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Gentle Hands Reiki

Jessica Sharp, TJT, RMT

What Reiki Is, and What It Isn’t

Let me tell you a story.

 

Once upon a time, there was a struggling stay-at-home mom who wanted to feel better.  Her mind, emotions and even her body were ravaged by deep depression.  Most days she felt like a terrible mother, and sometimes like a monster.  Her future looked like 5 more dark, hard years of wiping noses and being sleepy all the time, and then…. what?  She didn’t know.  Probably more darkness.  She had no solid career prior to children, no job to return to, and very few marketable skills.

 

She had heard of a healing modality called Reiki and thought it could be a viable career.  She took to reading books about Reiki and finding a mentor.  From the outside, Reiki sounded like a magic bullet that was going to cure her depression and solve all of her problems.  It was going to give her a job, and also literally and figuratively fill all the holes in her psyche and turn her from a monster into a kind and gentle mother.  Maybe it would even create a beautiful energetic space around her, strong enough to bend other people’s energy into better patterns so they wouldn’t annoy her anymore.  Hallelujah!  She couldn’t wait to get started.

 

In case you haven’t figured it out, gentle reader, this person was me.  Energetically, I was like swiss cheese, and not even the fresh, yummy kind.  I was dried-up, moldy swiss cheese.  All the holes were leaking energy, and also trying desperately to grasp something, anything outside myself to fill the holes.  If we equate energy with personal power and contentment, I was severely lacking.

 

Reiki sounded like some kind of magical, invisible elixir that was going to pour into me and fill all of those holes.  I jumped into my training with a voracious appetite – I couldn’t wait to be cured and then learn how to cure others.  On the first day of class my mentor gave me my first attunement, a ritual meant to expand a person’s ability to feel and conduct Universal energy, and I considered myself fixed.  Done.  Cured.  Now I would never have a bad day, never yell at my children again.  I was no longer a monster, because I had this magic stuff inside me.  Again, hallelujah!

 

Imagine my surprise when the very next day, I had a bad day.  I yelled at my kids.  I felt like a monster.  I’d been cheated!  I was supposed to be different now!  How dare Reiki not cure me!  I worried I was beyond fixing, that Reiki just couldn’t fix someone as bad off as me.  I spiraled into an even deeper depression, getting dangerously close to self-harm.  But deep down, I started to realize that maybe the problems I was having didn’t belong to Reiki to fix, but to me.

 

That is what Reiki, at its core, is meant to do.  Rather than stepping in and filling all of our holes, curing us of all of our defects and absolving us of any responsibility or accountability to ourselves, Reiki energy strips away the barriers we have created to self-awareness.  We all have ways in which we justify or rationalize our own unhappiness, illness or poor choices.   Whether it’s placing blame on outside forces, ignoring our emotions, or just throwing up our hands and saying, “I can’t ever change,” we block ourselves from truly and deeply becoming aware of ourselves.

 

Reiki is incredible in that it relaxes people while simultaneously holding up a mirror to what is causing them stress.  Reiki helps us to be better listeners, both to our own intuition and to other people.  Reiki creates space in our energy for more compassion, towards self and others.  It helps us see very clearly which behavior patterns and thought patterns are not serving us, so we can take charge of changing them.  It gently but firmly places responsibility for growth and change in our laps, rather than stepping in to cure or save us from anything.  It makes it harder and harder to ignore our own B.S.

 

Reiki can do the same for physical pain as well.  All physical pain has a mental/emotional component, and Reiki can open doors to understanding the links between the two as it lessens pain.

 

Looking back, I marvel at how ridiculous and backwards my thinking was when I began my Reiki training.  Desperately seeking a simple answer, I found a wellspring of hard questions.  However, by using Reiki as it is meant to be used – to strip away the barriers to self-awareness – I was able to finally help myself, which in my case meant being open to therapy and medication for the depression.  I’m no longer on meds or seeing a therapist, but they saved my life at the time.  I still use Reiki for self-care, especially when I’m stressed out and exploring different reasons why – rather than blaming the situation, I can usually find the source and the solution to my stress in my own thought patterns.

 

If you are interested in learning more about how Reiki can help you break through barriers and strip away energetic patterns that are no longer serving your true self, please get in touch!  You can also check out my Reiki for Self-Care workshops.

