Sunday, October 13, 2019

Energy Medicine

Place your left hand behind your head and lean back. Place your right hand on your forehead and lean in. Relax the muscles of your face and soften your shoulders. Uplift your spine, open your heart and breathe deeply. A round of three breaths will re-connect you to yourself. 

Energy medicine is an umbrella term for a group of healing modalities that work within the electromagnetic field of the body. Acupuncture, Qigong, Tai Chi, Shiatsu Massage, Yoga and Reiki are some examples that have been found to increase electrical conductance at specific points of the body. These practices work along the 'meridians' or energy lines of the body. These invisible pathways are theorized to live within the connective tissues, surrounding and protecting the major systems of the body.  In 2013, the National Institute of Health published data measuring the impedance within subcutaneous tissue that correlate these meridian lines with the fascial planes of the body. Our bodies are electromagnetic in nature, and science has measured these frequencies with machines. Electrocardiogram (EKG), electroencephalogram (EEG), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) are some examples of the machines that produce tracings, waveforms, and images measuring these electromagnetic frequencies within the body.

REI ~ Universe/Atmosphere   KI ~ Life Force Energy

Reiki is a Japanese form of healing that sends postive intention through the hands. I teach Reiki as a form of meditation and self care. I love Reiki for the way it makes me feel, grounded, connected and present. Sharing Reiki with others is a wonderful gift of giving and receiving without becoming depleted of your own energy.

Sensing the body through healing touch while breathing in and breathing out is a compassionate meditation experience, it is L O V E in action.

People use reiki to relax and strengthen their wellbeing; reduce pain, anxiety, and fatigue; help manage symptoms; reduce side effects of medications; and support recovery after injuries or surgery. According to the National Health Interview Survery published in 2007, 1.2 million adults and 161,000 children received one or more sessions of energy healing therapy such as Reiki in the previous year. According to the American Hospital Association, in 2007, 15% or over 800 American hospitals offered Reiki as part of hospital services.

In a recent study from Harvard University, a single session of Reiki significantly improved pain, anxiety, depression, nausea, and fatigue. This study was conducted in 2015 and 2016 by Dr. Natalie Trent, PhD, a neuroscientist and energy healer, working to integrate science and mind-body medicine. This is the largest prospective Reiki study to date, and these exciting results will be published soon!

In the world we live in today, there is too much stimulation, distraction and sensory overload. The area of of our bodies that receive the most information is our head, eyes, face, throat, neck, and mouth. It is where our five senses receive, assimilate, direct, and store what is moving toward us every moment of every day. Resting, relaxing, eating well, moving and sleeping at least 6-8 hours within a 24 hour period is what keeps us from burning out and becoming sick. I believe our five senses are our superpowers. Positive intention set through the hands charges up our superpowers.

Learning a few ways to reconnect with your mind, body and breath is a great way to start self care practices. I like to think of the mind, body, breath paradigm in the shape of a triangle. It is a way to create wholeness within our lives, but what is in the center of the triangle?

This is the creative aspect of self care. It is the heart of your daily life. When we listen quietly to the inner voice of our heart we will feel whole.

It only takes a few moments to reset. These offerings can be practiced anytime during the day or evening. Reiki gives you tools to stay calm, centered and balanced. Here are a few options I have been practicing, try one or two, and see how you can adapt some changes into your life.

The moment you wake up, before you get out of bed, or even open your eyes, place both hands to your heart space. Take three deep breaths and think of three things you are grateful for.

Start here with gratitude. 

Sit on the edge of your bed or stand up. Press your feet down into the floor, feel into all four corners of your feet. Sensing your solid foundation. Stretch your arms overhead, move to the right and breathe into the spaces of your rib cage. Breathe out moving back to center releasing your arms down by your side. Repeat on the left side, and continue for a round of three breaths on each side.

Coordinating breath with movement is exercise.

The heart meridian has three branches, each of which begins in the heart. One runs down through the diaphragm to the small intestine. Another runs up through the throat and tongue to meet the eye. And the third, runs across the upper chest and down the inner arm, ending at the tip of the little finger. 

Hands to heart, heart to hands. Feel the connection.

