One nice thing I like about reflexology: it’s adaptable.
You don’t have to do a lot to prepare for a reflexology session. Don’t get me wrong. Your session preparation can be as elaborate as you can imagine and desire. It can include music, incense, essential oils, enfolding comforters, gentle lighting, and anything else you want to add to support your client partner.
But when the going gets tough, all you have to do is gently touch a person’s hands or feet for a few moments. Reflexology warm-ups and warm-downs are powerful. And there are few to no contraindications to touch a person.
And, a person doesn’t have to be lying by the side of the road to qualify for a gentle touch and nothing more.
Reflexology works well with other modalities. I love to add Reiki therapy and chakra healing but there are many more modalities that work fine. The choice is up to you.
On a gurney or roadside, I would certainly add Reiki but, honestly, it’s not necessary. Reflexology will do the job quite well.
Popular reflexology holds which are appropriate for gurney or roadside situations include simply holding the person’s hands or feet.
If I can’t make contact any other way, a hand placed on a shoulder can be effective.
I like to begin a session with a gentle solar plexus hold. After that, I might hold the person’s heels to offer comfort and support. Gently holding a person’s lymphatic reflexes for a minute can bring calm.
And, truthfully, Reflexology’s job is to bring about homeostasis. This happens in a session, no matter the circumstances.
At your table, reflexology will generate a different result during each session. That’s because your client is different every day on a cellular level. This daily difference produces a unique outcome at every session.
But, no matter the circumstance, reflexology is a heavy lifter in your toolbox. It will not let you down. After a session, don’t waste even a minute thinking you should have done something else or touched the person’s feet or hands another way. Your hands did the right thing at the right moment for this person.
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Music is an important component of healing because everything has its very own musical component.
When we speak to one another (or to ourselves), our voices transmit a unique spiritual music. Each person’s voice is individual.
When we move, our bodies send a tempo representing our feelings at the moment.
Everything around us is musical because we are all composed of energy.
When we offer reflexology or Reiki therapy or chakra healing or any number of other healing modalities, each one has it’s own music. But, that doesn’t mean that an added layer of healing music isn’t important. The healing music you play while you heal a person contributes to that person’s wellness.
I have known healers who used only one or two musical selections for everyone. Other healers had stacks and stacks of cd’s to choose from.
I have also known client partners who preferred a specific song. One client partner wanted only a special song playing when she entered the healing room. She wanted nothing more. For her, healing began when she heard the music she chose. Her choice: “Nada Himalaya” by Deuter. New Earth Records produced this CD.
My thoughts on this: Whatever works for your client is the right choice.
The important thing is not whether I like the music or not. My preferences don’t matter. The important thing is that the person who needs and receives the healing responds positively to what she hears.
I have client partners who only want to hear chants. Others dislike the chants and don’t want to hear them. My job is to discover what music each client prefers and have it playing during each session.
If you don’t know what to offer, you can’t go wrong with some quiet Bach or Pachelbel. Music by Steven Halpern or Deuter have been staples in healing rooms for decades.
But, whatever you select, your choice is important, very important.
Not long ago, I lost a client because of the music I selected. This woman was a recent regular client – coming to my table weekly. She appeared to be happy with my services and healing modality environment.
She enjoyed a variety of music and I had enough CD’s to offer a different selection at each session. Then, one day, she walked into the healing room and immediately went on alert. She was even a little fearful. I didn’t know why.
Before the end of the session, she commented to me that I was playing her “favorite song”. The musician was not well known and only had one CD out. She revealed me that this love for the music we were listening to was a deep dark secret that she had never shared with anyone.
I had, inadvertently, invaded a private space she was not prepared to share.
Do I need to tell you what happened to this client?
Every client has a private space where no one can be invited in. One of the jobs of a healer is to find the door, make sure it’s locked, and throw away the key.
The music you share in your healing space is as intimate as the work you do.
