I am excited to announce I have added a new healing modality to the services I offer – Arcturian Healing. I have studied Levels 1 and 2 of the Arcturian Healing Method with Gene Ang, Ph.D. Gene Ang is a truly gifted teacher and healer who is based out of California and travels around the world giving workshops and sharing wisdom.
I first came across Gene a couple of years ago in Vancouver when he gave a short talk where he demonstrated spoon bending, talked a bit about his transition from the world of science to the world of healing, about Arcturian healing, and gave a powerful guided meditation. Gene holds Ph.D. and post-doctorate degrees in neurobiology from Yale University. He now uses that same scientific rigour to study spiritual wisdom traditions and in his work as a healer. Gene has travelled the world and studied various healing modalities including Pranic Healing, Reconnective healing, the Reconnection, Shamanic Healing Practices, and Vortex Healing. After that workshop, I remotely joined in on a couple of evening workshops Gene conducted in the US. I kept in touch with Gene and every once in a while would ask when he was coming back to Vancouver (hoping I could study Level 1 with him). Last year he asked me if I’d be interested in helping organize a workshop on his behalf and I was finally able to study Arcturian healing with him.
Arcturian healing is a quantum-based healing approach. It is energy that is channeled through me. Techniques that can be used in Arcturian Healing sessions include:
Arcturian Healing Light Treatment – this can be sent with or without a specific intention. This is often combined with other Arcturian healing techniques including symbol and spin techniques.
Specific healing treatments focused on physical body including:
Nervous System: Arcturian Neural Net technique is used for issues with brain and nervous system function including degenerative conditions (Parkinson’s, MS)
Endocrine System: Arcturian Endocrine Activation technique is used for issues with adrenals (e.g., stress), pineal gland (e.g., sleep disorders), ovaries/testes, parathyroid, thyroid, and pituitary gland (e.g., menstrual issues)
Cellular Systems: Arcturian Repatterning of Cells technique is used for any type of cell-based disease, injury, or issue with cells and structures of physical body. This treatment can be focused on specific cell types as well.
Arcturian Blueprint Activation Treatment – focused on clearing any limiting beliefs adopted that are obstacles and then opening you to divine will. This treatment requires a total treatment time 240 min of treatment (split into multiple sessions). Can also be used for emotional and psychological healing.
I can tailor an in-person treatment to your needs and if you like combine it with other treatments I offer (e.g., Reiki treatment or Angel Life Coaching). I also perform distance treatments like I do for Reiki if you can’t make it to my office or want to send healing energy to friends and family in a different location.
I will share that my experiences working with this energy have indicated that Arcturian energies are more celestially-based than those used in Unified Reiki, which is more earth-based energy. I find when I run this healing energy it moves in many directions in a more complex pattern than the Reiki energy. In comparison to Reiki where information comes through all my senses, Arcturian energy offers dense clairvoyant information to aid in healing. This makes for a powerful session when combined with Angel Life Coaching. When it is flowing it also appears to be linked to the element of water.
If you’d like to give this new healing modality a try the next time you come for a session let me know.
If you are interested in studying this healing method, I also organize workshops for Gene when he comes to Vancouver.
I was inspired to write this post based on a Reiki share I hosted recently. Before we started the share the idea was to discuss the spiritual practice of using mantras and practice chanting some Buddhist mantras.
Mantra by definition means a sacred utterance, sound, syllable, word or group of words believed to have psychological and/or spiritual power. The power of the mantra comes from us saying it out loud or in our mind, reading it, or just having it present in our thoughts throughout the day. Mantras are most often in Sanskrit but can be in other languages or may even be in our native tongues in the form of an affirmation we repeat.
Purpose of Mantra Recitation
Adding mantra recitation to your daily spiritual practices is a lovely way to connect to spirit and feel that calmness and support that comes from letting go of the mind and just being. Repeating a mantra allows you to enter that state where it is your sole focus and you can see what comes for you on a sensory level. You can repeat a mantra in silence but I personally prefer listening to recorded mantras. I liken this to an doing a spiritual exercise video, it allows you to just follow and go with the flow and you don’t have to pay attention to the number of times you repeat the mantra, or develop flow, you just repeat with the person or people reciting the mantra in the recording and be really present in the moment.
There is great power in repeating a mantra. I personally find great power in repeating it aloud as opposed to saying it in your mind (but we aren’t always in the setting that allows us to do this). There is some sacred power of letting these sacred words roll of your tongue when reciting a Sanskrit mantra. Letting these ancient sounds come out of your throat and activating your throat chakra. I recommend trying to get to the point where the mantra feels like it is coming out of your heart chakra rather than your mouth. You can try moving it so it is coming out of your throat and then further through your heart chakra.
Now the first time you listen to some mantras you may be astonished at how quickly the mantras are recited and feel like you will not be able to repeat them as quickly. The third recording I provide below is an example (Nam Myoho Renge Ko). You have to do a bit of practice to master these mantras. First, you would write down the mantra and practice repeating it very slowly. Then you would try and listen to the recording and get your tongue used to saying it quickly, not judging your performance; if you lose your pace, start over the next time the mantra starts. Over time you will be able to say the mantra more quickly and experience the magic of getting lost in a mantra. You will come to appreciate how these faster or more complicated mantras that take time to memorize or master really take you out of your mind and bring you to the present.
Having mantras playing in your space is also very relaxing and healing. I often have mantras playing in my treatment room when giving Reiki treatments. It can be especially powerful if you repeat the mantra silently while working on your clients.
In Buddhist and Hindu traditions dating to 10th C mala beads are used to empower repetition of mantras as a physical way to make a connection with the mantra. On a practical level the mala beads allow you to count your mantra repetitions. Malas aren’t necessary for mantra recitation but it may add to your practice if you use them. A traditional mala bead necklace, which is comparable to a rosary or other prayer beads, has 108 beads plus one extra bead often comprised of different material or being unique in some way. This unique bead is known as the Guru bead. The mala bead necklaces are made with 108 beads because spiritual this is a sacred number. For Reiki practitioners it represents the number of energy centers in the body, but there are many other representations of the significance of this number in spiritual wisdom traditions. So you start at top of mala and with each bead you touch and turn the mantra is repeated until you reach the last bead, known as a guru bead, which represents your connection to the divine. Ram Dass has the following to say about using malas (https://www.ramdass.org/use-mala/):
“Doing a mantra doesn’t require using a mala; the mala is just there to add another dimension to the practice. Besides speaking the mantra, and hearing the mantra as you speak it, the process becomes tactile as well. If you want a psychological analysis of the use of a mala, you could say that it is a “kinesthetic cue device.” Without it, you could be doing the mantra and get lost in doing it mechanically. But if you suddenly feel the bead between your fingers, it wakes you up again. Bead by bead – it’s like the steps of a ladder, walking you straight into the Brahman.”
Mantras to Try
Now what type of mantra is right for you? If you belong to a particular religion or are drawn to a particular religion or deity that is a great place to start. I highly recommend the 21-day Mantra Meditation Journey put together by Deva Premal and Miten on the Mentors Channel. They did two series like this and each day for 21 days you would listen to a new mantra. At the beginning of the recording, you learn something about the mantra. Perhaps you learn about the meaning of the words used or the use of the mantra itself or a story behind Deva’s and Miten’s experience singing the mantra in a sacred place. It exposes you to different styles of mantras and educates you on some of the sacred words and use of mantras. I loved this series and hope they repeat it (when it was originally run it was free). It is currently available for sale on their website (http://store.devapremalmiten.com/) ($43 USD) or on Mentor’s channel site (http://www.mentorschannel.com/DevaPremal/21-DayMantraMeditationJourneyII/Online/) (if you choose the live streaming option it’s 28 USD!).
Below I have provided some of the Buddhist meditations I like which are available for free on YouTube.
