Thank you to Karen DiTrapani, Reiki Master and Shamanic Practitioner, for this guest post on Reiki. Karen will be offering Reiki during our Restorative Yoga + Reiki Workshop on Saturday 26 March.
Reiki is an ancient therapeutic touch therapy rediscovered by a 19th century Japanese physician named Hichau Usui. Reiki works with the human body’s energy and electrical field to stimulate healing. It is non-invasive and very gentle, yet powerful. Reiki has been found to reduce inflammation and to increase the oxygen level in the blood. Reiki is safe to use on all living beings and is a wonderful compliment to any additional alternative or allopathic treatments a client may be engaged in. Reiki works on all levels: emotional, spiritual and physical.
A study measuring the effects of Reiki in treating stress and depression resulted in statistically significant decrease in symptoms of psychological depression and self-perceives stress.
In an article by D.W. Wardell and J. Engebretsun in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, February 2001, “Biological Correlates of Reiki Touch Healing,” anxiety was shown to be significantly reduced after treatment s. The two above studies have been quoted in the article, “Military and VA Using Reiki to Heal Returning Veterans,” which also reports that Military Medical Research has identified a high-risk correlation between Veterans with PTSD and heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, asthma and migraines. Reiki si presently being utilized at the Fort Bliss Restoration and Resilience Center in Texas.
A treatment typically lasts from 50 to 70 minutes.
Karen DiTrapani is a Shamanic Practitioner/Coach & Teacher with a B/S in Sociology. Karen has trained in core Shamanic Practice; Soul Retrieval, Journey work, & Extractions. She has completed an Intensive Study program and Advanced Practitioner Training with The Power Path School of Shamanism.
Through her studies in Peru she has been initiated in the use of the Humpi Mesa, for healing and the kintu mesa for protection and connection.
Karen specializes in trauma, depression and chronic pain; as well as personal Despacho Ceremonies. Of special interest is utilizing Traditional Earth Based Healing Techniques in working with Veterans of all wars.
Karen combines her Shamanic practice with energy healing, meditation and psychic, skills and has over 20 years’ experience in performing Traditional Earth Based and energy healing work.
She maintains a private healing and teaching practice in New Mexico and on the East Coast.
Questions: Contact Karen at (505)554-6514
... and your body includes (at least some of) your mind. Stress: physical reaction. Emotions: at least in part physical. Thoughts: require physical activity that can be imaged and tracked.
You don't have to know how the body and mind interact or whether they are in fact one to understand that what you do with your body effects how you feel. How you feel effects how you think. How you think effects how you act. How you act is what you do with your body, so the cycle goes round and round.
Whether you are dealing with a malady recognized by the healthcare system such as diabetes, arthritis, allergies and inflammation or just want more strength or flexibility (or both), or seek "stress" reduction, more vitality or mood support - there's a yoga for that.
Yoga is a system of techniques and practices for increasing and decreasing reactions and processes in the body and what we usually refer to as the mind. That's why it sometimes gets construed as mystical or religious. Yoga is the user manual for your body.
Does this mean yoga will fix any or all of these things all the time? No. Does yoga hold all the answers? Absolutely not. Yoga works hand in hand with many other answers - but it is part of the solution when the question is about how to effect the body. Yoga is a set of practices and techniques that you do yourself, under the guidance of a skilled teacher for the best results. This is empowerment, this is understanding and this is something that enhances other systems and techniques that support the body in wellness and you in experiencing your wholeness. One of my favorite ministers recently said in sermon that healing isn't fixing: it's returning to the experience of wholeness. Sometimes this comes with a "fix." Sometimes things can't be returned to any prior state. But as long as you are you, you are whole Returning to an experience of this - as opposed to experiences of disconnection, reduction, dissembling, evaluating, comparing and objectifying which so often happens when we seek to experience more or less of something - is the beginning of what yoga provides.
Want to feel more awake? There's a technique for that. Want to wind down for a good sleep? There's a technique for that. Want to suffer less from pain? There are techniques for that. Want to be stronger + more flexible? That, too. Cardio? Yep. HIIT? Yep. Resistance? Yep. Want to experience less stress? Yoga's got you covered.