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When I enrolled in my first Reiki therapy class, I was primarily interested in learning something I was curious about. A massage therapist, I regularly participated in continuing education programs. I liked to learn new things to use in my healing practice. Reiki therapy interested me because it was so hidden in my area.
I learned Reiki therapy was easy to use, and extremely adaptable. In short, I loved Reiki.
For the next few years, I was in a Reiki therapy class somewhere learning something at every opportunity. I liked to tell my classmates that I loved Reiki therapy classes and somehow the universe saw to it that I had enough $$$ to pay for every class I signed up for and that my car had enough gas to get me there.
But, not everyone who studies Reiki therapy is a massage therapist seeking continuing education credits for annual certification.
Whether healing professionals or not, a question in every student’s mind was “What am I going to do with my new skills?”
Reiki therapy is a keeper skill. Once you receive an attunement, it stays with you – whether or not you consciously use it. Reiki accompanies you on your life path.
Reiki helps you create your life story. Because each of us experiences a unique life journey, Reiki therapy is different and inique for each of our needs. No two people experience Reiki in the same way.
If you received a Reiki attunement 20 or 30 years ago, you still use it.
Books were few and far between when I learned Reiki. Today, Reiki books are everywhere it seems. You have the luxury of picking up any Reiki book that attracts you.
We can all thank Diane Stein for that. Diane Stein changed the game in the healing world when she wrote a memoir/expose about her career as a Reiki Master. “Essential Reiki” is probably still found in book stores and libraries today.
I have a suggestion for you if you are attuned to Reiki and are not sure what to do next:
Get yourself a spiral notebook, or bound journal, or whatever.
Get yourself an appointment book or calendar.
Call around and tell people you have learned Reiki therapy and are doing your clinicals. Schedule 100 sessions.
Include your hairdresser, neighbors, friends and anyone else who might take you up on your offer. Find five people with health issues. This can include things like MS, headaches, allergies, low thyroid, cancer.
These five people will receive five Reiki sessions as close together as you can schedule them.
Everyone else receives one or two sessions.
Record each session in your Reiki journal. Include the person’s name, address, contact information, and a short description about the session.
At the end of these 100 sessions, you will have learned much about Reiki, yourself, healing, and life.
Join or start a Reiki circle. In a Reiki circle, you’ll meet new people and share Reiki on a regular basis.
But, what if you don’t want to do any of these things?
Your new-found Reiki therapy skills are with you – assisting you throughout each day. You carry the Reiki energy with you every where you go on your life journey.
How cool is that?
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When I studied Reiki, Mary Ruth Van Landingham’s classes and handouts were my user’s manual. They didn’t even begin to approach all the things Reiki can do for us all. I think Mary Ruth Van Landingham did that intentionally because we each write our own user’s manual.
Reiki is a unique and individual experience for each of us. Our attunements are the user’s manual for each of us.
I learned to practice Reiki on my massage therapy clients. Each one got a 10-minute Reiki boost at the end of the massage therapy session. Because Reiki was still unknown in my area, none of them had ever heard of Reiki. Their introduction to Reiki came during the last ten minutes of a massage therapy session so it came at a moment when they were blissed out, pain free, and totally relaxed. Needless to say, they all loved their Reiki.
This was good for me also because I was new to Reiki and was fearful about the results. It took a while for me to become accustomed to how Reiki worked.
I worried that they might not receive a proper introduction. So, what happened was that both my clients and I learned together. For starters, we learned to recognize my warm hands when I introduced Reiki into a session.
Over time, I learned that my hands warmed up whether they were on another person’s body, or my body, or a plant, or a car. Or whatever.
I learned to trust Reiki. This was a huge life lesson for me. I suspect it is also an important lesson for others as well. Many people go through life never learning to trust people, places, or things.
When I teach Reiki, I don’t think I even mention the word trust. The word floats above the classroom like a gorgeous cumulative cloud. It’s there for all to see.
