Friday, August 29, 2008
By John Mramor
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, February/March 2004.
Copyright 2003. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. All rights reserved.
Miranda was a dying woman who served as a challenge and inspiration for me in the last months of her life. My experiences with her marked the true beginning of my realization of the importance of energy work in hospice-based massage. Since Miranda's death, I have come to fully accept and integrate energy work into my practice and I now routinely use it alongside other manual modalities. Working with her was a privilege for me. The opportunity to witness the spiritual transformation within the sacred space surrounding a person dying is always an awesome gift, but to do so while companioning them over a period of five months is a miracle. It simply changed my entire perspective concerning why I do what I do.
Furthermore, to recognize the fact that I was the only male caregiver -- in a sea of social workers, nurses, physicians, nurses aides, etc. -- who she allowed in her presence, the only male that she did not fire or shun, humbles me.
I look back on this time as perhaps one of the most profound of my career. Of course, it made me nervous at times, afraid and bewildered. But, by simply not giving up on her in those moments when I lost my grip, great things happened.
This case study spans a period of five months in the life of a young mother who accepted touch and energy to provide her with relief from pain and insomnia during her final months of life. It is an unusual case, primarily due to the intensity of the final sessions and use of reiki to resolve multidimensional pain.
Miranda was a 42-year-old, single mother of three. Her children ranged in age from 13 to 18 years, each with a different father. During Miranda's last six months of life, she sought adoption for her youngest child. Prior to her diagnosis, she worked as a waitress. A social worker later described her home environment and relationship with her children as highly dysfunctional.
In 1998, Miranda was treated for squamous cell anal carcinoma. She experienced a complete remission. However, in early 2002, she began to complain of severe pain in her upper right quadrant of her body. A massive hepatomegaly was found, practically replacing the left lobe of her liver.
Soon, Miranda began experiencing significant clinical depression with heightened anxiety. Her physician described her as emotionally fragile and withdrawn, with a substantial fear of dying. Miranda had terrible nightmares. A referral to hospice was made in June 2002, meaning she had less than six months to live. By September, it became difficult for her to remain at home, with her eldest child acting as her primary caregiver. At this time, her hospice team talked with her about moving to a residential hospice.
Miranda did move, but remained there for only approximately 60 hours, eventually discharging herself and returning home. While in residence, she found it unbearable to be around other people who were also dying. She identified a friend who would be willing to care for her, though upon her return home, she continued to accept hospice services. This arrangement did not last long, and once again it became imperative for Miranda to receive outside help. In October, she chose to return to the residential hospice.
Miranda was recognized by the staff as having changed drastically in physical appearance. Jaundice discolored her skin and ascites (accumulated fluid in the peritoneal cavity) made her appear nine months pregnant. Her nurse encouraged the use of music and massage therapies, especially for emotional support. Pain control was a significant challenge.
It soon became evident that Miranda did not trust men and had great difficulty opening up and relating to them in any way. Her affect was normally flat, and she disclosed little information to anyone, including her social worker, who indicated that she displayed little emotion during their sessions. It remained excruciatingly difficult to assess what Miranda was thinking or how she was reacting. Initially, she was quite reclusive, keeping the door to her room closed and rarely venturing out. Her primary complaints throughout her stay were of pain, nausea and insomnia.
My primary intention, as a massage therapist specializing in hospice, was to use massage, manual modalities and energy interventions as a natural and gentle complement to the traditional means of coping with the pain associated with terminal illness.
Initial Sessions, September 2002
Upon her first admittance, Miranda was informed that both music and massage therapies would be available to her. Her nurse encouraged Miranda to utilize them, especially for her anxiety and emotional instability.
After having been in residence for approximately 15 hours, Miranda requested that the caregiving staff call me in from home. Upon arrival, I learned that her primary complaint was left axillary and shoulder pain. The staff reported Miranda had been crying throughout the day. She rated her pain at an 8 out of 10, and described it as a non-referring, chronic, throbbing nuisance. Three doses of Roxanol dispensed at 30-minute intervals prior to the massage did not influence the pain. She was crying throughout the assessment and was most comfortable in a right, sidelying position. Palpation revealed no significant muscular involvement.
Miranda received slow stroke back massage blended with digital kneading and palmar compression, friction, reiki to the crown, spinal column and left shoulder (focusing on the thalamus-pituitary gland neural pathway for bio-opioid release), brushing and holding.
At the conclusion of the session, Miranda was sleeping. I placed a referral to music therapy and asked the staff to notify me with Miranda's perspective of the session when she awoke.
The next day I received another call indicating Miranda was asking for my assistance. Upon my arrival, she said the previous day's session decreased her pain and aided her sleep. When she awoke, the pain level was tolerable, as the day progressed, it worsened. Her pain medications were increased, but they were making her gaseous. I noticed that her affect seemed brighter, but her depression was observable.
I provided her with a session using the same techniques as the day before, but in a different pattern. She once again fell asleep during the session and remained so for several hours thereafter.
Miranda discharged herself from the hospice the next day.
Readmittance, October 2002, Attempt to Re-unify
Two days after Miranda's return, several attempts were made to reconnect with her. Most often, these attempts were of short duration and consisted mainly of female staff intervention on the behalf of the massage therapist. Miranda preferred to be alone. Silence and refusal continued in excess of one month.
Breakthrough, December 2002
Session 1: On this day, a caregiver suggested massage to Miranda as a method to relieve her pain after she experienced a morning of agony. Surprisingly, Miranda accepted.
She complained of extreme pain in the upper right quadrant that was referring around to her back. She also continued to experience left shoulder pain. Her ascites was pronounced, and it was uncomfortable for her to lie on her left side. She displayed jaundice, cachexia (wasting away) and weakness, but was still able to ambulate and venture around the building. Miranda's pain was multidimensional: The physical was compounding her emotional, social and spiritual suffering.
Since she was in such turmoil, I decided upon a modality that I had minimally utilized in our first few sessions together -- reiki. The comforting nature of passive touch coupled with the awesome energy involved could be of great benefit. I explained to Miranda what I would be doing and with her approval, proceeded.
While performing a bio-opioid release on her parietal region, access to her thalamus-pituitary gland pathway required intense focus, more than I was able to perform. Eventually, my left hand broke through the barrier, but only briefly. I could visualize the region, but not on a cellular level. While at her shoulder, the opposite was true: A magnetic draw toward her heart was experienced. The first, in what was to become a striking series of visualizations later in our work together, occurred here. A thick wall, encasing her heart, was seen. I did not believe that the energy made a significant impact on this wall as it was quite old and strong. The other positions felt unsuccessful as well. Miranda offered no comment as to the outcome of the session.
