Why Sound Is Sacred
Tibetan Buddhists believe every time a Tibetan singing bowl is sounded, it transmits the dharma, which is all of the teachings of Buddha. The chanting of the word Om represents the sound of the universe. In his books Destiny of Souls and Journey of Souls, Dr. Michael Newton describes the experiences of people under hypnosis who describe their life as souls between incarnations. Many of his subjects tell of hearing the sound of vibrational energy resonating all around them. Sound plays a role in multiple religious and spiritual traditions, from bells ringing, to choirs singing, to sacred drumming and rattling, to chants and prayers.
Sound is vibrational energy striking against our ear drums, but it's so much more. Its vibration works our way through every part of our energetic being, from the physical all the way up to the ethereal and eternal. It evokes memories, calms and uplifts spirits, and sets moods. It contains energetic information that can help balance our energy patterns and remind us of who we are when we aren't embodied. It is universal across cultures, spiritual traditions, and even species as a form of communication and communion. When you surround yourself with the energy of sound intended to bring about healing, it helps shift your own vibrational rate to a higher level. It can uplift you or ground you. It can pull you to higher spiritual realms, enhance meditations, cleanse negative energy, and so much more.
I have been drawn to sound, particularly musical sound, all of my life. I've been a musician for more than 40 years. I studied music in college and after college, and I continue to study sacred sound and sound healing. Musical sound has always been an extremely important part of my life, so it's no surprise I was drawn to sacred sound instruments as part of my healing practices. I use my sacred sound for my own meditation and healing, I teach with it in my classes, and I share it with my healing partners. I use it for cleansing, meditation, and grounding, to unstick stuck energy, to amplify weak energy, to dampen overactive energy, to connect to my higher self, to signal intention to the universe, and because I love it. For me, sound resonates more strongly than any other energy or vibration.
Sound is a vital component of vibrational energy. Finding ways to incorporate it into spiritual, meditation, and healing practices can enhance how we experience the universe.
Want to experience the healing power of sacred sound? I have two live sacred sound healing sound baths coming up, one at Vision Collective in Portland, Oregon on February 23, and one at the Oregon Ghost Conference in Seaside, Oregon at the end of March (specific day and time TBA). During a sound bath, you relax in a comfortable position with your eyes closed as I play sacred sound instruments including antique Himalayan singing bowls, modern Tibetan singing bowls, crystal singing bowls, Tibetan bells, tingshas, and chimes. Let the waves of sound sweep over you, bringing you to a relaxed, meditative, and healing state.
Image by pakktm from Pixabay
Life Force Energy
Several years ago, I had a life between lives hypnotherapy session. (It is a super cool experience - I would highly recommend doing it with a qualified hypnotherapist). For people who don't know what LBL is, it's a hypnosis protocol developed by Dr. Michael Newton in which a hypnotherapist induces a deep level trance and then guides you through your death in a recent lifetime and into the space between incarnations when you exist as the purest form of yourself. In this space, you are able to learn things about yourself, such as why you may have chosen a certain lifetime, who the people are who have incarnated with you for thousands of lifetimes, and more. It's an intense experience.
Thousands of people who have had these sessions report common experiences, which has allowed Newton and other therapists working with the protocols to develop a model of what our existence might look like when we're not embodied. It's fascinating reading, and I highly recommend Newton's works Destiny of Souls, Journey of Souls, and Memories of the Afterlife. It's life-affirming stuff that can help you gain a broader perspective on what it means to be an embodied soul.
Anyway, in my LBL session, one of the questions my hypnotherapist asked was, "How much of your life force did you bring to this incarnation?" Now normally, as far as I can tell, people bring quite a bit - 50 percent or more (the rest remains with the "soul,"which goes on doing it's soul work). So naturally I was surprised when my answer was 15 percent. However, on reflection it made sense. In this lifetime, one of my major life challenges has always been having enough life force energy, which has manifested physically. I've struggled with anemia since I was a kid. I currently partner with a few autoimmune conditions that continue to leave me severely anemic, lowering my energy. (For example, normal hematocrit numbers for a healthy adult female are about 12 to 16 g/dL. Mine have dipped as low as 7 before, requiring an immediate blood transfusion).
In energy medicine, blood represents life force energy. So after my LBL, suddenly it made sense why I've always struggled with maintaining sufficient levels of blood, but I never understood why I chose to challenge myself physically in such a way in this lifetime.
This past year, which has been a challenging one for me on many levels, I noticed that the more emotional challenges I faced (and I experienced them in virtually every aspect of my life), the more I also struggled with maintaining even the minimally healthy level of hematocrit. In other words, there is a correlation between my physical ability to maintain my life force energy and the energy I expend emotionally and give away to others. As an empath, my emotional boundaries also tend to be fluid because I am so likely to experience other people's emotions as my own.
