Continuing Education, Human energy field, Massage & Bodywork

Unwinding the Meridians

I recently took a new Craniosacral Therapy class from the Upledger Institute on unwinding the meridians. We studied the rudiments of Traditional Chinese Medicine in massage school, and there was a good bit of TCM on the NC Board of Massage and Bodywork Therapy licensing exam, which I took in 2007. (Wow! Have I been doing massage that long?)

We also took Touch for Health Level 1 in massage school as the owner of the now closed Whole You School of Massage and Bodywork, Cheryl Shew, believed it was one of the best classes to prepare us for the massage exam. It is based on TCM and applied kinesiology and is an incredibly effective method for balancing meridians and toning muscles.

After I finished massage school, I took the Levels, 2, 3, and 4 Touch for Health classes, and my teachers, Larry and Arlene Green, offer refreshers and online “get together” frequently. When I began the Unwinding Meridians class, I suspected my TFH books and charts might come in handy, I was right. Much of the material I had previously learned was applicable to the new technique.

I realized I needed to brush up on things though, and it actually got me excited. The more something in the class triggered previous knowledge, the more confident I felt that this is a modality I can use.

So what is it that got me so pumped? Well first of all, I could actually feel the craniosacral rhythm/energy movement when I put my fingers on the acupuncture points. As with traditional craniosacral therapy, the touch is light and less like acupressure or Shiatsu massage.

Before I tried the work on a client, I made sure to look up the acupuncture points for a problem I know she has. I could feel the rhythm shifting and changing even more strongly, maybe because I was working on a real problem. She shared my excitement.

Using craniosacral therapy to unwind the meridians can help with the emotions as well. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each meridian is associated with organs, emotions, seasons, colors, and a whole wealth of other correspondences. If a client has several points that need to unwind along the same meridian, you can sometime discover old trauma that is the source of chronic pain that seems to have no cause by asking questions related to the meridian correspondences. The inner physician knows and will often lead you to the truth you may be avoiding.

Unwinding the Meridians with Craniosacral Therapy is now a tool in my toolbox. I hope the more that I use it, the better I will get at help clients become pain-free and enjoy life more.

Continuing Education, Massage & Bodywork, Tapestry Life Resource

Incorporating Lomi Lomi into Massage Sessions

I just returned from the AMTA-NC conference in Cary, NC, and spent two days learning techniques of Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage from Brenda L. Griffith.

orchid at Daniel Stowe Botanical GardensIt was an amazing two days, not only because I got to network with other massage therapists, which is one of the benefits of belonging to AMTA, but because the techniques I learned easily incorporate themselves into my massage protocol. In fact, I’ve used some piece of what I learned in every massage that I’ve given over the last week.

Griffith, who is a former AMTA national president, studied with Aunty Margaret Machado in Hawaii in 1994 and 1995, and has taught classes in Lomi Lomi all over the United States. We spent most of the two days actually giving or receiving the work. The Lomi Lomi strokes are long and fluid and have been said to resemble a dance because the therapist moves her whole body to apply rather deep and yet soothing pressure through gravity and leverage.

Lomi Lomi is intuitive work. At the beginning of the session, the therapist sets her intention to help the client receive the greatest benefit and allow his/her body to balance and heal. Then using rhythmic, fluid motions with the forearms and the fleshy parts of the hands rather than relying on fingers and thumbs, the therapist uses long, full-body strokes to release blocked energy and tissues. Lomi Lomi feels wonderful to recieve, and as a therpist, I thouroughly enjoy giving the massage to others. It is almost as relaxing to give a Lomi Lomi massage as to receive one.

“Touch the body with a loving touch.
If your hands are gentle and loving,
Your patient will feel the sincerity of your heart.
His soul will reach out to yours,
And the Lord’s healing will flow through you both.”
~Aunty Margaret

Some of you will remember that a few years ago, I took a class in Huna from Angela Sherrill. Huna is the philosophy that underpins Lomi Lomi. Huna teaches that everything in the universe seeks harmony and love. Is it any surpise that one of the alternate names for Lomi Lomi is “loving hands massage”?  With long, continuous, flowing strokes over the client’s body, Lomi Lomi’s goal is to nurture the client and help him/her relax and simply be. What could be more loving?