Session 2: When she passed me in the hallway 11 days later, Miranda turned around and asked me to visit her that day. I decided to see her immediately.
I began attacking Miranda's pain on several levels and provided her with a session that integrated many modalities in a rhythmic interchange that was seamless and full of continuity. I was conscious not to overwhelm her system and developed a strategy to emphasize only crucial points. While she remained in a right fetal position, I performed reflexology to her liver, reiki directly to the liver region and to pain control centers, therapeutic touch, brushing, acupressure along her shoulder and cervical region, slow stroke back massage and light, highly repetitive Swedish to the left aspect of her back and shoulder.
Miranda allowed herself to fall asleep intermittently during the session.
Session 3: Three days later, Miranda asked for me to visit her once again, requesting massage for pain relief.
An energy assessment revealed the following: Cluttered static acting as a barrier surrounding her head, a void over her heart with cold darkness, and a liver region loaded with heaviness.
This session resembled the last in structure, but included a greater degree of Swedish massage. I was able to access her heart and began filling it with energy, but her brain remained difficult to penetrate, accepting very little.
For the first time, she said "thanks" when I left her room.
Opening of Heart and Mind, December 2002-January 2003
Session 1: While I was studying clinical charts in the office, Miranda approached the doorway and secured my attention. She requested a session. I was stunned, as were my colleagues, by her behavior -- this was not the Miranda that came to us in late October. Several of the staff mentioned to me that they had witnessed her coming out of her room more, eating at the common dining table and entering the smoking porch to talk with fellow residents. Her appetite had increased and they noticed a decrease in her reliance upon pain meds.
I continued to use a blending of modalities in order to confront her pain on various levels. However, the reiki portion began taking precedence. This marked the first session during which intense visualizations occurred, guiding me in my work.
During the initial placement of my hands upon her head in order to secure the bio-opioid release centers, I began to experience a deep, meditative-like level of consciousness. I could see Miranda, twirling in a turbulent sea of air. She had a fearful expression on her face and was very confused. She was unable to stop her body from being tossed about in the wind. Later, while my hands were over her heart, I visualized something completely different. Miranda was clothed in light and appeared as an angel. Light was beginning to fill the space she was standing in, and she smiled at me. An angel approached her, took her hand and began walking with her toward a pinpoint of light in the distance.
My immediate impression while experiencing these two images led me to believe that Miranda was experiencing a rift between her heart and mind and was in need of healing so that the two could be as one. I provided her with the initial treatment to connect her heart energy with her mind, using a connective hand position to shift energy from the heart center to the crown.
Miranda was sleeping peacefully at the conclusion of our session.
Session 2: Miranda requested this session. I was advised that her insomnia continued to be problematic and that her ascites was increasing.
The session was a variation of the usual treatment. I initiated a lotioned cervical massage that, up to this time, I had not felt comfortable applying due to the intimacy of contact that it connotes. Miranda accepted it.
During the energy portion of the session, I was again able to visualize her status mentally and found that she had progressed. She was sitting in a chair solemnly, and light was beginning to shine down upon her. Miranda enabled me to further the process of healing and I found the treatment successful.
While in session, Miranda fell into a deep sleep. So as not to disturb her, I remained by her side once I was finished, offering prayer and therapeutic presence.
Session 3: This remarkable session occurred 10 days later. Upon my arrival to work, Miranda caught me as I entered the house and requested a session.
I began by brushing through her energy field, mainly in order to prepare it for alteration and infusion. Thereafter, I provided her with full body stroking, with much repetition, in order to calm her on a more profound physical level and to prepare her for touch. Once complete, I slowly transformed that into slow stroke back massage. At this point, I considered her ready for reiki.
Placing one hand directly over her crown and the other upon the side of her head and face, I felt an immediate connection. I was amazed to meet Miranda in a field, dancing joyfully, the atmosphere surrounding her filled with a white glowing light. She spoke to me, telling me she was happy deep within and ready for what may lie ahead. With this information, I thought that the best I could do was offer her energy to support her in the journey. Soon thereafter, I witnessed sparkles of golden snowflakes showering down upon her. She lifted her arms in response to these and danced among them. I then disengaged and assessed her heart.
I was amazed to find nothing there. It was peaceful. I continued the session by giving Miranda Swedish massage, very lightly, upon her left shoulder where she had complained of pain in the past. It was gentle, slow and compassionate. Then, I proceeded to her feet where I initiated a long session of lotioned anti-anxiety massage to induce sleep. I also incorporated reflexology. At the point that I felt the session was virtually complete, I again engaged her in reiki, but at the feet. My visualization here confirmed previous findings -- the area where her heart center should have been was gone and her mind was joyful. I centered the energy physically to initiate release of bio-opioids, shield the liver and decrease pain stimulus transmission through the spinal cord.
At the end of the session, Miranda was sleeping soundly, deeply. I blanketed her and left the room.
Session 4: Upon arrival, the caregiver informed me that Miranda had been experiencing severe pain since approximately 7 p.m. the day before. Many medications had been given with limited results. Miranda sought out massage.
She informed me that her pain was centered in her abdomen, radiating around to her low back. I assisted in positioning her on her right side and began the treatment, which included digital pressure, palmar kneading, reflexology, manual lymph drainage (this mainly for its pain-reducing qualities) and reiki.
During the reiki sequence, I was stunned by another interesting visualization. Miranda was walking hand in hand with an angel toward a distant light. I felt something was wrong, however. Miranda did not seem as happy as she had been the day before. A black ring surrounded the light and the angel glowed with light in an odd manner, it did not seem to be coming from within him, but around him. With further concentration, and intense focus, I saw that the light was coming from the ground. The angel had a black face hiding under light and its body was dark under the garments. I quickly prayed that the bond between Miranda and this false angel be broken and shielded her with reiki energy. I asked for light to surround me, as well. With much help, the angel returned to the ground and the hole was sealed, with Miranda left alone, frightened. I again shielded her with light and instructed her to find the white light, to trust only her guardian angel. I did not have the strength to do any more, so I ended the session. Miranda was in a deep sleep when I finished, so I left her quietly.
Later that day, I was advised that Miranda had fallen, striking her head against a chair. She suffered a laceration that did not require stitches.
Final Sessions, January 2003
Session 1: Two days after her injury, Miranda was very weak. She required assistance in all activities and began to accept aide to do so for the very first time. Our relationship progressed to the level where she desired to see me whenever I was available.