Compassion: Om Mani Padme Hum by Deva Premal and the Gyuto Monks (from Deva Premal and Gyoto Monks recording Tibetan Mantras for Turbulent Times )
One of the most popular or well known Buddhist mantras
Om – a sacred syllable described as the “sound of the Universe”. There is something transformational about a full prolonged humming of this syllable and letting it reverberate through your body.
Mani – jewel
Padme – lotus flower (a sacred flower in Buddhism as the lotus flower)
Hum – the spirit of enlightenment (pronounced hung)
The Sankrit symbols Om and Hum are actually used in Unified Reiki attunements. It is track 2 on this recording.
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
The purpose of chanting this Nichiren Buddhist mantra is to attain perfect and complete awakening. I have pasted in a 6 minute version below. You can look for videos as long or short in duration as you like. See my notes above on getting the hang of repeating a quick mantra like this one.
Nam (or Namu) – devotion to
Myoho = supreme law of Buddha
Ren = lotus
Ge = flower
Kyo = sutra
Healing: Teyata Om Bekanze Bekanze Mahabekanze Bekanze Radza Samutgate Soha
Invokes the Medicine Buddha. You can picture the Medicine Buddha in the room with you and connect with him. I picked up a card with the Medicine Buddha at a Buddhist meditation class ten years ago. At that point I was still practicing as a scientist. Little did I know then how big a part of my life healing would be and what an impact chanting this mantra would have. I found when doing the Deva and Miten meditation series a couple of years ago that when I was midway through chanting this mantra I channeled a monk and my voice transformed to that like the monks on this recording. It is track 8 on the YouTube recording provided above. Very powerful healing chant.
Some of my other personal favorites are posted below. Happy Chanting!
Krishna mantra (another one of my favorite Deva and Miten recordings):
Update: Gene Ang will be returning in late January and late July of 2016 to offer more advanced Arcturian Healing classes as well as the classes detailed below. He will also be giving introductory and advanced talks at a couple of metaphysical bookstores and offering private healing sessions.
I am delighted to announce two upcoming workshops that I am organizing that will take place in mid-October of this year. The workshops will be given by Dr. Gene Ang, who has a Ph.D. in neurobiology, and include an evening workshop on Quantum Spoon Bending and a 2-day workshop on the first level of Arcturian Healing. Gene Ang is a truly gifted teacher and healer who is based out of California and travels around the world giving workshops and sharing wisdom.
I first came across Gene a couple of years ago in Vancouver when he gave a short talk where he demonstrated spoon bending, talked a bit about his transition from the world of science to the world of healing, about Arcturian healing, and gave a powerful guided meditation. Gene holds Ph.D. and post-doctorate degrees in neurobiology from Yale University. He now uses that same scientific rigour to study spiritual wisdom traditions and in his work as a healer.I remember him showing a video during his talk filmed in an all white room at a healing facility in the US using an infrared camera. The camera showed energy moving around, in and out of Gene while he performed a healing session. As someone who had made a similar transition from science to healing, I thought it was amazing he was using his scientific background/skills to help validate what he was experiencing on a spiritual and sensory level as a healer.
I have since remotely joined in on a couple of evening workshops Gene has conducted in the US. Gene has travelled the world and studied various healing modalities including Pranic Healing, Reconnective healing, the Reconnection, Shamanic Healing Practices, and Vortex Healing; I love that during his talks he shares little bits of wisdom from the modalities he has studied including stand-alone techniques that you can use afterwards. I kept in touch with Gene and every once in a while would ask when he was coming back to Vancouver (hoping I could study Level 1 with him). He recently asked me if I’d be interested in helping organize a workshop on his behalf and I jumped at the chance! On Gene’s website (http://www.geneang.com/www.geneang.com/Presence_Healing.html) he’s described as:
“Gene does not see himself as the healer but simply as part of the interconnectedness that occurs when facilitator, client, and Source/Love/God interact to bring healing forth. He sees his teaching engagements and seminars as an extension of this interaction that occurs on multiple dimensions to bring wholeness and understanding to all involved.”
I think that accurately captures how Gene brings a higher wisdom combined with zero ego, scientific objectivity, and a pure childlike enthusiasm and joy into his workshops. There’s a lightness in the workshops that I just love.
Here is an overview of the workshops Gene will be giving in October. I have taken the online spoon bending workshop and found it really surprising which techniques did and didn’t work for me (I had assumed certain ones would work and they didn’t and vice-versa). The spoon bending workshop is a recommended pre-requisite for the Level 1 workshop (given you’ll learn some energy-related techniques).
1) Quantum Spoon Bending: a Model for Healing and Transformation (October 16th, 6:30 to 9:30 pm, Cost $55 USD)
Gene uses spoons and forks to demonstrate new quantum healing techniques, which clearly prove the ability of those techniques to alter physical reality. To get an idea of how difficult it is to bend a fork, you can get any ordinary fork and attempt to bend the tines. Even the strongest person will have difficulty bending most tines on forks. Using these techniques, the metal becomes easily bent by anyone particularly children.
So why hold a spoon bending class? It is not about bending spoons and forks. The change in material reality as demonstrated by the bent forks is a model for change. The mechanisms tested are energy and quantum mechanics techniques. Because the worldview of energy and quantum mechanics is relatively new to modern life, it is sometimes difficult to demonstrate to people this reality; however, when people directly change their reality when they bend spoons and forks, their minds have direct physical proof that something changed in physical reality. Not only do they have direct proof; but, the proof happens to be what is considered one of the most “solid” aspects of physical reality. However, not only are the results cool but these same principles can be used for major shifts in healing and change. Some healers have been shown to mend broken bones instantaneously. Now people can get a direct experience as to how this might be possible and also how they can perform miracles in their daily life too. The principles demonstrated in this class access the same field of information as these miraculous healers.
This technique plus at least nine more will be taught in the all new class called Quantum Spoon Bending. The class will include the following techniques:
Accessing the Field
Torus of the Heart
Embedding Intention (ie. Talisman Making); and,
The original technique – Accessing the Ligh
It is a “quantum” shift above the original class called the “Alchemy of Spoon Bending” which still contains important concepts in energy medicine. The original technique taught in the Alchemy class will be shown in the new class, plus the wonderful concepts of quantum mechanics as applied to healing and transformation. Each technique will be taught so that participants will have time to use the technique to bend the utensils. Then ample time will be given to show how each technique can be used in self-transformation and healing and to demonstrate the larger implications of each quantum concept.
2) Acturian Healing Level 1 (October 17th and 18th, 9 am to 5 pm, Cost $350 USD)
This divine healing method is a set of new healing tools and cosmic energies inspired by higher beings from the star system Arcturus. It is Divinely guided through the form of the Arcturians. In this training you will be attuned to the Arcturian Healing Light (AHL). This is a form of light, energy, and information meant to accelerate a person’s evolution. In particular, the attunement will place an energetic Arcturian Golden Star and Purple Sphere in each participant’s heart center that will allow them to transmit the AHL for others.
Some of the issues the AHL can address are:
life path alignment,
life functioning upgrade,
mental healing, and;
In this training, you will both give and receive a full Arcturian Healing Light treatment. In addition, the training will go over the Arcturian 10 Healing Principles meant to augment the AHL in a formal session or to be used as techniques in their own right. Some of the possibilities that these principles can do for you and others are: learn to shift a condition’s dimension to a more optimal one; download past and future lives’ information for health and healing in clients; create a spin torsion field to manifest or de-manifest conditions; learn to change a conditions timeline to a more beneficial one; apply Arcturian Symbols for health and healing; learn to create information transfers with healing images and symbols; be given a specific Arcturian symbol for healing and meditation; be given a specific symbol to allow one to journey trans-dimensionally in consciousness through Arcturian stargates; learn to work with specific Arcturian Healing Guides; learn to create healthy energetic boundaries.