A wonderful thing to do is practice self-Reiki to experience a regenerative sleep, easy your headache pain, feel comfortable in your body, or simply feel grounded.
Actually, it’s not necessary to do anything with Reiki. Just enjoy having received your Reiki attunement(s). Rest. Heal. Let Reiki be with you.
You do not give up anything to learn Reiki. Reiki does not test you in any way. Reiki is not a cult. It does not come between you and your religious beliefs. You do not need to change any of your core beliefs.
Instead, Reiki opens doors and windows of learning, opportunity, and enlightenment for you…if that is what you want. For some, changes are apparent, immediate, and outward. For others, changes are slow, careful, discreet. It all depends on you, your situation, your life path.
Some students, after receiving their attunements, internalize their new skills. Reiki is private, intimate, internal.
Other students use their newfound skills, practice Reiki and give sessions at every opportunity.
Neither way is better than the other. In all cases, Reiki assists you on your path. For me, there is nothing more beautiful than to travel one’s life path.
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In these stressful times, we all need a toolbox because we’re all healers. And, we never know when we might need to use our healing tools.
Reiki is a basic healing tool that works almost anywhere, anytime.
Many of you reading this blog use Reiki. But, many don’t. Reiki was the basic skill which put me on my healing path. That’s not to say that I wasn’t healing. I’d been a massage therapist since the 1980’s. But, there’s a difference.
Before Reiki and after Reiki.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard the word: Reiki.
I was at a weekend continuing education class in Clinton, New York, at a place called Spring Farm CARES. There were about two dozen students in the class. As we each introduced ourselves to the group, every student, except me, mentioned Reiki. They were all either Reiki practitioners, Reiki Masters, or Reiki Master Teachers.
I had no idea what that was. But, as I returned to my home in the Washington, D.C. metro area on Sunday, I decided to learn about Reiki. Reiki, at that time, was not mentioned much in my area. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t mentioned at all. I called around.
I eventually found two friends who practiced Reiki. One of them, a massage therapist, was a Reiki Master Teacher for years and never shared her secret. The other friend studied Reiki but wasn’t using it because she believed that it healed people whether or not they wanted to be healed.
I found Mary Ruth Van Landingham in Vienna, Va. She had a shop, Terra Christa, with a classroom in a building behind the store. I learned nine different kinds of Reiki in that little building behind Terra Christa. She taught most of them.
At that time, there were few to no books about Reiki. Mary Ruth’s classes were filled with handouts. Now, when I teach Reiki, I offer handouts and encourage students to read any Reiki book that attracts them. Book stores everywhere carry several titles. Overall, there are hundreds to choose from.
I spent a good bit of the next two years studying in the little classroom nestled behind the store. Mary Ruth invited other trainers to give classes. I studied under Tom Rigler, Rev. Dan Chesbro, and many others before I finally moved to New York State.
“Reiki is a light touch offered to a clothed body.” is the definition Pamela Miles offered at a class at the New York Open Center.
Over the years, I learned that everyone who practices Reiki describes it differently. I invite my students to define the Reiki experience. Everyone has a different description and definition.
The word Reiki means Universal Life Force Energy. Practitioners refer to Dr. Mikao Usui, the man who brought Reiki into the 20th century. He practiced in Japan prior to World War II.
Other prominent Reiki teachers during this time include Mrs. Hawaya Takata, and Dr. Hayashi.
I like to include Frank Arjava Petter who, at the end of the 20th century, wrote a Reiki handbook “The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr. Mikao Usui.”
Reiki works on the physical level when the practitioner uses her warm hands.
The Reiki symbols work on the mental level.
Emotionally, Reiki sessions bring peace and calm.
The Reiki practitioner as well as the session itself, offer healing which impacts the energetic body.
But, beyond working on the different levels of a person, Reiki heals without judging. The healing energy of Reiki doesn’t care whether a person is religious or spiritual or not. The healing path of a person receiving or giving Reiki is nondenominational, positive, accepting.
