Redefining Healthy

I have been a part of the Canadian healthy lifestyle all of my life.  As a young person, my family served meals that were rich in vegetables and nutrients.  I would say that we were predominately vegetarian, but we did incorporate chicken and fish at times.  When I went to University, I became a fan of beer or a glass of wine with dinner.  I would never say that I was a heavy drinker, but a glass or two of wine per week was not uncommon.  The caffeine and coffee question was a different matter.  During my heyday as a personal trainer at Mayfair West Clubs, I would be drinking multiple espressos throughout the day and weekends.  Coffee culture in Toronto is an acceptable borderline addiction.  When people ask each other out, mainly the question is “Do you want to go for coffee?”

Last year, I remember when I went cold turkey from coffee.  It felt like I was detoxing from a narcotic due to the mind constantly obsessing over the idea of just having a small sip.  My mind and personality flat lined for about a week from the withdrawal, but I knew that I had to break the cycle.  I missed the bitter in the morning, so I started drinking a product called CafLib which is a chicory and barley based coffee alternative.  After a few weeks, my energy returned back to normal.  Eventually I conceded to myself that I will drink one glass of decaffeinated coffee a day.  I enjoy the taste of coffee, but the exhaustion and gut rot are experiences I no longer have to endure.  I still start my day with CafLib though which for me is a happy balance.

I was noticing back in April that I had put on a tremendous amount of swelling in my face and mid section despite the three to four workouts in the gym each week.  I’ve know for years that I have had a sensitive liver, so I decided to make the biggest change in my life … to give up booze.  I’ve heard the AA stories about what it was like for addicts to give up alcohol and I’m aware that there is a certain chemical imbalance in addicts that cause them to require the drunken state.  As many European families, alcohol was readily available my whole life.  I would never say I got drunk very often (except when clubbing in my twenties), but at a nice meal, there was usually a chardonnay or a single malt scotch offered.  Looking back, I don’t remember going more than a couple of weeks without a glass or two of some type of alcoholic beverage.  When I chose last month to not drink anymore, it was not the same as quitting coffee.  I’ve never needed to have a glass of wine, but coffee was always warm and wonderful way to start my morning like a hug and a kiss.

So, I quit booze and started taking a dandelion supplement to help my liver function more effectively.  In two weeks, all of my swelling had subsided (10lbs and 2 inches in my waist).  I looked physically ten years younger!  Certainly, my gym workouts became more effective because I could see changes from workout to workout.  I have truly become a morning person, and have a full day’s worth of energy.  My mood is generally lighter and I find I am verbally quitter when talking with people.  Last week, I noticed my sense of sound and smell has increased and I am able to hear a larger range and smell fainter odors.  Maybe the function of the liver has a much larger impact on my brain than I realize.

For some people, caffeine and alcohol have almost no effect on their mood or body health.  For me, I have truly found that these chemicals are intolerable for my sensitive system.  The social question about alcohol is an issue.  Generally sharing a drink together is part of how we connect with others.  When I go to a restaurant, I order a drink with three equal parts of orange juice, cranberry, and soda water with two limes.  The sweet an bitter combination are delicious.   At home, I use a couple of ounces of lime cordial with soda water and limes in a wine glass.  For people who want to take their body to the next level of health, I recommend quitting or substituting both of these chemicals (caffeine and alcohol) with healthier choices.

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Reiki and Chi-Kung

 

Reiki and Chi-Kung are both Eastern Asian forms of energy transmutation.  On the surface, they might seem similar, but they are entirely different.  This article will explore the differences and discuss how they can be combined together for practitioners to have the most balanced approach.

Reiki therapists open themselves up to universal energy.  This energy flows from the ethers, through the body of the Reiki practitioner, and culminates in the body and auric field of the client.  Reiki energy feels like the idea of light streaming in from above, around, and centering both in the physical, and energetic.  This Reiki energy flows into the practitioner through the higher chakras such as the crown, head, throat, and heart.  This is very different from Chi-Kung.  A Chi-Kung master draws this energy from the ground into their body through the feet into the lower Dan Tien (lower energy center encompassing the sacrum to the diaphragm).  Chi-Kung was designed as an adjunct to Kung-Fu.  One definition of Chi-Kung is “Internal Kung-Fu.”  Masters of Chi-Kung would draw the energy up from the earth and into their feet and circle this energy like the spinning of a ball in their midsection.  In martial arts, this energy is focused by intent into strikes and blocks.  For the healing aspects of Chi-Kung, namely the health and wellbeing therapeutics, breathing and movements would flow this Dan Tian energy to organs for balance and longevity.  Various forms of breathing, stretching, and movement is the foundation of Chi-Kung for therapeutics.  In Chi-Kung, there are specific hand positions that direct the flow of energy throughout the body.  One the points used was the thumb touching at the base of the ring finger, and this was to help tolerate pain and physical strain.

uechi hand

 

This tolerating pain finger position exists in martial arts physical conditioning.  In Uechi-Ryu Karate, this is one of the energetic connections that the advanced students would use while we were punched, kicked, and struck with sticks.  This connection is just one of many used in martial arts.  Ninjutsu has many laced finger combinations that, combined with a circulation of Chi throughout the body, was able to help awaken this pineal gland, resist pain, and cause other desired connections.  These are examples of Ninjutsu hand positions that grew out of the knowledge from Chi-Kung and Chinese medicine:

 

ninja hands

The overall goal of Chi-Kung is the centering and rolling of the energy in the Dan Tien, and flowing this energy throughout the body to organs and transferred to others.  In Reiki this would be calling in the lower chakras from the root (sacrum) to the third chakra (solar plexus).

