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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving, and gift-giving

Dear readers,

This time of year we pause to express our thanks for a bountiful harvest and all the blessings of the past year. And then we get going on another kind of giving: holiday gifts. Here at The Reiki Digest, we've received some wonderful gifts already this season, and this week's edition is made entirely of those gifts -- from our readers and from our sponsors.

Our heartfelt thanks to all!

Janet Dagley Dagley

Facing the illusions of fear

Featured Practitioner: Deb Karpek, Reiki Master/Teacher
Franklin, Wisconsin

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." -- Eleanor Roosevelt
By Deb Karpek

One of the things I love about Reiki is how it leads me to be my best and highest self. It does this in ways I’m not even aware of. I’m always surprised and delighted to see how it has gently, yet powerfully helped me to heal.

Recently I took the online class offered by The Reiki Digest. I’d been yearning for some training and one day The Reiki Digest appeared in my mailbox. I don’t remember signing up for it but there it was! I loved the weekly messages. When I saw the article about classes I was intrigued. It seemed to be exactly what I was looking for.

However, I saw that it was on a Tuesday night and realized I couldn’t participate, as I have a volunteer commitment on that night that I could not miss. Still, I inquired. When I found out I could participate by listening to a recording of the class I signed up. I couldn’t wait to get started!

The class was everything I could ask for and more. I learned some new things, but more importantly I learned things I knew in a different and deeper way. I understood. One of my challenges as a Reiki Teacher is I don’t always understand what I teach. It’s more like I am reciting it, but not owning it. This class gave me that understanding and also the confidence I was lacking. I realized I did know more than I thought but my fear was holding me back.

Another benefit of the class for me was the validation I received. Many of the things I believed about Reiki were discussed in this class, things I had felt strongly about but had never talked about with anyone before. Again, it increased my confidence.

At the end of the class I was happy to discover that I not only passed the test but I aced it! I can’t even remember the last time I took a test and was so nervous! As I was setting up the final phone conversation for the class the teacher asked me if there was anything I’d like to discuss on the call. I responded with the first thing that came to my mind, something I had not shared with anyone until this point.

This is what I wrote to her:

What I think I need the most help with is being comfortable with being a full time Reiki practitioner/teacher. I quit my job in Feb 08 to devote myself full time to teaching and practicing Reiki. I do ok but get caught up in the fear and lack mentality. Then I want to run back to the "real world' of work and do Reiki on the side. I KNOW that's not what I want but it seems to be a self sabotaging habit I engage in. I've been very fortunate to have a great space to work in, get teaching gigs on a regular basis and have a steady client base, so it's my MIND that is the problem. :)

In our phone conversation the teacher suggested I write about my fears and forms of self sabotage. At first I thought, “Are you crazy?. Why on earth would I share my insecurity, my self sabotage, my vulnerability? And then I thought “why not?”. Writing about it will help me to better understand it and hopefully it will help others struggling with the same issues.

I am extremely fortunate to be able to practice and teach Reiki full time. I started my practice in 2005 while working part time, and in February of 2008 I took the plunge and left the “real world” behind, ready to focus on Reiki. My practice was growing and I could no longer do both. It was time.

Almost since I started taking Reiki classes I’ve been building my Reiki business, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. After I received my Level 1 attunement I bought a table and began practicing on friends, family and co-workers. I loved the feel of the energy and wanted to learn as much as I could.

Even thought I never consciously planned on creating a business I’ve been fortunate that everything sort of fell into place, at exactly the time I was ready. With a few exceptions it’s been a smooth transition from that first year of practice to the full time practice that I now enjoy.

And how I love Reiki! I get to work with interesting clients and I feel that I am really able to help them learn to heal themselves. I found I am a natural teacher and am fortunate to be able to teach in a variety of venues. It is both fun and fulfilling.

So why, every so often do I feel that I want out? Why do I have this need to run away? Why do I experience this fear?

Every so often I start looking for a “real job”. I decide that I don’t like being self employed. I give myself all sorts of reasons. Too many hours, working nights and weekends take me away from my family. I’ve had a hard time getting used to being paid daily versus the weekly corporate paycheck. I start to focus on this, and use it as an excuse to go back to work. And while I focus on this I know it is not true. I am earning a good living practicing and teaching.

