Archive for the ‘Reiki’ Category

h1

Burnout Pt.3: Prevention and Cure

December 3, 2010

In the final part of our series on burnout, we explore some of the methods you can employ if you have recognised yourself in parts one and two, and feel that you may be suffering from this syndrome.

In order to recover from burnout, it’s important for you to commit fully to healing. There is no instant cure and you need to be aware that the healing process will take some time, depending on how far down the burnout path you’ve travelled. Clearly, the sooner you are able to spot these symptoms developing, the sooner you can turn your life and your general wellbeing around.

Be selfish!

This is the first and possibly the most important message to take on board if you are suffering from burnout. A good analogy is the advice given to parents during air travel, to put the oxygen mask on themselves first in an emergency so that they are then in the best position to help their child. In the same way, it’s vital for you to realise that you will not be fit to take care of anyone unless you first take care of yourself. So until you have recovered, it’s time to put you first for a change, beginning with your physical wellbeing.

Rest

In our busy and stressful society, so many of us believe it’s acceptable to operate on five or six hours sleep. However, if you are showing early signs of burnout, then it’s important to commit to getting a minimum of eight hours sleep a night and preferably at least 10. Going to bed early may feel like a drag, but is surely preferable to the alternative of running yourself so far into the ground that you’re unable to get out of bed at all.

Relaxation

Though it’s healthy to spend some of your leisure time enjoying your hobbies and pastimes, it’s also vital that you make time to practise specific relaxation techniques, such as meditation. Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated – try this simple breathing exercise. Take long slow breaths in and out, focusing solely on your breathing and saying silently to yourself  ‘in-two-three-four’ on the in breath, and ‘out-two-three-four’ on the out breath.

You could also try this simple relaxation exercise. Work your way down your body from head to toe, focussing on each body part. Tense that part for a few seconds, then release all the tension until it is completely relaxed, before moving onto the next part. You’ll probably be surprised at how much tension you’re already holding in your body.

Complementary therapies can also be very effective – I’ve found reflexology and reiki to be particularly beneficial. Massage of any kind, be it Indian Head massage, Swedish massage or aromatherapy with oils is also a wonderful way to relax and will help release any knots in those tense muscles.

Nourishment

When we’re heading towards burnout, we often find our diet suffers as we snack on fast foods or overdo the stimulants in an attempt to boost our energy levels. However our body is crying out for nourishment, so the best thing you can do for yourself is to give in to its demands. The best nutrition you can give your body at this time is vegetables, protein and unprocessed foods, as well as fibrous foods and healthy carbohydrates such as jacket potatoes, wholemeal bread and pasta and brown rice. Warm foods such as nutritious soups and stews are ideal in the winter months and salads are great for the summer.

You can also supplement your diet with a select range of vitamins and minerals. Particularly good ones are: multivitamins, B vitamins (especially B12), vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, calcium and zinc. Omega 3, co-enzymes and amino acids such as lysine are also good and a DHEA supplement (DHEA is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands) can also be beneficial. However, if you take prescribed medication, do consult your doctor first before taking any of these supplements.

As well as considering what we do ingest, it’s also worth being more vigilant about what we don’t. Sugar, salt and fats should be limited, and it’s best to avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and recreational drugs whilst suffering from burnout.

Exercise

As mentioned in part two, too much exercise can be counterproductive, particularly if you’re already on the path to burnout. The key is gentle exercise – a short walk everyday or a few light chores would be more than adequate at this stage, beginning with maybe five minutes a day and increasing the time as your energy levels rise.

Back to nature

You can of course combine this with your daily exercise, particularly if you live in a rural area – a walk outside every day will do you the power of good. Alternatively, if you live or work in a more urban setting, a lunchtime stroll through a park can be just as effective.

Being out in the sunshine also helps, though I am aware that we don’t see much of that in the UK! However the best time of day to be outdoors in the colder months is still around midday, so that lunchtime stroll is well worth the effort.

Another positive thing you can do for yourself is to take a break in nature – perhaps an afternoon in the countryside or by the sea, relaxing in the natural world away from the hurly burly of modern life.