These workshops will be held at John Braithwaite Community Centre, which is located in North Vancouver, conveniently close to the SeaBus terminal at the Lonsdale Quay. If you are interested in registering, please contact me at email@example.com. You can pay for workshops in advance via PayPal (you will be invoiced by Gene for the workshops directly).
I host a Reiki share once a month for my students so thought I’d write a post on what happens at these shares for students of mine who haven’t attended a share with me before of for anyone thinking of studying Reiki with me.
You can attend Reiki shares throughout the Lower Mainland. The Canadian Reiki Association (CRA) provides a list of shares that take place across Canada on their website (http://www.reiki.ca/exchanges.htm). There may be non-CRA shares in your community; attending a CRA share means there will be a Reiki Master present. Attending a Reiki share gives you an opportunity to both give and receive a Reiki treatment regardless of whether you have experienced or studied Reiki before. If you are just looking to experience or learn more about Reiki this is a great way to try it. The cost of the shares is usually quite low compared to getting a treatment from a certified practitioner. If you are attending a CRA share, a Reiki Master may perform an empowerment attunement to help open you to the Reiki energy.
For my students, I host this exclusive share so they have an opportunity to practice the Unified Reiki they learned in class with me and to share their healing energy. I don’t charge my students for my share but do provide a list of charities they can make a small donation to if they’d like to share their gratitude. This share gives my students an opportunity to practice their new skills, regardless of which level of Reiki they have, connect with other like-minded individuals, find out how their energy is received or how they receive and sense energy from different people, and gain practicum hours for their Canadian Reiki Association certification as a practitioner. This also provides a safe, positive, and non-judgmental environment for students to share what they sense and experience when they give and receive Reiki energy and learn more about gifts they may have.
The share has a minimum of 3 and maximum of 6 participants. Each person receives a treatment during the share and will give treatments to 2 to 5 people (depending on the number of participants). Each person gets a chance to play a different role during the share. For example, they may be leading a treatment during the share, which includes providing the invocation for the session, leading the session, and then closing the session; or perhaps, they may be the timer for the session keeping track of time and letting participants know when it’s time to change hand positions.
The monthly share I host is 2 hours long. The first half hour of the share consists of a short round of introductions or if everyone has attended the share before catching up a bit with each other. Then we listen to a guided meditation. My current favorite for the shares is a Doreen Virtue cleansing meditation, where everyone is cleared and energized before they start the share. There are specially themed shares throughout the year. For example, during an equinox, we may do a different meditation or activity. Then for the remaining 1.5 hours everyone takes turns at both giving and receiving Reiki energy.
What people experience at the share will vary with the group of people present and what issues they bring to the session. Typically, as people go up in Levels of Reiki, continue their self-treatments, and continue to raise their frequency and open to the energy, they find what they experience at the share changes over time.
You can attend the share regardless of whether you are studying with me on an ongoing basis or if you stop at Level One. You sign up for attending the share; however, if maximum attendance is reached, the people who are actively trying to complete their practicum with the CRA are given priority for spots in the share. It truly is a lovely and special evening each and every time. If you have any questions about the shares or studying with me, feel free to contact me.
I just finished the six-week online course on forgiveness given by Iyanla Vanzant and hosted by the Oprah.com website. She is one of the amazing life coaches/spiritual gurus Oprah Winfrey has introduced to a wider audience through her old network TV show and more recently through the OWN network. I have completed my own work on the topic of forgiveness and developed my own forgiveness practice, and have used what I’ve learned to help clients struggling with this same issue. I have a couple of forgiveness meditations I play during life-coaching and/or Reiki healing sessions to help open clients to this topic and to open this door to healing. One of the meditations goes through a series of visualizations and towards the end of the meditation, calls for you to breathe out forgiveness. I was surprised to notice with a number of clients that as soon as they were asked to do this – breathe out forgiveness – they stopped breathing. That their body, mind and spirit locked down their breathing…like they were saying “forgive you, no way, I’m not breathing out forgiveness, forget that, I am holding on with all my might “. When I asked these people after the session was complete whether they were aware they stopped breathing when they were asked to breathe out forgiveness, each and every person was not aware they had stopped breathing. It’s an amazing testament to how tightly and closely we hold our hurts, our stories about what has happened to us in our life, and unforgiveness inside of us. When I saw the opportunity to learn more on this topic through a six-week online course with Iyanla I jumped at the chance, thinking it would be beneficial to use with my clients who really struggle with letting go of their hurts and opening to forgiveness.
My understanding of forgiveness has evolved over time. I can remember reading the Dalai Lama’s book the Wisdom of Forgiveness many years ago and struggling to understand how Tibetan monks could feel compassion and forgiveness for the military personal who harmed them and their fellow monks. I wondered how you get to that place. I later realized that forgiveness had absolutely nothing to do with the people who hurt you – it was all about you. It was not about blaming or being vindicated but about acknowledging, releasing and finding your peace independent of anyone else. As I developed my own forgiveness practice and discovered a healed and neutral state of mind with old hurts, I also came to understand that you really had to be ready to surrender and be tired or sick enough of your story in order to be ready to forgive. That you had to get to that point where you really were so very tired of reliving the past, the hurts, the pain, going back there again and again, and defining yourself by your past and story, and that you were truly willing to surrender and change. Forgiveness work ventures into some uncomfortable territory dealing with an unearthing old feelings, memories, and triggers your ego, so in order to be willing to go there and be in that space you have to be sufficiently motivated by your goal of healing and learning to see your life through different eyes.
With my healing practice, I encounter people who cling strongly to their stories of what happened to them, defining themselves by their wounds and their past, instead of who they currently are. It’s our ego’s way of trying to protect us from similar hurts and taking us out of the present moment and getting us to believe that our past is more important than where we are right now. Of course what is interesting is how despite the seemingly protective nature of this mechanism, we end up repeating the pattern of our hurts over and over again when we hold onto unforgiveness, attracting the same hurts or types of people into our lives, allowing the same unhealthy behaviors into our life, and reliving and re-experiencing the same emotional hurts again and again.
So I embarked on this course believing that this work would be of benefit to me as a healer and life coach when working with my clients. I am a pretty self-aware person and have done quite a bit of forgiveness work and wasn’t at Stage One but of course found I had more uncovering and releasing to do to let some old wounds heal. As someone who has completed previous work and guided clients on this topic, I thought I would share my perspectives on forgiveness after completing this course. I would also like to share some of my favorite messages from this course that may inspire you, a reader looking for more on this topic, or one of my clients who is starting to work on or just struggling with the task of forgiveness.
My Viewpoints on Forgiveness
I have always loved Oprah Winfrey’s definition of forgiveness:
“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.”
That I believe is at the heart of forgiveness. Letting go of the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual anguish and torture of thinking about why did this happen, how could this have happened to me, how would my life have turned out differently if this didn’t happen to me, how could have I prevented this, or why didn’t anyone help me, and so on..”. Those thoughts just deepen the pain we experience.
In the forgiveness course, Iyanla shared the Byron Katie principle that “to deny reality, is to create suffering”. Byron Katie’s book “Loving What Is” helps guide the reader, by sharing many examples we can relate to of how when we project our beliefs and ideas of how people and the world should work or how we were wronged or treated unfairly, we create suffering for ourselves. Instead we can choose to love what is and understand that other people have different values and different ways of viewing situations and the world than we do. What unnecessary struggle and pain we create when we deny who people or situations really are or were . This concept also ties into Oprah’s definition of forgiveness, that to not accept what happened or wish it would have happened differently, just creates suffering….for you. Not for the person or people who hurt you, but for you.