 

 

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Hot Damn! These are some great testimonials!

I’m sharing some AMAZING testimonials I’ve received from previous attendees of my Reiki for Self-Care workshop.  Are you interested in attending the next one?  Register here!

“This was my first Reiki workshop and it was absolutely wonderful! As a client of Jessica’s, I was already exposed to the benefits of Reiki. Though at every session I found myself becoming more curious about the entire Reiki practice, especially from Jessica’s perspective. So I was very excited when she said that she would be offering a self care workshop! I did not leave disappointed, but even more enlightened and empowered! My favorite parts were the guided meditation, breakdown of the chakras, and working with plants. The setting of the workshop was very comfortable and had a relaxing, but also energetic feel so I felt safe to explore. If you are looking for a unique opportunity for self-development, you’ll definitely want to attend this workshop! I use the self-care techniques daily for anxiety and self-awareness and definitely will continue to do so. Can’t wait for more! Thank you Jessica for a great experience!”  ~ Khala S.

“I attended the Reiki Self-Care workshop presented by Jessica Sharp. I have completed Reiki 1 and 2. This workshop was very different as the focus was on self. I learned new techniques and had others re-enforced. Jessica allowed time to practice what we learned. We were also given the opportunity to go outdoors to discover another way to put Reiki into a self-care practice. My biggest take away was to learn how to protect myself from negative energy and clear it if necessary. I would recommend this workshop, regardless of your level of Reiki, even the novice!”  ~  Jennifer K.

Rate Increases Begin December 2017

Beginning December 1st, 2017, rates for regular sessions will be $90.00.

Current clients will be able to remain at the $75.00 rate, and any new clients that book before December 1st will also remain at $75/session.  

This change will not affect sliding scale clients, and I am always happy to work with my beloved clients if the regular rates present a financial hardship.  Let’s work something out!

Other rate changes effective December 1st:

Hospital visits will be $100/hour.

Birth Attendance will be $300/5 hours, and $75 each additional hour.

House calls will remain at $100/hour.

 

 

It’s Back! Reiki for Self-Care Workshop

Saturday, January 13th from 9 AM – 2 PM

In this 5-hour workshop you will:reikihandonheart

  • learn the basic principles of Reiki
  • learn about the chakra system
  • receive a basic Reiki attunement
  • learn how to send energy to points on your body for stress relief and pain management
  • learn how to shield and protect your own energy

 

You can use the skills learned in this workshop to help yourself, loved ones and pets.  The cost is $200.  This is not a certification-level course.  Space is limited so reserve your spot today!  A non-refundable $50.00 deposit is required to reserve your space.  Please register here.

When Healing, Are You a Patient or Participant?

“One does not have be a combat soldier, or visit a refugee camp in Syria or the Congo to encounter trauma. Trauma happens to us, our friends, our families, and our neighbors. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that one in five Americans was sexually molested as a child; one in four was beaten by a parent to the point of a mark being left on their body; and one in three couples engages in physical violence. A quarter of us grew up with alcoholic relatives, and one out of eight witnessed their mother being beaten or hit.”

The opening paragraph of ‘The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma‘, by Bessel Van der Kolk addresses the many ways humans can experience trauma, either as a victim or witness.  Though not a book about Reiki per se, the chapters lay out a clear correlation between human connection and trauma recovery.

Van der Kolk, a Dutch psychiatrist and PTSD researcher, uses the book to explore “the extreme disconnection from the body that so many people with histories of trauma and neglect experience”.

In her wonderful article on the book over at Brain Pickings, Maria Popova writes, “Such post-traumatic reactions make it difficult for survivors to connect with other people, since closeness often triggers [a] sense of danger. And yet the very thing we come to most dread after experiencing trauma — close contact with other people — is also the thing we most need in order to regain psycho-emotional solidity and begin healing.” Van der Kolk also illuminates the point in this passage:

“Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives…. Social support is not the same as merely being in the presence of others. The critical issue is reciprocity: being truly heard and seen by the people around us, feeling that we are held in someone else’s mind and heart. For our physiology to calm down, heal, and grow we need a visceral feeling of safety. No doctor can write a prescription for friendship and love: These are complex and hard-earned capacities. You don’t need a history of trauma to feel self-conscious and even panicked at a party with strangers — but trauma can turn the whole world into a gathering of aliens.”