Reiki, by contrast, is the opening up of the self to higher frequencies of energy and the channeling of this energy into the self and others.  The fundamental goal of both of these energy practices are identical, but the focus behind them are different.  Reiki was not designed as a martial art.  Usui Reiki was designed only for the healing of self and others. In Reiki, this might be why the lower energy chakras of the practitioner had not been believed to be important.  I have found that my sense of grounding is essential when doing any energy therapy.  Shamanism that originates in the ancient traditions of the first nations community also uses the idea of deep grounding before doing healing work.  In Shamanism, the balancing of the body is the coordination of the upper energy center (head, neck, and shoulders) and the lower (tailbone to mid thoracic area).

When I begin a Reiki session, I combine both ideologies or Reiki and Chi-Kung.  I open up all of my seven chakra points in sequence from the crown to the base, followed by a rooting into the earth and a drawing up of Chi energy into my Dan Tian.  I connect the “heavenly circuit” which is the tip of my tongue on the roof of the mouth (behind the teeth).  When I am full centered, my hands ignite with energy.

There is a lot of benefit to studying both of these modalities.

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Emotional Pain In The Joints

Let us talk about pain.  Sometimes, a new client will arrive for a Reiki session to help them relax or counteract the toll that anxiety has on their body, mind, and soul. As part of my intake procedure, I ask many questions to refine their emotional imbalance need down to a core issue. Emotional pain can often relate to a body part.

  • Fear is in the knees,
  • decision making is in the ankles,
  • ego pressure shows up in the elbows,
  • spine is about support,
  • the neck is usually about the will,
  • shoulders are about carrying burdens.

Let’s say that a person comes in with a chronic back issue.  After a bit of conversation, it turns out that they are also in a relationship where they feel unsupported- materially, emotionally, financially or any other definition of support.  No matter how many chiropractic treatments, massages, or physical therapy, the pain always returns.   During this conversation, I usually tune into many different layers relating to the pain they are looking to release.  This level of detail is incredibly important because the treatment always fits the cause.  A physical cause will heal through a physical means.  Emotional pain in joints is always treatable in an emotional way.  As the conversation continues, the treatment unfolds.

As a child, we have the crying mechanism to recover from all types of pain.  This natural release is not always necessary as an adult.  Don’t get me wrong.  Crying happens when certain issues and memories flood into focus.  I use modalities that are appropriate for each case such as Active Memory Technique from BodyTalk, yogic breathing techniques, and Ho’oponopono from Hawaiian Kahuna practice. The particular therapy seems not to be as important as the fact that the mind and the heart have done something in the direction of healing.  I like to call this a “permission slip” to quote one of my favorite gurus.  Emotional people cry, intellectuals need to talk and reason, and kinesthetic people usually need a hug.  We are all a combination of these personality types.

The emotional heart can heal and forgive almost anything if it is relied upon to function as a release mechanism. No matter what we have experienced, the heart will keep on beating.

Healing Of Mind Body And Soul

I use different approaches to healing people.  This is because we are all wired differently:

  • Athletes usually require physical touch,
  • writers need words and breathing (the process of speaking words),
  • Intellectuals require mental constructs,
  • Feelers need to feel a connection.

Of course we are all a mix of many of these personality types.  Healing therefor should mirror the personality type.  As a multidisciplinary healer, I interact with many different types of people.  If you were to ask them how I shifted them into a healthier state, you would have many different stories.  For some I use a healing modality, similar to Adam Dreamhealer, that is a distance style healing energetic mental construct.  In this altered state of consciousness, I shift around colorful energy ribbons of light like a jigsaw puzzle until the energies align better.  I helped someone regain their vision using this technique.  With chronic body joints misalignment, I gently roll each joint in 360 degree angles and ask the joints to find a proper alignment.  Many joint issues require an emotional release combined a sequential realignment from the toes to the hips, and from the finger tips to the shoulder complex.  The joints communicate with each other through compression and alignment.  By gently rolling the joints sequentially, I can foster better joints.

Words and shifts in awareness, can also alleviate someone’s painful condition.  I remember helping an intellectual doctor cure his own chronic neck issue by shifting his energetic focus in his body.  By getting this man to use sacred geometry (merkabah), he was able to fix himself instantly.  I showed him how to visualize his etheric energy field as a perfect ball of light around his body.  As he did this, we both heard a loud popping sound as his neck found its perfect alignment.  This was a man who lived with chronic neck pain for many years.  Perhaps seeing himself from an energetic state was enough to release everything that didn’t belong.

I look forward to challenges.

When we work together, all I ask is for people to come with an open mind or open heart and a willingness to shift themselves into a higher plane of health and wellness.