This session was significant for the provision of a lotioned back, shoulder, neck and foot massage -- a big step in trust and openness for Miranda. Reiki was provided to her heart and mind. I had great difficulty connecting with her mind, but with the calling of her name, she appeared in two ways: Sitting in a chair and floating above a field. She was resistive to accepting energy, fearful of trusting and hesitant. Her heart was distant and required intense concentration. Once connected, I saw only light in an open space. I focused on providing strength, healing and balance to these areas.
Session 2: Miranda's hospice nurse stated that Miranda would likely develop terminal restlessness. I found her pain controlled much better than in weeks past. She informed me that sleeping was easier and that her pain level was lower.
I provided her with our usual session, although modified to her tissue loss. The reiki session was difficult. At the level of her heart, there was a blinding light that was incredibly intense and almost impossible for me to look into. I made out Miranda's form within this light, heading deeper into it and away from me. She stopped her movement to listen to me. I asked her not to go until she had connected this heart energy with her mind -- to use this light as a way to resolve her problems in this life. It was quite difficult to counsel her, as she was being drawn away from me by a force that was overwhelming. I finally had to release from it because it was too difficult to stay within it -- too much energy and heat. At the level of her head, I found her swirling in turbulence. She would not connect with me. I had to become very firm and insistent and finally she stopped and listened to me. I felt unsuccessful and weary. I concluded the session by diverting heart energy to her mind.
Session 3: Two days prior to this session, Miranda informed the staff that she was afraid to die. Even though she was close to death, Miranda continued to care for herself. The staff witnessed increased congestion and apnea. Restlessness became increasingly evident. Miranda experienced difficulty finding a comfortable position. It was time to discontinue all modalities except those based in energy and passive touch. I worked only at the level of her mind, to give her most troublesome area a final try.
With much perseverance, I was able to visualize Miranda. She was in a column of intense, concentrated light heading upward. She was being drawn through it, much as a piece of metal toward a magnet. Within this column there were wonderful colors -- primarily rose and white with sparkles of yellow and orange. The atmosphere within this column was quite thick, almost like a gel, and very warm. After a few moments, I realized I was actually inside of this as well, not observing her from without. At this time, I felt pulled up along with her and began to hear bells and faint singing -- it was beautiful, but without a tune really, and it was faint as if far in the distance. At this point, I attempted to speak to Miranda, but immediately received the sensation it was unnecessary to do so and also that I did not belong there, so I allowed myself to disengage. I witnessed Miranda floating away within it, higher and higher. I was so glad that she finally allowed her heart energy to resolve her mental struggle.
Session 4: Three days later, Miranda was actively dying. At the request of the staff, I approached Miranda to offer comfort through touch.
Initially, Miranda displayed only slight signs of terminal restlessness. After a reiki session to her feet, she was extremely calm with no visible attempts at movement of any kind.
I engaged her in a format that I usually reserve for the final days of life: The Hand/Heart Connection (HHC). After conducting an assessment, and finding a significantly weak human energy field with no energy at all palpated from the heart to the feet, I knew from experience that her time was near. I did not try to do visualization, for I did not wish to interfere with her natural process (it is thought that the spirit leaves through the head and to interfere with it at this time would be unnecessarily binding). So, with this in mind, I offered her support through the HHC, focusing on energy for peace, love and healing. It was at this time that I bid her farewell, thanked her for allowing me into her life and let her know that she was loved.
Miranda died later that day.
Since these experiences with Miranda, I have found reiki to be an extremely effective modality for use within the hospice population. Combined with standard massage therapy modalities and manual therapies, it is an excellent choice for those suffering with anxiety and other issues surrounding death and dying. I have found few contraindications to its use and encourage its application especially with people who are difficult to engage otherwise. The visualizations experienced in this study were deeper than I had experienced previously and are not typical of all reiki interventions that I conduct. With excellent nursing, caregiving, social work and music therapy interventions, Miranda also used massage and reiki as an appropriate tool to assist her in overcoming her fears, anger and loneliness.
John Mramor, MA, LMT, CMLDT, CR, NCTMB, is the massage therapist for the hospice division of the Visiting Nurse Association in Cleveland, Ohio. He is also the staff massage therapist for Malachi House, a non-profit residential facility for people who are indigent or without an available caregiver and with six months or less to live. He co-authored, along with his wife, Karla, the grant proposal that won Malachi House a three-year start-up grant from The Cleveland Foundation, with which he created the therapy program. Mramor is certified in both manual lymph drainage and reflexology, and is a member of various hospice organizations.
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, June/July 2003.
Copyright 2003. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. All rights reserved.
Several pages were devoted to an overview and case study of reiki in the March/April 2003 issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. Pamela Miles and Gala True, Ph.D., recorded the extensive origins, evolution and research behind this modality, noting that reiki has now been incorporated into more than 20 mainstream hospitals and community-based programs across the country.
The journal closed with a case study of the significant role reiki played in the life of a 62-year-old man with AIDS. The subject entered a multidisciplinary HIV treatment program in January 1998 and was diagnosed with cocaine dependence and depression. After successfully completing a three-month drug treatment program, the subject began seeing a psychotherapist who recommended the hospital-based reiki training. He received reiki level 1 training and began giving himself hour-long treatments daily as well as receiving one-hour treatments weekly from clinic volunteers. In May 1998, his physician initiated highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). The subject has since made a remarkable recovery: He continues reiki self-treatment daily along with the HAART protocol, his most serious physical ailment last reported was a chronic sinus infection, his cocaine abstinence continues, he is working part-time, and he offers reiki treatment at a local community-based organization serving people living with AIDS. While his treatment is multidisciplinary, the subject believes that reiki self-treatment is the single greatest factor in his turn-around.
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, February/March 2004.
Copyright 2003. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. All rights reserved.
With its simplicity and gentleness, reiki is capturing the attention of the traditional medical field as a practical, effective component of integrative care. Not all complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches are without contraindications, and some not so easily adapted to administration during procedures such as in acute trauma situations or surgery. Reiki, a subtle energy therapy, can be applied with or without actual touch and only requires the presence of the practitioner. It can also be of value in continuing self-care for patients who have been educated in its use, enhancing not only their health but sense of empowerment.
Reiki master Pamela Miles, founding director of the Institute for the Advancement of Complementary Studies in New York, N.Y., has been instrumental in the implementation of reiki within major hospital settings as well as having participated in reiki clinical trials. Her most recently published research (Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, March/April 2003) involves utilizing an educational program to train HIV/AIDS patients in reiki self-care.
"Reiki has a fast response time, certainly within five minutes," she says. "It can be learned so easily. It has no medical contraindications. The delivery is very flexible. You can do a full treatment, but also just resting your hand on someone during the (medical) exam process is effective."