So as I've struggled recently with life force energy, I've focused on why I might have chosen that in this lifetime and what growth opportunities it provides me, since I truly believe every challenge our souls offer us during an incarnation exists for our benefit and growth. It's up to us to parlay those challenges into new strengths.
One of the things I've come to realize is that my low life force energy forces me to lower my physical activity levels, quiet my mind, and tune inward. If I didn't have these periods of low physical energy, I would just go and go until I dropped; it has always been one of my tendencies to pack my life as fully as humanly possible, running until I'm depleted. Low life force energy has tempered this substantially for me, and it is during these down periods I often experience my most significant spiritual growth.
Another thing I've come to understand is that because I have given myself a limited supply of life force energy in this lifetime, it means I need to find ways to conserve it. This is important as I am someone who gives large amounts of energy away to others. However, I've realized that instead of freely giving it away, I need to focus my life force energy on things that truly matter. So I've created a "sniff test." Now, whenever I start to give any of my energy to something or someone, I ask myself, "Is this worth giving my life force energy to?" In some cases, such as in my writing and teaching, the answer is yes, it is worth the energy. However, the answer is often no.
This has made me more mindful of the myriad of unimportant things I've worried about and focused my energy on over the years. It's helping me to redefine my priorities and focus on the things that are truly important to me: my relationships with the people I love, my teaching and work, spiritual practices, music, joy, and, of course, writing. Because of my limited life force energy, I'm learning to cultivate those things that bring me joy and hopefully make the world a better place instead of getting lost in the minutiae of daily life. It's helping me to stop dedicating emotional energy to things that ultimately don't matter, such as what others think of me. It's also helping me to define my boundaries and find kind and compassionate ways to set and enforce them.
While this is my path, there's a takeaway for others if they choose to discover it: dedicate your life force energy to those things that truly matter. Let the rest go. Only you can decide what matters to you, but the universe provides you with endless opportunities to discover and refine these things. Start by noticing where you put your energy. Listen to the thoughts that run through your mind and ask yourself this: Is it worth it to dedicate any time or energy to this? If I do dedicate time and energy to this, will it help me grow, improve my life, meet my goals, or make the world a better place? Is spending time and energy on this a true reflection of who I am?
Everyone experiences challenges in life. Our souls have offered these challenges as gifts, and it's up to us to sift through the rubble to find the diamond hiding within each challenge. It's okay to spend some time hating the challenge. It's okay to spend some time hurt, aching, angry, or whatever other initial emotion the challenge evokes. However, after we've allowed ourselves to have the full experience of whatever emotions arise with each challenge, it's also up to us to decide what we do with that experience. Do we attach emotional energy to it and dwell on it for the rest of our lives with hurt, anger, and bitterness, or do we use it to propel us to new self-awareness, compassion, and understanding?
In each lifetime, we get to decide how we interpret our experiences, how we react to them over the long-term, and where we place our life force energy. Thus, it never hurts to do a gut check and ask ourselves whether it's worth giving away something as precious as our energy to something that doesn't serve who we choose to be.
Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay
Energy Healing and the Placebo Effect
Sometimes people ask me if energy healing is merely a placebo. My response is this: "That can definitely be part of the process." However, when I give that answer, it requires more explanation because I may be using the word placebo in a way that's different than how others perceive it.
In medical terminology, a placebo is defined as any type of medicine containing no active ingredients, no active medicines, and should, by its very nature, have no therapeutic effect. It's a sugar pill. However, scientific studies have shown repeatedly that some people respond to placebos and get better anyway. In fact, in many cases a placebo is just as effective or more effective than the original treatment minus the side effects. So if it's just a sugar pill, but it has the power to make people feel better, what's going on? Are the people merely gullible hypochondriacs who weren't sick in the first place?
Here's how I view a placebo: whether it's a pill, a crystal, an affirmation, a visualization, or something else altogether, a placebo is an intention. When someone takes a sugar pill believing it is medicine, they are doing so with the intention to heal whatever it is that is ailing them. And so, that sugar pill becomes an intention that links body, mind, and spirit and can set the healing process in motion.
If, along with the intention to heal, the person taking the pill also has a belief the placebo will genuinely bring about healing, then it shifts their thinking about whatever illness they are treating with the pill. That's because in taking that placebo, their thinking shifts from, "I am a sick person," to "I am a person doing what I need to get well." This simple shift in belief is enough to create small physical, spiritual, and emotional changes because a thought or belief that is more positive (even just slightly more) than the previous thought or belief still brings about a slight rise in vibration, and that slight rise in vibration can bring about another slightly more positive thought or belief. In this way, someone who truly believes in a placebo can experience incremental change in their experience of a physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual condition and instead of spiraling downward, they can begin to inch their way upward.
