Radical Self-Care, Get to Class

Already I’m feeling the benefits of enhancing my self-care practices. Taking on a part-time job to enable me to pursue my dream of operating a Reiki practice has turned up the pressure, making it necessary for me to optimize my wellness routine. After exploring the rewards of doing less  and of  daily meditation, today I am renewing my devotion to yoga classes.

I’ve fallen out of the habit of attending classes regularly after moving to a new neighborhood. Traveling to my favorite classes has suddenly become incredibly inconvenient and I adjusted by finding some great videos online and stepping up my home practice. Yet I have been missing the magic that happens when practicing with others, the individual attention of an experienced teacher, and the personal growth that is possible in a class environment.

Yesterday I tried a class at a studio near my home that sounded just right for my particular needs: convenience, hands-on adjustments, knowledgeable instructor, and good timing. I was so delighted by the results that I have decided to block that time off on a weekly basis to continue my exploration. This commitment seems to be the most important part of self-care; intention without action is meaningless. So I’m devoted to getting there every Thursday, and if for any reason I’m unavailable at that time, I’ll choose another class as a substitute.

If you happen to live in the Philly area, I’m delighted to wholeheartedly recommend Alex at Magu Yoga in Mount Airy. She’s a true yogini and a wonderful teacher. If you’re not in the Philly area, I encourage you to do some research and find a class that is both convenient and inspiring. Without those two elements, it’s easy to flake. The rewards of attending a class regularly are priceless and the feeling of bliss after each yoga experience is a tremendous motivator to keep coming back.

 

Ultimate Stress Relief- Long Distance Reiki

Lately I’ve been doing quite a bit of long-distance Reiki. It can be a difficult concept to grasp, but energy is not limited by time or space. There is a symbol that level 2 Reiki students learn that allows us to send energy to someone who is not in the same room. Reiki can be transmitted across the globe for the healing benefit of a recipient far away. There are scientific explanations for this phenomenon, but let’s face it; we’re talking about a spiritually guided energy. It’s a whole lot easier for me to grasp that the higher power directing Reiki knows how to deliver a package to wherever it needs to go, than to wrap my mind around Quantum physics.

What I especially appreciate about long-distance Reiki (also called remote Reiki), is the simplicity and convenience for the client. There’s no need to get dressed, leave the house, trudge through traffic, scout out a parking spot, or face inclement weather. It helps stay-at-home parents who would otherwise need to find childcare, those with transportation challenges, and people who just plain don’t want to go outside. It eliminates the need to block out time from a busy schedule for traveling time and allows one to integrate the healing energy from the comfort of home rather than on the freeway.

Businessman meditating in a park

When I offer a long-distance session to a client, I suggest that they make the time to create a quiet space in which they will not be disturbed. Their only job is to rest and be comfortable. Usually people lie down, but some like to be in nature, or in their favorite chair. As long as they are relaxed, they are allowing themselves to receive the maximum benefits. I simply go into a meditative state, invoke the Reiki symbols, and imagine the client is before me. Some practitioners use a teddy bear or a pillow as a surrogate to help focus their attention. It’s not necessary, but can be a useful tool.

When I’m working with a client I haven’t met in person, we communicate in advance by email. Not only does it help me connect with them and get a sense of their intention, but it also reassures the recipient that this virtual stranger whom they have hired to send healing life-force energy to them is for real. (Yes, I know. It can be a difficult concept to grasp!) Often after the first three or four sessions we both become comfortable enough to minimize the electronic connection.

I’ve read stories of miraculous recoveries people have experienced through remote Reiki. Blood clots disappearing,  tumors shrinking and mysterious ailments evaporating. While I believe all that to be possible, mostly what I have witnessed are clients who have a greater sense of ease in their minds and bodies, and are better able to cope with the stresses of their daily lives. This seems to me to be the key to maintaining health and quality of life. Managing stress is a necessity of modern life. Long-distance Reiki offers people an opportunity to do this in a super-easy, convenient, comfortable way, without adding the stress of having to arrive on time at an appointment across town. What could be better than that?!

If you’re interested in learning more, visit my website. I offer complimentary 10 minute phone consultations to those who are unsure if my services can benefit them. There’s no topic I enjoy more than health and healing, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’re interested in learning more.

“I Had a Great Month!”

Such glorious words to hear from a client! It’s pretty common for people to show up for their first appointment with me in pretty rough shape. Pain is a powerful motivator, and is often what drives people to seek help from the healing arts. While the vast majority of people feel better after one treatment, the effects begin to fade over time as stress once again drains their  wellness reserves. I endeavor to find the rhythm that supports people to stay ahead of that stress. For many, this is mean scheduling a treatment once or twice per month.

I have observed that when people begin to actively manage their stress (through meditation, yoga, tai chi, massage, Reiki, acupuncture, diet, etc.) that many of their chronic pains begin to disappear. I have four clients that I currently work with who are learning to avoid debilitating headaches. One was even able to reduce the headache prevention medication that made her forgetful and feel foggy-headed. True, headaches are not a life-threatening illness, but anyone who has ever suffered from frequent bouts understands that one’s quality of life is greatly diminished.

It seems we all have a threshold of stress that our individual bodies can tolerate. When we cross that threshold, the body sends us messages, sometimes in the form of pain, to get out attention. These painful signals are cries for help. When we heed them and seek balance, very often the pain disappears as it is no longer necessary; just like the fuel warning light on the dashboard of a car disappears when we fill the tank with gasoline.

When we give the body what it needs (adequate rest, oxygen, nutrients, hydration, movement, pleasure, and expression) it is able to function more smoothly and can often heal itself. Ideally this would be our normal state. However, we live in a world that is faster and busier than suits most nervous systems. This ongoing stress takes its toll on our body chemistry and eventually our muscles, joints, organs, and glands. It seems we have three choices: move to a tropical island, suffer from chronic pain, or support our wellness by managing stress. I, for one, have happily chosen the third option, and delight in reporting to my support system, “I had a great month!”

 

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!