Now forgiveness work is not for the faint of heart. The C.S. Lewis quote above is so true. To do this work you need to be brutally honest with yourself and not deny the reality of what happened in your life, your role in things, your beliefs, judgments, and decisions that led you down your path. If we are just starting this work we may be in denial of what we experienced not wanting to label people in our life as “bad”. Often, we have a strong tendency to grasp tightly onto our hurts and upsets in our life, filled with a fear of letting go of them and also with a fear of facing them head on. We think that if we let go of our upsets that it will lessen or invalidate what we experienced; or, we think that if we are giving in and giving up our feelings and beliefs of being wronged, that we are somehow condoning what a person or people did to us. There is also an internal struggle with our ego – a perceived risk that we will have no idea who we are anymore if we let go of our hurts and upsets because we (our ego) defines ourselves so strongly by them . Why is it that we think by holding onto and defining ourselves by our hurts, waving it like a flag proudly, that it affects or has any impact on the people who hurt us? After they hurt us, they moved on, while we go on to continue with suffering from what happened and re-experience the hurt. We seek outside validation, sharing our story, feeding off of reactions and validation that what happened to us was horrible, gaining sympathy, or resonance. But what if instead you just released your story, took the lessons from it and saw how they molded you into the person you are today, this strong, resilient person (even if you don’t see that) who survived their past, and started living in the present as the you of today – not who you were yesterday. How exciting and freeing that would be to start to embrace life from a point of excitement of not knowing what was around the corner and being delighted rather than scared of that – trusting the Universe has positive things in store for you. What about just starting a new narrative of who you are now and throwing away that old story? Letting go of the negative emotions and energy that weigh you down and starting to feel the positive energy of life and emotions you’ve forgotten. Starting to see yourself in a loving and forgiving light instead of beating yourself up for your self-imposed shortcomings, limitations, or flaws or things you could have done differently.
Forgiveness is clearly not about saying whatever happened to you was okay, acceptable, or right. People experience some horrific things in their life. It’s not about saying that you are alright with the people who hurt or wronged you. It’s about freeing yourself from old beliefs and judgments so you can start to let your wounds heal instead of keeping them open, and reopening them again and again, and experiencing those negative emotions again and again. It’s about seeing you can change by embarking on a healing journey of forgiveness and truly let your past be the past and seeing yourself and others in a new loving light. Starting to unclasp your hands from your story and open to just being present and just being you.
The process of forgiveness followed by Iyanla’s course allows the participant to review the upsets in their life and emotions with them, to forgive others and themselves for their part in the upsets, their judgements, beliefs, and to liberate themselves from their stories. It has a strong spiritual basis, which I love, including content from the Course of Miracles, and connecting with Spirit, shifting your energy, and trusting the Universe and your guides on your healing path. Much thought and effort went into the course content, format, videos and supporting materials provided in the online course. They definitely had some top-notch people working on the content and presentation. Taking the course, I was awed how I could accept the Buddhist concept that a thought is just a thought and can create suffering or eliminate it if you release it, but I never thought of major upsets in my life as simply thoughts that I could choose to let go of. What a liberating concept. I also love that there were six weeks dedicated to this concept and that it wasn’t glossed over. There is online access “forever” for this course, so for those who are just starting to scratch the surface, you could go back again and again and peel those layers of your “onion” (a great analogy for healing) and get more and more out of the process, as you develop and release on your healing path. Another amazing observation I and friends or clients who took the course made is that upsets from totally different facets and times of our life, which seemed absolutely and completely unrelated, created the exact same emotional response – it was the exact same type of upset. Kudos to Iyanla and her team for creating such an invaluable healing tool. I know some of the concepts I’ve learned will be of great benefit to my clients and valuable additions to my daily spiritual routine.
A quote of great truth from the first lesson was that unforgiveness is an act of violence against yourself. That is not an exaggeration. It seems shocking but think about it. What does unforgiveness do to you, your heart, the way you see yourself and the world, and what mind space does it keep you in? Start working on forgiveness if you are holding onto hurts from the past, through a course like this, by reading a book (Iyanla has published a book on this topic), getting a forgiveness-based treatment (like a Reiki ties-that-bind session), or seeing a therapist or life coach to help you work through and release your upsets. This kind of work raises your frequency to a higher level so you can manifest more love, happiness, and peace in your life. You can start simply with just making it a daily practice to forgive those in your life and yourself for little daily annoyances or things that happened in your day so you start to learn that forgiveness really isn’t that hard and let the healing begin.
When I work on clients I sometimes sense that they need to work on shielding or protecting their energy field. The purpose of shielding is twofold: first, to keep our positive energy raised and intact; and, second, to block negative energy from people or situations that either drain us of positive energy or bring negative energy into our aura or spaces. The practice of shielding is based on intention and visualization and is powerful and empowering. The practice can be quite simple but should be repeated twice a day (first thing in the morning and at night) to be effective.
The Underlying Concept
Let’s reflect on the quote on the right from physicist Nikola Tesla which states “If you wish to understand the Universe, think of energy, frequency, and vibration”. The need for shielding is the recognition that all things in this universe are made of energy and that energy transfers that can occur between people and other people and their environments.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Do I feel drained after being around particular people or situations?
Do I sometimes find after I am around certain people who are negative or complaining that my mood has changed from a positive to negative?
If someone tells me a sad story do I begin to feel their sadness (feel tears forming) even if I don’t know the people involved or am not directly affected?
Can I pick up on someones’ moods or a mood in a room easily without a word being said?
When I am in a crowd attending an event or going about my day do I get overwhelmed and tired?
Do I sometimes find after spending time in a toxic environment or situation I feel toxic or not well?
Am I in a lot of co-dependent or toxic relationships?
Do I have a hard time saying no or setting boundaries with people?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions you would benefit from practicing shielding.
My Observations on Shielding
Some people will be more sensitive to taking on negative energy or losing positive energy than others. People that are empaths tend to be emotional sponges taking up the energy of whatever or whomever they are around. Those are also those with emotional wounds or physical injuries/traumas may have breaks or holes in their aura that allow this energy transfer process to happen more easily.
When I work on my clients I will often see signs that they either have picked up foreign energy or have what will I describe as an energy drain or leak. It might be foreign energy the have internalized that they picked up from another person, it might be a residue of negative energy from other people or stressful situations just outside their auric body, a weak or “drained” chakra, or a coloured energy cord to another person that leaves their body. When I share my observations with them they will usually know exactly who it is that they took on energy of or who is taking energy away from them or as they often describe, “sucking the life” out of them.
It’s not uncommon to see or hear about these same symptoms in other practitioners or students who come to see me for treatments. They will work on someone with a physical ailment and then later feel the same pain in their own body, even though they don’t have a history of an injury or problem and it later goes away. This is why I have added this concept to my Level Two Reiki course. Shielding is especially important for people working in the health and wellness field. Often empaths are drawn into this field because they want to help and heal others (e.g., counsellors, teachers, nurses, doctors, or other healing modalities).
Some people will ask “Do I really need shielding? I’m a positive person focused on positive things”. My answer is yes you absolutely do. Many of us are working so hard to raise our frequency and seeking more positivity and happiness, so why would you want to let disbelief or naiveté about a concept limit you? Be open-minded, give it a try, and see how it feels for you when you start to shield. Do you start to notice you can be around people who formerly completely drained you and now you feel less drained or no different from right before you spent time around them.
It is also important to note that shielding yourself from negative people or situations does not create a barrier to taking in positive energy. You are still open to connecting with people in positive loving ways.
The key to shielding is to find an exercise that resonates or feels right for you.
A simple shielding exercise is to picture yourself surrounded with white or pink light. Use whatever colour appeals to you. You can do this in the morning and ask any negative low-frequency energy to be cleared away. Set whatever intention you wish for either in your mind or out loud. During the day when you are around people or situations that drain you can can visualize the shield circling around you. You can even envision your office space or home space being shielded with the same light. At night before bed, you can ask any negative energy you picked up to be cleared away and then picture yourself being wrapped in a protective loving light. It’s a lovely way to fall asleep.