Excuses. These are all excuses, fueled by fear.

Fear of what exactly? I’m just beginning to figure this out. It was suggested to me that wanting to return to the corporate world was a way of feeling safe again. A way to engage in work where I have a level of competence I am comfortable with. A world that is predictable and where I know I will succeed. Similar to eating fried chicken – a comfort thing! So very true!

Other fears are emerging. Fear of the unknown. I remember when I started this path I would hear in my mind “be comfortable with ambiguity”. I never knew what this meant and it’s only now that I’m beginning to understand what it means in my world. I was a meeting and conference planner in my former job. I planned ahead. I knew what to expect. Things were black and white.

Not any more! Now I live day to day, in the moment. Reiki gives me the opportunity to practice mindfulness. Think about when you are doing Reiki. You are completely in the moment, tuned in to what is happening right then and now. You are not planning ahead or thinking about yesterday. You are there.

This mindfulness extends into other aspects of my life. The quite time of mediation, walking in the woods and yoga all bring me to a new level of thinking. Things bubble up. These things are not always pleasant and peaceful. My shadow self appears and wants healing. My usual MO is to bolt. Leave! Walk away! It used to be so much easier to tuck those thoughts back in. Now they are front and center. It’s time to acknowledge them, release them, let them go with love. Show myself some compassion and forgiveness.

Instead I get scared and want to run! It was so much easier back then I think. I’m going back to work, to a world I know! A world where I’m too busy to think. A world where my head is full of other things so I don’t need to deal with this!

Another thing I tend to find fault with is the marketing aspect of Reiki. I get scared when I have to go to networking meetings, health fairs, classes and other areas I participate in to grow my practice. It feels as if I’m always walking uphill, trying to convince people to come to Reiki.

Yet, this too is an illusion, created by fear. The truth is that I love talking about Reiki, I love introducing people to Reiki. I especially love sharing how Reiki has changed my life in so many positive ways. I love to educate others in the healing aspects of Reiki, especially the newbies, those who have never heard of Reiki. I remember back to when I discovered it and how I was just a sponge wanting to know as much as I could!

The fear stems from my insecurities. When I let my ego and personality get in the way I start to worry. I worry that people won’t like me, will think badly of me. It really challenges my people pleasing tendencies. If someone is not sure about Reiki or if it does not resonate with them I take it personally. Now I KNOW it has nothing to do with me, but at times my emotions take over.

It also speaks to my fear of public speaking and being around groups of people I do not know. Prior to my involvement with Reiki I preferred to be in the background. Now I’m putting myself out there, teaching, educating, guiding others.

Another thing that sends me running to the want ads is cancellations and changed appointments. This seems to come in clumps. Last week I had 3 cancellations and a number of people requesting changed appointments. This drives me crazy! I planned my week! Now they are wrecking it! This is how it begins, with frustration. It quickly segues into fear as I focus on lost wages for the week and the open ended time.

Again, this is an illusion. Time is such a gift and cancellations afford me time! I can do desk work, go for a walk, take a nap, write, mediate. Why not focus on the more positive aspects of it? As far as the lost income I have found the cancelled client almost always reschedules or a new client pops up. It’s my fear of lost wages, not the reality. I need to focus more on this.

And for all of those folks who are turned off by Reiki there are a hundred more who love it and are willing to try it. For all of those mistakes I’ve made with clients and students who might walk away with a bad taste in their mouth about me or Reiki, there are many, many more who have gotten what they needed. I have to remember that I always do my best and that’s all I can do. Keep my ego and personality out of it. Not everyone is going to like me or what I do. This was a reality in the corporate world and it’s a reality in the Reiki world. It’s something I need to deal with. It’s an opportunity for healing and growth.

Isn’t it amazing how Reiki works? Things I need healed that I’ve prayed about and asked for healing for now show up in my daily life. Reiki is leading me to my best and highest self. Reiki is helping me to shed my people pleasing tendancies to gain the confidence to speak in front of others, to “put myself out there”. It’s helping me to learn to love all parts of myself, to feel that I am worthy to help others. It’s changing my relationship with money and with how I view what I do.

I have found that when I am at my best, when I can lose the self consciousness and just be myself, without worrying about what others think is when things flow. When I am not focusing on lack I flourish. Instead of fearing being a “teacher” I think of it as sharing what I love, honestly and enthusiastically. Energy doesn’t lie – it comes through fresh and real this way.