Reiki never makes exceptions because of one’s beliefs, health condition, situation in time, lifestyle.
Reiki doesn’t ask about one’s religious or spiritual beliefs. Reiki never cares whether a person is Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu…or anything else.
I have an invocation which I use often when offering Reiki to someone. It’s not original with me. And, I’ve used this prayer often for many years. I offer an apology here. I don’t know where it came from.
Whatever or wherever its origin, I send gratitude to the writer of this prayer. (Maybe, after reading this blog post, someone will know where it originated and share the information with me.):
I call upon the essence of the Healing Buddha and the Master Spirits of Reiki.
(At this point, I include any and all names that seem appropriate. I may include Jesus, St. Michael, St. Anthony).
I ask that my hands and heart be illuminated by the light of your unconditional love. I ask that this session proceed for ………………’s highest good. Amen
When I’m offering Lightarian Reiki, I go a step further. I include a request to seal the room in the prayer.
Reiki does not ask that you give up anything in order to use its energy. Mary Ruth Van Landingham was a practicing Catholic. My friend Kathy is a devout Episcopalian. I teach Reiki to people of all faiths.
Reiki sets no one’s beliefs aside.
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Please join me for part two of this series of posts about Reiki.
I learned about guided meditations in Mary Ruth Van Landingham’s classes at Terra Christa in Vienna, Virginia. She always included a guided meditation as part of each learning experience.
When Rev. Dan Chesbro taught a class at Terra Christa, he always included a guided meditation. Looking back on his sessions, I see now they were guided meditations in and of themselves.
I bought three books at Terra Christa: “Meditations for Awakening”, “Meditations for Transformation”, and “Meditations for Healing” by Larry Moen. These books became part of every work day, whether I was teaching or healing.
The influence of these books on my career was significant.
As a matter of fact, I wore out the Awakening book and had to buy another to replace it. The other two need to be replaced now.
I’ve bought other guided meditation how-to books over the years.
Two that stand out include “Guided Imagery for Groups” by Andrew E. Schwartz and “Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamps for Healing, Harmony, and Purification” by Clemence Lefevre. I’m including them in this list because they are interesting and helpful. Each book shows how different and honest guided meditations can be.
These 2 books each have a different approach to guided meditations. Through the years, even though I wore out the Larry Moen books, it was important to me to expand my boundaries and use different information. That’s how I learned.
Somehow, my learning path included one short class about writing my own guided meditations. I took an End-of-Life Class at the New York Open Center. Henry Fersco-Weiss taught this class over a weekend. He included a short instruction about creating a guided meditation. It was all I needed.
I knew after that short segment that I could do this on my own. Even though I’ve written many guided meditations, I always return to Larry Moen’s books. Specifically, I like to select “Lagoon” on page 20 of “Meditations for Awakening.” I always go to this meditation in my Reiki 1 classes.
But, when you get into guided meditations, the choices are many.
I hope you’ll be motivated to incorporate guided meditations at every opportunity.
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A guided meditation awakens, transforms, heals. It creates a journey so you can fulfill a purpose or reach a goal or answer a question of some kind. In short, a guided meditation helps you solve a problem you may be experiencing.
Many guided meditations use quiet, calming music to support your journey. I like music which doesn’t have abrupt changes. Whatever music you use, you need something which will not interfere with your visualization.
Guided meditations work well in groups with one person reading or speaking the meditation aloud. They also work well for a person alone who reads the meditation or who is listening to it on an audio device.
The best time for a guided meditation is whenever or wherever it works best for you.
Don’t worry if you feel you have fallen asleep during your meditation. Usually, you have not.
Pauses guide and pace the journey. They can occur throughout a meditation. How many, and how long each one is depends on the meditation and the group. I like to schedule the pauses in the meditation when I design it. .
Breathing tempo is established at the beginning of each meditation. Many people do not breathe deeply enough. Although shallow breathing is common, meditations call for deeper, slower breathing. Belly breathing is part of the event. I set the breathing tempo early in the meditation.