Time Management

Burnt out people often have way too much on their plate, so basic time management skills can really make a difference in your life. You could try: making lists to organise your time more effectively; delegating, by passing on some of your tasks to others (too many burnt out people are perfectionists who erroneously believe that no-one else can manage to do the job quite as effectively as they can); and taking regular breaks, e.g. for every hour of work, take a 10-15 minute break.

Eliminate EMFs

As mentioned in part two, and in particular for highly sensitive people, EMFS (as well as other forms of geopathic stress) can be a huge issue when it comes to burn out. If you feel these are affecting your health, try some of the following: turn off and unplug appliances when not in use; minimise computer and mobile phone usage; switch to an analogue phone (cordless ones are available); and if you live near mobile phone masts or pylons, consider moving if at all possible. (You can read more about this and about the effects of geopathic stress in the book You Can Heal Yourself: Bio-Energy and the Power of Self-Healing by Seka Nikolic.)

Find support

As we saw in part two, negative relationships of any kind can contribute to burnout. Shun those energy vampires and naysayers and spend some time with positive and supportive people who appreciate you. It can be tempting to withdraw from others when you’re burnt out, and whilst time spent alone can be beneficial (see my article on solitude), when you’re feeling low, you can easily lose perspective and become overly critical of yourself. Sharing a cuppa with a true friend can help you bring much needed clarity and levity into your life.

Dump your baggage

Whether it’s emotional, psychological, mental or physical baggage, clearing out the stuff in your life which is holding you back and dragging you down is always a positive move and extremely revitalising. For more on this, check out my articles on de-cluttering here and learn how to let go of those unwanted elements which belong firmly in the past.

Personal Development

Burning out can be the precursor to a time of positive transformation in our lives. One of the ways that we can facilitate this is by focussing on our personal development and learning new, more functional ways of being. Perhaps a lack of assertiveness has been an issue for you or maybe you’ve struggled with low self esteem. Take the time to explore who you really are and find out what you need to grow and transform yourself in a positive way. Reading through some of the entries in this blog could be a good place to start and there are many other resources similar to this which can be found across the internet and in libraries.

Learn the lesson

Finally, as I mentioned in part two, look for the lesson which your burnout is trying to teach you. Regaining your physical wellbeing, freeing yourself of your baggage, discovering your authentic self through personal development work and making the most of your supportive friends are all positive steps towards transforming your life by clearing the way for the voice of your intuition. By listening to this voice we can find out what it is our soul really needs and make our way back to our true path and our life purpose.

Advertisements
h1

The Miraculous Healing Power of Positive Energy

July 21, 2010

About eight weeks ago, I received the terrible news that a longstanding and close friend of mine, G, had been involved in a horrific road accident, resulting in serious head injuries. G and I first met almost two decades ago when we worked together and ended up being housemates for two and a half years, a time in my life which I have very fond memories of.

We stayed in touch for a while but life being as it as, lost touch for a few years while my daughter was growing up. However, thanks to the internet, we made contact again three years ago and picked up our friendship where we left off,  chatting on the  web and having some fun times together during G’s visits to us.

G had been going through a difficult time following the break up of her relationship, so I was thrilled to see how radiant she looked and how positive she seemed when I attended her 40th birthday party back in February. She proudly told me that she’d finally put the past behind her and was planning on taking a sabbatical from work so that she could do some volunteer work abroad.

When the news reached me that she was currently lying in hospital in a coma after suffering horrendous head injuries, not only was I devastated, I was also extremely angry. How could this happen to such a good person when she was finally getting her life back on track? It seemed so bloody unfair. I didn’t sleep a wink that night and spent the whole time pacing around, worried about what the outcome may be and feeling helpless whilst simultaneously wondering what on earth I could do to make things better.

As soon as we could, my partner Lawrence and I went over to the hospital to see her. I’ve never been in an intensive care unit before, and it was very distressing to see G lying there surrounded by machines with all kinds of tubes attached to her. I held her hand and spoke to her, as I’d heard that this was the best thing to do in these circumstances and I hoped that maybe a familiar voice might help to bring her round from her coma. I talked about things which had happened to us in the past, about mutual friends and acquaintances, about TV shows she liked ‘You know you’re missing the big story line in Corrie, don’t you?’ and gently teased her about her hair – ‘have you any idea what they’ve done to your hair, mate? You need to get better soon and get that sorted pronto.’ But most of all, I told her how much we loved her, and reinforced how strong she was and that I knew that she could beat this and come back to us.