I teach a more detailed shielding exercise in my Reiki Level Two class, which I use twice daily myself. You can find similar meditations on YouTube as well. Just remember to explore until you find something that feels right for you.
You can also use this shielding practice to gain awareness about the nature of your energy exchange in your relationships with others. It can help you identify relationships or situations that are not “healthy”.
I’d love to hear from you on your experiences with shielding. Namaste.
When I work with clients during a Reiki session and scan their bodies, I often am often guided to their feet. Energy build-up in this area is a sign that they are spending too much time in their head and require grounding. When I share this observation with clients, they will share how unhappy and stressful they are being trapped in their mind and thoughts and will often ask me what can I do to ground myself?
The practice of grounding ourselves means just that – getting out of our minds and back into our bodies. It brings us back into the present moment. It allows us to shut off the narrative of worry, fear, and doubt or other negative thoughts in our mind and just “be”. Being present and grounded allows us to find peace and happiness and gratitude in the present moment – instead of being lost in past regrets or fear-based future forecasting.
I remember when I saw Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh speak in Vancouver a couple of years ago during his “Open Mind, Open Heart” tour. He used a tree as analogy for the body and mind and to represent the idea of being grounded. The essence of what he said was that when we are ungrounded and stuck in our head, lost in our mind and emotions, we feel like we are the leaves and branches of the tree getting blown around in a fierce wind. We feel fear, like things are out of control and that we might fly or break off the tree any second. When we ground and connect with our body and are not lost in our mind, we realize we are like the trunk of the tree, safe and solid. When we move into our body, the solid trunk, from our mind, the waving branches and leaves, the fears or sadness in our mind, the feeling of panic and worry are dismissed, because when grounded we can see these are just thoughts we’ve created in our mind. So you can make a conscious choice…do I want to be like the leaves and branches of the tree blowing around, lost in my mind thoughts and emotions, feeling unsafe, unprotected, and lost, or do I want to be the trunk, grounded, safe and solid and present.
During my sessions, if I sense a lack of grounding, I will perform Reiki to remove blockages and energies from this part of the body, which helps balance the mind. I also often receive guidance for what is best approach for that particular client to feel grounded. Today I’m going to share some general tips and thoughts on grounding, so you can give them a try and find what works best for you to help you stay grounded and in the present.
Activities that Help you Feel Grounded
Your breath is a simple and easy way to get you back in your body and to calm your mind. Taking deep “belly” breaths will instantly calm and balance you. Inhale through your nose and notice the sensation of the air traveling through your nose. Let the breath travel all the way down to your belly. When you breath out, audibly exhale and feel the air traveling all the way up from your belly out of your mouth. Repeat ten times. If your mind is overdrive with negative stressful thoughts, you can adopt Thich Nhat Hanh’s approach of saying to yourself “breathing in, I calm body and mind” when you inhale, and “breathing out, I smile dwelling in the present moment” when you exhale. Repeating this mantra distracts and quiets your mind and allows you to focus on your breathing. You can simplify this mantra further and say “I breathe in, and I breathe out” if you like. Mantras are very effective at getting us out of our head and quieting our mind by repeating some simple and positive or neutral phrases.
Meditating is a simple way to teach ourselves that we have the power to quiet our mind. Rambling ongoing thoughts creating stress in our life are really just a habit we have formed. We can meditate and bring peace and quiet into our mind. Relax our body. Then we can start to bring the peace we feel during a meditation session, into our everyday lives, little by little, until we reach a state where our mind just isn’t as active and “noisy”. See my previous posts on meditating for more tips on starting a meditation practice.
Connecting with the Earth
Going for a walk or spending time in nature and focusing on other creatures around you that you share this planet with you helps ground you and feel connected and not isolated, alone, lost or separate. So if you’re on a forest walk, focus on really connecting to each piece of grass, each flower, each plant, each bird, each squirrel you see and pass by on your walk. Acknowledge them like you would a passing person. Don’t worry about naming what you see, just look and absorb, the colours, the textures, the sounds of the wind blowing through the leaves of the trees, the birds chirping. Expand your senses. Be one with nature. If you’re on a beach walk, connect with the birds you see, the rocks and stones on the beach, and the waves themselves as the go in and out. A minute or two after you start your walk, you can stop for a minute and just close your eyes and feel your feet connecting with the earth and say to yourself “I connect with the earth, the sky, and the trees, flowers”..whatever is around you and sense your energy extending in the appropriate direction. Do this again just before the end of your walk. Being connected energetically to the earth and all of the creatures around you isn’t just a concept..it’s real. Immerse yourself in that and try to see if you can sense that energy connection. When we spend time in nature, looking around us, up at the sky, across the ocean, or into the forest, it brings the sense the world is much bigger than the little bubble we live in and it allows us to gain some perspective on our problems and worries. It also brings a feeling of peace and serenity to us.
Using Crystals and other Tools to Ground Yourself
You may read different approaches on items or tools you can incorporate into your life to feel grounded. I personally recommend the use of crystals. They vibrate at the frequency of the earth, so when we wear or hold them, they change our energy vibration and help remove blockages. Hematite or black tourmaline are great crystals for grounding, but you can use whatever feels right for you (don’t get hung up on “rules” for crystals and follow your intuition).
Some people recommend eating root vegetables. I personally don’t find this helps for grounding with me, but I do think eating more plants/vegetables in general, which again come from the earth, helps raise your energy levels. If you adopt a vegetarian diet you will feel your energy shift and you will feel lighter.
A Couple of Questions about Feeling Grounded
Here are a couple of FAQ I get from clients about grounding:
How do I know when I’m grounded?
As someone who senses energy, I can tell you the physical sensation of being grounded is exactly what you would think it would feel like. If you close your eyes and tune in, you may feel either energy coming down through your feet or up through your feet. The direction represents whether you need to let go of or release something (energy draining through your feet) or you need to take up something (like love or healing from the the earth). It’s like a magnetic pull through your feet. It can also be the same sensation but coming in or leaving through the top of your head from above.
On a mental/emotional level, when you are grounded you feel present and peace in the moment – no matter what you are experiencing. Your mind is quiet and your thoughts are serene and not panicked.
Do I need to walk in bare feet in nature in order to feel grounded?
It is just our logical mind that thinks that is necessary. Certainly, it may be more likely you may feel energy or it may
feel more palpably “real” for you if you do this. However, I can feel grounding energy coming up or down during sessions in my treatment room, which is located on the third floor of my building. Just ask for grounding energy, close your eyes, and picture your feet being the base of a tree with roots extending downward into the earth. In Vancouver, many of us don’t have homes with yards, but are in condos or apartments, so you can go to your local park and put your feet in the grass and see how it feels, or stand with your back against a big tree and see how it feels..then go home and try just visualizing being a tree with roots as described above. You don’t want to create an obstacle in your mind to grounding..that I need these perfect conditions that are not always readily available to be grounded. You want to be able to ground yourself anywhere, on the bus, in your office, at the gym, whenever you need it.
The secret is finding what works best for you in terms of grounding exercises…what works best for your best friend might not resonate with you. So try the above exercises and go with whatever gives you that sensation of feeling grounded and quiets your mind.
I routinely see clients who I treat with grounding energy during a Reiki treatment and start to incorporate grounding practices into their daily routines start to shift out of this habit of being lost in negative thoughts and become happier and less stressed. As you open to incorporating some grounding exercises into your daily routine, your mind will start to shift to a more peaceful state as you start to bring awareness to the habit of being in your head too much and bringing yourself into the present moment. You will feel less tired and stressed and enjoy the quiet of your mind. Be positive about whatever efforts you are making and don’t judge how you performed. Just bringing awareness to this issue and trying counts! Being lost in our thoughts is only a habit and no matter how long you’ve “been that way” you can change it.
