’ve spent the past two decades crafting my own intentions and have learned a lot along the way. It’s a great joy to share this skill as the results can be so powerful.

So here I am, changing with the changing times, and offering Virtual Reiki, with or without Compassionate Listening or Intention Finessing. I’m excited to be branching out and including services that I enjoy offering and are powerful, beneficial, and complementary to Reiki. For the traditionalists out there, of course it’s possible to communicate your goals by email and receive the healing energy without any gadgets or wifi.

If you’re wondering what long-distance Reiki is and why you might wish to experience it with or without video, you can read more about it here and here. If you’re feeling psyched about scheduling, send me a message and we’ll make an appointment for you.

Which is Better, Reiki or Massage?

I get this question a lot from new clients. Is Reiki or massage better? It’s common knowledge that both are helpful for reducing stress and pain, so how does one choose which treatment will provide the most relief?

First of all, neither is better. They’re both fabulous. Just different.

For people who don’t wish to get undressed, don’t want their hair to get mucked up, or don’t like to be touched, Reiki is the perfect solution. Clients remain fully clothed, no oil or lotion is used, and healing energy can be transferred either with or without touch. For those who enjoy the gliding or kneading of bodywork or the moisturizing benefit of being coated in massage cream, well that’s an obvious choice as well.

For the rest of us, it all depends on the goals for the session and the origin of the stressors. Massage is extremely helpful for correcting postural imbalances from sitting too long at a desk and for muscle aches from repetitive movements. It’s my go-to technique for issues that are firmly rooted in the physical body.

For concerns that arise primarily from the mental/emotional realm, I find Reiki to be more helpful. For example, the type of stress that is unleashed from having too much to do and too little time. Reiki is brilliant. It excels at resetting the inner alarm system that keeps us on edge when we’re trying to unplug for a rest. Anxiety, depression, and insomnia all respond particularly well, as does old trauma that was hasn’t yet been released fully.

Yet it really isn’t as black or white as that. The physical, mental and emotional bodies are all interwoven and constantly impact one another. If I’m worried about meeting a deadline, the concern begins in my mind but it triggers physiological affect as well. If I spend 12 hours in front of my computer, it’s my body that is slumped over and achy, but my mood also pays a price.

If we bring in spiritual aspirations such as reclaiming worthiness or embodying the divine, the waters get even murkier. Releasing tension from the muscles allows us greater freedom to pursue a meditation practice or creative projects. And using Reiki to bring the chakras into alignment or balancing the flow of energy top to toe can give us the fuel we need to really dig into the necessary action steps.

The good news is, you don’t have to choose. This needn’t be an either/or situation. It can be a both/and scenario. It’s possible to blend energywork and bodywork together in a treatment. I really enjoy offering combination sessions as I can pull what’s most useful from each system for the immediate circumstances. Or it’s possible to alternate modalities depending on what your unique needs are on that particular day. This might require some advanced planning if you’re seeing two different practitioners. However, there are quite a lot of us hybrids out there who can adapt relatively easily.

I don’t think I’ve done a very good job answering the question! I guess my short answer is, it depends. In the care of a skilled and caring practitioner, you really can’t go wrong though. Either modality can be an effective tool for most complaints. Rather than trying to analyze the benefits intellectually, I think you’ll get a lot more information from experiencing a session. When in doubt, place a hand over your heart and inquire within. You have a great well of wisdom inside and who knows better than you what is in your best interest?

Sound Healing for the Sacral Chakra

I’ve been enjoying this soothing music over the past several days and I suspect others would enjoy it too. The sacral chakra relates to complex issues such as sexuality, relationships, and creativity. It resides in the lower belly at the level of the sacrum, an area where many people experience back pain. If you’re working on some deep healing, are uncomfortably pregnant or simply spent hours shoveling crazy heavy snow yesterday, this could be helpful.

I confess that I don’t understand how sound healing works. Vibrations are said to have a restorative effect on our cells. It’s not necessary to comprehend the workings of the technique to reap benefits. I also don’t know how my laptop and the furnace work, but that doesn’t stop me from using them!

This track is subtle enough to play in the background while working or reading. I’ve listened while cooking and imagine that the meal is then infused with extra healing vibes. It adds a nice layer to seated meditation and yoga as well. I especially like that it’s so long- watch one 5 second advertisement and get three and half hours of music.

Check it out and let me know how it feels.

Reiki and Bladder Issues

Recently someone asked me how Reiki could help his bladder issues. He didn’t elaborate on exactly what the “issues” are, but it doesn’t particularly matter. Reiki works with bladder issues much the same way it works with anxiety and sprained ankles and pneumonia: holistically. As I’ve heard several other bladder complaints since then, I thought it might be helpful to share my perspective here.

Reiki support is multi-layered: lowering stress (which halts energy from being needlessly diverted to the same physiological response experienced when facing a bear in the woods), bathing the body in life-force energy (which can be used for recharging and healing), and supporting emotional balance (which helps prevent future stress and further accumulation of stuck or stored emotions). I believe the body knows how to heal itself; but injuries, false beliefs, destructive habits, trauma and stress block the innate flow of energy. Reiki helps re-establish that flow.

Louise Hay, who I affectionately refer to as the Queen of Affirmations, writes about bladder problems in her little blue book, Heal Your Body, the Mental Causes for Physical Illness and the Metaphysical Way to Overcome Them. She lists probable causes as “Anxiety. Holding on to old ideas. Fear of letting go. Being pissed off.”

She also provides a new thought pattern with a prescription to repeat it frequently until relief emerges. “I comfortably and easily release the old and welcome the new in my life.”

In my personal experience and in working with thousands of clients over the years, it’s clear that affirmations are helpful in reprogramming thought patterns. They help us notice when we slip into a harmful mental loop and bring awareness to our emotional state and our power to intentionally shift it.

However, many of the deeper programs running in the subconscious seem to be immune to such efforts. When the fight-flight-freeze mechanism gets triggered, there are no magical words that will deactivate it. This wouldn’t be a big deal if it only occurred occasionally. However in today’s hectic world, it’s quite common to experience chronic levels of stress that keep the body locked in a state of being constantly on the defense against bears.

This is where Reiki comes in. By stimulating the relaxation response in order to reset the nervous system, it’s possible to move more quickly out of fight-flight-freeze reactions. When we’re able to recognize that in reality we really are safe and that the traffic or deadline (or whatever activated the warning bells) has awakened a primal physiological response that is a huge overreaction.

When the brain is no longer on hyperalert and signaling the body to prepare for imminent danger, calm is once again accessible and from here, it’s possible to resume positive thinking. Combined with compassion and the awareness of the sensations the body provides as indicators of well-being or the lack thereof, we now have a recipe for deep and lasting transformation.

It’s possible to build up resilience against chronic stress by receiving routine Reiki treatments, practicing mindfulness and other stress management techniques, and using affirmations to rewrite the default scripts that play in the mind. If you feel the need for a more powerful intervention, a beginner’s Reiki class will enable you to access this seemingly magical healing energy wherever and whenever you need it. While there are no guarantees when it comes to healing, it never hurts to explore natural and holistic remedies that give you access to the best possible health that is available to you in each moment.

Contact me if you’re interested in receiving a remote treatment from the comfort and safety of your home or to learn how to treat yourself. I’d be delighted to discuss the possibilities with you.