When we got home after that first visit, I contacted the Healing World Network and asked them to please send positive healing energy to G. I got some photos printed up of G and placed them around the house and whenever I could, I sent healing energy to her, imagining her totally engulfed in white light. I also contacted all my Reiki friends and asked them to put G in their distant healing books and practice distant healing on her. I had used distant healing before on people I knew in difficult emotional situations (alone and with my Reiki group) – some of these situations had been going on for months, if not years, and I had been amazed at how quickly they seemed to resolve once positive healing energy was being focussed on them. G was one of the people who I had been sending emotional healing energy to and I had witnessed firsthand how great she was feeling only a couple of months before. I had never tried to use this energy to heal such a serious physical trauma and had no idea if it would work, but other than visiting her as often as I could and continuing to tell her how strong she was and how much we loved her, there seemed to be little else I could do.

My partner and I continued to visit G twice a week, as I felt it was really important that she had as much positive stimulation as possible from the people who care about her. (Sadly, the sheer distance of the hospital and time restraints due to work and children meant that we could not manage any more, otherwise I would have been there every day.) When G had been in a coma for two weeks, I had a dream about her. In the dream, she opened her eyes then began speaking to me, gibberish at first, but gradually getting clearer until we were having a proper conversation. Then she stood up and took her first few tentative steps. It was like watching her recovery in fast forward. I told Lawrence about it and said ‘I hope it’s a premonition and not just wishful thinking’.

We arrived at the hospital a few hours later and  – lo and behold – G was lying there with her eyes open! ‘Oh my god, she’s awake!’ I cried. The nurse who was taking care of her (a really lovely woman called Fiona) said ‘Yes, she woke up last night’. We couldn’t believe it – and neither could the nurse when I told her about my dream. ‘Ooh, I’ve got goosebumps now!’ she said.

Her progress since waking has been nothing short of miraculous. Every single visit we have made, we have seen a huge improvement. On our next visit, we could make out tiny little facial expressions – a little smile and a barely discernible nod. Then on the next visit, we arrived at the door of her room and she sat up and whispered ‘hello’ – another truly joyous moment. And after that, she has come on in leaps and bounds, as I intuitively knew she would, despite the caution and fears of others – another tube removed, her memory, mobility and all her other faculties returning, and getting chattier by the day. It’s now almost eight weeks to the day that the accident occurred, and G is now in rehabilitation, totally tube free, and pretty much back to being the G we used to know – albeit a much more talkative version! –  and is even able to leave the hospital to stay with her parents at weekends. Hopefully she will be back home for good some time in the next couple of weeks.

The speed of her recovery has astounded everyone, including the doctors and nurses  (who of course also deserve credit for the amazing work they have done – all power to the NHS). In fact, all the hospital staff who have worked with G have said that her recovery has been quicker and better than they’ve ever seen in anyone else with the same injuries. My belief is that this is due to G’s strength – what a fighter! – the love of her family and friends, who have made sure she had plenty of visits and continually told her how strong she is, how much she is loved and how proud of her we are – and the miraculous healing power of positive energy. So many kind and caring people from all over the world have united to send healing energy to G and I really believe that the power of this energy has contributed towards her speedy recovery. We’ll never know for sure, of course, but I for one am happy to believe that my wonderful friend has been the recipient of an amazing miracle.

As often happens in these situations, the accident seems to have also changed G’s outlook on life. Back when she was still unconscious, in an attempt to put a positive spin on things, I remember saying that I hoped this was simply the universe giving her a wake-up call and that she would fully recover and make some really positive and much needed changes to her life. G is already talking about how the issues she had prior to the accident are no longer upsetting her – ‘and I hope it stays that way’ – and is talking about potential changes in her work and home life. I really hope that she continues to flourish and grow to be the best that I know she can be. Here’s to you, G – you’re a truly incredible woman and an inspiration to us all.

h1

Reiki (part three) – my experience

August 12, 2009

Today I would like to share some of my personal experiences of working with Reiki.

