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 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:
1) Of the three agencies, the Cancer Research UK organization provides the most detailed discussion about Reiki (http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/treatment/complementary-alternative/therapies/reiki)
First on overall effects, they say:
“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).”
“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.
The Canadian Cancer Society has the least information about Reiki and includes Reiki with a number of other treatments under the umbrella of “energy therapies” (http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/diagnosis-and-treatment/complementary-therapies/energy-therapies/?region=pe). They state that:
“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.”
3) The American Cancer Association
The American Cancer Association has to say the following about Reiki (http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/manualhealingandphysicaltouch/reiki)
“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.
Our mind and our thoughts are a powerful force that can influence healing in our body. We’ve all heard of the placebo effect in medical studies. A placebo effect occurs when people believe they are receiving a treatment but really aren’t (e.g. a sugar pill) but respond with improvements in health. The conventional medical community is confounded by the powerful effect of what we think or believe can have on our body. We can also all relate to the physical symptoms or sensations we experience when we experience powerful emotions, like great sadness when someone we love passes or leaves our life, or the rush we get when we experience love for a new romantic partner or our newborn child. We’ve all directly experienced that our mind and body are interconnected. They are not separate operating systems. So why not use our mind and thoughts to send our bodies messages that encourage healing?
In my Reiki practice, many people come to me with chronic issues after they’ve exhausted traditional western medicine approaches for dealing with their health issues. Understandably, they are often frustrated, angry, sad and/or negative about their state of health and are desperate for a solution. Often when we are in pain or receiving frequent treatments for a health issue/condition, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with negative thoughts about our health or have our lives heavily focused on what’s wrong or unwell with us. We may spend a great deal of our time in pain or receiving or recovering from treatments. We become accustomed to focusing on being unwell, talking about being unwell, feeling sorry for ourselves, and sharing our story of being unwell with others…it can become all encompassing and define who we are. I also notice when I work with many of these same clients even when they are making notable improvements along their healing path, they continue to put their focus on their problems and being unwell. Some of their bigger issues have gone away and they switch their focus to some smaller issue(s). They are so habitually focused on being unwell instead of focusing on being well; they overlook improvements they’ve made and healing they’re experiencing in their body.
I believe our mind is a powerful force when it comes to healing and if we are sending negative messages about our body, outlook, lives, and/or selves it can affect us on a physical level. I encourage these clients to start to become aware of their thoughts and beliefs about healing and messages they are sending their bodies, so they can start to make a shift to more healing and empowering thoughts. Here are some tools you too can use to become aware and shift your thinking to encourage healing and enhance the treatments you are receiving to help make you well again.
First Step – Becoming Aware of Your Beliefs about and Blocks of Healing
Buddha wisely said “What we think we become”. Start to banish negative, disempowering and limiting beliefs and embrace the power of positive thought to empower your healing.
There are two approaches you can use to assess your beliefs and thoughts about healing. The first is a questionnaire and the second is a couple of visualizations you can try.
Here is a series of questions that can help you see what your true thoughts are about your health and condition and healing. Be brutally honest in answering these questions. Pay attention to what pops into your mind first. Don’t answer with what you think you should say or think.
- Do you think your health can be improved?
- When you picture yourself in the future doing things when you’re daydreaming or when you remember your dreams do you picture yourself healed or in your current or even worse condition?
- Do you think your thoughts can influence your health?
- Do you think healing is all due to external sources (like practitioners you are seeing or treatments you are receiving) or can you influence your healing?
- When you are experiencing a manifestation of your condition (e.g., pain, need to take medication, need to go for a treatment to deal with condition) what type of thoughts and emotions arise?
- Do you become angry, annoyed with or hate that part of the body or mind that is affected?
- Do you view your mind or body part where you have injury or illness as an enemy/outsider/invader?
- Do you think you are worthy of or deserve healing and medical aid?
- Do you identify strongly with your illness or condition? For example, when you talk to people is that most of what you talk about or when someone talks to you is that the first thing they ask about? Has it become the focus of your life?
- Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
- Can you picture yourself enjoying perfect health?
Now look at the answers to these questions? What overall picture do you see – is it positive or negative? Is there hope or distress? Do you see yourself as a victim who will never get better? Do you think you have done something to deserve this illness/condition? Has your illness or condition become who you are (is it the focus of most of your life)? Do you think change is possible?
B) Visualization Exercises
I often get feedback from clients when I do these visualization exercises during Reiki treatments that they identified a blockage during these exercises.
Healing Shower of Light – Visualize a pink shower of light coming from the crown of your head and washing down to your feet. The light you picture will flow through your body like a river, clearing away any debris and darkness. Pay attention to whether you see areas that are dark or grey or never get “cleaned” by the light or if you just can’t get the light to flow inside parts of or your whole body.
