by Laura Garrard
When I graduated from massage school in 2005, people were just beginning to recognize the benefits of therapeutic massage beyond a vacation luxury. Energy medicine seemed to be popular just among my colleagues and “New Agers.”
Just seven years ago, some clients looked at me crosswise when I mentioned energy work had assisted them in their healing. “What do you mean by energy work?” was a common question.
“You received healing energy from the Universal Energy Field through me as a conduit,” I tried to explain. “Then your body released an energetic block that had created an imbalance. Now you are progressing with healing much faster.”
If they appeared confused, doubtful, I would back off and relay simply that the bodywork sessions were assisting them. They understood that they were feeling better, and they related more readily to the physical techniques I performed. Years ago some clients couldn’t quite accept that there is an energetic body and how healing on the energetic level set their physical or mental healing in motion. Now, energy medicine is taken much more seriously, and our local hospital offers Reiki and Healing Touch to patients.
Learning to Heal With Energy
I became a Reiki (universal life force energy) teacher in June of 2009. I had finished my level III Master Teacher certification in 2008. I started teaching because someone wanted to study with me. I began to see positive reward in teaching people to work with energy, first to heal themselves and progress more profoundly in their lives, and secondly so that they could assist others and eventually become teachers. However, some of my earlier students couldn’t come into confidence that merely by receiving the gift of attunement, they could begin to use healing energy connected to the Universal Energy Field.
Even though these students wanted to believe, and were hopeful and curious enough to study Reiki, they doubted their abilities to recognize energy and didn’t think they could access and utilize it as I apparently could. So they often wouldn’t use it after their training. I would run into them and ask them how their Reiki practice was, and they would confess that they hadn’t used it in a very long time. What a pity!
No matter my reassurance or feedback, naysayers in their lives, or their self-doubt, discouraged them from using a powerful self-help tool. They would sometimes say, “I don’t know if I’m doing it right.”
I emphasize in my classes that Reiki is a non-harmful practice and that energy works intelligently on its own accord with the practitioner as its assistant. Setting intention for healing is all that is required. There really is no way to do it wrong. There are just practitioner techniques that create even stronger results.
Utilizing Reiki more often teaches and guides the practitioner as well. Can something this easily accessible be real? In this country, our belief that anything worthwhile takes hard work sometimes gets in our way.
Energy Medicine is evolving
Now, there are recently published bestselling books that lead people toward recognizing and using healing energy. How wonderful! This summer, when I began teaching Reiki I to six already energetically connected adults, I provided several reputable references regarding healing energy. I no longer feel the need to substantiate its existence.
The students I have taught over the last two years have been more apt to discover their abilities right away. It makes teaching and learning more effective and exciting.
It’s becoming the same with clients. I don’t often have to describe what energy medicine is or how I knew exactly what techniques to incorporate into sessions. Clients understand that we’re working as a team. Their bodies relay what I need to do and for how long, and energy work is the most important tool. When they thank me, they accept wholeheartedly when I give their bodies most of the credit: “I’m so glad that your body is responding well to treatment, and I’m happy to assist.” Healing is happening more quickly for clients.
So what can students learn from a Reiki Master Teacher that they cannot from books? Teachers share their approaches, experiences, demonstrations, and feedback to encourage confidence in their students. In addition, teachers assist students in reconnecting to their energetic bodies and in increasing their unique abilities to channel energy for the purpose of healing. The attunement of the energetic systems, or “chakras,” serves to open students to higher acuities with energy practice. This helps students reach their goals more quickly.
In addition, Reiki learning provides proven effective healing techniques. As teachers continue to attune students, become further clarified in their energetic bodies, and use energy for healing, they continue to progress and grow stronger in their abilities. They can then pass these skills on to their students.
What a wonderful era of discovery is ahead of us when energy practitioners are becoming MDs and more research is being conducted on energy medicine and its effectiveness. I can’t wait to learn of scientific discoveries in the future that will explain in material terms what many have been using for thousands of years. If you would like to be an explorer of the ancient healing techniques, I would love to teach you.
Laura Garrard, MS, CLT, CMT, BCTMB, Reiki Master Teacher, owns Attuned Healing Massage & Bodywork. She has performed bodywork and used Reiki for over ten years and has taught Reiki for over seven. She schedules group and individual classes as they are requested. Her next class is a Reiki II course on July 18, 2015. This special full-day course will allow for extra practice and feedback. To register, please contact her by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-690-5308.