As I mentioned in my previous Reiki blogs (you can find part one here and part two here), I trained for my 1st degree with York Reiki Plus and would recommend this course to anyone from the York area who is interested in energy work. Irene Forsyth, the Reiki master who runs the course, is a lovely woman, warm and down-to-earth, and the location is a gorgeous little mind, body and spirit shop with a fabulous name (‘The Zentist’) so the ambience is very cosy and laidback. Prior to the course, Irene sends you a comprehensive 170 page manual to help familiarise yourself with all aspects of Reiki, the content of which is discussed throughout the day. I spent three full days working through the manual in some depth so arrived on the practical training day feeling confidently informed. You are also sent a couple of CDs to guide you through the Hatsurei Ho daily energy exercises and the self-healing meditation mentioned in the last blog entry. These are also practised on the training day so you will have a thorough grounding in these important aspects of Reiki by the end of the course.

Within Reiki circles, there is much talk of a 21 day (or in some cases, 28 day) cleansing period. Some say this occurs as soon as you start working with Reiki, some say this begins after your first empowerments (also known as attunements). Here are some thoughts on this:

Following the attunement is a 28 day period called the cleansing period. During this time, you are encouraged to give yourself a treatment every day and many students find themselves undergoing positive personal changes and spiritual growth which can be a very powerful and very rewarding time.

http://www.reiki-questions.com/reiki-training/Reiki1.htm

During this time each person will experience their own unique reaction to the cleansing period. NO two attunements are ever the same. Depending on which form of Reiki of Healing Modality you choose to be attuned to, depends on how long this Cleansing period may last for, generally they vary from 7 days to 21 days in length.

Reiki only works for the good of all, so during the cleansing period you may undergo a detox, that can often bring about changes in your life. The Reiki attunement can start a cleansing process that effects the physical body as well as the mind and emotions. Toxins that have been stored in the body may be released along with feelings and thoughts that are no longer useful. A process of purification prior to attunement is recommended to improve the benefits one receives.

Many people report experiencing some of the following things:

Opening of the third eye

An increase in intuitive awareness

Other psychic abilities.

A release of Negative Emotions

Changes in food preferences

http://www.thereikichain.com/Attunements.html

As the body processes the attunements they bring with them a deep cleansing and healing. Many people find they have increased intuition or creativity. Physically you may experience minor cold symptoms, headache, increased body discharges, etc. On an emotional level you may feel tiredness, have vivid dreams, surges of emotion such as anger/tears or old memories resurfacing which need to be resolved. Reiki will affect you in the way that is right for you and symptoms will pass in a few days.

Traditionally a 21 day cleansing period follows Reiki one. Practising on yourself daily will maximise the benefits. Once you have been attuned to Reiki one the more you use the energy the stronger it will become. It is common for people to find the clarity and strength to bring positive change into their lives.

http://www.renaissancetherapy.co.uk/reiki attunements.htm

Taggart King of Reiki Evolution, whose work this course is based on, has this to say about the 21 day cleansing period –

It is traditional within Reiki to think in terms of a 21-day period of clearing out or cleansing, as the energy starts to work on you as its first priority. Common reactions are to have a ‘Reiki cold’ or other respiratory infection, an occasional surprising migraine, or to feel quite tired and sleepy for some days during the 2-3 week period after attunement. Emotional ups and downs are quite common, and you may find that you are seeing things in ‘Technicolor’ for a while, with colours taking on an amazing intensity. For some, Reiki leads to a period of dissatisfaction, leading you to think carefully about your life and your priorities. For the most part Reiki works gently and seems to have built-in mechanisms to prevent the ‘clearing out’ period from being particularly eventful.

The ’21 day ‘ period is a bit of a Reiki myth, actually, because Reiki continues to work on you months and even years later, and it is possible that you will release things further down the line, too, not just in the first 21 days. Stronger reactions are more common in the first few weeks after going on a course, of you are going to have a strong reaction (such things are not compulsory!) though they can happen at any time, based on what is right for you. We receive what is right for us at any given time. We are all different.

We received three empowerments on the day and my experience of each one was very different, and differed from those of the other people on the course.