Miles defines reiki as primordial consciousness, like primordial chi. "It's different from chi that's being manipulated in acupuncture and shiatsu." The term "reiki" refers both to the subtle healing pulsation itself and the process of accessing it. Through vibration, reiki balances the biofield and enhances the body's ability to heal itself. Although typically applied with light touch, it can also be administered from a distance.
"Because reiki isn't limited to being given as full treatment, it can be included during other care," Miles says. It can be introduced without being physically intrusive, whether during a rape exam or during surgery while the patient is under anesthesia. "Anecdotally, surgeons comment that the patient is recovering faster (with reiki)." In fact, Miles notes she repeatedly hears the comment that healing is occurring three times as fast as expected.
Practitioners and Research
An important concern in reiki research is practitioner qualification. The core of reiki training is "initiation," a process that honors the tradition and lineage of this healing practice. Speaking of the initiation, Miles says, "You can think of it like a subtle chiropractic manipulation -- creating an alignment within our vibrational body such that access to primordial consciousness is ever present." Once the initiation takes place, the connection is always there, but it can be expanded upon. "The initiation is like a very potent blessing or treatment in classic Asian tradition," Miles says. "You can't just pick up a book and learn how to do it. You have to have a teacher who is proficient in that practice to initiate you.
"When it comes to people's own practice, if we're talking about hospital practice, there is a point at which we owe it to the patients to ascertain that something is happening here, even if we don't completely understand the mechanism of action." As one who has been involved with reiki for more than 17 years, Miles expresses concern that some practitioners in the field have not respected the traditions. "What we can hope is that the medical profession is so conservative by nature that practitioners who are not adequately trained cannot present themselves in a form the medical field would find palatable." Miles suggests practitioners trained in first degree reiki continue their practice for at least a few months before entering second degree, and at least several years before training as a reiki master.
As with many CAM therapies, literature on reiki research contains too few and mostly flawed randomized controlled trials (RTC), along with observational and descriptive studies, and exploratory studies of physiological changes. In an overview of reiki in the same issue of ATHM, Miles and associate Gale True, Ph.D., provide a summarization of the current state of this research, pointing to the usefulness of a more inclusive criteria -- one that also embraces qualitative and mixed methodological design. Noting that patient-centered outcomes can be as meaningful as clinical ones, they state, "Randomized, controlled trials may not be the ideal strategy in cases where the outcomes being measured are related to chronic disease with uncertain trajectory, or where the treatment being investigated is not easily standardized or consists of multiple components."1 Nevertheless, there will continue to be a demand for RTCs in this field, and this need must be addressed.
Among the reports to date, a number have studied reiki together with other energy therapies, "confounding the ability to evaluate the separate effects of those therapies."2 Wirth et al. conducted a series of small studies throughout the 1990s focused primarily on measurable physiological reactions, all fraught with limitations but indicating some promising results. In a 1996 report on hematological measures, the team documented significant effects of reduced pain and blood urea nitrogen (kidney function), as well as a trend toward normalizing blood glucose following reiki.3
In a study to determine if blinding in reiki research is possible, Mansour et al. (1999) reported participants were unable to distinguish reiki practitioners from placebo practitioners. Despite the subjects' personal evaluation of therapist status (reiki or placebo), it was noted in participants' self-report that the most intense sensations of tingling and warmth were experienced during reiki sessions versus placebo.4
Shiflett et al., evaluating effectiveness of reiki for subacute stroke patients (2002), concluded, "Reiki did not have any clinically useful effect on stroke recovery in subacute hospitalized patients receiving standard-of-care rehabilitation therapy."5 Although there was no short-term benefit for depression and function, researchers did note some limited effect on mood and energy.6
Included in this study was an assessment of double-blinding in training procedures for reiki practitioners. The team found no reported difference between blinded practitioners of reiki and sham (sham being those trained in reiki technique who only went through the motions) in ability to feel energy flowing through the hands.7
In exploratory studies of physiological changes attributed to reiki, researchers have documented increased oxygen-carrying capability in the blood (Wetzel 1989), biochemical markers indicating increased relaxation and immune response (Wardell and Engebretson 2001), and changes in electrical skin resistance at sites corresponding to acupuncture meridians, with accompanying relaxation and reduction of pain in chronically ill subjects (Brewitt et al. 1997). Additional observational and descriptive studies have indicated multiple benefits of reiki, including pain reduction (Olson and Hansen 1997), and profound relaxation and sense of well-being (Chapman and Milton 2002).8
The HIV/AIDS Project
In Miles' feasibility study on reiki education for HIV/AIDS patients, 30 volunteers from an inner-city, outpatient clinic received first degree reiki training in four-hour sessions over four consecutive days. To assess the benefits of reiki in reducing pain and anxiety, pre- and post-treatment measurements were taken on days three and four through student self-report using the State Trait Anxiety Inventory and Visual Analog Scale.9
On evaluation, decreases in rating were noted for both values: mean anxiety rating down from 32.6 to 22.8 (20-80=range of possible responses), and average pain down from 2.73 to 1.83 (11-point scale). In her preliminary report, Miles states, "There was no significant difference in pain or anxiety reduction as a function of whether the reiki was self-administered or administered by another."10
"As part of the class, there are sessions in which we practice on ourselves and on each other. Actually, students start practicing informally in the first class session. In the second session, they learn a protocol which they practice in the class and at home."
During student training, Miles used absentee (distant) initiation rather than hands-on. While all subjects in the room had the same outer experience, only half received initiation (the remaining half were initiated at conclusion of the study). Therefore, during the treatment process only those subjects specifically initiated were actually administering reiki to themselves or others in the class.
Just as some individuals have a better sense in discerning color than others, Miles notes, some students sense energy vibration more easily than others. Whether a matter of comfort level or talent, with practice their confidence will grow, she says.
Given the challenges HIV/AIDS patients are facing, both the results and the high completion rate in this project are encouraging. "Across the board there's a high dropout rate in this population," Miles says. "People with HIV/AIDS are frequently not feeling well and have to overcome a lot of obstacles to take care of themselves." In addition to the cost-effectiveness of such an approach, reiki offers patients an empowering tool for self-help, both to support biomedical treatment and to ease disease-associated symptoms.11
Gleaning from Research
I think that in terms of science," Miles says, "the fact that we're seeing different research studies indicating that reiki may be helpful with pain and anxiety is encouraging. It may make some physicians and hospitals more comfortable in instituting a reiki program or to increase interest in research." She notes these results may also encourage lay people to consider reiki as an option in their healthcare, especially to learn first degree self-treatment.
