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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Reiki Digest for February 21, 2007: Enhancing Reiki with Aromatherapy

This week's edition includes:

* Guest writer Michelle Shinagawa on Enhancing Reiki with Aromatherapy

* An Oprah update: Now that Reiki has been mentioned on The Oprah Winfrey Show, some readers are suggesting a letter-writing campaign to urge her to devote a whole program to Reiki. What do you think?

* Our Reiki Roundup and more -- so let's get started.

Michelle Shinagawa is a Reiki Master, Certified Aromatherapist, and founder and owner of Purple Fish Healing in New York City. She was one of the presenters at the recent Reiki Symposium at the New York Open Center, and we asked her to share some of her presentation with our readers. This is the first of a two-part series.

Reiki Master Michelle Shinagawa works with a client.

Enhancing Reiki with Aromatherapy

By Michelle Shinagawa

I am happy to share with the readers of The Reiki Digest some of the information from my workshop “Enhancing Your Reiki Sessions with Aromatherapy.” I know many readers from around the world could not make it to the Reiki Symposium here in New York City. I won’t be able to recreate much of the in depth material on specific oils I presented in the workshop, or include the aromatherapy partner exercise that we did in the classroom. However, I have included an easy step-by-step exercise at the end of the article next week so you can start using essential oils in your Reiki sessions.

How did I start using aromatherapy in my Reiki sessions?

I actually came across essential oils before I started Reiki. I saw my friend using essential oils on her dog and it caught my attention. I started to do some research and eventually used essential oils on myself. As I started to study essential oils, aromatherapy became an integral part of my life. Now my medicine cabinet contains mostly essential oils. When I have a headache, I use peppermint. When I have a rash or burn, I use lavender. When I am congested, I use eucalyptus. Since I had such a positive experience using essential oils for myself, friends and family, I put it to use on my clients during Reiki sessions. I use essential oils in my Reiki sessions 90% of the time. I find the two work really well together. For example, I found that essential oils help put clients in a more receptive state before the Reiki session. When they walk into my office from the busy New York City street, a drop or two of essential oils help calm down my clients instantaneously, whereas Reiki alone could have taken a few minutes longer to get to that place. Essential oils work very quickly. If a client has a sinus problem, eucalyptus can help clear out the nose before they get on the table. At this point the Reiki can work its magic and get to the core of the problem.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are aromatic liquids that are extracted from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, rind and seeds. Just like the blood in our bodies, the oil or resin carries nutrients throughout the plant and protects against infections and other diseases.

How it works

Essential oils promote healing, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. When the oil’s aroma enter the nose, it goes into the blood stream and every part of the body. Chemical interaction can occur between the oils and our bodies. For example, when I accidentally burned my hand while cooking, lavender oil helped reduce the pain and inflammation. At the same time it calmed my mind, so it helped ease my body and my mind from the trauma of the burn. Our bodies can become sedated, stimulated or relaxed by the action of certain oils. Pain could be reduced; cuts and scrapes could heal quicker; and inflammations and spasms could be reduced. For the most part essential oils will always affect more than one system so many times I find there are beneficial bonuses that are unplanned.

Some more benefits of essential oils

* Many of the essential oils have a high frequency vibration and help to bring our frequency up.
* Many essential oils have a high antioxidant rating.
* Many essential oils help relaxation and more restful sleep.
* Many essential oils help relieve physical discomfort and pain.
* Many essential oils are known to improve immunity to ailments such as cold and flue.
* Many of the essential oils help emotional traumas by accessing the amygdala (the part of the brain that retains memories from emotional trauma) through the olfactory nerves.
* Science has confirmed that many individual essential oils are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic.

The different methods of applying essential oils during Reiki sessions

There are many different ways you can use essential oils in your Reiki session. I use them very gently as a supplement to the Reiki session. It’s very important that you stay within your scope as a Reiki practitioner. In the state of New York and many other states in the U.S., for example, unless you are licensed massage therapist you are not allowed to rub oils or massage the client with essential oils.