The first empowerment was very powerful and made me feel quite emotional. My head felt fuzzy and was filled with a violet colour and my heart felt like it would explode. The word I associated with this empowerment was ‘power’.

The second empowerment was subtler than the first. The word I associated with this one was ‘intuition’ – the right hand side of my head felt fuzzy and felt like it wanted to merge with the left. I also ‘saw’ an indigo outline of an eye. I initially thought this may be my ‘third eye’ but whilst looking for an appropriate image to convey what I saw, I found this symbol, known as the Eye of Horus:

violet eye

Further research into this symbol revealed this:

The Left Eye of Horus represents abstract aesthetic information controlled by the right brain. It deals with esoteric thoughts and feelings and is responsible for intuition. It approaches the universe in terms of female oriented ideation. We use the Left Eye, female oriented, right side of our brain for feeling and intuition.

The eye of Horus, was originally known as the wadjat, but was also called the wedjet, the Eye of the Moon, and later the Eye of Ra. It became a powerful symbol that was used on amulets for protection against evil and was thought to have healing powers.

In the present day the eye of Horus is still a powerful symbol that can be offered as a gift in the form of jewellery, for example, that shows your love for another person. In particular it has connotations of selflessness and dedication as well as the more general functions of good luck and warding off evil forces and improve health.

The third empowerment I associated with the word ‘love’. This time it felt like my left hand side was trying to come into balance with the right – there was a strong buzzing in my left ear – and in my mind’s eye I saw a heart surrounded by rainbow colours, followed by a vision similar to the image below, which to me represents spiritual symmetry and balance:

spiritual symmetry

I did feel noticeably ‘blissed out’ after the empowerments. Taggart comments that ‘If you are basically fine on the physical, mental and emotional level then the energy will not have a great deal to do, but if you have a lot to be sorted out, then the energy will rush in like a tidal wave and start to get things moving!’

Having done a lot of personal development work over the last fifteen years, I feel that mentally and emotionally I am ‘pretty sorted’ – although I wouldn’t be so bold as to say completely sorted, as we all have work to do on ourselves – personal growth is a lifelong adventure! However I would say that I’m very in tune with my authentic self, i.e. I know who I am, what my life purpose is and what I need to feel fulfilled and serene. On occasion, however, I do struggle with self-doubt – am I really on the right path? Is this really the right thing to do? Am I just kidding myself? – and as a particularly sensitive person, I have to be careful not to become too overwrought when faced with stressful situations. Emotionally and mentally, then, I feel that the empowerments ‘fine-tuned’ me, resulting in my feeling more balanced and relaxed and confirming for me that I am indeed on the right path, both personally and professionally.

Physically, I’ve felt some more powerful ‘retuning’ occurring, particularly around my sinuses (always a tricky area for me) which has resulted in a few headaches, and in my legs, which I have felt ‘vibrating’ in a sometimes quite disconcerting way. As my work is very sedentary, the energy in my legs has probably become somewhat static over the years, so I’ve been using Reiki on myself to get the energy moving again which so far seems to have helped.

I’ve also done several Reiki treatments on others, during and since the course, and have been amazed at how powerful this work is, as have been the recipients, some of whom were rather sceptical prior to their Reiki session. For instance, I worked with someone who is going through a number of difficult life events at the moment, and felt a tremendous amount of heat coming from her, particularly around her head. As this person has also been experiencing physical symptoms in her right arm and her left foot, I dedicated more time to these areas, and she reported to me the following day that throughout the night, she could feel something she struggled to describe  – “not exactly pain – maybe a little achy, but strange, a trembling or vibrating maybe?” – in these very spots.

I also worked briefly with a woman who suffers from M.E. and found that though the top of her body was very hot, she was effectively dead, energy-wise, from the waist down. Her legs have caused her a lot of suffering due to her illness, so it will be interesting to continue working with her and see if her condition improves through Reiki treatments.

In contrast to this, I worked with a couple of women, one who is very spiritual and another who feels fulfilled and happy in her life, and felt a gentle breeze – and a huge aura – around the whole of their beings. The second woman also reported that when I worked on her crown chakra, it felt like ‘the top of my head was stretching upwards – like I had a really long head!’  and when I treated her feet,  she commented that it felt ‘like I was sinking into really soft sand’.