I had another aha moment while pondering these fears. One of the things I miss about the corporate world is the community, the energy, the feeling of camaraderie with like minded souls. The mindful world of Reiki is quite and meditative. As an extrovert I tell myself that I miss the energy of the workplace, the creative ways I engaged my brain. I tell myself this is a good reason to go back: community and creativity.

After meditating about this I realized that I DID miss community and creativity, but going back to the workplace wasn’t the only way to fill this void. I had a huge AHA moment and realized that a lot of my restlessness WAS due to not being in balance. In the upstart years of my Reiki practice it was all I focused on. There was no balance. I consumed myself with all things Reiki. While this is not such a bad thing (!) I realized I had neglected many other aspects of my life. I was seriously out of whack. I longed for the old days because I was longing for something I no longer had: balance.

I realized in that moment that I love what I do. I love teaching an practicing Reiki. I am so blessed to be able to earn a living at this. This is my job. This is my real world. This is not just something I am trying out. This is my new life. It is my challenge now to overcome those fears that have prevented me from enjoying it fully. Now that I am aware of my self sabotaging behaviors I can work to heal them.

To that end I did a couple of things to bring balance back to my life. I joined a gym, enrolled in a writing class and committed to a number of spiritual psychology classes, something I’ve wanted to do for years. It is also my goal to not only offer Reiki shares, but to participate, where I can meet new Reiki friends.

All of these endeavors will certainly take me out of my comfort zone. I may want to run back to the “real world” as my issues arise, but now I am aware that this is an illusion based on my fear. It is not real. It is not something I need to act on, rather understand what it means and continue to move forward. This is the healing power of Reiki – helping us get to that place of love, where we are free. I am so very grateful to have it in my life. Onward!

Our readers give thanks

Thanksgiving messages from our readers:

From Jo Morgan in Madison, Wisconsin:

I am grateful for my wonderful clients. The courage and dedication they exhibit on their way to wholeness is truly inspiring. I learn something valuable for my own personal growth work in every session with them. Their willingness to open up and humbly receive the energy as a blessing makes my serving as the conduit an honor, and often fosters beautiful, profound, personal spiritual experiences and insights for them.

I am grateful for the Reiki; this grounding balancing energy that directs my, and keeps me on, course.

Thanks, Jo!

From Bonney Ryan McWeeney in Las Vegas, Nevada:

Thank You Reiki Digest for giving me this opportunity to express my gratitude in written form.

I Am Grateful for all of the Lessons and Blessings that Reiki has brought into my life and my reality. I Am Grateful for my grown up children and their individual adventures exploring self-hood. Seeing them on their own journey gives me plenty of practice in trusting the Almighty and the Angels to guide their paths. (The Distance Reiki I send to them is taking care of Mom at the same time.)

I Am Grateful for the Reiki Healing Circle that I have been facilitating for 3 plus years in Las Vegas. I thought I was doing this for service to others when I started it, and now I know that it was for my own Highest & Best Good. I Am Also Grateful for the Reiki House a new Neighborhood Healing & Teaching Center that the Reiki Circle Family intends to bring into reality in 2010.

I Am Grateful for all of the miracles that I have witnessed and participated in through Reiki. I see and know now that there is a Magnificent Power for Good in the Universe that I could not have ever imagined years ago at the beginning of this journey. Every week I see people coming in for Reiki sick and tired and broken. Then I see those same people looking happy, healthy & filled with Loving Reiki Energy when they walk out of the circle. The happiness I have gained from this work has made me get a little younger every week.

I Am Grateful for the Shift In Consciousness that teaches us that Love & Light is Everlasting & Ever Expanding and that we are made of Love and Light (no matter what we seem to be otherwise). I have been calling this the "Namaste Consciousness" and it is growing stronger all around me. Treating others with love and respect in every action does make a difference in our world and in our reality. Giving and Receiving Loving Kindness as a daily practice gets easier with time. (Even though all of the healers I know find receiving a bit challenging in the beginning.)