I offer Angel Life Coaching and Angel Tarot Card readings to my clients as either separate stand-alone treatments or in combination with other treatments.
I am a certified Archangel Life Coach (ALC). I studied Archangel Life Coaching with Charles Virtue, Doreen Virtue’s son, to better understand and work with channeled guidance I receive during Reiki sessions. Clients find angel life coaching is very helpful in guiding them on their path and purpose in life and overcoming obstacles that block their happiness and flow. My clients find the guidance they receive resonates deeply with them and helps them open, heal and release. Many of my clients combine this service with their Reiki treatment. The most common combination is for a 1.5 h session – with a 1-hr Reiki treatment along with discussion of channeled guidance and time for questions (cost of $97.50).
I also am a certified Angel Tarot Card Reader who studied with Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine. Angel Tarot Cards combine the wisdom of a traditional tarot deck with the power and higher and lighter frequency energy of the angels. The whole deck designed by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine has been infused with clarity and light. A half-hour card reading can be used to check-in and see what messages there are for you and the wisdom that can be seen in the cards. It can be particularly helpful following a combined Reiki and life-coaching session to see what further guidance there is on whatever subject came up during the session or if you have a particular question you want guidance on. The cost of a half-hour reading is $45. I encourage my clients to calm and center themselves prior to a reading to help the right questions and guidance flow to them with ease (if you have a Reiki session beforehand..this is not necessary).
Both services are also offered through a combination of Skype/email for those who live outside Vancouver.
Here is what my clients have to say about their Angel Life Coaching (combined with Reiki) sessions:
“Melanie is more than just a Reiki practitioner. She is an extraordinarily gifted healer who channels very pure and profound levels of insight to tailor each individual’s needs. She is strongly connected to very high vibration energy and intricately sees into my blocks in ways no one ever has. Melanie also works on two of my family members and what she does for each of us is different and unique according to our individual needs. Most importantly she has a kind, loving, compassionate nature. You can tell she really cares about what she is doing and the people she is working with. I am an energy healer myself and I appreciate how clean and pure the energy is in her therapy space. I see that she does a lot of inner work herself to keep her vessel clean and clear for herself and her clients. I highly recommend going to see Melanie for healing based on her immense compassion, professionalism, and strong intuitive gifts. “
“I learned about Melanie through a friend. When I heard how my friend’s Reiki session with Melanie went, I knew I had to book one for myself. Melanie has a wonderful calming energy about her that I found very soothing. She creates a lovely, peaceful environment so that you can relax and gain the most benefits from her treatment. I have had other Reiki sessions, but none were as in-depth as with Melanie. Her training as an Archangel Life Coach provides an additional layer to the insights Melanie is able to provide to her clients. No previous Reiki session has left me with such clear insight into my current situation and what I need to work on to move forward. Afterwards I felt as though I was walking on air and I am still reaping the benefits of that initial session. Thank you, Melanie!”
I was inspired by one of my students to write a post on the topic of Reiki and cancer. My Level Two student contacted me and told me that the manager at a hospice she was volunteering at didn’t want her practicing Reiki on patients because the manager wasn’t sure what Reiki was. Given the hospice is located in Vancouver, which has a really historically strong and prolific Reiki community, this surprised me. My student asked for information on this topic and I sent her some links from key cancer organizations in Canada, the US, and the UK, for her to review and forward to the hospice manager, as well as information on the Canadian Reiki Association, a national certification body for Reiki practitioners and teachers in Canada, of which both she and I are members.
Reflecting on this topic a bit more, I thought it might be helpful to write a post on Reiki and cancer for not only my students, but also my fellow Reiki practitioners, and especially for those clients who have cancer. The objective of this post is to shed some light on the benefits of Reiki treatments for someone who has cancer as well as potential risks and also speak a bit about being empowered about things you can do to heal from this disease. I will present and provide a brief summary of what the main cancer agencies have to say about Reiki and provide some additional comments as someone with expertise in a healing modality as well science in areas including statistics, study design, and environmental toxicology.
First, let’s take a look at what the Canadian, American and UK cancer agencies have to say about Reiki. I chose these key agencies but note that there is much, much more information available on this topic online. I did not review information presented by Reiki organizations on this topic but stuck to what is presented by these cancer agencies. My review is meant to share what is presented by these agencies rather than provide a comprehensive literature review on the topic of cancer and Reiki. I have not reviewed the original studies cited, which as a scientist I would recommend people who are interested in more thorough information do. My goal with this review is simply to provide a summary of information presented so the reader can answer simple questions like 1) Are there any benefits to having a Reiki treatment? and 2) Are there any contraindications or risks to having Reiki concurrent with my cancer treatments?
Here is what the key cancer agencies in Canada, US, and UK have to say about Reiki:
“Some people with cancer say they feel better after using therapies such as Reiki. Studies show that this is often because a therapist spends time with the person, and touches them. After the rush and stress of hospitals and treatment, it can be very relaxing when someone gives you attention for an hour or more, in a calm setting. Reiki is sometimes used in palliative care, especially in hospices.
Some people say that Reiki has helped to control side effects of their cancer treatments such as pain, anxiety, and sickness. They also say that it helps them cope better with their cancer and its treatment. But it’s important to bear in mind that while Reiki may help you to cope with your symptoms or side effects, it is not able to treat your cancer. It is safe to have Reiki alongside your cancer treatment. But it’s important to tell your doctor about any complementary therapy, alternative therapy or diet supplement that you use. Then your doctor will always have the full picture about your care and treatment.”
Then they comment on research or studies conducted in this subject area:
“There is no scientific evidence to prove that Reiki can prevent, treat or cure cancer or any other disease. But many healthcare professionals accept Reiki as a useful complementary therapy that may help to lower stress, promote relaxation and possibly help reduce some types of pain.”
They go on to cite the following study results:
2003 Canadian study: “A Canadian Phase 2 study in 2003 looked at whether Reiki could control pain in people with advanced cancer. People did have a significant reduction in pain after Reiki treatment but the study was small and had only 20 patients.”
2008 UK study: “In 2008, UK researchers carried out a review of studies into Reiki for any medical or psychological condition. They looked at 9 randomized clinical trials that used Reiki.
2 trials found helpful effects of Reiki in people with depression but another trial did not
1 trial found that Reiki seemed to help to reduce pain and anxiety
2 other trials seemed to show that Reiki and distant Reiki reduced stress and hopelessness.
1 trial showed that Reiki did not seem to reduce anxiety and depression in women having breast biopsy
The researchers stated that all the trials were small and there is no strong evidence that Reiki is an effective treatment for any condition.”
A 2008 Literature Review: “In 2008 another review looked at 24 studies using therapeutic touch to treat pain. 3 trials used Reiki. Overall, the review found that people who had the touch therapies had less pain than people who did not have the therapies. Trials carried out by more experienced touch practitioners seemed to give better results in pain reduction. Reiki also seemed to give greater benefit than other types of touch therapy. The researchers suggested that more research should be done into whether experienced practitioners or certain types of touch therapy can give better pain reduction. 2 of 5 studies looking at painkiller use supported the claim that touch therapies lowered painkiller use. “
A 2009 Literature Review: “A 2009 review by Canadian researchers looked at 12 trials and they found that 9 of the trials showed that Reiki had a significant helpful effects but the quality of 11 of the studies was poor.”
We need to do large randomized clinical trials before we really know how much Reiki can help people with cancer. An American Phase 2 clinical trial is currently looking at the effects of Reiki healing in men with prostrate cancer. You can see the details of this trial on the American National Centre of Complementary and Alternative Medicine website (NCCAM).”