How does this relate to Reiki?  A Reiki session creates a safe, quiet space for healing and listening, where a client can feel fully supported, heard and even loved.  The non-sexual, soothing touch experienced during Reiki can help to re-regulate neural pathways.  Some clients recovering from sexual molestation have reported that a Reiki session was the first time they actually felt unconditionally loved, or received physical touch without the other person expecting something in return.  Van der Kolk goes on to write:

“The brain-disease model overlooks four fundamental truths: (1) our capacity to destroy one another is matched by our capacity to heal one another. Restoring relationships and community is central to restoring well-being; (2) language gives us the power to change ourselves and others by communicating our experiences, helping us to define what we know, and finding a common sense of meaning; (3) we have the ability to regulate our own physiology, including some of the so-called involuntary functions of the body and brain, through such basic activities as breathing, moving, and touching; and (4) we can change social conditions to create environments in which children and adults can feel safe and where they can thrive.

When we ignore these quintessential dimensions of humanity, we deprive people of ways to heal from trauma and restore their autonomy. Being a patient, rather than a participant in one’s healing process, separates suffering people from their community and alienates them from an inner sense of self.” [emphasis mine]

By stimulating a person’s natural, innate healing abilities, Reiki offers the necessary close human connection but puts the client back in the driver’s seat of their own healing process.  Rather than putting all control and hope in the hands of doctors, therapists or medications, Reiki restores basic control (and hope, and dignity) to the client.  Support staff such as doctors, therapists and the Reiki practitioner themselves can then be seen as exactly that — support staff, a willing cadre of caring people to listen and help the client as they re-route their own neural pathways and release old emotional and energy patterns.  Each individual is the main participant in their own healing, thereby allowing a healthy sense of self.

And this vigorous restoration of control does not apply only to trauma!  Any person who suffers from physical pain, injury, exaggerated stress or other health anomaly can also find themselves back in control and helped by Reiki and the close connection offered in a session.

 

Reiki for Self-Care Workshop

Saturday, September 16th from 9 AM – 2 PM

In this 5-hour workshop you will:reikihandonheart

  • learn the basic principles of Reiki
  • learn about the chakra system
  • receive a basic Reiki attunement
  • learn how to send energy to points on your body for stress relief and pain management

 

You can use the skills learned in this workshop to help yourself, loved ones and pets.  The cost is $200.  This is not a certification-level course.  Space is limited so reserve your spot today!  A non-refundable $50.00 deposit is required to reserve your space.  Please register here.

Rate Change is Coming in December 2016

After much thought and realizing that my sessions are generally taking 75 minutes rather than an hour, the rate for regular sessions will be $75 each starting on December 1, 2016.

I love to sit down with a client after giving them a full hour of Reiki and go over, in detail, what I felt in their energetic body.  This can help them understand the correlations between their energy and their physical and mental health.  In doing so, our sessions tend to run longer.  I don’t want to decrease the time I spend actually helping someone just so I have more time talking about how I’m helping them, so sessions are going to be officially 75 minutes to allow for out-take and the price will rise in kind.

However!  Prices for existing clients will remain the same, and for any new clients who book prior to 12/1/16 their price will remain at $60/session also.  If you have been curious about Reiki but reluctant to try, now is the time to check it out and be grandfathered into the lower price.

And while we’re on the subject of price, let’s talk about how and why I set my prices.  Bottom line, I don’t charge for the Reiki.  Yes, this sounds weird, but I don’t charge for the Reiki, because it is something that everyone could learn to do.  It’s something that exists, that is Universal and is part of everyone.  What I do charge for is my time and expertise — the ability to feel what is going on in your energetic body and subconscious, to help you understand what is happening in your energetic body and therefore the physical, and I believe $75 for 75 minutes is a fair price.

Now, probably the most important info of all:  I am still going to work on a sliding scale.  So yes, rates are going up, but since Reiki is not covered by insurance I am happy to work with my clients who have financial hardship.  I do this work to help people feel good, not to get rich.  I would rather see a client on a regular basis for $45/session than once every few months for $75.  So the regular rates will go up in December, but if $75 per session is out of your budget, please call anyway.  I will work with you.