I Am Grateful for my ever growing list of generous and happy private practice clients, students, & Reiki Circle members & participants. I Am Grateful that I Am a Pure and Perfect Channel for Reiki Healing Energy (which I have come to know as Un-Conditional Love & Compassion). When I reflect on all the people, situations, health issues, relationships and broken hearts that I have seen healed by this energy I Am AMAZED. The healing that Reiki gives to practitioners and patients alike is truly a holy gift. That anyone can do it...even me...still moves me to tears. What joy this Reiki Healing Energy has brought into my life. I Am So Thankful Every Single Day! Gratitude is my first waking thought in the morning and my last thought before sleep at night. (I Am Thankful for that too.)

How blessed am I to be able to tell you about this and know that others all over the world are having the same blessed experience.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks, Bonney!

From Judy Pattee in Kauai, Hawaii:

My gratitude is so grand for the awe and wonder of each day filled with the Sprit of Aloha ... the Spirit of Unconditional Love ... the Spirit of Reiki. The colors of the planet fill my eyes ... and the smiles of my grandbabies fill my heart. I give thanks to the bananas, papayas, pineapples that offer me life, and to the island people who offer me community and family. May we always remember we do not know what lies around the corner for us ... but we can always know it is something better than we can imagine. Mahalo!

Thanks, Judy!

Cyber Monday and holiday specials

As you may have heard, the holiday shopping season is officially upon us, and our advertisers are celebrating with special offers for Reiki Digest readers, especially for the season's biggest online shopping day, Cyber Monday.

And as you know, The Reiki Digest is an advertiser-supported publication. As you go about your own holiday shopping, we hope you'll keep the energy flowing by shopping via our links, because we get a small percentage of all sales through this site.

Many thanks to our advertisers and our readers for your support!

Speaking of support, extra special thanks to our very first advertiser, Dancing Light Candles, for sticking with us all these years. Dancing Light Candles are crafted -- and infused with the healing light of Reiki -- by Reiki Master Jean Bromage. They are without a doubt the best candles I've ever used, and I recommend them highly. And they make great gifts!

Now let's start with the most time-sensitive offers:

Hay House is offering free shipping on Cyber Monday (November 30) only:

Hay House, Inc.

JUARA Skincare's free shipping offer is good from November 26 through the 30th:

JUARA Skincare - FREE SHIPPING on ALL ORDERS, <br />        5 DAYS ONLY!

Gaiam is celebrating Cyber Monday with a 20% off special:, Inc

DHC Skin Care's Cyber Monday special is a 10% discount (November 30 only) :

DHC USA Incorporated

And please welcome our newest advertisers: The Sharper Image, offering a shipping special through December 15. . .

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. . . and Beautorium, natural and organic skincare emporium, offering a 15% discount for our readers:

Sounds True's free shipping offer is good all season:

Sounds True, Inc.

The emWave Personal Stress Reliever is on sale through December 27, as are the PC and Mac software versions of emWave:

emWave PSR on sale

Happy shopping to all, and thanks again for your support!

The weekly waka

These two reader contributions don't quite fit the 31-syllable waka form, but that doesn't detract from their quality (or our gratitude for them):

Blustering winter
Snow dresses shaking branches
The earth sighs and rests
While longing for summer's smile
(By Mary-Ellen Olson)

In vibrant Reiki
There is infinite stillness
In silent Reiki
There is abundance of love
In vibrant Reiki
The calmness is still stinging
When the smile is bright
Awareness is deep
Let Reiki sailing through me

(Waka wanted: If you'd like to contribute a waka to our regular series, check out these guidelines, write your waka, and email it to editor @

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Express your gratitude in our annual Thanksgiving issue

It's blessing-counting season once again: here in the United States, we'll soon be celebrating our gratitude with the annual Thanksgiving feast. And here at The Reiki Digest, we'll be celebrating as well, with our annual Thanksgiving issue. We invite all our readers to join in the festivities by writing to tell us what you're grateful for this year. To get an idea of what we're talking about, check out last year's Thanksgiving issue.

Email your messages of Thanksgiving to editor @ by November 24, 2009.

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts with our global Reiki community!