On Side Effects of Reiki:
“Generally speaking, Reiki is safe for most people with cancer. Most practitioners will advise you to rest and drink plenty of water after treatment. There are no reports of harmful side effects.”
They go on to describe what happens during a Reiki treatment, cost of Reiki treatment, various levels of training that Reiki practitioners have and Reiki organizations in the UK.
“Energy-based biofield therapies cannot be as easily measured or researched. Effectiveness of these therapies has mainly been reported by individuals or is based on small studies. They have mainly been used to relieve symptoms of cancer or side effects of treatment such as anxiety, fatigue, pain, or nausea and vomiting…. Some people with cancer have reported increased well-being, less pain and reduced nausea and vomiting after Reiki sessions…It is also not certain whether these therapies can actually enhance healing.
Biofield therapies such as healing touch, Reiki and therapeutic touch, which involve very light physical touch or no touch, are generally considered safe. Few side effects have been reported. Many practitioners of these therapies are not regulated in Canada.People who delay or choose not to have conventional medical care for their cancer and rely only on energy therapies may have serious health consequences.”
“There are many individual (anecdotal) reports about Reiki’s power to increase feelings of well-being and refresh the spirit. Some patients who were getting cancer treatment have reported an increased sense of well-being, with less pain, nausea, and vomiting after Reiki sessions. One small controlled pilot study found that Reiki was linked with reduced self-reports of pain in patients with advanced cancer, but it had no effect on the amount of pain medicine used by the patients to control their pain.
A non-randomized study reported that Reiki improved anxiety among women after undergoing a hysterectomy. On the other hand, a randomized study reported no effect on anxiety of women undergoing breast biopsies.
A 2008 study looked at 100 people with pain due to fibromyalgia, using Reiki treatments or sham treatments twice a week. Researchers double-checked to be sure that the participants didn’t know whether or not they got Reiki. In the end, they found no difference in pain between those who got Reiki and those who got something that looked like Reiki.
Many studies of Reiki have been conducted without using rigorous scientific methods, so quality information is scarce. For instance, studies that do not use a placebo group (using sham Reiki and identical conditions) are more likely to show symptom improvement shortly after treatment. But studies without placebo control leave open the possibility that the outcome is produced by mental and physical factors other than Reiki.
Available scientific evidence at this time does not support claims that Reiki can help treat cancer or any other illness. More study may help determine to what extent, if at all, it can improve a patient’s sense of well-being.
Reiki involves very light touch or no touch and is considered safe. However, relying on this type of treatment alone and avoiding or delaying standard medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.”
So based on information presented by the above-mentioned agencies, to answer the first question – What are possible benefits of Reiki?– it appears that based on anecdotal evidence that possible observed benefits include reduced anxiety, fatigue, pain, or nausea and vomiting. There may also be other healing benefits that were not observed or assessed. Until more elaborate randomized trials that include appropriate samples sizes and placebos are conducted the statistical significance of these effects, which is used to validate the effectiveness of Reiki as a treatment, remains undetermined. Reiki should be used to complement other treatments and not used as a replacement for conventional treatments.
For the second question – Are there any contraindications or risks to having Reiki concurrent with my cancer treatments?– it appears that Reiki treatments are safe to include with cancer treatments and may help with the side effects of those treatments such as nausea from chemotherapy or radiation treatments or pain from treatment or cancer itself. However, the physician guiding treatments should always be informed of alternative therapies used.
My views as someone who has gone from a skeptical person with a science background to now being a Reiki Master, who has experienced and observed many physical phenomenon I cannot explain is – that it is worth trying Reiki to see if it can help you as you heal from cancer. Let go of your beliefs of what you think you understand or know and observe for yourself if it is effective for you. We live in an age where there is an arrogance where we think we know and understand everything (though I imagine throughout history at any given time that was viewpoint held by many). The human body is intricately and intelligently designed and connected to our mind and emotions. The human body is not a machine that can be understood by breaking it down into parts. The problem with using that approach as western medicine does is the underlying intelligence and way the cells, tissues, organs of the body communicate with each other and interact is lost as is the mind-body connection – the way our thoughts affect our body and vice-versa.
I encourage people with cancer to combine the best of western and alternative medicine approaches to help them eliminate cancer from their bodies and/or live the best quality of life they can while having cancer present in their bodies. The western approach of chemotherapy and radiation therapy essentially poisons the body – attempting to kill cancer cells but also killing other non-target cells. This obviously has negative effects on the health of cancer patients. Accordingly, I recommend balancing the “war-like” approach of chemotherapy and radiation therapy with approaches that bring peace and help heal, nurture and replenish your body, mind, and spirit. This nurturing approach also applies for people who receive a diagnosis that indicates their cancer is too advanced for conventional treatment. Here are some of my recommendations:
Become aware of and shift your thoughts – Your thoughts can affect your body and your healing. Monitor what your thoughts about cancer are. Be an observer and hear what you are telling yourself. Are you saying I am going to die any day? I won’t survive this? Have you successfully removed or reduced your tumor and are really just waiting for the news that it is back? Are you waiting for the next test to tell you its back? It’s time to take control of your thoughts and stop torturing yourself and living in a constant state of fear and stress. Focus on monitoring your thoughts and start to replace negative messages with affirmations that send positive and loving messages about your health. Our bodies, our cells, tissues, and organs receive messages we send as thoughts. Start to ask yourself is your way of thinking or a thought creating fear and stress and if so replace it with a peaceful thought. It is essential to recognize that fear and stress come from your thoughts and don’t do anything positive for you. We have to break this habit (and it is just a habit of thinking this way) and work and retrain our minds to not live in these states of mind. Repeating affirmations like “My body is healing perfectly” or “Any cancer cells in my body are dissolving” and feeling those words are true. Visualize your cells being healthy and send love and pink light to the area affected by cancer; often we view the part of body we have cancer as an enemy and not a part of us that needs more love than any other part of our body. Let go of the worry and fear (I have a post on that topic if this is a big issue for you https://justbreathereiki.com/2013/07/12/letting-go-of-worry/). Start to talk about healing from cancer rather than fighting cancer. Embrace peaceful approaches to thinking about this disease and focus on healing.
Let go of your cancer victim label and live life again – Our ego loves us to attach to labels and have us identify with roles, situations, jobs, and disease. If you are diagnosed with cancer, you want to still be you – a whole person and not just be your disease. You don’t want to be the face of cancer. You don’t want every conversation you have to be about cancer you have, your treatments, your prognosis, other people who recently were diagnosed or died from cancer, about statistics, etc. Start to set boundaries in your life. Speak about cancer to the medical professionals you see to treat you but limit conversations with family and friends. If there is an update to share with family and friends do so, but start to have other conversations. Tell them you want to talk about life and living again and not talk about your illness. Find things to talk about again. Instead of spending time researching cancer statistics online, which only serves to reinforce negative messages online look up a new movie you can see or book you can read, maybe a place you want to travel to, maybe just watching a video that makes you laugh on YouTube. Start to return to life and living. Focus on your cancer and treatments when it is time to do that but don’t let it become the only focus of your life. Focus on your health and well-being, on being loving and compassionate with yourself and those around you.
