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All posts for the month April, 2015

Alternatives! Part Two

Published April 30, 2015 by Jackie

I promised a post about Reiki, both to my therapist, and to you, dear readers, so here it is. I’m half way through my course of 6 treatments now, so this may be a good time to take stock.

I mentioned in my last post that many of the positive things that have helped me start to sort out my life have placed themselves somehow in my path. Whether belly-dance or decluttering, my trip to Tanzania, meditation classes or finding Shiatsu for my migraines, most of these things place themselves in my path, rather than me searching and searching.

What’s it they say? What’s for you will not go past you. It seems that what’s for me stands right in my face so I can’t possibly miss it!

So it was with Reiki, and Wendy, my Reiki practitioner. A monthly email from Healthy Life in March said that Wendy was looking for new clients to continue her training. Shiatsu/Seiki and meditation had proved very postitive, so I asked at Reception, and Maria forwarded my phone number to Wendy, and so we began to work our way forward to a suitable date and time.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from my first Reiki taster session; Wendy told me that although she was just about to complete her Reiki Masters training, she felt she had been practicing this since she was a small child, so I felt sure this would be ok.

What greeted me in the therapy room that almost ALL my sessions take place in (shiatsu, chi gung, meditation), was a darkened room with a raised treatment bed, complete with head and knee pillows, and a couple of blankets. Incense and low lights, a flickering candle, and relaxing music too. Much more like a spa treatment than the usual futon on the floor for shiatsu.

I could tell immediately that this would be a relaxing time for me so I just got myself comfortabel while Wendy investigated and found out more about me.

{Aside: My friend said to me that there is more to this universe than we can possibly understand, and she’s right. We place our trust in someone else, and hope for the best, whether it’s someone setting up a computer, or flying a jet, we know that something works even if we don’t understand how it happens! I might be a pragmatist, but that doesn’t mean I should knock anything I don’t understand!}

Although not exclusively so, Wendy’s focus has mostly been on my head and my feet. Our sessions include visualisation, and in the taster treatment, where Wendy spent a long time at my feet while I imagined pulling energy up from deep underground through my feet, I noticed a few days later that some of the physical pains I’ve experienced in my heels, specifically when wearing flats, had vanished.

Now this was one of the reasons I decided to sign up for a course of Reiki, if my feet are fixed in one session, what can six more do for me?

How did I FEEL afterwards? Next day (Saturday) I felt amazing, but if I’m honest, by Monday I felt like death warmed up. (I lay this at the door of the statins that my doctor had persuaded me that I needed 10 days before, against my better judgement, and so I stopped taking the statins and felt better within a few days.)

In our first formal session, Wendy quizzed me about my mum as she held my head in her hands. My dearest friend’s mum had died a few weeks before, around New Year, which was the time of year my own mother died, around 8 years ago. And co-incidentally, the Met Office tweeted a picture of a moon-halo, which I had last seen on the evening after my mum’s funeral.

She and I were close, being the only daughter and living closest to her, I’d done a lot of the practical ‘stuff’ for her for several years. These circumstances had meant Mum was close to the front of my mind at the time, and because of this, I’d also recently written a wee piece for my blog.

But Wendy’s suggestion that maybe I should think about a medium ~ sorry Wendy, not going to happen. If my mum is watching over me, she will understand this…. I don’t want to know! I want to live my life for me, it’s my time now; by all means keep me safe. Honestly, she was an important part of my life for most of it, and she remains locked in my heart forever, but now the responsibility is over. If she’s there and reading this, or reading my mind as I type, she knows fine well what I mean!

How have I been feeling? There have been ups and downs, if I’m honest, and this time in my life seems to be as much about sorting some medical issues too, related to both menopause and my diabetes. So Early March was, hmmm, difficult.

In our next session, about half way through, Wendy suddenly asked where I was in 1970 ~ where did she pick that date from? Physically, I was in the place I’d spent almost all my childhood, but I had the feeling she actually meant where was I emotionally?

That time was pretty traumatic, my father had died of kidney failure in 1969, after a long slow decline throughout my entire childhood (he was one of the first dialysis patients at Edinburgh Royal for the last few years of his life, and they learned as much what NOT to do from him) and we moved over the border to Northumberland a couple of years later, leaving my two eldest brothers behind; one was heading off to college and the other decided it was time to leave home, he was about 17. So our wonderful family unit of six had fragmented to just the three of us, with my mum working long shifts and leaving us to our own company. My teens weren’t particularly great, but hey, I’ve turned out okay I think!

But this has always just been there in my life, defining me and defining my relationships with men, enough said on that matter. Wendy saw it as a blockage in my energy.