Learn Reiki as a safe, non-invasive practice of caring, holding, and supporting. Perform self Reiki every day (upon waking, during the day for an energy boost, or before bed) with hands over eyes, forehead, crown of head, ears, shoulders, upper chest, upper abdomen, lower abdomen, legs, knees and feet. Create a circuit of energy bringing the mind to the present moment.

During these cooler October mornings, I've been loving turmeric tea with ginseng and a honey spoon.

This is meditation.

A simple ritual like making a hot beverage in the morning can become a meaningful practice. Hot coffee, chocolate, tea, or even lemon water can bring a sense of presence to your day. Hold the warm cup in your hands and infuse Reiki energy through your hands into your beverage. Breathe in the steam from the cup, take a sip and taste the liquid. Feel the warmth nourish your body and enjoy.

Roasted honey butternut squash filled with baby kale and purple carrot over creamy buckwheat. Gomashio sprinkle, leafy greens and olive oil drizzle.

Take time with your first meal of the day, send positive intention through your hands into your food. I love a hot bowl of buckwheat cereal (it takes 2 minutes to cook, is gluten free, and highly versatile). I add in a spoonful of almond butter, lots of frozen blueberries, cinnamon, and honey drizzle. Roasted pumpkin, butternut or kabocha squash with pumpkin seeds, and dried fruit is another delicious option. If you are heading out, pack portable fuel that fills you up, think about the colors of the rainbow, and allow your food choices to reflect those colors. My favorite lunch is hummus on whole grain bread with cucumber slices, fresh leafy greens, olive oil drizzle, and gomashio (ground seseame seeds, sea salt, black pepper, and dried herbs). I always have clemetines, apples, bananas, carrots, cucumbers and radishes washed and ready to eat. Try preparing meals ahead of time, such as hearty soups and sauces to make weeknight meals easier. Foods that are local, and in-season can help with meal planning.

Food is energy medicine.

Go outside! Try to walk as much as you can. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk a little further to the next train or bus stop. Park your car further away from an entrance. 

Earthing: the act of putting your body in direct contact with the Earth.  The Earth is a beneficial source of negatively charged energy that helps to balance our electromagnetic field. "Plug" your feet into the planet to counter the positive charge we build up from our modern dis-connected lifestyle that often lacks regular contact with nature. 

In Japan, Shinrin-yoku, is defined as 'bathing in the forest atmosphere'. It is a practice that soothes the nervous system. Atmosphere is everything. It surrounds us and permeates our energy. Away from the pavement, concrete, loud sounds of car horns, trucks, and the bustling city is a place filled with rich colors, textures, softer sounds, and scents that feed your soul. Slow down and find a patch of green to walk on or sit near. Breathe in the air that is less toxic, closer to the trees. Open your senses, pay attention, and allow nature to heal you. A 2010 study published in Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine showed that people who participated in forest bathing had lower cortisol levels, pulse and blood pressure, reduced stress, and a strengthened immune system. The study states that trees emit phytoncides to protect themselves from fungus and insects. The phytoncides produce natural aromatherapeutic health benefits. Inhaling phytoncides triggers NK cells, which are specialized white blood cells that improve immune function. In another 2010 study, subjects who spent three days and two nights in a forest setting had significantly higher NK activity. The increased NK activity lasted for more than 30 days after the trip, suggesting that a forest bathing trip once a month enables individuals to maintain a higher level of NK activity; improving their immune system health. 

Find a way to move, breathe and meditate that feels good in your body and mind.


C. Will Chen, Chen-Jei Tai, Cheuk-Sing Choy, Chau-Yun Hsu, Shoei-Loong Lin, Wing P. Chan, Hun- Sun Chiang, Chang-An Chen, and Ting-Kai Leung, Wave-Induced Flow in Merdians Demonstrated Using Photolumiescent Bioceramic Material on Acupuncture Points (Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; Nov 7.)

Barnes PM, Bloom B, Nahon R. CDC National Health Statistics Report #12. (United States: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults and Children: 2007)

Yuk Tsunetsugu, Bum-Jin Park, and Yoshifumi Miyazaki, Trends in research related to "Shinrin-yoku" (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing). (Environ Health Prev Med. 2010 Jan; 15(1): 27-37.

Qing Li, Effect of forest bathing trips on human immune function (Environ Health Prev Med. 2010 Jan; 15(1): 9-17.

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