Celeb-Reiki cyclist recovering from crash injuries

Olympic cycling medalist Hayden Roulston of New Zealand, the world's best-known Reiki-practicing athlete, is taking it easy for a few weeks as he recovers from injuries he received in a freak crash during his home race, the Tour of Southland, earlier this month. Roulston wasn't even on his bike at the time -- he and another rider were off their bikes talking to race officials after a crash involving dozens of riders when another cyclist rode into them. Roulston suffered injuries to both knees and a dislocated shoulder. We trust that Reiki is part of his healing process, just as it was a few years ago when he came back from a life-threatening heart ailment to resume his cycling career. Since then he's gone on to win Silver and Bronze medals in the Beijing Olympics and ride with distinction in his first Tour de France. He was going for his fourth consecutive win in the Tour of Southland at the time of the accident. Get well soon, Hayden!

Music we love to practice Reiki by: Anugama

Anugama has been a musician since the age of eight, but it was during a stint working in a Hamburg, Germany, music store that he became fascinated with the exotic instruments from faraway lands on sale in the shop. From there, he traveled extensively to the places those instruments came from. During five years in Asia, he underwent a spiritual transformation and has since focused on healing music. Click on the Anugama button to listen and find out more.

All purchases you make via the links in The Reiki Digest help keep this a free publication. Thanks to iTunes, and to our readers, for your support.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanks for your patience

We're dealing with some behind-the-scenes technical difficulties here, so look for the next edition of The Reiki Digest on Tuesday. Apologies for the delay in publishing and in responding to your emails. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Rest in peace

Reiki Master Teacher Janet Ellen Neigh, 68, Silver Spring, Maryland, October 18, 2009.

Reiki Master James B. Nelson, 63, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, October 20, 2009.

Reiki Master Nancy Adam Sampson, 78, Quechee, Vermont, October 28, 2009.

Reiki Master Donna Sue Weaver Perry, 81, Yuma, Arizona, November 4, 2009.

Click here to see all obituaries published in The Reiki Digest since 2006.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Please stand by...

This week's edition of The Reiki Digest will be published on Monday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The weekly waka

It's raining acorns;
most of the leaves have fallen
- indian summer
memories of the season past
linger in the morning sun

(Waka wanted: If you'd like to contribute a waka to our regular series, check out these guidelines, write your waka, and email it to editor @

This week's specials

Many thanks to our advertisers for their support of The Reiki Digest. Please support them (and us) by checking out this week's special offers:

Tea Forte, Inc. Gourmet Teas

Receive 10% OFF your JUARA order. Enter SPECIAL10 at checkout.

Shambhala Publications Inc.

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$20 off emwave psr - limited time offer

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Carnival of Healing #214: Victory through surrender

Welcome to Carnival of Healing #214! And welcome, carnival-goers, to The Reiki Digest!

Last week's Carnival was hosted by Astrid Lee at Therapeutic Reiki, and next week the show moves on down the road to Rose de Dan's Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing Blog. Wow! That's three Reiki sites in a row. And of course, Carnival organizer Phylameana lila Desy,'s Guide to Holistic Healing, is also (among other things) a Reiki practitioner. Just in case any carnival visitors are unfamiliar with the natural healing practice of Reiki, click here to find out more from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

You can become even more familiar with Reiki by subscribing to The Reiki Digest email edition (it's free). And if you're already a Reiki practitioner and you'd like to freshen up your knowledge of the subject, you might be interested in our Reiki Update Training course. And we invite you to stand up and be counted in our Global Reiki Census, and add your events to our Reiki Events Calendar. Those are just a few of the ways we've been serving the world Reiki community since 2006.

And for those who may be unfamiliar with the Carnival of Healing, a brief explanation: the Carnival is a weekly round-up of personal blog posts on the topics of holistic health, wellness, spirituality, and self empowerment that travels through cyberspace, setting up its virtual tents at a different site each week.

The great football coach Vince Lombardi often said that "Winning isn't everything: it's the only thing." Coach Lombardi may have won many games, awards, and even the distinction of having a New Jersey Turnpike rest area named after him, but he did not contribute to this week's carnival. Just as well, since our theme this week is the power of winning through surrender.

So if you're hoping to be immortalized on a plaque alongside a highway somewhere, go ahead and keep pushing for victory at all costs. If you're looking for a different kind of win, however, keep reading.

At Life Optimizer, Donald Latumahina kicks us off with The Importance of Giving Up. And Carole Gold at Gold Post-it scores a field gold (sorry, couldn't resist that one) with The Law of Surrender: Giving Up That Which You Desire. At Grace in Gravity, Gina Loree' Marks discusses a different kind of giving up -- letting go -- in Brace Yourselves, a post about how and where we hold onto tension in our bodies.