While reiki research, with proper attention to fulfilling the scientific model, can certainly be adapted to the gold standard of RTCs, there is also value in continuing qualitative, observational studies. "Having more focus on what is the patient's experience certainly seems important," Miles says. "We can't study reiki directly, but we can certainly study the impact it has on people. More and more doctors are accepting that we cannot bring traditional knowledge into the conventional medical model without understanding the difference in paradigms and involving the practitioners of traditional healing practices in every aspect of the design and implementation of research studies. With low-risk practices such as reiki, it makes sense to focus on the way reiki improves quality of life rather than getting bogged down in inappropriate and clinically meaningless studies."
Overall, Miles points out, another important direction for research is a careful examination of the healing process itself. "There is so much for us to understand about what is generalizable. It appears that one major happening in all of these CAM approaches -- the nonscientific interventions -- is they give patients stress reduction. When you think of well-being as a state of dynamic balance and resilience, if people are so stressed their capacity to heal is maxed out, it sets the stage for disease.
"Maybe we don't need to show that each of these interventions has a positive effect on the immune system. If we know they are giving stress reduction and that enhances immunity, why do we have to prove all these different modalities individually? We need to focus on the commonalities and also develop greater understanding of the process of healing."
Shirley Vanderbilt is a staff writer for Massage & Bodywork magazine.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
by Michael Baird
Drumming, sound, music, harmony, experiencing feelings, stepping into the flow. . . this describes my life today, yet it didn’t before I regained the awareness of the healing sounds and rhythms of drumming.
Many of us were silenced in childhood, “children should be seen and not heard”. However, today we are remembering that sound is our participation in life’s symphony, music plays all around and within us.
Several years ago on a sunny spring day the seeds of freedom to be one with healing sound were planted within me. I quietly followed and watched as two 14 month old children explored their world. They laughed, gurgled, touched everything and even cried. I saw two people living in enthusiasm, experiencing their feelings, two people affecting and being affected by everything in their world. Most of all I heard, all their many sounds unsilenced, freely expressing their joy. I was the silenced and quiet observer, separated from the awareness of living by the restrictions of my long gone caregivers; restrictions that I still maintained. Standing there watching the joy and life of those two children, I saw my choices, remembered my enthusiasm and the joy of being in this world.
Years later I bought a drum for a friend’s birthday, which was several weeks away. For many days I walked past it and even picked it up a few times, yet never played it. Then one night while I was home by myself, I picked up that instrument and very slowly began to explore the sounds it and I could make. I released the expectations of what the sound should be, and abandoned fear of disapproval. I, like those children, just explored. I imagined that I was a child; a child feeling sound flowing from my interactions with the drum. Enthusiasm, joy and even sadness flowed from me through that beautiful drum. We sang, we danced and I cried tears of reunion with what I had silenced years before, and what I had stilled to be good in the eyes of others. That night I remembered . . .the joy of healing sound.
Since that time I have been inspired to incorporate Reiki and other energies with drumming. This combination has produced powerful vibrational frequencies and deep healings. At the end of this article I share a basic Reiki Drumming(TM) healing technique that is designed to work with a basic shaman’s drum.
Many things in your world can become a drum, a healing tool that emits a sound with each stroke of your hands. Imagine yourself as a young child discovering the world. Remember your enthusiasm as you touch and hear each responding sound. Remember your joy as you interact with the world around you. Hear the song, conducted by your heart, and feel the Reiki energy rise from the silence. Remember the child laughing and know this is you. Celebrate your presence with sound. Feel your heart beat with each stroke of the drum. Know you have rhythm . . . your very existence is a rhythm. Awaken to your presence and hear the song of everything around you.
The Basic Reiki Drumming(TM) Technique
Dialogue with your client to determine the issue they intend to heal. Ask them to focus on the issue and on their willingness to heal and release it. Ask them to confirm that they are willing to make any changes in their habits, behavior, or thought processes that may be necessary to complete this healing.
State their healing request in the prayer of sacred intention . . . give thanks that this healing is for the highest good, and that your personality and ego stand aside. This will help Reiki flow clearly and freely through you and your drum. Call on your guides, angels and the healing spirit of your drum.
Preparation of Self and Setting Sacred Space:
Draw all the Reiki symbols that you know over your drum, and with each symbol, channel the energy into the drum. Hold the intention that the essence of the symbols will flow out with the sound.
Draw or visualize a large Usui power symbol over your entire body, and also on each chakra starting at the base and moving toward the crown. Intend that your chakras are aligned, clear and open to the full power of the Reiki healing energy. Hold the intention that your light is being strengthened, and that any denser energies which are released during this session will be healed and not absorbed by your energy system.
Draw an Usui power symbol in all 7 directions, NSEW as well as the Sky, the Earth and the Center.
Preparation of Client:
With your drum mallet, or your hand draw a large Usui power symbol, (or Master chakra balancing symbol), over the client starting above the crown to the base. This is to align the client’s chakras, open them to the healing, and to invoke the recipient’s higher self’s assistance.
Draw any Reiki symbol(s) you are guided to use over your drum. Slowly scan the client’s body with the drum, and begin drumming over the area your drum is drawn to. Let Reiki and your drum guide you. Drum for 2-5 minutes 12-24 inches above the physical body, letting the drum glide over the client’s energy field.
Note: Drum higher above the person and softer from the heart chakra to the crown. This is to protect the client’s hearing and the subtle energies of the upper chakras.
Closing the Session
When you feel guided to stop, give a prayer of thanks for the healing, and draw an Usui power symbol over the client to seal the healing with love and light.
In my first article on the Reiki symbols, I wrote about the power and the mental emotional symbol and the many ways they could be used. Now I would like to write about my favorite Usui Reiki symbol—the distant healing, or absentee healing symbol. Although many find it a challenge to memorize or draw, once you are attuned to the symbol, it works even if drawn incorrectly, as long as you do your best. Your intent is 99% of the work.
One thing to remember is that you don’t have to draw the symbol when you use it. You can visualize it as a whole. Or just say its name 3 times. That invocation gets the energy flowing.
Another thing to remember is that the distant healing symbol is made from Japanese kanji characters: words from the Japanese language. This accounts for some of the different ways it is drawn. One of the beliefs is that when Mrs. Takata taught her original 22 masters, she varied the strokes as she drew them depending on the person’s individual vibration and what she was intuitively guided to do. Another reason for the variations in this symbol is that she did not allow the original 22 to take notes or to keep the paper that the symbols were drawn on. They had to memorize them. So perhaps over time, their “memory” of the symbols changed.
The strokes have a flow to them and can be broken into parts to help you memorize them.