Each of my clients who has experienced Lomi Lomi since I returned from Cary has loved it. Two of the regulars commented, “That’s new, isn’t it? I like it.”

For that reason alone, I appreciate the work. Moreover, I really like the emphasis on resonating with the client from the beginning to the end of the massage and relying on my intuitive sense of what the client needs to tell me what to do next. I also like the gentleness of the work and its profound ablility affect the tissues deeply without causing pain. Finally, I like that it follows the philosophy of Huna, which emphasizes love, tolerance, acceptance, respect, and compassion for all beings; Huna has an energy work component that I’ve been using for some time now.

This week I am planning to do my first full Lomi Lomi massage since the class rather than just incorporting pieces of it into the massages I am already giving. I’ll switch from cream to oil, and I’ll try to use most of the techniques I learned. I am looking forward to that. However, I am sure I’ll continue to use parts of Lomi Lomi, just as my teacher Brenda L. Griffith does, in nearly every massage I give.

Continuing Education, Tapestry Life Resource

Usui Reiki II Class Offered

Reiki kanji and hands
Reiki is a powerful energy healing modality that anyone can learn.

Now that I’ve received my NCBTMB Approved Provider number (451254-10), I am pleased to announce that I will be teaching an Usui Reiki II class on August 7, 2010, at the Wepner Wellness Center, LLC, in Newton, from 9 AM – 6 PM for 8 CE hours for licensed massage and bodyworkers. However, you can take the class whether or not you are a LMBT if you have the Usui Reiki I prerequisite.

The cost is $150 if you register by July 23, and $200 thereafter. 

Reiki is the first modality I learned. In fact, I probably would never have considered massage school if it hadn’t been for Reiki. One of the students whom I know will be attending this Reiki II class just told me today that she is enrolling in massage school in the fall. Including myself, she is the third person I know who came to massage and bodywork by way of Reiki.

Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is an energy modality that was developed during the last century by Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese healer. (The history of Reiki is readily available online and is both interesting and controversial.) The word itself means “universal life energy”, and Reiki is administered by “laying-on hands”. It is a simple and powerful technique that can be learned by anyone. It is passed from teacher to student by attunement. 

The thing that continues to excite me about Reiki is that first of all, it works, and secondly, that experiments in quantum physics are proving this beyond doubt. I use Reiki nearly every day on myself, my clents, and even my dog and my plants. Furthermore, what Dr. Usui, other Eastern healers and their patients, and countless Reiki practitioners have proven by experience is now being proven in Western laboratories through double-blind studies.

One of the things that quantum physicists have proven is the existance of the Zero-Point Field, which is a substructure of energetic frequency (sometimes wave and sometimes particle) that underpins the universe. The Zero-Point Field also functions as a recording medium of everything, providing a means for everything to communicate with everything else. When you consider that on a subatomic level, cells and DNA also communicate through frequencies unrelated to the physical nervous system and that they also communicate directly with the Zero-Point Field, you have the basis for how Reiki works. 

Reiki makes use of the energy from the Zero-Point Field to balance the Human Energy Field. The attunements that Reiki healers receive (and that students will receive in my class) set intentions that, incredibly, are part of the record of the Zero-Point Field and serve to insure that Reiki does no harm to the healer or the client. It seems that the more people who hold and intention over time, the greater the probablility that the intention becomes “fixed” and affects the physical universe from its quantum origin.

Reiki kanji
The Reiki kanji: the top symbol is "rei" or "universal", and the bottom symbol is "ki" or "life force"."

If this seems to resonate with your own understanding of how things work and you’d like to take the class, please contact me through my website or my email link. 

The Usui Reiki II course outline includes:

  • Atunement to the Usui Reiki II symbols
  • Meanings and uses if the Usui Reiki II symbols
  • Self-healing teachniques
  • Working with clients and distance healing
  • Building a Reiki practice
  • Ethical considerations
  • Hands-on practice
  • Certificate of attendance