Health Blogger found victory in defeat in his first attempt to run a marathon. And at Healthcare Hacks, Amy B. Scher never gave up in her fight to overcome paralysis from Lyme Disease -- though sometimes circumstances required her to give in -- and now she's Running Toward Forgiveness.

Kaushik Chokshi at beyond karma has something in common with Coach Lombardi: approaching life as a game. But in Kaushik's case, it's not about winning or losing: it's all about playing.

This week's Carnival also includes a couple of great Reiki-related posts: Rose de Dan tells us how she happily gave up the chance to respond in kind to an unexpected outburst in Building Bridges with Animal Reiki. And Sherri Lane gives up her own resistance to sharing her healing gifts in Seeing Miracles Every Day: Following the Healing Light.

All in all, a winning combination! We hope you enjoy this special edition, and we'll be back next week with all our regular Reiki Digest features, including the Celeb-Reiki Report, the Reiki Roundup, and a Reiki sports update.

Stay tuned for the Carnival of Healing

Watch this space! Carnival of Healing #214 will be published here in a few hours, and this week's email edition will follow soon after. Stay tuned!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Listen free to Celeb-Reiki Lisa Williams on Hay House Radio

Hay House, Inc. 125x125

This week's Celeb-Reiki is Lisa Williams, both a Reiki master and a medium, best known for her Lifetime TV shows Life Among the Dead and Voices from the Other Side. She now has a new show at Hay House Radio, and it's free to listen (Click on the image above to find out more).

Please note: Reiki and mediumship are two distinct and different practices. Not all Reiki practitioners are mediums, and vice versa. Ms. Williams combines the two practices in her own unique way.

Music we love to practice Reiki by: Jia Peng-Fang

This week's featured artist is erhu player Jia Peng-Fang. The erhu, or Chinese two-string violin, dates back more than a thousand years, although it didn't become a solo instrument until the 20th century. If you travel the New York City subway system, you may frequently hear the erhu being played by buskers in between trains. The plaintive yet hopeful sound of the erhu can work well for a client with a lot of sadness to be released, so keep the tissues handy and leave a little extra time at the end of the session in case your client wants to talk.

Click on the Jia Peng Fang button to listen for free, and remember that every purchase you make at iTunes via our links helps support The Reiki Digest. Thanks, iTunes!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The weekly waka

the leaves are turning
to gold, or to flame, or dust
each of them perfect
have compassion for yourself
have compassion for others
(Waka wanted: If you'd like to contribute a waka to our regular series, check out these guidelines, write your waka, and email it to editor @

This week's specials

Please welcome our newest advertiser, Value Health Card, providing 10% to 60% discounts on dental, vision, pharmacy, chiropractic and other health benefits in the USA. Card members have immediate access to some of the largest provider networks in the nation including Aetna Dental Access®, United Chiropractic, Coast to Coast Vision, and SunRx, and there are no health restrictions due to any pre-existing conditions. So far, Reiki isn't included -- but stay tuned for further developments. Click below to find out more.

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Other specials this week include:

$20 off emwave psr - limited time offer

Alen Air Purifiers

Thanksgiving Airfare Deals

Monday, November 02, 2009

A musical Reiki session

Editor's note: Some readers have had trouble listening to the audio. If you're one of them, click here to download the recording to your computer.

Featured Practitioner: Cymber Lily Conn
Hakalau, Hawaii

Reiki practitioner and harpist Cymber Lily Conn

By Janet Dagley Dagley

I received a delightful and unexpected healing gift the other day: a distance Reiki session in the form of a musical recording from our first-ever Featured Practitioner: Cymber Lily Conn of the big island of Hawaii. Cymber was a student in our first Reiki Update Training class, and one of the first to pass the final exam. While she was waiting for her test results, Cymber decided to do a little extra credit project for the teacher. Cymber not only practices Reiki, she's also a harpist, and she combines both to offer Reiki to clients via her music. For clients in her local area, she offers live Reiki healing harp sessions. Those who aren't nearby can get live sessions via phone or Skype, or even recorded sessions. Since I'm not in Hawaii (alas!), Cymber did a Reiki harp healing session for me, converted the recording to handy mp3 form, and emailed it to me.