The symbol I use has 22 strokes. I am a visual person and learn best by “seeing” images. I will try to describe how to separate the parts to make it easier to visualize and work with (If you would like a copy of the Reiki symbols Click Here)
Break the distant healing symbol up this way to learn its parts. Do strokes 1-5, 6-10 followed by 11 and 12, then 13-15, 16-18, then 19-22
Here are some visuals to help you picture it.
Strokes 1 through 5 - looks like a cross on the roof of a church.
Strokes 6 through 10 - 6 makes a foundation or floor and 7 slides down to the left (like skiing).
Strokes 8, 9, and 10 build a little house.
Stroke 11 is inside and is the handle or door opener.
Stroke 12 is the floor of the house.
Then you make an F.
Stroke 12 is the top of the F.
Stroke 13, 14, and 15 are parallel to 13 (and smaller)
Then a mustache: Stroke 16 to the left and 17 to the right.
Stroke 18 is the mouth underneath them.
A large fancy 7
A smile and 21 & 22—twinkling eyes of Reiki
See if this helps you visualize and memorize it better.
If you still have difficulty drawing this symbol, you might want to consider working with its essence—the building of a bridge to connect the Reiki energy to the person not physically present. What I like to do when I send Reiki to people or to situations, is to imagine the symbol laying down and acting like a golden, or rainbow colored bridge, that allows the Reiki to come in through me and travel across the symbol (the bridge) to the other person, place, or situation.
One time, when I was attending an ART class and we were meditating on the symbols, I saw the distant healing symbol laying down in front of me, and as I walked across it, I saw myself as a 7 year old, a 14 year old, a 21 year old, etc. As the meditation continued, I traveled back in time and brought that 7, 14, 21 etc. year old back with me to present time, to reclaim those aspects of myself, to heal issues around those ages, and to make myself whole. Needless to say, it was a very powerful meditation!!
The distant healing symbol can be translated to mean, “The Buddha in me reaches out to the Buddha in you to promote enlightenment and peace.” I have also seen it translated as “The Christ in me reaches out to the Christ in you to promote enlightenment and peace.”
Both speak to coming from the best part of ourselves (some say higher self) and connecting (through Reiki) to the best part (or higher self) of others.
The distant healing symbol is basically used to send Reiki at a distance. It bridges time and space. It can be used to send Reiki to the past, the present, or the future. The distant healing symbol can be used to send Reiki anywhere in the world!!
When we send Reiki to the past, we are not looking to change it. We cannot. Instead, we are looking to heal the damage, the emotions, or the pain that remains today. We are attempting to reframe the experience so that we can consider any difficult situation as part of our path and a learning experience. We send Reiki so that we can release the pain and move on with our lives. Reiki offers new choices and actions.
If you want to heal a past situation, you can get a picture that represents that time in your life (the people, the situation), draw the distant healing symbol over it, and beam Reiki to it. Or, you can hold the picture between your hands and send Reiki that way. You could also write the name of the person, or describe the situation, on a piece of paper, draw the distant healing symbol over it, and send Reiki by beaming or holding it between your hands. This can be done on a daily basis.
This can also be done with goals. Since a goal is usually something in the future, you can use the distant healing symbol to help you achieve your goal. What I have found is that if you send Reiki to your goal, you will find that you might just “be in the right place at the right time”, information may come to you easily, the right people that can help you appear, or achieving the goal is a lot easier than you thought.
To send Reiki to your goal, you can use an index card and just state your goal or write a description of it. Draw the distant healing symbol over it, and, like above, you can beam it Reiki or hold the index card between your hands and let the Reiki flow.
For people that are trying to eliminate unhealthy habits, this can help every time you get a craving. If you take out the index card, do Reiki, just the action breaks the chain and helps you to overcome the craving. Do this for at least 21 days. Some say that it takes 21 days to break a habit or develop a new one.
If, after awhile, you notice that achieving your goal seems to be blocked, it may just mean that there are more layers to heal before your goal can be achieved. Or, that your goal might not be in your best interest. Sometimes better things than we asked for are coming so we can’t limit ourselves to only one outcome. When working with goals I usually say, “this, or something better” and then I release it to Divine wisdom and Divine timing.
If you feel that you are blocked, you can draw or visualize, the distant healing symbol over yourself, and say…”I now send Reiki to the part of myself that needs to heal in order for me to achieve_________.” Give yourself Reiki, and be open and listen and watch for answers.
Reiki can be sent to future events. Remember that Reiki will not work to control people or situations: it works to bring about the best outcome for all concerned.
You can send Reiki ahead for doctor’s appointments, dentist’s appointments, surgery, interviews, important discussions, clients on their way to you, making a presentation, students in your class, the weather, workshops, traveling, tests, etc.…the list is endless.
Some people say that sending Reiki ahead is like call waiting: it is there waiting for you.
My favorite way of sending Reiki is when I travel. When I am sitting on the airplane, preparing for takeoff, I visualize the distant healing symbol laying down in front of the plane on the runway. It becomes a golden bridge. Reiki flows from the symbol in front of and under the plane, guiding its flight. Then I visualize the power symbol at the nose of the airplane, and imagine the spiral part of it coming down over the plane, including the wings, and tail, surrounding the entire plane creating a cocoon of safety (this can be done for travel by car as well.). I also send Reiki to the entire“trip” so that my luggage gets transferred correctly and arrives with me; I find the place I am going easily, etc.
When I travel to teach, I send Reiki to the entire workshop, all the people that are coming, the place where the class is held, etc. I have a flyer for all my classes so I just hold that in my hands and send Reiki. I also do this for any presentation that I do. When I am attending a lecture or workshop, I send Reiki to the teacher or lecturer. I visualize the distant healing symbol, and beam Reiki towards the person, as a way of saying thanks for the wisdom they are sharing.
When I send Reiki for surgery (for myself or anyone else) I visualize the operating room and see it filled with Reiki (like a white mist in the room.) I see the surgeon’s hand surrounded with Reiki so that he/she will operate with skill. I see the anesthesiologists, the nurses, and anyone else in the room, also surrounded by Reiki. Sometimes it looks like angels are all around the person.
You can generally write down the date, time, and event on and index card, and send Reiki that way. Or, you can visualize the situation, and see it surrounded in a Reiki cocoon of energy. There are no right or wrong ways to send Reiki. Have fun. Be creative.
People often ask me if you have to have the permission of the person to send Reiki. I usually do because the person has requested it. However, those who can’t ask (people in a coma, people in an ambulance), I usually just say a prayer asking for permission to send it. Usually I get a warm feeling that means its okay. Sometimes when a person comes into my awareness, it is my belief that they are in my consciousness for a reason. So I stop, say the prayer, and send Reiki. I ask that if they don’t want it or won’t accept it, that it goes somewhere that it is needed. I also send Reiki when I see reports of disasters on the news (I beam the TV), I pass an ambulance, or I see an accident on the road. I also send Reiki to mother earth to thank her and help her heal. I also send Reiki to Dr. Usui, Dr. Hayashi, and Mrs. Takata to thank them for bringing Reiki to us.