Does that mean there's nothing to energy healing other than the placebo effect? Of course not. With energy healing, the vibration of the energy healing modality entrains with the vibration of the person seeking healing (the healing partner), and the healing partner adapts to a new, higher vibration. This process is even more powerful when combined with a sincere intention and belief the energy healing will serve the healing partner's highest and greatest good. So while the placebo effect may be part of any shifts or relief the healing partner experiences, it isn't the whole story. The energy healing combined with intention and belief provides a quicker, more powerful path to wellness of the body, mind, and spirit than either would alone.
The other thing I need to mention in any discussion of healing is this: for most people, healing doesn't necessarily mean what they think it does. Many believe healing is an absence of symptoms; however, symptoms are your body's fire alarm. By the time symptoms come along, there has been an energetic imbalance of some type for a long time, and removing the symptom merely turns off the fire alarm, even if there's still a fire burning.
Likewise, healing isn't always what we want it to be, and when we have a specific idea of what healing will look like for us, we may limit the power of the universe to work on our behalf.
Healing means achieving a state of energetic balance in body, mind, and spirit that serves the highest and greatest good. Sometimes, illness is what serves the highest and greatest good for that person in that moment. In these cases, energy healing removes energetic blockages and allows for the fullest expression of what serves the highest good. Sometimes this means physical, emotional, or mental wellness, and sometimes it means allowing the full expression of whatever circumstances currently exist to help someone come to terms with some aspect of their life and achieve more peace, understanding, and compassion.
Energy healing can and often does have an aspect of the placebo effect to it. However, the placebo effect isn't necessarily a bad thing. Instead, it can be a way of unconsciously shifting thoughts and intentions to help you find new, higher vibration beliefs that ultimately support healing.
Image by NickyPe from Pixabay
Do you have a happy place? Maybe it's somewhere you visualize going that makes you happy. Maybe it's a feeling you distinctly recall. Maybe it's the sound of a certain song or the way you feel after meditation. Think about when you feel your most peaceful, balanced, and joyful. Or just when you feel at your most positive. What if you could capture that any time you wish?
Great news; you can. There's a simple technique in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) called anchoring, and you can use it to recapture a positive feeling whenever you'd like. But to do that, first you have to get the positive feeling in the first place.
Many people can think themselves there. Think of someone you love dearly; a friend, a family member, a partner, a child, or even a pet. Think about them and start to feel them deeply. Allow the glow of that good feeling to spread throughout you. Alternatively, think of your happy place, a beautiful memory, or your happy song. Use whatever you can to get yourself to that place. For me, any of the previous techniques work, or I can also do this after I've meditated or engaged in any physical activity that gets my endorphins flowing.
Once you have that positive feeling, come up with a unique gesture while you still inhabit the sensation. Make it a unique (to you) gesture; not one you perform daily. It could be tugging on your right ear with your thumb and forefinger, or making an "OK" sign with your left hand, for instance. Make it a specific gesture. And, while you are still in the feeling, make the gesture several times. As you repeat the gesture, do it exactly the same way each time. Do this until the intensity of the positive feeling begins to subside, and then stop. Alternatively, make the gesture and continue to hold it in position until the intensity of the feelings begin to lessen.
Now, any time you wish to return to that place of positive feeling, repeat the gesture exactly as you did it. That's it. It's effective and easy to do.
For energy healing practitioners, this is a great technique to teach your healing partners. At the end of their session when they're in that relaxed and positive state, teach them the technique and tell them they can return to that feeling anytime they wish by repeating the gesture. Allow them to choose a gesture that is specific and meaningful to them.
One word of caution to practitioners: Sometimes a session stirs up old, stuck negative energy, and your healing partner may be processing old negative emotions at the end of and after a session. When I observe this happening, I try to continue with additional energy until it passes or initiate a visualization to help them feel safe and peaceful, but sometimes it may take a few days for all of the emotions to process. If you observe this is the case at the close of a session, don't teach anchoring because that is not a feeling your healing partner wants to return to. Instead, wait until a laster session when your healing partner is in a positive and relaxed state.
Image by ktphotography from Pixabay
I'm super excited because next week I'm teaching a class in Portland that offers so many energy healing techniques in a single class, you'll hardly know what to do with them all (but don't worry - I'll show you)! We originally planned to offer the class as an advanced Reiki class, but I realized anyone can use these techniques regardless of whether they are attuned to Reiki. So, as of now, anyone is welcome to take the class. Yay!
What will you learn?