We shared a few tears for that little girl, and I was touched that it touched her too… Later in the session, more visualisation, lying on a warm beach ~ although it’s not something I do often, I’ve been to some lovely beaches in my time so that’s not hard ~ and a bird fluttering down to bring me a message. This sounds so cheesy, but I got a message, and that message was simple… ‘Let it go’

Our third session was much much lighter in content, tho as usual, I managed to shed a couple of tears. We talked about my garden, Wendy was getting an image of me in a garden… I have one, it’s shared, the younger fitter neighbours in the block look after it, but I often sit in the sun on the sofa, and knit while I watch the birds in the ivy, or pecking at the wall, usually blue-tits, there’s an occasional wren, a blackbird that drives me crazy at dawn in the springtime, singing in the trees at 4am. This year a pair of magpies are clattering in the trees, and late at night I’m sometimes lucky enough to hear a solitary owl.

How am I? Lighter in life, lighter in spirit. lighter in weight, lighter in everything, carefree and enjoying life as much as ever, whether its with friends or at work, or alone at home. And perhaps proof that this is visible to others, a long-time friend asked for Wendy’s contact details so she can try Reiki too.

And finally, well, we’ve also set the universe a wee challenge, more on that another time.

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Alternatives? Part One…

Published April 17, 2015 by Jackie

One thing I don’t do is live an ‘alternative’ lifestyle. I don’t eat particularly sensibly, tho I have cut out a lot of junk sugars over the last few years. I don’t do exercise, tho since our office move, and the recent arrival of Spring to Edinburgh, I have taken to walking home, but it IS downhill all the way, and only 20 minutes.

But over the last couple of years I have been trying one or two of what I call ~ thanks Miranda ~ alternative therapies.

I shall give you some background to this first. From the age of 25 I’ve been a martyr to migraines, most probably the common type, rather than classic, but I’ve had those too, and visual migraines, which I much prefer ~ those come and go for me within 20 and have never been a pre-cursor to full-blown migraines of any kind. What I experienced were headaches that lasted either for 48 or (latterly) for 72 hours, that responded to high levels of ibuprofen, but were always still there when the drugs wore off. I could function well enough, especially if I could work from home, as travelling on public transport was made difficult. All I required was stillness, a calm environment. And just occasionally, for the classic migraines, a darkened room and sleep.

I’m getting older, the foundations of my general health are getting a bit more wobbly now ~ I’m aware that things are not as they used to be. I’m sure much is about menopause, it can be physically debilitating to go through without some support, and I’ve also developed Type 2 diabetes around 4 years ago, which until very recently, I’ve managed to avoid medication and controlled through dietary changes ~ not huge ones, but enough.

However, around 2 years ago I started getting migraines that simply would not shift. My back muscles would become rigid with the pain, and my GP went so far as to prescribe co-codamol and valium combined. No way was I going to function as a normal human being on that cocktail. She also recommended finding a physio or (a chiropractor or an osteopath ~ I can’t remember which now, and she said to avoid the other one).

What I found instead was a Shiatsu practitioner, just round the corner from my office, and he was able to see me the very day that I contacted him, within a few hours. I had a couple of hour long treatments and they seemed to be doing good, so within a few weeks, I’d decided to drop down to regular half-hour sessions, about every 4 weeks to a month.

Sometimes, I was told, we experienced Seiki in our sessions, beyond shiatsu, something deeper.

Here, an aside to the audience, and from the Healthy Life Centre’s website, what is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a type of Japanese hands on body work stemming from ancient Oriental principals. Like western massage it uses pressure, stretches, holding, joint mobilizations and rocking to affect the physical structures of the body. It also works with the body’s ‘Life Force’ known as Ki in Japan. Shiatsu has positive effects on the body’s physical structures and the internal organs, but also, the emotions can be touched and helped to heal. Shiatsu is a therapy that addresses all aspects of our being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

And Seiki?
Seiki can be deeply relaxing but can connect with life issues at a deeper level.
Seiki is about eliminating unwanted energies, it can assist in affecting change on physical and emotional levels, help move life’s issues into a more clear perspective and help the re-establishment of harmony. Seiki unravels the everyday pressures that push us into physical and emotional distortions. Seiki focuses on the here and now, helps eliminate confusion, aids healing, helping us to let go of our physical and emotional problems.

So sometimes, the way I read it, the physical massage would move something in my emotional being as well.

Around the same time, I had the very good fortune to join a choir, and then a couple of months later, I joined a the lunchtime chi-gung class at the centre, then in the last year, I’ve joined a wee meditation class there too.

And the bottom line is, I started to feel so much better! What was working? Does it matter, maybe it’s one thing, maybe it’s another, maybe it’s all of it together? Don’t knock any of it, just carry on!

I’m a great believer in what’s right for you will present itself to you when you need it. This has been true of many things in my life, and maybe the reality is this: that the things that have not presented themselves to me are simply not meant for me. Or at least not yet!

Why am I telling you all this? I was asked today by another therapist if I could write about the treatment I’ve been having with her lately.

So I shall publish this post now, with the promise that my next post will be all about my Reiki treatments. Have a lovely evening, peeps, I’m off for a Reiki session right now!