One important point about sending Reiki is that it cannot be used to change people or their behaviors. That is their choice and their decision. What Reiki is sent for is the best possible outcome. So what happens is not up to us. The wisdom of Reiki knows what is best for the person and acts accordingly.
There are many, many ways to send Reiki using the distant healing symbol. Enjoy the journey. Be creative. Have fun. Remember that Reiki is “…the secret art of inviting happiness…”
For several years I have been studying the power of the cycles of the moon. Of particular interest are the experiences shared with new moon meditation groups when we invoke Reiki to assist in meditations, for personal growth and world service.
Components of the Reiki new moon meditation
Sacred Intention ... The spoken or written word that describes goals for healing or visions for creation offered with love and for the highest good of all.
Prayer ... An act of giving thanks for sacred intentions that have been stated and offered to the Divine for manifestation. A statement of faith and knowingness that the intention is fulfilled as it can be for the highest good.
Reiki . . . Spiritually guided life force energy, which never causes harm. True Reiki is channeled without interference from the ego, nor controlled by the personality. Reiki is totally guided by the infinite wisdom of the Divine. Reiki links sacred intention, prayer, moon energies and the ascended spiritual masters together as one powerful force for manifestation in the highest form.
Soul Linking . . . the act of conscious, energetic soul connections which take place between willing individuals to fulfill a specific portion of the Divine plan.
The moon emanates distinctly different energies during the full cycle from new moon to full moon. Each of the eight cycles facilitates the process of creation and manifestation. The eight phases each have a duration of approximately 28 days. An example and definitition follow:
Day 1-31/2 New moon energy is for creating a vision
Day 31/2-6 Crescent moon energy if for organizing resources needed to accomplish the vision
Day 6-91/2First quarter moon is using resources gathered to take action toward fulfilling the vision
Day 10-131/2 Gibbous moon energy helps us fine tune our goals, gather opinions from others and make revisions to the plan.
Day 133/4-171/2 The light of the full moon brings about manifestation of, or progress toward our goals. We can see where we are in the process of realization of the plan.
Day 171/2-21 The disseminating moon helps us distribute and share what we have learned, or to have a clearer understanding of what to do next.
Day 21-241/2 In the third quarter of the moon we are in a completion and review phase, or following up on and refining the resources we gathered during the crescent moon. Re-evaluation takes place during this time to determine what is needed as a next step to move forward with the goal.
Day 241/2-282Under the balsamic moon it is time to be alone, meditate, retreat, and release attachment to outcome. It is time to rest and be introspective. During this time vision clears and we are ready to begin again with the next new moon.
Ascended Spiritual Beings
These can be well known Masters like Jesus, Buddha, Kwan Yin, Mother Mary, Maha Chohan, Hillarion, Lady Master Nada, etc. They can also be members of the angelic hierarchy, or highly evolved beings that we have yet to learn of.
In working with these aspects with the Reiki New Moon Meditation we can focus on intentions such as personal goals for our work, family, relationships, health, finances, home, or any of the aspects of our earthly existence. We can intend to stay focused on our spiritual path, or ask for assistance in understanding or transmuting our karma.
We can also focus on world issues, like ample organic food for the world, peace among nations, humanity living in harmony with the earth, nurturing home environments for everyone, healthy relationships, a world where diversity is embraced as a strength, etc. Notice that we are not focusing on hunger, homelessness, war, etc. We are focusing on what we are creating, not on what we want to change, or are afraid of. The sacred intention is powerful when the vision is created in the highest form that you can imagine, but left up for manifestation by the Divine in the most perfect way.
Steps in the Reiki New Moon Meditation
1. Pray by giving thanks that you are clear and open channel for Reiki to flow through and that your personality and ego stand aside, so the Reiki will flow in its clearest and truest form. Give thanks that you are open to receive the guidance of angels and masters who have come forth to assist you.
2. Prepare you energy field by strengthening your light. To do this draw a large Usui power symbol in front of you and move the energy into you etheric field. Draw small power symbols over each of your charkas beginning at the base. Pause and beam Reiki into your energy field and toward your solar plexus and heart.
3. Call on the Divine, and the ascended spiritual masters and beings. Welcome them, and give thanks for their presence. Give them permission to assist you in creating your sacred intention, and helping you manifestation your visions.
4. Invoke the Usui mental/emotional symbol. Write down your sacred intention for this meditation. Include your personal goals, and also your intention for world service. It can also be helpful to draw something that represents your vision. A new moon journal is very helpful. Channel the mental/emotional Reiki energies into your written intention, and state your intention.
5. Invoke the Usui distant healing symbol imagining that you are creating a bridge of light from your heart to the hearts of all the spiritual beings who are assisting you, and all the other people who are joining in this group meditation around the world. Allow yourself to feel each soul linking with yours, and to feel the illusion of separation melt away, and you recognize the Oneness of all creation. Remember that Reiki transcends time and space. (note: if you are attuned to the Reiki Master or Karuna Reiki® symbols you can add them to the meditation)
6. Meditate and transmit Reiki for as long as you feel comfortable.
7. Give a prayer of thanks.
8. Draw a large power symbol over your body with the intention of disconnecting from the meditative process, and knowing that each person is disconnecting also and returning to their individual life expressions with clarity and aligned with their soul purpose.
The first few times you do this you may wish to refer to the above notes about the various aspects of the moon cycles to see where you are in the process. It is intriguing how often we find ourselves in full momentum and taking action on our goals and we check in with the moon cycle to find that we are in the first quarter phase; or we may realize that we are feeling withdrawn and introspective and then become aware that we are under the influence of the balsamic moon.
If you would like to join in a worldwide Reiki New Moon Meditation, please join with us. We meditate monthly on the second day of the new moon phase, as the new moon energies are growing in strength. I personally meditate at 6 a.m. mountain time, but I also time-capsule the meditation to link with all others who are participating anytime during that day. At each new moon I hold a vision of a world at peace, where humanity honors the earth and every person is living life as their higher self in every moment. Please join me to uphold this vision and allow the energy to empower your personal goals and world vision as well.In the Light of the Creator . . . We See Only Love
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
by Frank Arjava Petter (1999)
Three years ago, before the publication of my first book, a fellow Reiki teacher and author, Walter Lübeck predicted that “Reiki Fire” would have a powerful effect on the Reiki community. He felt at first it would create controversy but within a few years would help to bring the international Reiki community closer together. This was one of my reasons for writing the book in the first place, to bring Reiki people from all lineages and organizations into greater harmony. After all we do work with the same energy.