• Handout: Finger Meanings
• Handout: Fingers and Hands
• Handout: Fingers and Emotions
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
• Handout: EFT for Practitioners
• Handout: EFT for Healing Partners
• Handout: Polarity Elements
• Crystal and dorje polarity techniques
• Gazing tracing polarity technique
• Sensing energy
• Basic QT technique
• Spinning or moving energy
•Handout: Crystal Lattice Patterns
• Handout: Crystal Colors and Chakras
• Crystal opacity
• Handout: Sacred Geometry and Crystal Shapes
• Handout: Crystals and Sacred Geometry – Grids
• Tingsha diagnosis
• Handout: Body outline for diagnosis
• Starting a session with tingshas
• Bell and dorje session
• Using singing bowls
• Selecting singing bowls
• Handout: Sacred Sound Healing Instruments
• Handout: Chakra Mantras
• Crystal or dorje technique
• Gazing technique
• Handout: Aromatherapy
Affirmation and Visualization
• Introducing it to a session
• Setting it using NLP
Creating a Sacred Space for Energy Healing
Sounds good, right? You'll walk away with handouts describing most of the technique in simple terms with lots of graphics. You don't need your own equipment (but you can bring some if you have it). I'll have equipment there you can try and practice with. Register here. I'll also give the first five people who contact me through my contact form here a coupon code for $15 off of the class. Hope to see you there.
Image by Jaesung An from Pixabay
Cleansing the energy of the spaces where you live and work and the things you use for energy healing, such as crystals or singing bowls, is an essential part of good spiritual hygiene. I recommend people cleanse the energy of their spaces at least once a week--and more if there's been negativity such as illness, arguments, stress, etc.--and cleanse tools they use at least once a week or even more if they get heavy use. For example, I cleanse the crystals I wear once a day, and I cleanse those I use with healing partners after every use. The crystals that just sit in my house and mostly look pretty, I cleanse once a week. Before we get into the hows of energy cleansing, however, I want to get into the whys.
Energy and Entrainment
Back in the 1600s, a Dutch scientist named Christiaan Huygens discovered that objects with different energy frequencies locked into phase when placed in physical proximity to one another. He noticed when he hung two pendulum clocks side by side on the wall, although they started with the pendulums swaying in different rhythms, they soon moved into the same rhythm. This gradual shifting of vibration to lock into phase is called entrainment, and it is a repeatable scientific phenomenon. The video below demonstrates this principle with 32 mechanical metronomes all started with a different frequency that eventually begin to move together.
Entrainment is an important principle when it comes to spiritual energy as well. Everything has a vibration. All physical matter is made up of tiny vibrating strands of energy; from the chair you might be sitting in right now, to the cells of your body, to the hair on top of your head. Everything in your environment is made up of these strands of energy existing in close proximity to one another. And, as we established, when two bodies oscillating at different frequencies are located next to one another, each adjusts its energy to the other so they begin to vibrate at the same rate.
This is happening all around you all of the time. People who are sensitive to energy can feel it as it happens. For example, have you ever been somewhere alone and felt the energy shift when another person walks into a room? That is their energy and yours reacting to one another and shifting to meet somewhere in the middle.
In an ideal world, lower vibration would always climb to meet higher vibration while the higher vibration stayed the same. But that's not what happens. Generally, when there is a vast difference between the vibration of one object and the vibration of another, one raises, the other lowers, and the two meet somewhere in the middle. So the higher vibration comes down a bit and the lower vibration raises. That's why energetic cleansing is so important. If you bring an energy tool, such as a crystal, into your environment, it will raise your vibration, but it will also drop to meet the lower vibration of other objects around it.
Energy cleansing is like a vibrational reset button. Using energy cleansing methods helps return the tools you use and the spaces you inhabit to their natural higher vibrational frequency after they've been in contact with energy of a lower vibration. By bringing them to a higher vibration and then using them in the same environment again, the environmental energy rises once again while the tool's energy drops slightly, but they have a new, higher middle to in which to meet. The goal is to keep the energy tools cleansed so they return to their original higher energy, making the "middle" a new, higher set point after each cleansing.
How To Cleanse
There are many ways you can cleanse tools and your environment. My go-to is to use Reiki to cleanse things like crystals and spaces where I live, work, and teach, but I realize not everyone has Reiki available, and sometimes I feel other types of cleansing are called for, as well. Some tools you can use for cleansing include:
To cleanse any tools you use in energy healing, hold them over the sacred smoke so they are coated in smoke, or run them through the sound waves of a sound instrument. For example, you can put crystals in a singing bowl and sound it or use incense smoke around and in a singing bowl.
Making cleansing part of your ritual can help you to maintain higher vibration with any energy healing tools you use, as well as in the spaces you work, play, and live. By attending to spiritual hygiene with this important step, you can help maintain a vibration that continues to rise.
Image by Alexandre C. Fukugava from Pixabay
So today I have something super exiting for you; a bunch of diagrams of hands and fingers. Whether you're working on self-healing or working as an energy healer, understanding how your hands and fingers--and your healing partner's--connect to various aspects of your well-being such as chakras, emotions, and elements opens new avenues to bring balance and healing energy.
The chart above shows how each finger is related to certain experiences, values, and emotions. As a self-healer, you can strengthen and support these areas of your life by wearing appropriate gemstone rings on each finger or massaging them to stimulate each pathway.
Energy healers can lightly touch or tap healing partners with the appropriate finger of their giving hand to strengthen these energies or lightly massage in counterclockwise circles with the appropriate finger of the receiving hand to absorb excess energy.
The chart above shows the associations of each finger with the elements and the chakras. For self-energy healing, you can support, balance, and strengthen the energy of each chakra or element by wearing appropriate gemstone jewelry on each finger or using sound or massage techniques on each as needed to keep the energy flowing.
If you're an energy healing practitioner, in your sessions you can use the corresponding finger of your giving hand to provide additional energy associated with that finger (so for the thumb, you can work with your right thumb in an energy healing session to give throat chakra and ether energy). You can also use your receiving hand to decrease or balance an excess of energy (so you would use your left thumb to absorb excess throat chakra or ether energy). Additionally, you can use crystal points on the tips of each finger (place the pointed end against the tip of the finger) to balance and smooth energy flow of the corresponding chakra or elemental pathway.
The final chart shows how each finger relates to negative emotions. If you, as a self-healer, are stuck in a pattern of negative emotion, you can wear appropriate crystals (such as black tourmaline, apache tears, or garnet) on the finger of the giving hand that corresponds to those emotional patterns to counteract or absorb the negativity, or you can wear a gemstone ring on the receiving hand that holds the opposite energy of your emotion.
Energy healers working with healing partners can use the corresponding fingers on their receiving hands by massaging in a counterclockwise circle to absorb the negative emotions, or they may want to work with smoky quartz crystal points or a dorje to draw out negative emotions by placing the pointed end against the tip of the corresponding finger and visualizing the energy flowing up and out of the crystal. The smoky quartz or dorje will transmute the negative energy to positive and send it out into the universe.
Tools for Healing
As with all of the other information I offer, these are additional tools you can use for self-healing or in your energy healing or Reiki practice. As you develop an arsenal of understanding and healing tools, you can store them in your information banks and call on them intuitively throughout your healing sessions, which will allow you to create the exact healing environment needed to serve the highest and greatest good.
You are welcome to save, use, and distribute any of these charts for yourself or in your practice provided you leave my name/link on the bottom.
I encourage my Reiki students from Second Degree onward to begin to work with clients intuitively; that is, instead of following the basic hand positions to provide a full-body treatment, I suggest they observe their healing partner and to listen to their own tuition to inform how and what they do within a treatment session. I encourage anyone working with any form of energy healing (even if you are your own healing partner; that is, you're performing self-healing) to pay attention to the intuitive signals you receive and act on them within a healing session. I believe intuition in energy healing comes from learning the form first (such as which crystals help what, the feng shui bagua, the Reiki hand positions, sound healing triads, etc.) and then, once you have a full grasp of your practice and the energy you are working with, you can begin to explore freedom through intuition. Form first then freedom makes a powerful and confident energy healer and a deeper and more meaningful healing session for your healing partner. And one way to bring form to every energy healing session is to create a basic outline of the anatomy of a session, a loose structure you follow in every case with every healing partner. Within this structure, you can then practice freely and confidently.
Step 1: Prepare Yourself and Your Space
Before your healing partner arrives, prepare yourself and your space in any way you need. This may include meditation, bringing energy into your treatment area, or whatever rituals you engage in to bring yourself into your own energetic healing space.
Step 2: Documentation
When you're working with paid clients, you need to document your work. When your healing partner comes to see you, talk to him about what's going on and make notes. In the healthcare field, a consultation is part of the entire documentation process often charted as SOAP notes that include subjective complaints, objective findings, assessment (for medical professionals - diagnosis), and plan. These are required documentation for insurance and legal purposes for people visiting various health care providers, but you can bring them into professional energy healing practices, as well, for the purposes of full documentation. I've attached a simple body outline below you can use as your consultation form. Have your healing partner mark areas of complaint or issues in one color pen noting the severity and character of the issue (such as sharp pain, dull ache, shooting pain, etc) on the diagram, and you can follow up by writing your objective findings, assessment (not a diagnosis), and treatment notes.