I also worked with a very pleasant and contented child, and noted that the energy felt very balanced except for in the throat area.  Much of the Reiki literature advises not to analyse the sensations you feel when treating someone, but I do think that it’s interesting that the energy changed around the throat chakra area and children often feel that in a world dominated by adults, they don’t really have a voice…

All of the people I’ve treated so far have felt very relaxed. As I haven’t got a treatment table yet, I’ve had to work with people sitting on a kitchen chair but despite this a couple of them have still almost nodded off. I also end up feeling very relaxed myself when I’m giving treatments and also very hot – the heat coming through my body when I connect with the energy is incredible and one of my friends actually opened her eyes when I placed my hands on her navel area as she couldn’t believe that amount of heat was emanating just from me! I realised very quickly that I need to tie up my hair and wear cool, loose clothing when working with Reiki. It has also been a surprise how quickly the time goes when I’m giving a treatment. One of the reasons I never previously considered learning physical therapies was because, frankly, I thought I would find it boring! My work has always revolved around communication with words, written (journalism) and spoken (counselling), so spending an hour with someone in complete silence never really appealed to me. However, I find giving Reiki treatments totally absorbing – the time simply flies past and if it wasn’t for other commitments, I could quite happily continue working way beyond the prescribed hour.

As I said in my first Reiki blog, this is just the beginning of my journey into a whole new exciting aspect of universal energy. My aim is to move on to the second degree course in the coming months and in the meantime, I will keep you all updated on my experiences with Reiki. I would also love to hear about any experiences you may have had so please feel free to leave a comment or to contact me via my website at www.empathicguidance.com.

h1

Reiki (part two) – a beginner’s guide

August 6, 2009

reiki symbol

For those of you who have never heard of Reiki, or who have heard of it but are not quite sure what’s involved, I’m going to share some of the knowledge I’ve gained during my recent training. The Reiki 1st degree course I studied with York Reiki Plus supplies a comprehensive manual written by Taggart King of Reiki Evolution (who also runs this course online, if you are not in the York area), plus two CDs to guide you through the daily energy exercises and self healing mentioned below.

  • There are a number of translations of the term ‘Reiki’ but the one which resonates with me most is probably the most frequently used and is a term which I already use in my work – ‘Universal Life Energy’. The Japanese characters which make up the word ‘Reiki’ can be seen in the image above.

  • Reiki practice is about channelling this universal life energy to bring about a state of balance in the body’s natural energy, fostering holistic healing and well-being.

  • Reiki originated in Japan and was developed by Mikao Usui (1865-1926). Reiki combines the spiritual teachings of Tendai Buddhism with the energy work of Shentoism and Usui originally intended it to be a simple system for self-healing, personal development and spiritual growth. He saw Reiki as a path to enlightenment and a way to ‘achieve personal perfection’.

  • Reiki evolved into a system used to treat others when it was adopted by the Japanese military as a healing tool. The standard hand positions taught to Reiki practitioners today were developed by one of the imperial officers, Dr Hayashi.  (Usui’s original practice simply used intuition to direct the energy rather than following a series of prescribed positions.)

  • The Reiki system I practise is rooted in the original Japanese system developed by Usui. The more complex Western system which many practitioners learn was developed by Mrs Takata in the post-war years, when the West were less kindly disposed towards anything Japanese.

  • To become a competent Reiki practitioner, it is recommended that you follow the Reiki teachings outlined below:

1) Focus on and live the five Reiki precepts. Precepts can be defined as ‘rules to live by’ and Usui’s precepts are central to his Reiki system:

Just for today

Do not anger

Do not worry

Be humble

Be honest (in your dealings with other people)

Be compassionate towards yourself and others

2) Practise mindfulness (in other words, ‘living in the moment’)

3) Receive Reiju empowerments regularly. Empowerments are a series of rituals which open you up to Reiki (the universal life energy), allowing you to channel that energy for the benefit of yourself and others.

4) Practise Hatsurei Ho – the daily energy exercises which enhance your ability to channel Reiki energy, through clearing and balancing your system, and helping to develop your intuition and your sensitivity to the energy flow.