1. Diffuser: I normally diffuse essential oils in the foyer area only, so that each client can pick their oil and not be forced to be in a room filled with essential oils diffused by the previous client. (A cold press diffuser is highly recommended.)
2. Spray Mist: Place a few drops of the essential oil of your choice in a spray bottle filled with distilled water. Shake and spray in the room and/or mist the client’s head.
3. Paper towel/tissue: Put a drop of the essential oil of your choice on a paper towel/tissue and place the tissue on a pillow when client is lying face up or on a face cradle when facing down.
4. Your Hand: Put a drop of essential oil on your hands before the session. (Please avoid sharp oils like peppermint, basil, or oregano, etc., if you are going to place your hands on the client’s face.)
5. On client’s hands, wrist or crown: Place a drop of essential oils on the client’s hand, wrist or crown before the session.

(To be continued next week)

Thanks, Michelle. I look forward to the next installment.

Let's move on to our Celeb-Reiki feature, which begins with a couple of updates. First update: last week's Celeb-Reiki, Oprah Winfrey. Now that Reiki has gotten a brief mention on her influential program (thank you, Dr. Mehmet Oz!), several readers have written to suggest that Reiki practitioners begin a letter- and e-mail-writing campaign to urge Oprah to devote an entire show to Reiki. Fortunately her web site has an easy-to-use form for e-mailing Oprah and another easy-to-use form for contacting the show's producers. Meanwhile, we've got hundreds if not thousands of Reiki practitioners standing by to give Oprah a session.

Let's just visualize it for a moment, shall we? ~~~~~~~~~

On today's Oprah Winfrey show, everybody gets a Reiki session! We have a half-dozen or so Reiki practitioners continuously giving chair sessions to the studio audience off to one side, while Oprah, Dr. Oz, and a few other expert-types talk about the value of Reiki. Off to the other side, one lucky person, maybe somebody on the production staff, is getting a Reiki table session right there on TV. The audience members who've received Reiki talk about their experience, if they're so inclined. At the show's conclusion, the happy table client sits up, smiles, and tells us how she feels. Then Oprah herself, having received a Reiki session off the air, talks about her experience. Attention, Oprah producers: this would actually be more visually interesting than those teeny-tiny needles in Oprah's hand and foot on the acupuncture show -- and not nearly as anxiety-producing for Oprah herself. Hold that thought, dear readers, and don't forget to use that handy form. Let's see if we can co-create, manifest, and otherwise bring about this thing!

Let's move on to an update on another prior Celeb-Reiki, U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota), who suffered a brain hemorrhage last December and is still recovering from that and the surgery to repair the damage. While he was unable to speak for himself, someone requested distance Reiki for him, which is how he became a Celeb-Reiki. Johnson began working from his hospital bed a few weeks ago and even co-sponsored a bill. This week he left the hospital and moved to a private rehabilitation facility. We wish him a full and swift recovery.

Our last Celeb-Reiki this week is the former sponsor of this feature, Claire Schwartz of Miriam's Well Healing, who is this week's guest on The Reiki Show podcast from the International House of Reiki. The topic: Reiki on Broadway (On Broad-way...) and in the performing arts in general.

On to the Reiki Roundup.

First, we welcome new readers in Honduras and Austria. The Reiki Digest now reaches 46 of the world's 193 countries. At least one of our Spanish-speaking readers is considering translating The Reiki Digest, or parts of it, so if you'd be interested in that, please let us know: -- or make a comment on this post.

And we take note of the echo chamber (echo chamber, echo chamber) of the blogosphere, where Reikiblogger has reprinted our recent Ask the Masters feature on attunements. We publish under a Creative Commons "some rights reserved" license, which permits reuse of anything on The Reiki Digest provided you credit us and don't revise the material. Thanks, Reikiblogger, for making use of that privilege.

Out of the blogosphere and into the real world -- first stop: Charlottesville, Virginia, where WCAV-TV has a brief item about Reiki on its web site, presumably based on a TV report. The web version of the report ends somewhat abruptly with an interesting statement that isn't really about Reiki, per se: "There are hundreds of stones that have different affects(sic) on the body."

We move on to the English town of Wigan, where the word about Reiki is spread at the hairdresser's.

Shinpiden master class update: We've had a cancellation, so there is now one space remaining in the New York City Shinpiden workshop with Frans Stiene of the International House of Reiki, April 14-16. Click here for more information, or contact:

Rest in Peace

Reiki Practitioner Richard Curnock, 84, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Reiki Practitioner Donald Norbert Schram, 74, Sheboygan, Wisconsin


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