Chakra Meditation – Listen to this chakra meditation from the Wellness Experiment on You Tube.
Pay attention to what thoughts come to you during the meditation. What do you sense? You may find there are certain chakras you can’t visualize as being “lit up” or chakras that feel heavy or dark.
The inability to visualize these colours/lights in either of these exercises is usually representative of a blockage (unless you are a completely non-visual person). Sensing darkness is a sign that you sense you have issues in these areas/chakras.
Second Step – Starting to Shift your Thoughts about your Health and Healing
Now you’ve assessed your thoughts and hidden beliefs about your health and healing. If you find your thinking is negative and disempowered or you have blockages identified through the visualization exercises, you can now start to shift your thinking to more positive trains of thought that are more empowering, enlivening, and hopeful.
To shift our thinking to a more positive train of thought regarding healing and our health, affirmations can be a powerful tool. Affirmations allow us to forcibly send new powerful positive messages to our mind and body and start to rewrite some of the old scripts and stories we have playing constantly in our mind. When we practice sending positive instead of negative messages we remind our body of its innate healing ability and the interconnection between our body, mind and spirit. For tips on using affirmations see my previous post (https://justbreathereiki.com/2012/04/25/the-power-of-affirmations/). It’s important when you read them they feel true. If they don’t you continue until they do (and use the lack of truth to alert you to your beliefs about healing).
Here are some to try:
- My body is full of healing energy (you can picture a vibrant light emanating from your body when you say this)
- My body’s natural healing abilities are turned on and grow stronger each day
- The healthy food I eat to nourish my body (supplements I take, exercise I do, fill in the blanks) help my body to heal
- The cells of my body are bathed in love and are clear of any negative energy and debris
- I am vibrant and healthy
- Each day I am getting better and better
Practice these at the start of your day or before you undergo a treatment. When you are in pain or a negative state/condition, pull these out and see if they can shift your thoughts and mood to a more positive place. When in pain, we can add an affirmation, “this pain is temporary and fades with my breath” (and do some deep breathing sending your breath to the area where the pain is, seeing it like a pink light, and continuing to the pain starts to subside); when we are in pain we tend to contract our breathing and taking big breaths helps to relax our body.
B) Talk a Different Talk
Start to change the dialogue you have with yourself and others about your health. Talk about your health issues truthfully and honestly with medical practitioners – your doctors, therapists etc. In your day to day conversations with family, friends, strangers, don’t have your health issue be the focus or the start of your conversations. If you saw in the above questionnaire exercise that there is a strong focus in your life about your illness, that your illness or condition now defines who you are, start to change that. Tell your family and friends you don’t want your conversations to focus on your illness – that you will share news with them when necessary but you want to start to focus on being well. Start to see yourself as more than your illness. Talk about the beautiful weather outside, a new book you’re reading, or your loved ones. Start to break the pattern of your ego identifying you as this illness/condition or a victim of this illness/condition. Talk about any healing or progress you are making. Talk about how great you feel (even if it’s only part of you). If you have people who share your illness you may want to share what you’re trying to do and ask them to join you in your efforts. Recognize there is nothing worse than spending time with someone who celebrates your weaknesses or illness like a badge of honour and brings you down when you spend time with them. Start to see the light that shines in you again.
If you have trouble finding things to talk about at first or it seems awkward, that’s fine. It will be a bit uncomfortable making that shift because sometimes we become so identified with our illness/condition and talking about it, we can find we have nothing else to talk about. That our health has become all that people ask about or we talk about that we lose our well-roundedness. Know that you will find you start to feel a little sigh of relief when you start becoming more than your health issue. Start to cultivate some new interests that you can talk about. Start to find some things that delight you or entertain you again. Start to embrace life again, even if it’s only for a few minutes to start. These new interests can distract you when you’re in pain or getting or recovering from a treatment that’s uncomfortable too. Start to embrace life again with your mind in a new place of being.
You will find as you take your attention off your illness and focus on the goodness in your life, the beauty around you, the people in your life, and being well, that you feel your life and your mood shift to a more positive place. It may take some time so be patient with yourself (and others) as you make this change.
C) See Yourself Being Well and Your Body Healing
We must remind ourselves that our body has amazing healing capabilities; that healing happens inside us, not outside of us. We can get outside support such as medical help, medication, and treatments to help us heal, but the healing happens inside our body. Think of something simple, like how we get a cut and our skin regrows and heals over a short period of time. How amazing is that?
There are numerous visualizations you can do to empower your healing. One big thing is to picture yourself in the future being healthy and healed (stopping picturing yourself in current or worse condition). Deal with the realities of your condition in the present but stop seeing your future as a bleak one.
You can become informed of your condition and visualize your cells, organ, part of your body being healed. Adam Dreamhealer has some amazing visualization CDs you can practice customized for various diseases/conditions. Our cells are constantly being renewed, so start to picture the damaged cells dying and being eliminated from your body then coming back as healed vibrant cells. Send that message to your body.