A first step in a guided meditation is to spend a few moments encouraging your recipients to get comfortable. Try not to rush this part. Many people are not comfortable in their bodies and may not recognize when they are comfortable – not for a few moments anyway.
Then, the scene emerges. This can be in a secret room, in a meadow, on the edge of a lake, an the foot of a mountain. The scene is described. Meditation recipients are often invited to add their own details mentally as they listen to the unfolding journey.
After the introduction which sets the scene, the meditation generally involves a journey…walking down a path, riding a canoe on a lake, taking a trip on a balloon. Again, a few moments are taken to include details. Descriptive paragraphs tell the story as it unfolds. And, again, your meditation recipients are often invited to add their own details through their thoughts.
Sometimes, a guided meditation may introduce a character – an angel, a wise elder, one’s inner child. This character’s job is to listen to any questions a person may have and offer an answer or response which may be received during the meditation or at some time later in the day or even the next day.
With a guided meditation, you and your recipient’s job is to relax and enjoy the journey. You reach your destination when you receive an answer or solution.
The final step allows a recipient to slowly return to the present moment knowing that she can return to the meditation at any time. There is no rush.
Assure your recipients that they can return to this meditation whenever they desire. It is time to stretch, yawn, open eyes, and return to the present moment.
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Guided meditations awaken, transform, heal. Guided meditations are change agents.
But, whether a meditation awakens, transforms, or heals, it points you inward to your own strength. This is a direction which benefits us all. Many people focus outward for strength. They search for persons, actions, or objects when the goal they seek is right at home, within themselves.
I’ve used guided meditations to begin reflexology, Reiki therapy, chakra healing, massage sessions. I’ve also used them to end sessions. They are effective when you need action.
Guided meditations help classroom situations. If I feel my students are nervous or out-of-sorts in some way, I use a guided meditation.
Guided meditations are essential for Reiki attunements, and for any situation when a person needs to listen, rest, be still, and learn new ways to be and do.
I think we’re going to do many new things in the near future. Listening, resting, and being still are all prerequisites to embracing a new life.
Guided meditations help a person understand a new reality more deeply. For me, this pandemic offers each of us a new reality. A door is opening for us.
Guided meditations are good with grieving and overcoming fear. And thanks giving. And loving.
By now, you know I turn to guided meditations at every opportunity.
Guided meditation open doors of higher consciousness leaving the past behind. These open doors awaken us to answers which our inner spirits hold.
When we wake our higher consciousness, we transform our lives, improve the quality of our lives and tap more deeply into the higher self.
Transformation facilitates change. Put plainly and simply, transformation encourages calm, serenity, grounding.
The transformation provided by a guided meditation helps reduce stress, headaches, chronic pain.
A guided meditation focusing on healing can be a form of prayer. It taps into what your unlimited higher self can offer.
In the midst of this pandemic, a guided meditation can help you release tension, anger, fear, anxiety, and other illness-causing emotions.
A guided meditation focusing on healing will lead you to your inner strength. It will encourage you to become more comfortable with the new reality this pandemic may produce for you.
Current events throughout our planet convince me we are all on the brink of everything. The future awaits. A guided meditation focusing on healing will allow you to let go and enjoy the goodness to come.
A guided meditation can allow your to love yourself. When this happens, you will have a powerful healing tool. This can encourage your fearlessness.
The next post will focus on how to create your own guided meditations to use in whatever situation you need.
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For years and years, I’ve carried around a crisis toolkit to use whenever a friend, family member, client, coworker, or complete stranger entered my life in a crisis situation. Do you have a healing tool kit?
I’m betting you do. After all, we’re all healers. We all carry one around, even if we don’t call it that. So my question is this: What’s in it?
My toolkit has things to help with fear as well as death and with the dreaded coronavirus. But it also has to help with all the other diseases and aches and pains we encounter in addition: colds, fever, rashes, asthma attacks, arthritis, heart attacks, cancer…
Maybe you feel your toolkit is not ready for today’s situation. It’s probably filled with all sorts of things you can use.
