Month: January, 2013

The Ancient Healing Art of Reiki

Transformative healing energy of Reiki

One way to improve overall health and wellness is Reiki. According to Dr. Oz, it may be the most powerful alternative healing tool available today. It is a form of spiritual healing, can release blocked energy and trauma from the body, release physical and emotional pain and create a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.

Reiki energy has been practiced in Tibet for hundreds, if not thousands of years and may go back all the way to the Buddha. It was rediscovered by the Japanese doctor, Mikao Usui in the 19th century and brought to the west (initially Hawaii) by Hawayo Takata in the 1930ies.

Some people say Reiki energy is the energy with which Buddha and Christ healed; others say that Reiki practitioners hold the space for a client, in which healing can occur; still others simply describe it as channeling divine or source energy.

The meaning of Reiki is usually translated as: REI = universal, KI = life force which flows through everything that is alive. The Japanese word ki is the same as the Chinese Ch’i which also means life force.  Through the practice of Reiki we are increasing the life force. In yoga, this energy corresponds to prana. In physical yoga practices we actively increase the life force, whereas in Reiki we passively receive it.

Reiki is a non-dual, universal, or soul energy. It can be practiced safely at any time and place. It works so well, because ultimately body, mind and soul are one. A physical symptom is usually the manifestation of an initially spiritual and, if not dealt with on this level, an emotional/mental unresolved issue. Louise Hay and others have written extensively about this phenomenon and linked the symptom of a disease to its mental/emotional roots. By releasing the spiritually blocked energy, the body can start healing again.

Often words cannot adequately express the healing power which can be accessed through Reiki. However I have seen the instant relief it has brought to myself and others. I believe that there is an energy field of pure potential, independent of what we name it. With Reiki, we can tap into this potential and restore the balance to our spirit, so it can support the self-healing power of the body. By reconnecting spirit to Spirit, we heal.

Reiki can be received in several ways. Most commonly, a Reiki practitioner channels the energy directly to the person who is present, typically relaxing fully clothed on a massage table. Another way to give Reiki is long distance. Like prayer, this energy is not limited by time or space. Anyone who has received the first attunement can give Reiki to himself. For long distance Reiki, the second attunement is necessary. What is really wonderful is that everybody can learn this technique, begin to self-heal or become a healer.

Reiki energy is transmitted through the hands of a practitioner. Giving Reiki is an intuitive process. Practitioners choose their hand placement according to their awareness and guidance. Yet it is very common to place the hands over the various chakras so they function better and are able to enhance the process of self-healing.

Here is my own experience with Reiki. Before I had my first session, I had been feeling extremely frazzled, tense, and exhausted. My world, or the relative security thereof, was ready to fall apart at any minute. I had no sense of continuity, did not feel I had any options nor was I able to plan my future. There was only a deep sense of impending loss and foreboding.

However, after the first Reiki session I received, I felt whole again. On the outside nothing had changed. Yet on the inside I suddenly felt okay.  It was as if suddenly there was some distance between my little world and the larger world and its workings around me. I felt at peace and reenergized in a way I had not experienced before, not even after a yoga practice.

One more word: Reiki is complementary to traditional medical practices and does not claim to replace them.  Yet, its power cannot be denied. Many of my clients are amazed how relaxed they feel or that some pain they had experienced for many years is gone or at least greatly diminished after as little as one session. Everybody’s experience is different.  No two sessions are alike, yet, as long as we are open to receive this energy, it is a wonderful, new journey.

Interested? Come to my presentation at Grapevine Yoga on February 17, 2013 at 3:00 –  4:30 pm, learn more about Reiki and experience a few minutes of its healing energy. The presentation is free, but I would appreciate a love offering to cover costs.

What you always wanted to know about chakras!

You don’t have to be a yogi in order to be familiar with a few details about chakras. Respected healthcare professionals such as Dr. Oz and Carolyn Myss have reported or written extensively about their meaning, importance, and given suggestions how we can balance them.

Chakras are energy centers which are relatedto specific glands. Although there are many different models, most systems speak of seven major chakras.  If the chakras or wheels are not spinning correctly, the glands can’t do their work properly and, over time, disease will settle in.

The chakras are influenced by our habit of thinking, so depending on what we are thinking or focusing on the most, the corresponding chakra will be affected positively or negatively. This affects our vital energy!

Let’s look at the chakras individually. Although this is only a brief overview, it will give you some good ideas. The first or root chakra is located at the base of the spine. Its color is read, its responsibility is survival and security. It relates to family and tribe. It controls legs, bones, feet, rectum, and immune system. Two of the effects of an out-of balance root chakra are chronic lower back pain and depression.

The second chakra is located two finger- widths below the navel and is related to relationships, sexuality and finances. Its color is orange, its responsibility is your creativity. It controls lower abdomen, sexual organs, large intestine, and pelvis. Two of the effects of an out-of-balance second chakra are arthritis, urinary and fertility/sexual problems.

The third chakra is often called the navel chakra. Its color is yellow. Its color is yellow. It is responsible for the proper functioning of the digestive organs. When it is out of balance, ulcers or diabetes can be the consequence.

The fourth chakra is the heart chakra. Its color is green. It is the motivator of body, mind and spirit and controls the circulatory system and the lungs. Its responsibility is love and forgiveness. If unbalanced, all kinds of heart or lung diseases can follow.

The fifth chakra is the throat chakra. Its color is light blue and it is responsible for self-expression. It controls the thyroid, mouth area, and esophagus. If out of balance, TMJ or thyroid problems are some of the negative effects.

The sixth chakra is often called the third eye. It is located between the eyebrows. Its color is indigo. It is responsible for our mental and psychic abilities. It controls the brain, eyes, ears, nose and the pituitary gland. If unbalanced, it can lead to neurological disturbances of all kinds and brain tumors.

The seventh chakra is also called the crown chakra. It is responsible for our spiritual nature. Its color is purple or white. It controls the muscular and skeletal systems as well as the pineal gland. Energetic disorders as well as extreme sensitivities to light or sound can be the effects of an unbalanced crown chakra.

To learn more about chakras and how to balance them, register for our ‘Balance your Chakras with Yoga and Aroma Therapy workshop at Grapevine Yoga on Jan. 20, 2013.

Out with the Old!

Happy New Year!

Would you like a fresh start in the New Year? Here four simple steps following Sally Kempton’s article: out with the old!

Particularly with the beginning of the New Year, doing some emotional house cleaning may be an important part of a New Year’s resolution.  Sally says that you can’t step consciously into the next phase of your life unless you bring consciousness to your past. This process has been called by different names in different traditions: confession, getting counseling, inventory, and surely many others.

Sally suggests a 4-step process.




  1. Take a few minutes and summon the feeling of loving presence and acceptance. Creating this sense of loving acceptance helps you with taking an honest look at yourself in the next step.
  2. List events, words, and ideas that have a particular charge for you. Particularly the negative ones are the ones that hold you back. Write about what happened as objectively as possible, especially your feelings whether they involved pride, shame, guilt, anger, or fear.
  3. Go back to the list and look at your part in the situation. Take responsibility for it, apologize or ‘fix’ the situation and do your very best not to make this mistake again.
  4. Finally, tear up the paper and burn it or dispose of it in some other way. I find that burning the paper is an extremely powerful tool for cleansing. Adding a prayer such as: ‘May these negative events, feelings and actions be dissolved and no harm come to any being because of them’ not only completes the process, but is the ultimate action of letting go and brings us back to harmony with ourselves and others.

This symbolic action can create new pathways in the brain and change unconscious patterns and painful habits.  Furthermore, releasing the past is the secret of creating effective intentions. You can find the whole article in the Yoga Journal, or at