You can also repeat the above visualizations you used to audit your thoughts (the pink healing light shower and the chakra meditation). See if you can see a change in the “strength” of your visualization.
D) Dealing with Your Emotional Wounds
If you carry a lot of emotional damage around with you and have a chronic health issue, seriously consider seeking professional help/counseling be it traditional psychotherapy or alternative approaches (like those discussed by authors such as Brene Brown, Byron Katie, Ekhart Tolle, or Brandon Bays). I am intuitive and an empath and can often sense emotional wounds/hurts in people when I am treating them, usually in their area of illness or injury. You cannot dismiss the effect of carrying emotional pain on your physical health. If you start to clear some of the emotional wounds away and allow them to truly heal you may find your physical health starts to improve. We can hold emotional pain in parts of the body and this can slows or stop our healing. If you know you have stuff you carry around with you that you relive over and over, regardless of your age, do start to look inside and start to address the source of the negative emotions you may carry with you (grief, sadness, hurt, low self-esteem). Our bodies and minds are interconnected and emotional wounds can manifest as physical symptoms in the body. That’s not to say there’s not a physical component to your illness or condition. It is to recognize that being emotional healthy and healed can help us heal our physical bodies. There is work we have to do to heal that is internal and not always from outside. Read the work of some of the authors I noted above and see if they start to shift your thoughts about who you are, were, and who you can be.
E) Have an Attitude of Gratitude
When we put our focus on things we are grateful for it shifts our thinking to a positive place (see my previous post on this topic). We can end our day by naming the things we are grateful for…the parts of us that feel well, the things we are able to do, kind people in our lives, the beauty around us, having clean drinking water that comes from our taps, having a warm and soft place to sleep…. Practice listing 10 things to be grateful for when you go to bed each night.
F) Being Compassionate with Yourself and Leaving the Pity Party
When you are affected by an illness/condition you may have limitations in what you can do in your life and may not see yourself as “normal”. What we have to realize it that most people aren’t “normal”. Virtually everyone has something that is a problem for them. You may not see it. It’s human nature to hide your struggles. People may have an injury or disease that’s not apparent, or mental health issues that aren’t apparent, that they struggle with everyday. You may try to do things so you don’t disappoint people in your life that aren’t best for your health or you may beat yourself up for having to rely on people or being a burden. Learn to let go of that and be kind and compassionate to yourself. You are a lovely being and when you are tired or in pain, know your limits and listen to your body. Don’t do something to please someone if it’s going to mean you having to leave midway through an event or being in twice as much pain the next day. Start to listen to what your body is telling you and respect your body. Treat your body with care, eat nourishing food, get the rest you need, get treatments that help you and send yourself love. You can send the parts of your body where you have an issue love instead of hate, frustration or anger. Treat it like a baby you are nurturing. Picture you body and its cells being filled and bathed with love washing away any grey areas or debris. Treat yourself with as much kindness and compassion as you would a loved one.
Now feeling compassion for yourself is very different from feeling self-pity and like you’re a victim. Think of what it’s like when you’re on the receiving end of these two emotions from another person. Compassion is lovely and pity is icky. When we see ourselves as a victim and feel self-pity we attach to the feeling of being powerless, of being at the whim of the world, everything is out of our hands, the world is our enemy. When you share your victim story too it can be exhausting and toxic for others to be around. People get addicted to being a victim and when the source of their victimhood goes away they just find another source. Compassion is about being kind and loving to ourselves and making empowered choices that support our health and well-being.
G) Seeing the Gift in your Condition/Illness
You may not be able to do this at first, but as you travel down the road of healing yourself physically and emotionally you will be able to see a gift in your condition or illness. Maybe you were a workaholic who was career driven and didn’t have time for your family, then whoa, the brakes were put on your life. Maybe you were not really compassionate towards others until you experienced pain and illness yourself. Maybe you didn’t really connect with your loved ones on an emotional level until you were ill or injured. Illness and injury make us hit the brakes on our lives and stop and look. Just like any crisis in life, it forces us to observe where we are and see what is truly important. Illness and injury can greatly change who we are, open us up to being vulnerable, being needy, being loving, being grateful, being compassionate and letting go of our emotional wounds and who we thought we were. Try to see if you can see your transformation as it happens or after it’s done and be grateful for it.
H) Be Open to Trying Other Treatments
When you’ve seen a lot of practitioners or tried a variety of treatments for a problem you can experience burn out and you give up hope. Or perhaps you’ve only tried only one approach (medication) so far for your issue/condition. Always be open to trying a new treatment. If the treatment won’t harm you, give it a try. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the right practitioner or treatment for our issue. There are countless alternative treatments and practitioners out there (especially in a city like Vancouver). Do your homework. If you’re unsure if it’s right for you, consult with your physician before trying out a new treatment. If someone has a strong recommendation based on their own personal experience, talk to them about their treatments and their issues to get an idea if it might help you. Do your research on the internet on the practitioner (sites like RateMD.com and even Yelp have reviews for various practitioners) and the potential risks/benefits treatment (stick to the more reputable sites). Then discuss any questions you have with the practitioner and discuss the anticipated treatment schedule and effects.
It is a very good idea to stick to trying only one new treatment at a time; otherwise you won’t be able to tell whether a new treatment is having a positive, negative, or no effect on your health. A lot of alternative health clinics will have multiple practitioners and modalities offered. When they get a new client a practitioner might recommend seeing other practitioners in the clinic/getting other treatments. This cross-referral helps the practitioners expand their client list and clinic gain more income, but isn’t always in the best interest of the patient. Ask to stick to one treatment at a time, so you can figure out if it is helping. Once you figure out if the new treatment is working, you can always try another.
The end goal of the exercises and advice in this post is to help you to shift to more positive thoughts so you can start to focus on becoming well again, reignite hope and possibility, and start to disentangle your identity from your illness/condition. You can start to see yourself as an empowered warrior instead of a victim. Just give this a try. You truly have nothing to lose by starting to change and harness the power of your mind and thoughts towards healing.
Ah it’s spring in Vancouver. You can’t beat those blue sky days in Vancouver in the spring that feel like a gorgeous summer day..even if the next day it feels like winter again. Seeing plants start blooming in the spring always makes me feel gratitude for living in such a beautiful part of the world and excites me for the beauty that will enfold in the coming days. It also reminds me to let myself blossom and shine.
For this month’s post I am writing about Dr. Oz and what he has to share and say about Reiki and about a Caregiver event coming up on the North Shore, where I am giving complimentary Indian head massages to people who graciously give day in and out to their friends and family.
Dr. Oz and Reiki
It’s fantastic to see a doctor as well-known and respected as Dr. Oz being an advocate for Reiki. I really appreciate how Dr. Oz tries to inform and educate his North American audience, and open their minds to non-Westernized approaches and empower them to take control of their own health through nutrition, exercise, and other preventative approaches. On a show where he talked about alternative medicine, he, as you can see in this video, is most excited about the potential of energy medicine. Dr. Oz’s wife is a Reiki Master and he has shared how she’ll be writing symbols on his back when he’s turned around to help heal and protect him. Dr. Oz apparently has Reiki practitioners in his cardiac surgery rooms while surgeries are conducted. I thought I would share this video with you from his show on benefits of Reiki.
Caregivers Event on the North Shore
One of my lovely clients invited me to join her in an event she is hosting celebrating National Caregiver’s Week. The event is taking place on May 10th in West Vancouver to inspire and care for people who are are unpaid caregivers for friends and family. I will be giving complimentary 15-minute Indian head massages at the event. There will be other wellness stations at the event and a music segment with rhythm and drumming. If this speaks to you or someone you know please pass this on. Registration for the event is $10 and more info is provided if you click the link posted below.
Wishing you all a blossoming spring!
I have created a special set with Reiki-charged semi-precious crystals that you can use to continue with your Reiki treatment at home, help clear energy blockages and improve energy flows, and enhance your meditation practice. Currently available for sale for $30 at my North Vancouver studio and sold on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/JustBreatheReiki
Each set includes:
- 7 semi-precious crystals that have been charged with Reiki energy;
- a booklet that outlines how to use the kit and includes information on chakras, their properties, characteristics of imbalanced chakras, and description of crystal properties (this information comes from Reiki Level 1 Class); and,
- a sacred bag to hold your crystals.
Each crystal in the set has unique healing properties and has been chosen to be used on a specific chakra:
- clear quartz – crown chakra,
- amethyst – third eye chakra,
- aventurine – throat chakra,
- rose quartz – heart chakra,
- yellow calcite – solar plexus chakra,
- moonstone – sacral chakra, and;
- hematite – base chakra.
By placing these Reiki-charged crystals over the chakras they can help unblock and enhance energy flows. You can use the whole set of crystals by placing the crystals over each chakra while lying down (preferably while you are mediating or focusing on releasing blockages). You can also use the crystals independently, to address an issue with a problematic chakra. You can carry the crystals with you or also sleep with them in your pillowcase. Crystals should be cleansed monthly by placing them in the moonlight during the full moon, setting an intention when you do so to cleanse the crystals of any negative energy and let them be charged with light energy. I am also happy to cleanse and recharge them for you with Reiki energy when you come for a treatment.
The bag the crystals are stored in is quite special and has images of a Buddhist monk (LP Koon) who is said to bring luck and the bag carries inscriptions wishing the carrier abundance, happiness, and luck. It is the perfect place to store your stones when not in use.