I did not believe that my Reiki research in Japan would be difficult for Reiki practitioners to accept. I had thought that every Reiki lover on Earth was just as thrilled about our findings as we were. Finally we had some tangible and provable facts on Dr. Usui instead of the old fairy tales. But Walter was right in both instances. Some people found these new ideas difficult to accept at first, but now that people have had time to think about them, the value of factual information about Dr. Usui and the history of Reiki is being more widely accepted and appreciated. This new information, based on written records and interviews with members of the Japanese Reiki community has given Western Reiki a solid historical foundation and as a result, is helping bring greater harmony to the global Reiki community.
Also, during this time the international Reiki movement experienced a wake-up call when one individual attempted to trademark the Reiki names worldwide and use legal power to define Reiki for everyone and control how it is used. Those of us who did not agree to this preposterous idea were motivated to join together to prevent it and in so doing, got to know each other better. Now that the trademark attempt has failed, we can start over fresh, working together to create a strong international Reiki community based on harmony and cooperation.
We live in interesting times for the Reiki community and now find ourselves at an important turning point. It is now possible for us to grow into a place of loving acceptance of each other, develop a deeper understanding of our roots and create a stronger connection to the Reiki energy.
In the past several years, more information on Dr. Usui, his life and work in Japan has come to light and new facts and information continue to bubble up every day. Many of us in the West had been told that Reiki was an “oral tradition” and that nothing was to be placed in writing. I do not understand how this idea could have gotten started because it is now known that Dr. Usui had a handbook he gave to all his students. It contained crystal clear instructions as to how and when to use Reiki. In addition, every president of the Reiki organization started by Dr. Usui, the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, also created handbooks they passed out to their students. Out of these handbooks, and additional information given to us by Mr. F. Ogawa, whose father, K. Ogawa was a close friend and associate of Dr. Usui and the leader of the Shizuoka branch of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai in Shizuoka, we learned an array of wonderful Japanese Reiki techniques that have so far been unknown in the Western world.
By Philip Chan, M.D.
During my second degree Reiki training, my first Reiki master explained that Reiki could be sent back in time. I was naturally skeptical.
I tested the concept for the first time with a friend in a two-story apartment. We synchronized watches, and I told her I would send Reiki to her from another room for 10 minutes, beginning sometime between 8:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. When she felt the Reiki, she would look at her watch and note the time.
At 8:30 she lay down comfortably on a sofa and I was sitting quietly in a chair at the other end of the same room. At 8:45 I walked upstairs. At 9:00 I began to send distant Reiki back in time with the intention of my friend's receiving it at 8:40. After ten minutes, I discontinued sending distant Reiki, walked downstairs, and inquired what she had experienced.
She reported that after first feeling some faint sensations, she had been confident that she was receiving the Reiki at 8:42, the time which she noted from her watch and which she had recorded on a piece of paper. An intriguing detail was that I had been downstairs until 8:45.
The second experiment was conducted with a patient who experienced distant and beaming Reiki as a profound and pleasant heaviness in her head and chest. She agreed to participate in an informal test and I instructed her that I would send distant Reiki for her to receive at either 9:00, 10:00, or 11:00 a.m. the next morning. She was to lie quietly in her hospital bed at all three times, paying attention to body sensations.
Two days later, she reported that she had forgotten to lie in her bed at 09:00 on the appointed morning. As planned, she was lying quietly beginning shortly before 10:00, felt the unmistakable heaviness in her head and chest associated with her receiving Reiki, and fell into a deep sleep until 11:40 a.m. I had sent Reiki backward in time with the intention of its arriving at 10:00 a.m., but I had not started until 12:30 p.m. (two and a half hours later).
These observations give credence to theories that time as we think we know it is an illusion and that Reiki transcends the boundaries of time.
Philip Chan, M.D., Teaching Reiki Master, Columbus, GA Family Communication
When I took Reiki I and II in the spring of 1998 I did not anticipate the changes that have occurred in my life and work. I wanted to learn self-healing techniques to heal some personal issues but I never dreamed Reiki would become such an integral part of my work as a watercolor artist. Reiki self-healing indeed helped me heal and totally changed the direction of my art career. After learning Reiki I was directed to use the energy with the painting process. Now I approach a painting session as a healing session.
Subsequent to painting I activate my hands with the Reiki I and II symbols and ask Reiki to flow freely into the painting, filling it with healing love and light. I ask for inspiration from my angels and guides. I state my intention to co-create an image that needs to be birthed into the Third Dimension at this time. At this point I will spend a few minutes in quiet meditation visualizing myself as an empty vessel being filled and expanded with the creative, white light energy of the universe. I see that white light infusing the art supplies and my entire studio. I acknowledge that the healing love and light will continue so when people view the art they can feel the energy or see it with their third eye. I give thanks and ask for a special blessing to attract the person that needs this healing by invoking the distant healing symbol.
As I started using Reiki in the creative process a dramatic shift occurred in my commission work. I started getting stories, messages and visual soul readings for the people who had commissioned the work. I did not consider myself psychic and was not sure what to do with this information. I decided to just pass it on with the art and see what happened. Much to my delight the recipients were thrilled with the information and the visual representations of their soul essence.
In the spring of 1999 an individual was referred to me that asked me to do a soul essence painting for a friend's birthday. I had never met the recipient but agreed to meditate on her and asked the guides to help me create a painting of her soul essence. The image that came was of a white Lilly on a field of cobalt and turquoise. When I presented them with the image and story they said it was a perfect match and could not believe I had never met the recipient. At that point it seemed clear that Reiki self-healing was awakening my intuitive and psychic side.
The artist Piet Mondrian has said 'The artist is humble. He is essentially a channel.' Reiki combined with pure intent enables me to channel spiritual energy, the most powerful and creative energy in the universe. The art becomes a visual bridge, or representation, of one's soul essence. Symbolically it connects us with our light bodies. The art creates a personal healing that is brought into the physical self through the third eye and optic nerve. I have seen this healing increase personal joy, faith and trust.
Now it is clear to me why I was led to Reiki. The ability to integrate Reiki into every facet of our lives, including our work, compounds the healing and transformation that is taking place in ourselves and our planet. Through art I have learned to look for every opportunity to incorporate Reiki into my everyday life and urge you to do the same. Together, we are touching many lives and impacting the future of our beloved planet.
Tara Moorman is a Reiki Master and owner of Healing Images, an art and publishing company in Cedar Rapids, IA. You can learn more about her work or contact her at her web site,