Care for your body – Make sure you nourish your body with high quality, high nutrition foods, adequate rest, and exercise. Western medical doctors aren’t educated sufficiently about nutrition (my GP indicated he spent less than a day learning about nutrition in medical school). I would expect that many doctors who specialize in oncology or radiology are better informed on this topic. It may be worthwhile consulting with a nutritionist (a natural foods oriented nutritionist rather than an “old-school nutritionist”). I’ve heard from a friend who has cancer that the advice she received from the nutritionist assigned to her, which contrasted with her oncologist, was to take Ensure, a nutritional supplement (which has a lot of sugar) and eat red meat to raise her iron. I’d recommend speaking with someone who can guide you on foods that have high nutritional value, are anti-inflammatory and can help you heal and feel energized. Clean up your diet. Eating healthier WILL make you feel better, more energized, and nourish your body. You may want to consult with a naturopath as well as your doctor on benefits of supplements and vitamins. Consult with your doctor on whether exercise is appropriate as it can definitely increase your quality of life, reduce stress, and increase your energy levels. Walking outdoors in nature can really help to get you outside your head, your world where cancer predominates, and appreciate the nature around you and feel at peace. Yoga can be very restorative and make you feel rested and relaxed and let go of the tension you are holding in your body. Be compassionate with yourself, and when you feel like you need to rest or bow out of attending an event do so. Be kind with yourself and if your body says you need rest, rest. Rest and sleep are very healing and gives our body time to do its work at healing and replenishing. Listen to your body!
Care for your mind through meditation – Having recurring thoughts about your disease, outcome of your treatments, and your mortality are natural when you have a disease like cancer. However, you want to ensure that topic does not dominate your thoughts day and night. Stress and worry do nothing positive for your health and conversely, can negatively impact your recovery and healing. Start to learn to quiet your mind and say to yourself “that is enough on that for now” and find some inner peace. How do we do this? It’s simply breaking a habit. Meditation can be very beneficial. Meditation helps us to control our mind instead of our mind controlling us. It allows us to be present in our bodies and start to learn that we can stop recurring thought patterns that bring us stress and sadness. Thinking these type of thoughts and have an ongoing narrative with negative messages playing in our mind is something we can stop and replace with quiet. Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey have a guided meditation series that lasts 21-days on the topic of Perfect Health that might be the perfect thing to try (really any of their series are fantastic). They currently have an ongoing series on Finding your Flow that you can sign up for here (https://chopracentermeditation.com/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=day-01). You can also do visualizations while you meditate (Adam Dreamhealer has some great CDs with visualizations). Just search on You Tube and find something that resonates with you and brings you peace.
Read books on healing – There are numerous books written by people who have beaten cancer that will have approaches they recommend you adopt but they may not have any medical background/training. I personally would recommend reading books by western medical doctors who have standard western medical training combined with alternative medicine training like Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weill, Bruce Lipton. They all have numerous books that discuss diseases like cancer and will open your mind and allow you to see possibility for your healing in a new light. They will also give you a different view or perspective of the human body, how it works, how complex and intelligent it is. Reading their perspectives on diseases like cancer will give you a new perspective and allow you to see there is much we don’t know or understand about the human body – how intelligence resides in all our cells, how our cells hold memories, and how intricately the body and mind and emotions are connected. Reading these books can open your mind to healing, being open to other approaches, harnessing the power of the mind-body connection and letting go of what you think you know about this disease.
Monitor your thoughts on your diagnosis – I want you to respect but not be attached to your diagnosis as a death sentence. Remember that scans you received are a snapshot at the time the scan was conducted. It does not necessarily mean that if time has passed your tumour is the same OR WORSE. Start to question what you know for sure. When we receive a negative medical diagnosis, which can be based on statistics (like you have 6 months to live) the impact can be dire. What do we do? I know people close to me that received this diagnosis a number of years ago and pursued treatment and are still here. Deepak Chopra talks about the effect of “nocebo” – of receiving a negative diagnosis and its effect on a patient’s mind, body, and spirit. It’s important to detach from seeing your diagnosis as set in stone and use how you are feeling to guide you as well. Our bodies will show us signs when we are unwell. Picture your body being well and at peace and as noted above affirm your continued healing and return to perfect health.
Explore Alternative Medicine Options – There are lots of people who have had cancer and had a diagnosis that stated their cancer was too advanced or they would soon die and treatment was not an option and sought alternative treatment and lived or their cancer went into remission. It’s often at this stage of diagnosis people start to go outside the realm of western medicine treatments to look for other help or solutions. The books by doctors noted above talk about cases like these in their book. Start to explore what other modalities might help you. Review them with your doctor and even if your doctor is dismissive do your own research and if no harm can come and the modality and practitioner is reputable, give it a try. Remember there are lots of practices such as Chinese medicine, herbology, and acupuncture that have existed long before Western medicine arrived on the scene. Western medicine does not have all the answers (if it did wouldn’t we would have found a cure for cancer?). Give healing modalities like Reiki a try. Be open-minded. Everyone’s mind and body respond to treatments differently.
Forgive and Let Go – Now is the time to forgive grudges you have been holding, for hurts you’ve experienced, and for things that people have said or done that you’ve internalized. It’s also a time to forgive yourself for anything you’ve done, said, or regret. Healing emotional wounds can help us heal our physical body and is equally important on your healing journey. Letting go of the baggage and garbage you carry around with you will liberate you and make you feel lighter and you may even notice you feel less pain. You may want to see a therapist to assist you and guide you in this task. If you are not comfortable with that you may want to explore the self-help book section on this topic. Forgiving and letting go does not mean you condone the things said or done to you – it is not for the other person, it is completely for you. It’s so you can let old wounds heal and not relive the past through memories or reexperiencing old emotions. Start to see the world through more peaceful eyes. Let go of conflict. Don’t look for what is wrong in the world, look for what is right. Stop watching the news (you can read the news and select the stories you hear). Sign up for some newsfeeds, blogs, or facebook pages that are inspiring. See the kindness people show you and people around you and be kind when you interact with others. Let go of negativity and pettiness. When you embrace the world with the spirit of forgiveness, positivity and kindness that is what you will receive back. Don’t use your disease as an excuse to be difficult, angry, and to take things out on your loved ones. If these were your last days would you want them to be filled with love and kindness or with anger, frustration, regret, and isolation. You can choose how you live the rest of your life. Choose love and peace and kindness. No matter your age or how you’ve lived your life, you can change. You can also forgive yourself if you haven’t been the most loving person in this world and start to share some of that love even with a stranger or a pet. Let your heart open and heal and forgive.
See the Gift in your Illness – The Universe whether you believe it or not brings illness, injury, and other big life changes to our lives as a gift to help us change things that are not working in our life and to gain perspective. How could someone say that about cancer? When the Universe gets us to put our lives on hold and let go of our routine and obligations and really focus on the core of life it can make us see the world, the people in it and ourselves quite differently, and change our lives. It might be realizing that there is this caring and compassionate community of strangers, doctors, nurses, volunteers offering you so much kindness and care when you haven’t experienced much love and care in your life. It might be realizing that you were not quite so kind and compassionate to others who had illness or other challenges enter their life and now you can see that and will make an effort to do so. It might be realizing how you’ve taken so much in your life, including friends and family for granted. It might be forgiving old grudges and letting things go. It might be getting the gumption to go on that trip you’ve always wanted to go on. It might be creating and living your bucket list. It might be doing some “house-cleaning” and choosing to let go of toxic negative people and surround yourself with those that are truly loving and kind and true. It might be making changes in your life as or after you heal – changing careers, finding a new different kind of partner, moving to a new home or city, taking up new hobbies, or making health and exercise a part of your new routine. You may decide to volunteer your services to others after you heal, driving people to appointments, or helping out with collecting donations for cancer charities, or participating in other fundraising. Many peoples lives open up with realizations about things they never knew about themselves or the world after they develop cancer. They see themselves and the world through new eyes. Open your eyes, reflect, and see what gifts there are for you in your healing journey. See all the opportunities and blessings you have. It’s never too late.
Being an informed and empowered patient and not just going along for the ride is important. So read, ask questions, take control over things you can control like eating a healthy diet, reducing stress, exercising if possible, and thinking positively about your health and life and choosing the best combination of western and alternative medicine approaches. Incorporate things into your daily routine that nuture and energize you and make you feel peace and self-love and help you let go of stress and pain. Be kind and compassionate and patient with yourself and your body and mind as you heal. Wishing you many blessings on your healing path.