5) Practise self-healing by giving yourself regular self-treatments with Reiki. You can do this through meditations or through placing your hands on yourself in the prescribed positions.

Finally, of course, you can share the relaxing and healing benefits of this energy by practising on other people. Once you have undertaken your Reiki 1st degree course, then as well as practising the above teachings, you will strengthen your connection to Reiki through regular work with others.

More in part three

h1

Reiki (part one) – my journey begins

August 6, 2009

chakra_reiki

Regular readers of my blog will be aware of my interest in the concept of energy and how it affects us all. My background is in counselling and for years I was predominantly focussed on the mind and how our thoughts and feelings about our situations impact our lives. However, as I learned more about empathy and metaphysics, I began to take a more holistic approach to our wellbeing. I realised that our thoughts affected our feelings and vice versa, and that these could not be separated from the body, as each of these aspects of our selves impacts the others. And I then realised that what connects all these aspects of our selves – and what connects our selves to everything and everyone else around us – is energy. It’s also through energy that we  experience such phenomena as  empathy, telepathy and synchronicity and it’s through learning about energy systems such as the chakras that we can take positive steps to improve our holistic health and bring harmony and serenity to our mind, body and spirit, individually and collectively.

I previously had no interest in practising any of the more ‘physical’ healing therapies, though I have enjoyed being on the receiving end of them, with some interesting results. Regular treatments from a friend involving Indian head massage and chakra balancing helped me through a particularly difficult time in my life. I also had a Reiki treatment which unblocked some negative energy which had been held for a long time in my left knee – I’d injured this knee whilst involved in a horrible relationship which had an emotionally traumatic event attached to it, and it had given me gip ever since. When the Reiki master laid her hands on my knee, I was overwhelmed with emotion as memories of this traumatic event flooded into my mind, and I vividly recall that this took me completely by surprise, as I had little knowledge then of the mind-body connection and how energy works. However I was aware that from then on, I no longer had any problems with this knee at all.

Despite these positive experiences, and despite my growing awareness of my own ability to tune into the universal energy on an emotional level, it still hadn’t dawned on me that energy work was something I personally could do. My interest was piqued earlier this year, however, when a friend of mine used me as a case study for her reflexology course. My friend has a real gift for this work and I was impressed time and again by her ability to pick up information about my physical and emotional state simply through contact with my feet. Just one example: prior to my website launch, I became quite stressed and noticed that this stress was being released through my body – but only on my right hand side (the masculine side, relating to business endeavours and ambition). I did not share this with Elaine, but after my next treatment she said to me ‘It’s very strange but all your problems seem to be on your right hand side’. (More on reflexology and Elaine’s practice in a future blog.)

I had also begun to notice that the presence of my energy seemed to have a healing quality for some people. A woman I know who was suffering from several stress-related illnesses reported to me how she always felt physically better just through being around me. One day my partner had an upset stomach which made him feel nauseous and reduced his appetite, so I lay my hands on his stomach. I immediately felt heat on the left hand side but not on the right. ‘Is the pain in any particularly place?’ I asked him. ‘Yes, just here on the left’ he said. So I held my hand over the warm spot and, even though I had at this point had no ‘official’ training, I channelled healing energy into that particular area. He called me later to tell me that he’d felt great for the rest of the evening and that night ate a hearty meal.

I also spontaneously used the ‘hands-on’ method for emotional healing with my daughter when she was suffering from pre-exam nerves. Despite being incredibly gifted, she gets very nervous when she has to perform, be it on stage or in an exam, as she sets very high standards for herself. As we sat waiting for her to go into the exam, I decided to channel some calming energy into her. I put my arm around her and placed my hands on both her shoulders, without informing her of what I was doing. After I let go, she suddenly turned round to me and said ‘Actually, I feel much better now, Mum’. When I told her what I’d done later, she said to me ‘I thought you were just giving me a hug!’ (She went on to pass the exam with distinction.)

To cut a long story short, all of this eventually led me to explore Reiki, and the more I read about it, the more I realised that it was the perfect complement to the emotional healing work I already do. So I decided to enrol on a Reiki 1st degree course with York Reiki Plus… of which, more tomorrow 🙂

%d bloggers like this: