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Is Reiki Right For You?
Wellness
Published Monday Jul 30, 2018 by Libby Blumberg

Is Reiki Right For You?

Massage
“Your body’s ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe.” 
- unknown 

As healthcare costs rise, many of us are searching for natural ways to maintain health and ward off disease. Without question, we need more information about how some of the practices beyond our daily routines—proper nutrition, exercise, sleep—can contribute to health and wellness, like yoga, meditation, crystals, essential oils, and Reiki. 

But can Reiki really influence your wellbeing? Whether you’ve never heard of this word or it’s already part of your practice, here is a little knowledge on how this technique can elevate your path to wellness. 


What is Reiki?

According to the International Center for Reiki Training, “Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by ’laying on hands’ and is based on the idea that an unseen ‘life force energy’ flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's ‘life force energy’ is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.” 


How do you practice Reiki?

During a Reiki session, you lie on a couch, bed, or massage table, fully clothed. The Reiki practitioner may diffuse oils, play relaxing music, and share affirmations along with the treatment, but every session is different. Although there are over a thousand styles of Reiki, they are all founded on the same principle. The practitioner channels the life force energy already in and around us. He, or she, helps us tap into that energy and use it to relax, reduce stress, and heal.

In the original Usui Reiki Method, there are 12 hand positions, which all correspond to the seven chakras (energy centers) of the body. The hands can be placed on the body or hover above it, depending on the Reiki style and your comfort or needs. With each hand position—lasting up to five minutes—the entire process takes about an hour. 

People often report a warmth or tingling with each hand position, which means it’s working! Reiki is practiced on men, women, children, and even animals. It can also be done remotely, over a voice or video connection. Remember, the energy is always there—waiting for us to use it for our own wellness.


What are the benefits of Reiki?

While Reiki keeps you relaxed and decreases stress, it can also create positive change in the following physical and psychological areas: 

- Sleep


- Learning, memory, and mental clarity


- Immune system


- Mood swings, fear, anger, grief


- Relationships


- Migraine, arthritis, sciatica


- Asthma, fatigue, menopause


- Recovery from illness, surgery, and chemotherapy

 

So, why have practices like yoga, meditation, and Reiki become so popular? Curiosity. We’re looking for healthier alternatives. We are discovering the miraculous abilities of our bodies and positive energies we possess and saying, ‘I respect my body, and it deserves something better.’

What if you could heal yourself? How powerful that would be. Go ahead, give Reiki a try.

Libby Blumberg
Written by
Libby Blumberg
Contributor | Yoga Instructor
About the author
Transitioning from 25 years of dance to yoga, Libby has been practicing Gentle Yoga in her community for three years. A Reiki Practitioner and doTERRA Wellness Advocate, she's also the author of two books about her IVF journey and motherhood.
Yoga sleep tips MINDBODY
Wellness
Published Wednesday Sep 18, 2019 by Amber Scriven

4 Yoga Poses for a Better Night’s Sleep

Yoga
Personal Growth
Expert Advice

We’ve all had sleepless nights. It’s the worst! Watching the wee hours of morning tick away. Wishing we could slip into a restful sleep before our alarm goes off . The frustrating feeling of knowing exactly how many minutes there are before you need to be up. Then, struggling through a heavy relentless morning filled with self-medicating coffee runs, and a tired, snappy version of yourself dragging through the day. 

There’s no one miracle cure for insomnia because there are so many reasons for not being able to sleep. Many people, however, find relief by curbing stress right before bed. One way to do that is with a few choice yoga stretches that mellow you out by encouraging your Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) to ignite your bodies “rest and digest” cycles. This is the opposite of the “fight or flight” system that helps you race away from oncoming tigers, or other more urban “dangers.”  

Here are a few shapes that calm the nervous system and decrease adrenaline in the body to help you rest and ultimately sleep better. 
 

Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

1
Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

2
Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

3
Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

4
Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

Amber Scriven Acupuncturist
Written by
Amber Scriven
Acupuncturist | Yoga Teacher
About the author
A busy acupuncturist, yoga teacher and trainer, Amber has actively worked in the wellness industry for over 10 years. For her, yoga is a form of health care that she uses alongside acupuncture in the form of retreats, injury rehabilitation, and pain relief. Amber is renowned for building emotional strength while cultivating physical health.