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A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
June, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 06
The Gentle and Healing Power of Reiki
By Lisanne Elkins
Kerry climbs onto my massage table fully clothed and makes herself comfortable. The table is warm from a fleece-lined heating pad; the room is dimly lit by a Moroccan-style lamp and the air is fragrant with essential oils. Calming Japanese flute plays in the background. She has chosen to come for these sessions weekly, as part of her decision to improve general self-care and relieve stress from a rather challenging job situation.
Kerry subsides more deeply into a state of relaxation as the session begins. I ground myself and lay my hands gently on the top of her head. I linger there for perhaps five minutes today, (each time is different) until I feel it is the right time to move to her shoulders. It is in this way that Kerry and I connect in a healing energy session and we help Kerry's healing process wherever she may need it on that day.
Sixty-minutes later, the session ends and Kerry arises from the table looking radiant and feeling relaxed and grounded. The chronic pain in her knee has ceased and she softly comments on the heat and vibration she feels throughout her body. "First, it is a tingling sensation, then the energy feels like it moves through me and opens up the flow in my entire body," she says. Days later, Kerry recalls a sense of well being that permeates the experiences in her daily life.
This abbreviated story illustrates the gentle yet powerful abilities of the Japanese art of Reiki, an energetic healing method that can be used by anyone, anytime. With further study and strengthening of one's own awareness, combined with specific symbols to "amp up" the work, Reiki can be used for self-healing and the healing of others and, more comprehensively, the world in which we live.
Reiki is also an exceptionally effective tool for bodyworkers, massage therapists and other types of therapists and it can also be administered to one's own person. In fact, an intrinsic part of Reiki is healing the self through guided meditations, allowing the flow of universal energy, learning mindfulness and following five simple, non-religious but infinitely wise precepts.
I could discuss the many ways in which Reiki has benefited me personally and those around me over time and how, when I experienced a healing crisis two years ago, it was Reiki that I turned to, administered by my teacher and Reiki Master. As a result, my journey back to health took less time and was infinitely more profound. I would add that at that time, I was not a Reiki Master; I had studied the first two levels of Reiki and saw how effective it was for my clients and for myself. My original intention was to strengthen my intuition and energetic boundaries for my clients, but it ended up being so much more than that.
Let's return to the definition of Reiki. It is perhaps more constructive to begin by saying what it is "not." It is not magic by a conventional definition, it is not supernatural, nor religious. It has its origins in Japan, discovered and founded by Sensei Mikao Usui, a Japanese man of possible Buddhist origins. It has been said that he climbed Japan's Mount Kurama and meditated until he felt the healing power of Reiki within him. He then went on to teach others what he had identified and created a lifestyle for his students to follow. Reiki has since changed in its travels from East to West. There are some who claim to have expanded on Usui's teachings and reinvented them for their own purposes. It is important to realize the true origin of Reiki and be aware of ways in which it has been modified for marketing or ego-centered purposes.
Overall, it is a simple technique that doesn't require all the bells and whistles of our Western consumer culture. In fact, I believe that the academic subjects of spirituality and physics are converging, as we learn more about our mysterious universe and as we use the term, "energy" more in the context of our daily conversations. The word, "Reiki" literally means, "Life Energy." Rei as in life force, and Ki for energy, known also as "Chi" or "Qi" in Chinese medicine and "Prana" in India.
There are many other words for this life force energy: source, divine source or energy from the universal energy field, which surrounds every living thing and interacts with the physical body as well as all living things collectively. This is the holistic aspect of Reiki — the idea that it is part of a greater whole.
Simply put, using Reiki in one's daily life or on others for healing purposes involves being a conduit of sorts to draw energy from the source inward through one's body. The best technique for doing Reiki is visualizing being rooted in the earth, while drawing light or heat in from the top of the head, or the Crown Chakra. Administering Reiki essentially helps increase the flow of energy, addressing energetic blockages that may exist, which are of emotional, spiritual or karmic and physical origins.
Those who come for a Reiki treatment have their own personal needs or reasons for doing so, but the end result of a Reiki treatment has almost always been unanimous: people feel more centered, less uncomfortable and have a greater sense of well being. The choice to receive Reiki or to study it and integrate it into one's daily life is certainly individual. Either way, it has its benefits.
Eastern Vs. Western Reiki
Original Japanese Usui Reiki differs greatly from the way it is used in the West. "In Usui's time [at the turn of the century,] the emphasis was very much on personal responsibility and commitment," says Reiki Master and beloved Teacher, Ginny Mackles, who has practiced Reiki for almost 30 years and has a direct lineage to its original teachers. "Students were expected to work hard to develop their abilities, and they were given practical tools for using it. For us, [as practitioners] Reiki is first and foremost a self-healing and spiritual development method, though it is something that you can also use to help others. The course is thus rooted in personal energy work, though we cover the treatment of others in depth too."
Kerry and many of my clients continue to come weekly or bi-weekly for Reiki. Their issues vary from serious, life-threatening illnesses to emotional struggles, to daily challenges. I am struck by the way almost all of them marvel at how much better they feel after a session. I continue to be amazed and humbled by the power of Reiki. Whether you are a healing practitioner or client of the healing arts, Reiki is a powerful gift for everyone's healing journey.
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