Again, please book now to have your rate locked in at $60 for 75 minutes, and tell your friends!

Blessed be.

 

What do you mean, everyone has “Natural Healing Abilities”?

Understanding Reiki can be hard for someone who is used to Western medicine.  We are a tangible society, meaning we understand healing when it comes to us from an outside source – like a doctor giving us a pill or an acupuncturist inserting a needle into our skin.  The pill and the needle are physical objects, so our Western brains can understand that something is physically being done to us.  “I felt bad, then I added this thing to my body and now I feel better.”  Making the mental leap to understanding how our bodies could heal themselves, without a physical object being added, seems difficult, doesn’t it?

However, creatures all over the world are healing themselves all the time, without pills or needles – some probably in your backyard, right now.  Wild animals do not have the advantage of a human taking them to a veterinarian, yet they survive injuries and recover.  Let’s examine the behaviors of one of these animals, a cheetah.

Let’s pretend a cheetah is chasing a baby gazelle for prey, but the mother gazelle bucks the cheetah in the leg with its horn.  The cheetah now has a gash in its leg and muscle damage.  What does the injured cheetah do?  Does it give up and just die?  Does it immediately begin chasing prey again?  No, of course not.  The injured cheetah finds a shady, quiet spot and lays down to rest.  It licks its wound while its body begins a series of functions meant to heal the injury.cheetah

First, the cheetah’s autonomic nervous system takes over from the central nervous system, which begins the healing process.  Its digestive, urinary and exocrine systems all slow down (caused by the parasympathetic nervous system slowing down visceral organ function).  This allows the body’s other systems to concentrate and fully engage in healing.  The autonomic nervous system slows the heart rate, which decreases blood loss.  The endocrine system cranks into high gear, stimulating the thymus gland, which in turn stimulates the immune system.  Pain-relief hormones, T-cells and white blood cells are released into the blood stream.  The injured cheetah’s brain and body work together for one single purpose – healing.  The cheetah is not thinking about food, water or hunting, nor does it need to; those systems are shut down.

As humans, do we ever get a chance to shut down?  When we are sick or injured, are we allowing our bodies and minds the opportunity to quiet and heal itself?  Do we close out other stimuli, like work and family, to focus on getting better?

No, of course not.  We still have to work, we still have children or pets to care for, we have very busy lives.  We constantly have stimuli in our faces demanding our attention, so what are the odds that we would shut all of that out in order to heal ourselves?  Zero.  There is a solution, however.  A Reiki session can be a shortened respite that quiets the mind and body and allows healing to begin.  All of the functions listed above can begin to take place and can continue after the session is over, without the client needing to completely lock themselves away.

Are you in need of some quiet healing time but don’t have the opportunity to go lie under a tree and lick your wounds for a few days?  I can help.

In the next segment of our cheetah example, we will discuss healing frequencies and vibrations.  Please stay tuned.

 

Saying Goodbye, Saying Hello

I’ve been staring at a blank screen for five minutes, trying to come up with something to say that wouldn’t sound cliched or trite.  My mentor, friend and Reiki instructor, Greg Lemich, is moving soon to complete his doctoral studies.  Needless to say I’m ridiculously excited for him, but mostly I feel honored.  Feeling honored is something common now with Greg – we’ve been friends so long now that I remember the era before grad school ate his life, when it was just he and I sitting on the steps of our Reiki studio for hours after class, talking aboutDSC_3964-M life, energy and relationships long into the summer nights.  I remember when he told me he’d met a girl and I told him to not to move to fast, then I had the honor of proudly standing next to him as a “groomsgirl” at his wedding not long after.  He taught me for a year, then allowed me the honor of being an assistant teacher for 3 more rounds of mentoring and certifying new Reiki masters.

Now he and his wife are off to Norfolk, VA – luckily short enough for a distance but still far enough that Greg will have to pass on his caseload of clients.  I am beyond honored that he chose me to carry on his wonderful tradition of helping people heal themselves, and I pledge that I will do my best to respect this opportunity.  Mostly I am honored and grateful just to have a terrific friend like Greg – I am so grateful that the Universe brought us together and I feel honored to be part of your life!  Now go heal the world, Soon-To-Be-Dr. Lemich!

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