I've been able to listen to it again and again over the past week or so, and now I'd like to share it with you as well. Just click on the pink button on the mp3 player below -- but to get the most from the experience, you might want to prepare by setting up a comfortable place to sit or lie down while you listen.

Cymber explains that she began the session by focusing herself as usual for a distance Reiki session, and then:

"I allowed the Reiki to begin to flow through my hands, as though I were in a regular session with a client on a table. I then brought Janet to mind, and began to get a sense of how her energy was moving and how she was feeling. It's important to remember that someone in a different time zone (there are five hours between Janet and me) is in a different part of their day, and their energy will be different from mine.

Then I begin playing the harp. Reiki vibrates like musical notes only much higher, and is infused into the music.

In most musical sessions, I begin with a grounding improvisation. However, Janet was already quite grounded, so this was not needed. Her musical Reiki session starts with music to help balance energy and prepare to release blockages. The second section creates a safe place to look a little deeper at the shadow side, the rich, dark, loamy place we don't like to look. Reiki energy will help release stuck places in the shadow. The third section brings you into a cheerier mood, and returns to a brighter place than the one you left.

Once I had finished the recording (using GarageBand), then I tidied up the usual little noises at the beginning and end of the recording, turned it into an mp3, and emailed it to Janet. She can listen to the recording as often as she needs. And when the recording is no longer useful, she can request a new recording that better matches her energy-balancing needs at the time."

Thanks so much, Cymber! I've never been able to share a Reiki session I received with anyone else before, or relive it the way I can when listening to this recording. And thanks for becoming our first Featured Practitioner.

About Reiki Digest Featured Practitioners: From time to time we'll be introducing you to selected Reiki practitioners from around the world who have demonstrated their knowledge and skill by passing the Reiki Update Certification Exam -- practitioners we feel confident in recommending to clients and students. Click here for more information about Reiki Update Certification.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

'Strong evidence' Reiki & other biofield therapies help reduce pain

Encouraging breaking news from the scientific community: A review of 66 clinical studies by researchers at UCLA found "strong evidence" that Reiki and other biofield therapies help reduce pain, according to an article published last week in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

The review found "moderate evidence" of the effectiveness of biofield therapies in decreasing negative behavior in dementia patients as well as decreasing anxiety for hospitalized patients, and "equivocal evidence" that biofield therapies can help with fatigue and quality of life for cancer patients and decreased anxiety for cardivascular patients.

The authors, researchers Shamini Jain and Paul J. Mills of the University of California at Los Angeles, say there is a need for further high-quality studies.

The studies reviewed were of average quality by scientific standards, the researchers wrote in the article, titled "Biofield Therapies: Helpful or Full of Hype? A Best Evidence Synthesis."

"In order to better inform patients of the potential benefits or non-benefits of these biofield-based interventions, clinicians and scientists within behavioral medicine should familiarize themselves with current theory, practice and research of such techniques," they concluded.

Insurance coverage for Reiki, other complementary therapies could lower costs

Health insurance plans don't usually cover Reiki treatments -- not even plans that offer coverage for other complementary therapies such as acupuncture. But one company in Wisconsin has been including coverage for Reiki, massage, craniosacral therapy, naturopathy and acupuncture as part of its standard plan for the past four years, and a company spokesperson says the policy may actually be saving money.

The Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin pays up to $375 per member per year for complementary therapies, and currently has 45 practitioners working in four different clinics. The services were added at the suggestion of a local doctor who had herself benefited from alternative treatments for fibromyalgia.

While most insurance companies consider complementary and alternative therapies to be unaffordable luxuries, GHC's marketing manager says officials believe the policy will reduce the amount it spends on prescription drugs. The numbers aren't in on that yet, but meanwhile, GHC made the top 10 health plans in U.S. News & World Report's annual survey of consumer satisfaction and success in preventing and treating illness.

Update training now available for all levels

The next round of Reiki Update Training begins on Tuesday, November 3, but if you're not registered yet, don't worry: we've revised our training so that you can study at your convenience, so you can start anytime. We've also added a separate update class for Level 1 practitioners -- that will begin December 8. Click here for more information on why you should update your training, and how to sign up.