Sleepless

Reiki is a terrific tool for breaking the pattern of insomnia. It resets energy flow, calms the mind, and enables one to relax and welcome rest. I have discovered that it also has a restorative benefit even if one remains awake all night. I have come to accept that there are some nights I’m just not going to sleep, no matter what. It’s not uncommon for the energy of a full moon to keep me awake, or loud noises, or an uncomfortable bed. But I don’t need to suffer because of these circumstances.

This past weekend I found myself on an air mattress in the nursery of 11 month old twins. I volunteered to take care of my niece and nephew while my brother and his wife were out of town. I knew full well when I signed up that sleep was unlikely. First of all, one of them snores. Seriously! And whenever one stirs, there’s a mad rush to replace the pacifier before crying wakes the other up. Plus my neck was unhappy with my borrowed pillow.

Luckily I had the company of Reiki healing energy. Rather than tossing and turning and counting the hours of sleeplessness, I used this precious time for an extended and thorough Reiki self-treatment. Immediately my breath began to deepen and my tension evaporate. The mental suffering that often accompanies lying awake at night diminished and I gave thanks for this opportunity to give myself the gift of relaxation and contemplation. As I focused my attention of the warmth flowing from my hands I realized that while sleep is invaluable, the blessing of receiving hours of an overnight energy treatment offered even greater restorative powers.

Don’t get me wrong- I wouldn’t trade a good night’s sleep for Reiki on a regular basis. However, I did feel refreshed the next morning. There was no foggy sensation of stumbling about in pursuit of caffeine. I wasn’t irritable or impatient. A sense of deeper inner peace unfolded around me and supported me throughout the day. And when I finally made it home to my own bed, I enjoyed the deepest rest I’ve experienced in months. Caring for my own health in the midst of challenging situations is fantastically easy with the miracle of Reiki at my fingertips. I look forward to the day when it is considered a must-have tool for everybody.

Time for My Meltdown

This morning a lady arrived for her weekly massage and announced, “Time for my meltdown!” I was surprised at first, because generally speaking a meltdown is a traumatic and dramatic event. Then it hit me- she was referring to the feeling of melting from the inside out. I couldn’t help but to smile at this beautiful concept. Meltdown = rubdown + enhanced inner peace. What a lovely way to describe the work I enjoy doing!

Yesterday, I gave a Reiki/massage combo to a sweet young lady who was having a stressful day. I started off with some balancing Reiki to move any stuck energy out of her mind and body, and could feel her sink deeply into the treatment. Afterwards she told me that she had been worried about having a breakdown on the table. While this is not uncommon during bodywork as emotions often get stirred up and pushed to the surface for release, it is often uncomfortable for clients who are shy about expressing heavy emotions or crying in front of others. She confided in me that instead of a breakdown, she had been able to release all the gunk she had been holding onto without the tears or upset. She instead had a meltdown!

When it comes to stress, the psyche runs the show, but the body pays the price. We get worn down by incessantly thinking that there’s never enough time to do what we need to do, that we’re running in place, that we always need to be on guard. These feelings weaken our energy flow, making our immune systems vulnerable, and creating an opening for illness. Gentle, nurturing touch and energy healing helps people let go of the thoughts and emotions that are the true source of most of the discomfort and pain in the body. Creating a safe, compassionate space for people to relax and restore is a surefire way to enhance health and well-being. How lucky am I that I get to be a facilitator of this beautiful process!?!?

Relaxation? None for Me, Thanks. Part 1

Relaxation? I don’t think so!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Reiki 1 Class, July 2014

Level 1 Reiki Class 

Sunday, July 27, 2014 

9am -6pm

Pacific Grove, CA

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pamela Hipp

Reiki Master Teacher

Certified Massage Therapist

831-233-8899

 pamelahipp@massagetherapy.com

 

 

Perpetual Learning

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

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

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 pamelahipp@massagetherapy.com. Or check out my website Luminous Heart Massage & Reiki for more information.

Reiki for Hot Flashes

I’ve never endured a hot flash personally, but many of my clients experience this annoyance on a regular basis. Sleep is disturbed, equanimity is eradicated, routines are interrupted, and sometimes relationships deteriorate. Yes, it’s true that hot flashes are a common side effect of menopause and perimenopause.  However, it doesn’t mean that all women are doomed to suffer hopelessly and indefinitely. A return to equilibrium is possible, and Reiki is a gentle, yet powerful, technique for getting there.

Stress is a widely accepted trigger, and the relaxing effects of a Reiki treatment are a potent cure. I see the relaxation response as multifaceted. When our bodies are inundated with stress, muscles tense and circulation is impaired. Toxins accumulate in the tissues and over time all bodily systems function with less and less efficiency. Chronic stress also upsets the hormonal balance in a woman’s body as excess stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol run amok. Hormonal imbalance is another common trigger for hot flashes. Creating a relaxing environment and bathing the senses and nervous system in healing, soothing energy offers a much welcomed remedy.