Here are some things I’m sharing with you. Maybe you have things in your toolkit you can share with me.
When it comes to supporting your mind, body, and spirit during these challenging times, I TURN FIRST TO YOGA. I recommend restorative yoga.
When you are stressed, a weekly session is important. I don’t know how it is in your area, but I’m in Upstate New York which is a new hot spot for Coronavirus. I take a restorative yoga class via Zoom every week with Carolyn Abedor.
Carolyn is a physical therapist/yoga instructor. I come away from her class restored, renewed, and recharged for the coming week. I would take her class twice a week but I work on the other day she teaches it.
Do you have a yoga teacher? If not, make finding one a priority. Today’s challenges call for restorative yoga. But, if you find a different yoga that you prefer…go for it. Use what works for you.
REIKI CANNOT BE OVERESTIMATED. Do you practice Reiki therapy? If so, don’t forget to use this tool every chance you get.
Use your Reiki when you walk into a building. Use it when you walk down the street. Use Reiki when you encounter other people. Everyone is stressed out. We can all use Reiki’s healing, calming energy.
If not, now is the best time I know of to learn Reiki. Reiki is essential in stressful times. And, frankly, no time can be more stressful than now.
If you don’t practice Reiki and you can’t find a teacher, book some sessions with a practitioner. Begin with 5 sessions.
Whether or not you practice Reiki, or visit a Reiki practitioner regularly, now is a good time to organize a Reiki circle or Reiki share. Gather several friends together and let the Reiki practitioners offer healing to everyone in the room. Reiki is not one bit intimidated by the requirements of social distancing.
DON’T FORGET REFLEXOLOGY. Reflexology sessions are extremely grounding. If you are stressed out or if you have health issues, Reflexology sessions can help. Gloves and face masks will not negatively impose on Reflexology.
HEALING MUSIC HAS BEEN AN IMPORTANT PART IN MY TOOL BOX FOR YEARS. I use it during healing sessions, classes, or whenever I feel the need.
Through the years, I’ve learned that healing music can be all sorts of sounds. Beauty is in the ears of the beholder. I tend to favor Deuter, Halpern, Ken Davis, Anugama. Your favorites may be totally different. Because of my experiences, I prefer the older musicians. But, there are many kinds of healing music available today. Explore them until you know what works best for you.
GUIDED MEDITATIONS are essential. I began reading those written by others and now create my own. I suggest that you go with someone else’s until the time is right for you. The goal of a guided meditation is to awaken, transform, or heal. For years, I relied on the meditations compiled in books by Larry Moen.
BEDSIDE TABLE BOOKS are essential. They are the books I read when my tanks need refilling. These books vary with the need. Sometimes escape is the only route. Other times, I need to know what other people have to say about the situation I’m dealing with.
I’m often hungry for the wisdom others offer. To prevent empty tanks, I try to read about an hour a day.
When I fed hungry and homeless people in a food pantry, I found solace in the statistics of hunger. At any given moment I could tell you what percentage of children in our country went to bed hungry. I knew the difference between resource poor and generational poor and struggling poor. I knew all about dumpster diving.
Now, I’m attracted to memoirs. It’s not the problems that attract me. It’s how the writer tackled the problem that counts.
Fear, and forgiveness are big on my list.
Finally, when I need to veg out, I go for whatever catalogue is in my mailbox.
The important thing is to know when to fill your own tanks. Your toolbox won’t be worth much if you’re stretched too thin.
Your toolkit may be totally different. It probably is different. After all, we are scattered all over the planet. I hope to hear about some things in your toolkit. Please email me.
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In honor of this most stressful time, I’m offering you a free copy of a book I wrote entitled “Miracles”. Email your mailing address to email@example.com before April 12th, and I’ll send it along – absolutely free with no strings attached.
Thank you for being here.