13 July - Reiki (Energy Healing) & Getting Centered

When my friend first told me of energy healing and Reiki, all I could think of was Whoopi Goldberg as Oda Mae Brown in "Ghost." I still contend that is one of the most unintended hilarious movies, by the way. And as Yve is explaining energy healing to me, I'm hearing, "Morticia, I can hardly see you. Baby, what'd you do to your hair?" ["You like it? It's called 'autumn sunrise'."] But when I learned it was about a Japanese concept of using energy for spiritual and physical healing, I was more than intrigued. In traveling to Japan last year, I have an incredibly well-founded respect for this intelligent, polite, orderly, considerate culture. Behind every bow, every movement, every action, there is well-considered thought. Rei translates to "God's wisdom or a higher power" and Ki means "life force energy." Together, "Reiki" uses a Universal Life Force to heal or balance from within.

I revisited this art of healing. Researching local teachers deemed a bit challenging. Friends who were either familiar with or have had experienced Reiki had no firm recommendations. I googled some in Milwaukee and found since many treatments are done within the homes of practitioners, I was less inclined to select a male instructor and attend alone. Others seemed to have a focus on certain elements with which I may or may not have been comfortable. I looked to the Chicago area and found one who seemed not only credible -- certified in Reiki-ssage, Reconnective Healing and Pre-Cognitive Education (among others) -- but also fit my criteria with regard to years of training, different focuses and personal experience.

I contacted Patricia Heenan from Evanston and scheduled an appointment. A petite lady in her 60s opened the door. Her warm disposition made me feel welcome straightaway. We spoke for a good 45 minutes about her background, and how she first got into this line of study. Patricia shared that her son has suffered from Tourette Syndrome since he was five. He is now 38. Patricia needed to get through to him somehow, in addition to the efforts of music therapy. For a hyperactive child, now adult, he is able to lie still and receive treatment for over an hour -- a thought that was once impossible. "It turned out that he became my best client. He's like a baby receiving my energy. And it became clear that I was the only one who could help him. We have a true bond." Patricia continued, "If I can help him, I can help anybody."

She is an intuitive too. She sat across from me and began to feel my energy, an "intuitive check." She explained that the body is made of seven energy centers or chakras. Starting at the top of her head, Patricia touched her crown and held one palm facing me. She then moved to her brow and touched her throat, the sixth and fifth chakra and again held her other palm out to face me. She continued down to the other chakras (heart, solar plexus, sacral and root). She relayed everything looked relatively open, meaning no major blockages that would prevent energy flow. She also explained areas like the power center or solar plexus is typically from where men operate -- the gut. The lower chakra area, including sacral and root are typically weaker or blocked among women.

When we continued in our exchange of life tales, she mentioned she was an empath. I was not quite certain sure what this meant, until she heard my story and began saying a meditative prayer for me. I began to cry. So did she. An empath can sense the truth, not a facade simply projected for show. This compassion aids in breaking down walls and manifesting true emotion. She was a soul present without judgment, but feeling what was flowing through me. And I began to release.

After our discussion, we moved to the reiki table. I lay face down, fully clothed and she began meditation while providing a "reiki-ssage." She explained that Reiki works with the chakra system, versus a method like acupuncture which works with the meridian system. It seems the meridian system is more physiologically based on bloodflow and nerve points determined on the skin. This treatment is a powerful combination of Reiki energy work and therapeutic touch, and it is certified under reiki versus massage therapy. As Patricia maneuvered around my body, she commented on a tremendous source of inner strength, but found emotional blockage. She continued meditative prayer and cried throughout the course of the session.

When we were through, we talked a bit more of her incredibly interesting experiences and other gifts, the difference between karma (actions of mind and body) and dharma (a universal norm to live by, which is determined by one's cumulative karma) and finding closure from our session. She did recommend not to talk afterwards...to remain in this space and let the energy balance, which can work within for up to 36 hours.

It was perfect timing. The latter half of my efforts in re-centering was going away on holiday for the remainder of the week. I left my phone behind to disconnect and re-connect with those most important -- my husband, family and friends. And that portion, an annual special holiday, remains personal. ;)

To find more information on Patricia Heenan, please visit her site www.spiritualrelease.com.