I’m going to be transparent with you for a moment.
My 3rd year working as a massage therapist was one of the most intense and exhausting years working as a bodywork professional.
I started my massage career working at one of the most prominent massage therapy studios in Chicago. The majority of clientele at this spa requested deep tissue massage, and many of them claimed that I couldn’t hurt them enough. Day in and day out, I would work with clients’ most pressing physical ailments, only to find myself developing my own aches and pains in order to make sure each session was “deep enough.” After each session, I felt drained; just absolutely drained physically, mentally and emotionally. Not to mention that I started having frequent thoughts of, “now I know why experts say that most massage therapists have a work life span of 3 -5 years.” In a nutshell, I was planning my own exit strategy from the profession.
Then one day I woke up to an unexpected blessing. This blessing was the inability to place weight onto my left hand because my left arm appeared to be dangling from my shoulder socket.
“A blessing!?” you ask.
Yes, a blessing.
You see, with my arm seemingly hanging out of my shoulder socket, I couldn’t physically put weight onto that hand without experiencing excruciating pain run up and down my arm. This pain led me to follow the only choice I had which was to take a break from work so my body could heal.
It was my time away from work that was the blessing, in disguise. The following will share why:
During my time off I found myself visiting with orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and massage therapists to help ease the pain; to no avail. The orthopedic surgeons stated that the X-rays and MRI tests were inconclusive and that my shoulder wasn’t actually dislocated; the physical therapy exercises I was given only made the pain feel worse, and the massage therapy treatments weren’t able to directly treat the symptoms due to too much inflammation.
So what was this 20 something year old to do!?
I sat back and rested, prayed my heart out for an answer and started a career change search.
This course of action and non-action kept up for a couple of weeks until one of my nearest and dearest friends recommended a Reiki session.
“Reiki!? What’s Reiki going to do!?” I thought to myself.
“Reiki,” my friend said, “Reiki at worst will just relax you, and at best could possibly heal you. Just give it a try. What do you have to lose?”
“What did I have to lose? Nothing,” I thought, so I gave it a go.
First session synopsis: the worst case scenario occurred, I walked away feeling relaxed, as if the weight from the injury was magically lifted off of my shoulders. I enjoyed this feeling so much I decided to give a second session a go.
The second session was remarkably different, I found the Reiki Master working with my left shoulder for several minutes longer than she did during my first session. All I could say at that time was that my left shoulder was enveloped in a seal of caring and nurturing energy, and once again, I walked away feeling more relaxed than when I came in for the treatment.
One other notable difference from my first session to my second was that the Reiki Master said something to me that she didn’t mention before; she said that the Reiki energy would be with me for the next 24 – 48 hours. “Curious,” I thought to myself, and without a second thought I went about my day.
That night I found myself living what she had mentioned as I woke up in the middle of the night with a gentle calm. It felt as though I was in between the states of sleep and awake, with the state of relaxation from my session still coursing through me. My mind was awake, yet my body felt heavy and unable to move. I lay there for a moment remaining curious of the state I was in only to find my left shoulder starting to gently move. I saw it moving, I felt it moving, yet it didn’t feel like ‘I’ was moving it. This movement kept up for a few minutes then it stopped. Feeling dumbfounded by what just happened, I lay there at a loss for words and found myself quietly falling back into a deep sleep too tired to analyze what just happened.
As dawn broke, and the rays from the morning sun lit up my bedroom, I woke up in as calm a state as the night before. I got up out of bed and started to mosey around my apartment involving myself in activities like brushing my teeth, washing my face, getting breakfast ready. The moment I scooped my morning oatmeal out of the saucepan and onto my plate I noticed something. My left shoulder didn’t hurt anymore….like at all. Elated and slightly skeptical of the sudden disappearance of pain, I rushed to the bathroom mirror to find that it didn’t appear to be hanging out of the socket anymore. My curiosity further led me to explore if I could put weight onto my left hand….lo and behold I could, and without pain!
In a state of slight confusion mixed with awe, I contacted I the Reiki Master to find out what happened. All she said was, “your body knows how to heal itself and the Reiki energy opened the pathway for it to remember that knowing and do it’s thing from there.”
Call it grace. Call it a happy accident. Call it coincidence. Call it what you want.
The one thing I knew for sure that day was that my body was able to release the state of fight and flight during my Reiki sessions and establish a state of rest and digest. The state of rest and digest (aka the parasympathetic nervous system response) is the state where the body can properly digest food and heal from the inside out. I believe that my initial response to the shoulder injury sent me into an internal stressful state, provoking the fight and flight response. I found that it was via the Reiki sessions where my body had the opportunity to re-connect with the state of rest and digest so it could heal.
I simply call this healing.
This healing has stayed with me over the years, and I haven’t had an injury in my left shoulder since then. I was able to go back to work shortly after that healing night and this miraculous healing intrigued me to the point where and I found myself studying Reiki Levels 1 & 2 in 2010 (which helped me create better boundaries between myself and my clients, as well as, the world around me). This newfound ability to develop stronger boundaries helped prevent burnout I was originally rushing towards and elongated my career in the world of bodywork and healing. And in 2011 I received my Reiki Master level training. Since 2011, I’ve witnessed several clients heal physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually receiving Reiki.
Witnessing so many peoples’ healing, I felt called to start teaching Reiki to others. I come from a family of teachers, and I myself have 20 years of dance education under my belt, that I felt it important to practice Reiki for several years before actually teaching it. All this to say, I waited 7 years to work with Reiki energy before actually learning how to teach it, and in 2017 my heart felt that it was time to start teaching this wonderful modality. And now I’m happy to offer it to you!
So what can Reiki actually do for you? Why Reiki?
The following are a list of benefits from giving and receiving Reiki:
-Stress and anxiety reduction
-Promotes a sense of deep relaxation
-Increases ones’ sense of well-being
-Ease muscles tension
-Helps improve the quality of sleep
-Enhances the body’s ability to heal itself
-Refreshes the spirit
-Balances the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual aspects of oneself
-Reiki energy can be supportive during times of acute injury
-….and much, much more.
If you’re curious to experience Reiki for yourself, you have some options. You can either schedule a one on one session and receive Reiki, or you can sign up for Reiki Level 1 and learn how to work with this energy yourself.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out!