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Our bodies are more than just something we put clothes on, it is much like a shield of armor that we wear. Our muscles protect our bones and vital organs and in doing so respond in a very physical way in order to protect us from stress, anxiety or trauma. Imagine that you are standing still and a friend walks up behind you and scares you. Suddenly your muscles tense up and you feel a rush of adrenaline. Now, realizing that it is a friend you relax and the adrenaline subsides. Had this been a dangerous situation though the muscle tension would allow you to fight, or flee, if necessary. This reaction is protecting you from physical injury and harm. A similar reaction occurs with stress, anxiety, trauma and substance use disorder.
Over time our body becomes fatigued from continually having this reaction and we experience muscle pain, tightness or even disassociate from our bodies. Obviously we are still physically in our bodies but we are no longer able to recognize and identify feelings or sensations. massage therapy allows a professional to create space for the body to release tension, relax tight muscles and bring awareness to the client of how their body feels, moves and can heal itself.
For some clients, especially those who have experienced physical or sexual abuse, the physical touch of massage can be triggering. In that case, Reiki may be a better option for them. Reiki is energy work, performed with hands over but not on the client, and is based on the practitioner helping the client’s energy to flow freely throughout their body.
Our bodies run on energy, it is how our heartbeats and our breath flows whether we think about it or not. Our bodies have seven major chakras- energy points- through which energy flows. When the chakras are balanced we can function optimally on physical, emotional and mental levels. However, when blocked they can prevent clear thinking, emotional isolation, disconnection with your spirit and increased anxiety.
While each of us has our own energy we are also able to pull the vibrational energy from places and people around us. This is why some people may say someone has “a bad vibe” or feels tired after interacting with another individual and also why we may feel more relaxed in nature or at the beach which tend to have very grounding energies.
The principle behind Reiki is for the practitioner to channel healing, loving energy towards the client and the goal is to open any blocked chakras and allow the client’s own energy to flow freely.