Step 3: Consultation
While maintaining records is essential for energy healers as a business practice, in every session with every healing partner--whether a spouse, a friend, a child, a paying client, or a pet--you need to perform a consultation before each session. A consultation is your opportunity to connect with your healing partner before you begin treatment. This includes sitting down with your healing partner, looking her in the eyes, truly listening to what she has to say, asking her goals for the session, and answering her questions simply and honestly as possible. This creates a connection between the two of you. It allows you to bear witness to your healing partner's physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual feelings. By asking thoughtful questions and listening carefully to her replies, you are serving as a witness to your healing partner's story, and everyone deserves to be able to give voice to their story to a kind, thoughtful, compassionate, and nonjudgmental witness. In fact, just bearing witness without judgment can be healing by itself before you even start your energy work.
During consultation, sit down face to face with your healing partner. I prefer to do this in comfy chairs away from the treatment table to start so my partner and I are on the same eye level and seated as equals. Then, ask open ended questions that encourage your healing partner to talk while you actively listen. Some questions you might ask:
Next in your consultation, discuss the treatment briefly, offering any suggestions about what he may experience during or after the sessions and allow her to ask any questions, as well. With a child or animal, this process will be simpler. With the animal, sit for a few moments looking into its eyes and just trying to connect to its energy. With a child, ask simple questions that are age appropriate.
Step 4: Make Your Healing Partner Comfortable
Make sure your healing partner has everything he needs to be comfortable. Allow him to use the restroom or get a drink of water before he gets on your treatment table. Then offer pillows and blankets to make him more comfortable, dim the lights, and put on soft music if that pleases your healing partner. You may also use aromatherapy here, but check with your healing partner first to make sure he or she isn't sensitive to fragrance, etc.
Step 5: Observe
When you have your healing partner comfortably situated in your healing space, take a few moments to just observe her. Stand quietly next to your healing partner and watch. Notice areas of tension or movements such as a twitch in a toe, a flickering of eyelids, or a shifting of the weight. Watch the rise and fall of the breath. Note if your healing partner is breathing regularly or irregularly, shallow or deeply. Tune in to your healing partner's energy. Connect energetically and notice what you see or feel. You may also use sound tools, such as tingshas, to scan the body and look for variations in the tone or scan your hands through your healing partner's energy fields to notice for shifts, hot patches, cool patches, or changes in sensation. Use all of your five senses and intuition here to truly observe your healing partner before you begin to work. Note on your diagram anything you notice.
Step 6: Further Energetic Connection
Once you've noted your observations on your chart, center yourself. Stand at the head of the table and place your hands lightly on each of your healing partner's shoulders. Match your breathing to his. Remain in this position until your healing partner offers a big sigh of relaxation or until you feel a connection of your energy.
Step 7: Treatment
Begin your form of energy healing treatment, focusing both on your intuition and your healing partner. Always observe her responses and reactions and make adjustments as needed. It's also important to care for yourself in an energy healing session. If, for any reason, you feel uncomfortable, lightly touch your healing partner on the shoulder and tell him to relax for a moment because you are going to step away. Then, step back and re-center yourself, continuing the session when you are ready.
Step 8: Grounding
When you have completed the session (either after a set period or when you feel intuitively it is time to end), gently step away from your healing partner and recenter yourself, observing your healing partner as you do for any apparent discomfort, etc. Then, gently touch your healing partner on the shoulder and speaking in a soft voice, tell her the session is over and she can take her time coming up when she's ready. Disconnect your energy from your healing partner's by running your hands under cold water or touching the ground, and when your healing partner sits up (she may need gentle help because she's so deeply relaxed), offer her a glass of cold water to ground her.
Step 9: Check In
At the close of a session, check back in with your healing partner. Ask how the session was for him and ask if he has any questions or wishes to share anything. You may share simple thoughts from the session but keep them friendly and low-key. For example, you might say, "I did some work around your solar plexus today, so you may want to focus on strengthening this area in your visualizations," or "I noticed you seemed uncomfortable when I was working in the area of your left knee. You may want to follow up with your doctor for that." Don't diagnose, and don't say things like, "It felt cold over your pancreas, so I think you have diabetes." You want him to leave feeling relaxed and confident, not worried.
If you have "homework" for things he can do on his own, this is the time to discuss that as well such as an affirmation, visualization, or mantra. Be sure to tell your healing partner to drink plenty of water and contact you should she have any questions or concerns when she gets home. Assure her any reaction she has to the session is perfectly normal. You may suggest follow-up treatments or leave it open-ended.
Step 10: Express Gratitude
After the healing session (either while your healing partner is still there or after she's left depending on your preference), offer gratitude to your guides for helping with the healing session, your healing partner's guides for bringing her to you, and to the universal energy that you have been allowed to channel for your healing partner. Reaffirm that the work you did with your healing partner was to serve the highest and greatest good for all involved.
Image by net0702 from Pixabay
Energy Healing and Ethics
I teach multiple forms of energy healing including Reiki and crystal healing, and one of the topics I return to repeatedly in all classes is that of working as a healing practitioner within an ethical framework.