A Reiki treatment can easily be tailored to target the liver (which cleanses the blood and helps to regulate hormones) so that it is more available to handle fluctuations in estrogen.  Focus on the ovaries is also an important strategy. Traditional hand positions will cover these areas, and the practitioner may choose to linger there if guided to do so. Balancing the chakras is also helpful and serves to reduce excess heat in the system. I am often lead to stimulate the liver meridian acupressure points and the liver and ovary reflex points on the feet for added benefit. I’m amazed at the power of Reiki to clear blockages throughout the entire system.

Naturally it is important to follow a doctor’s advice when dealing with any health issue. Reducing caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol intake are general recommendations for decreasing hot flashes, along with moderate exercise and cessation of smoking. Releasing addictions, cultivating well-being and overall health, and nurturing lifestyle changes can all be supported with divinely guided life- force energy that is channeled through a Reiki treatment. Obviously these changes take time and diligent effort. A series of sessions will most likely be needed to assist a client through these shifts and to maintain the delicate beginnings of new habits. My clients report that the relief they experience, the improved quality of sleep, the elimination of extreme irritability, and the freedom from symptoms is completely worth the investment. There really is non-invasive, side-effect free help available for hot flashes. You don’t have to suffer any longer. Allow your intuition to guide you to a practitioner and invite balance into your life today.

Bodywork for Headaches & Migraines

I really enjoy working with clients who are plagued with frequent headaches or migraines. I know how debilitating this condition can be, and when someone is nursing an aching head, it seems to dull all aspects of life. It really is a joy to watch a person sink into relaxation as the pain begins to dissipate. Frown lines are erased and an expression of serenity emerges. The vast majority of clients I see while working at a spa are visiting the area, and it is unlikely that I will see them again. I don’t really know, or even expect, that the results they experience are permanent, but offering temporary relief and the hope that change is possible is a gift in and of itself.

Triggers for headaches are numerous. Dehydration is perhaps the #1 culprit, and obviously water is the cure. However, massage can still be of use in these cases by stimulating the release of toxins and relaxing tense muscles that build up due to the pain. Hormonal imbalance is another frequent contributor to headaches. Once again, I believe bodywork can be helpful through detoxification (a healthy liver can better clean the blood of excess hormones) and deep relaxation can counterbalance the excess of adrenaline and cortisol many people experience in their daily lives. Often clients claim stress itself is the source of their headache problems. This is where elevating relaxing massage to the level of health care maintenance can be of true benefit. Staying ahead of the stress is the most effective way I know of to prevent headaches (along with drinking plenty of water and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption).

Migraines seem to be a bit more mysterious than headaches. Science is still trying to understand this incapacitating condition. Many people become aware of hormones or certain foods as triggers, and are able to utilize this knowledge to prevent migraines. Others seem to be at the mercy of unpredictable onset. I still believe that whatever the actual trigger may be, lowering overall stress can help prevent migraines, or at least diminish the frequency, intensity, and duration of them. It seems the body can handle a certain level of stress, and if people are able to keep their stress below the threshold, they have a much better chance of avoiding this painful condition.

I’ve found that about 90% of my clients who complain of frequent headaches or migraines have congestion and tension held in their faces and heads. No big surprise there. I spend a good deal of time exploring the scalp for trigger points and stuck fascia and almost always am rewarded with a deep breath or sigh. Often times I find a hot mess in the small muscles at the base of the skull which, when given the opportunity, unwind themselves spontaneously. Tension around the temples and the jaw is very common, along with extreme tightness in the neck and upper shoulders. It’s not difficult to find the spots that need attention, but the unhurried pace, patience, diligence, and gentleness necessary to achieve release are necessary qualities that are easy to overlook.

My advise to anyone who suffers from frequent headaches or migraines is pretty basic. It involves lifestyle changes that eliminate, or at least manage, the contributing causes. Hydration, posture, exercise, stretching, and finding outlets to release stress and anger are the obvious solutions for many clients. Sometimes a change in diet is helpful when allergies are the trigger. Fresh air and avoiding chemicals which are all too prevalent in household products may also help.

I find it’s much more effective and empowering to teach clients how to prevent pain than causing them to rely on bodywork as the sole remedy. Of course, massage is a tremendous tool that belongs in the overall program. Reiki is super-effective too, especially when there is an emotional, mental, or spiritual contribution. (And there almost always is, but that is another topic altogether…) Pain is an indication that something is out of balance. I encourage people to address the imbalance at its source rather than struggling to alleviate the symptoms.