Here's the rub: yoga isn't like a car wash: you go in one end dirty, have a few solutions applied and get rubbed by a brush and come out the other end shiny. There isn't a pill or a cut for that in yoga. Yoga is something is something you do. If you're looking to be fixed, move on. If you're looking to do something positive that will help you feel the way you want to feel, you're in the right place.
Sign up in the upper right hand corner to receive more information on how to read the manual and apply it to your life - and leave a comment with your particular question or concern! I reply to every comment and when you sign up for the newsletter and hit reply, you'll have a direct line to my email. I answer every one. See you on the mat!
May is "True Core" month here in the Badlands, which means in every class we'll be experiencing some connection to "core" muscles and fascia. Learning to sense these structures is part of learning to engage and move from the deepest sources of your power. Traditionally in yoga these structures are referred to as the "bandhas," or locks - like ship locks, not like key locks. The bandhas refer to the three diaphragms of the body, structural horizontal elements that are key to both breath and movement: the pelvic diaphragm/floor made of 8 interlocking muscles in a fascial sheath (mula bandha), the respiratory diaphragm which is also a muscle wrapped in fascia (uddiyana bandha) and the vocal diaphragm through which we speak and modulate breath (jalandara bandha). Most focus in the beginning is on the first two.
The cool thing about working with the bandhas is that when you engage these muscles, the vanity abs (rectus and obliques) come along for the ride - this doesn't work the other way around, which is why crunches are less than counterproductive.
The pelvic and respiratory diaphragms can work in concert, supporting both breath and movement, and are each functionally connected to two of the other deep core muscles - the pelvic diaphragm to the transverse (from hip point to hip point horizontally across the low belly) and the respiratory to the psoas, the only muscle that crosses from lower to upper body, often referred to as a "hip flexor" but oh so much more crossing from the thoraco-lumbar vertebrae forward and down to the insides of the pelvic bowls with extensions to the inner femurs.
The video below is a human dissection demonstrating the connection of the deep front line which includes the sting ray looking diaphragm-psoas connection. If you prefer not to see this clinical demonstration then read the next blog post instead. For some people, seeing this will help you connect to the same structures in your own body, which is why I include this wonderfully beautiful video. Some folks would rather not see human cadavers which is why I include the bold, large letters.
Leave your reaction to the video or to your feeling of these connections in a comment below.
If you've ever been to a yoga class, you know that an hour or so of yoga can totally change how you feel. One 2010 study in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology even showed significantly lower cortisol after a single yoga class. So when I heard researcher Amy Cuddy begin her TED talk by saying "We are also influenced by our nonverbals," my first thought was "Duh." But that's the way of TED, right? Start with the obvious and then blow our minds. She delivered, concluding "...all they need is 2 minutes, some privacy and their bodies.... Tiny tweaks lead to big changes."
Yoga folks have known this for, oh, about five millennia. Research is beginning to show us how what we know happens happens, though and this helps us create evidence based, efficient and maximally effective practices. This talk is fascinating and the visuals are fantastic - definitely worth the watch, so I've included it below. The best part of the research is the confirmation that our postures, whether in everyday life or chosen "poses" like we engage in yoga class, change our hormonal profiles.
Hormones are messengers in the body and I first heard this claim in a yoga class decades ago: "Locust increases testosterone and reduces cortisol." I've still never seen specific research on Locust pose, but there's a growing body of research showing how yoga class impacts cortisol and hormones of metabolism (check out my page referencing research on theBenefits of Yoga).
We know instinctively that our bodies effect our minds, hearts and emotions. That's why yoga is so powerful: poses are sequenced in a balanced way. Home Yoga Practice (HYP) is so powerful because you can give yourself these experiences every single day, twice a day if you like. Two minutes, five, fifteen. Even two minutes matter. The effects linger and build. You balance the "power" poses of Warrior with calming poses, inverting poses, twisting and you end with a neutral pose that lets all sink in.
"Try power posing. ... Configure your brain to do the best" for your whole life. Give yourself . Home Yoga Practice. Head over to theGuided Practice Page or just roll out your mat and begin.Home Yoga Practice Workbook will take you through everything you need to start your practice and give you the confidence to give yourself what you need, what you already have and didn't know. Give it to yourself, give it, as Dr. Cuddy says, to those with "No resources and no technology and no status and no power." Yoga for everyone.