Yesterday, I taught my once annual Reiki Master-Teacher course in Portland, Oregon. At the Master-Teacher level, there is a deep need for a discussion of ethics because once you have attained that level, you also have the privilege of teaching and attuning others as energy healers. I view it as a huge responsibility and an absolute honor and joy that I am able to share with others in such a significant way on their path of spiritual growth.
What I teach my students about ethics is this: When you do energy work, you must always do so from a place of integrity. What I don't tell them, however, is what that integrity should look like.
It's important as an energy healing practitioner if you are working with healing partners (in other words, clients but I prefer the term healing partners because it reminds me the healing work is a partnership and not just something I am doing for them), you decide what your values and ethics are surrounding your practice of energy healing. Some ethics, of course, are required by law, such as having the appropriate licensing/certification in place, following ethical business practices, keeping appropriate documentation, and adhering to HIPAA, but others are deeply personal.
Within the framework of Reiki, we are offered a simple set of ethical standards called the Five Principles of Reiki. I teach them in First Degree Reiki and return to them throughout all degrees of the teaching and attunement process in my classes because they are the perfect jumping off point for developing any personal ethical framework for energy healing practice.
Just for today, I will not anger.
Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will be kind to all living creatures.
Just for today, I will do my work with truth and integrity (I translate this to "I will live with truth and integrity").
Just for today, I will be grateful.
These are simple beliefs and practices; something to strive for in our lives while understanding we're not going to hit every target every moment of every day. But keeping them as my core values serves as a lodestar, helping me to right myself quickly when I have moments of anger, worry, or unkindness.
As individuals, we can choose to accept or reject any of the above principles. We can also choose our own ethical framework for how we practice our energy healing and how we live our lives. I strive for internal consistency across all aspects of my life - as a healer, as a friend, as a sister and daughter, as a wife and mother, as an employee, as a writer, as a teacher, as a human being, etc. So my ethics for my teaching and writing are the same as for my energy healing practice, and they're the same for how I strive to live every moment of my life.
But I can't tell you what your core values should be or how you should apply them in your life and practice. This is something you need to do for yourself. Yesterday in my Reiki Master-Teacher class, I offered this suggestion. In the days and weeks to come, spend some time thinking about what your core values are as an energy healer. How do you want it to manifest in your life, and what effect do you wish to have on the lives of others? From there, think about individual habits and practices, and determine what your version of an ethical energy healer is. Then, work from there.
I have neither walked in another's shoes nor had their experiences, so I am in no place to tell others what their core values should be or how to live and act from those core values. I have spent a lifetime developing mine and allowing them to grow and shift as I have grown and shifted. But I invite you to spend some time thinking about your core values. What is the highest vision you have for yourself? How does it make you feel to visualize dwelling within that vision? If it feels good deep down in your soul, then this is the place to begin forming your core values as an energy healer and as a human being.
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Being mindful during a Reiki session can create a more meaningful and intentional healing experience for both the Reiki practitioner and his or her healing partner. In his teachings, Dr. Mikao Usui taught practitioners three foundational practices that he called the three pillars of Reiki, gassho, reiji-ho, and chiryo. Each of these practices has multiple purposes, and all are equally necessary during a Reiki healing session. Purposes of the three pillars include:
-Serving as a source of spiritual hygiene to put the Reiki practitioner into a calm and centered state of mind before and during channeling Reiki
-Allowing the practitioner's ego to step aside and allow intuitive information from the Reiki energy, her healing partner, and Divine Guidance
-Connecting the practitioner and his healing partner to the Reiki energy
-Allowing the practitioner to work more intuitively as she channels Reiki energy to her healing partner
-Creating an "envelope" of mindfulness for the session for both the practitioner and his healing partner
The First Pillar: Gassho
The first pillar of Reiki, gassho, is more than a meditative practice. It also serves as a form of spiritual hygiene, a ritual to create intention and focus, an invitation to mindfulness, a call to set aside ego, and the primary method to invite and ignite Reiki healing energy within a session.
While gassho is primarily taught in Western forms of Reiki as a meditative practice that entails holding one's hands in prayer position and focusing on where the middle fingertips meet, it is far more involved and deeper than these simple instructions indicate. During gassho, while the fingertips serve as a physical focal point to help the Reiki practitioner remain mindful and in the moment, a skilled practitioner combines the mindfulness of gassho with breath work and intention.
As Spiritual Hygiene
As spiritual hygiene, Reiki practitioners should engage in gassho for 5 to 10 minutes before every session in order to purify not only the energy of the space in which the sacred sharing of the Reiki energy will occur, but also to enter into a state of mindfulness where he or she is open to Reiki energy and positive guidance. This is especially important for practitioners who live "normal" lives between sessions (and don't we all?) where the needs of the world often intrude on upon our ideal spiritual state of being.
Before every session, perform any energy work in your healing space you normally do as part of your pre-game ritual, whether that involves burning herbs, drawing symbols in the space, or any other space clearing ritual. Next, sit comfortably in the space in gassho. Concentrate on your breathing and the space where your middle fingertips meet. Feel Reiki forming in the air around you and breathe it in, allowing it to flow in through your nose and lungs and throughout your entire body. Exhale tension or anything from your day that does serve you nor not belong in your session. Do this for as long as it takes. Some days, it may only take five minutes, but on those other days where the world has intruded, it may take longer. Do this until you are calm, peaceful, centered, and out of your ego. Only then should you invite your healing partner into your healing space.
To Set Intention and Invite and Ignite Reiki Energy
Once you have invited your healing partner into the appropriately prepared space, consulted with them as needed, and they are resting comfortably on your treatment table, stand at your partner's head or feet and enter into gassho again. This time, do so focusing on any intention for the session you and your healing partner have agreed upon along with the intention to serve the highest and greatest good. Once again, feel the Reiki gather around you. Breathe it in, and invite it to flow through you and into your hands. When you feel your hands ignite, you can begin your session.
To Return to Mindfulness or Seek Guidance
Throughout your session, you can return to gassho any time you feel the need. Gassho is your safe space where you can return to mindfulness, refocus or reset intention, or receive guidance about where to place your hands on your healing partner. It is the form within the freedom of an intuitive Reiki session. If you feel your mind start to drift or notice your energy shift, return to gassho. If you feel unsure about what to do next, return to gassho. Walk to your partner's head or feet again and stand in gassho until you feel refocused. If you need, ask for guidance and then pay attention. A thought may come into your head, a part of your healing partner's body may "light up" in your gaze, or you may just feel drawn to a certain area. Go with this flow. Return to gassho whenever you need to recenter, wish to return to mindfulness if the outside world starts to intrude on your session, or feel unsure of what to do next.
To Give Thanks and Return to Yourself
You can also return to gassho at the close of a session. When you feel ready, move to your healing partner's feet and stand in gassho. Give thanks to Reiki and to your partner for allowing you to channel the energy to serve the highest and greatest good. Then, invite your energy to return to you and see the energetic connection between you and your partner releasing. When you feel ready, run your hands under cool water or touch the ground to ground yourself.
The Second Pillar: Reiji-Ho
Gassho is interwoven throughout the other two pillars of Reiki. Reiji-ho, the second pillar, is all about asking for guidance. While First Degree Reiki practitioners learn the Reiki hand positions, as they progress they may begin to feel comfortable enough to work intuitively. I encourage my students entering Second Degree Reiki to begin working intuitively as often as possible during Reiki sessions knowing if they need to, they can always return to the hand positions.
In reiji-ho, you invite guidance in. It begins in gassho, with your hands held in prayer position asking to have your hands and energy guided to serve the highest and greatest good of your healing partner. And then, you wait and you use all of your senses to listen. Listen to how your body feels, what your mind thinks, what your eyes see, and how your healing partner responds. As you wait for guidance, observe with all of your senses and allow your mind to empty so it becomes a vessel into which guidance can flow easily. You will learn over time how your Divine Guidance signals you. You may spot a twitch. You may feel something in your own body. You may hear instructions in your mind. You may feel as if you are magnetically drawn to somewhere on your healing partner's body. There is no wrong way to receive information.
Reiji-ho takes trust in yourself, your healing partner, your Divine Guidance system, Reiki, and the universe. It also requires mindfulness. It requires you to allow yourself to be energetically open in order to become a vessel the universe uses to serve the highest and greatest good. When you receive a signal, trust it, act on it, and know the Reiki energy will flow exactly where and as it is needed for the highest and greatest good. When you feel yourself slipping out of that space as a vessel and a channel and back into your own personal stuff, return to gassho and re-set yourself.
The Third Pillar: Chiryo
The third pillar of Reiki, chiryo, is all about action. Chiryo means "treatment," and it is an essential part of every Reiki session. New Reiki practitioners focus primarily on chiryo, following the mechanical process of placing hands on the body in set positions and trusting the Reiki will flow where it's needed. However, as a practitioner becomes more deeply involved in the true practice of Reiki, chiryo is something that flows and changes depending on intuitive information the Reiki practitioner receives and the needs of his or her healing partner.
A practitioner truly engaged in chiryo moves beyond the basic hand positions and sometimes even moves beyond use of the hands. He or she may be intuitively guided to gaze, tap, stroke, blow, or visualize along with placing hands, palms, or fingertips in the ways they are guided to do so. In this way, a mindful session of Reiki becomes a flowing dance of energy that involves the practitioner, his or her healing partner, and the entire universe.
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