New study measures energy exchange between people!

From the summary:

This study represents one of the first successful attempts to directly measure an energy exchange between people, and provides a solid, testable theory to explain the observed effects of many healing modalities that are based upon the assumption that an energy exchange takes place.

Researchers found that the exchange is strongest through touch, but that there is still an energy exchange that occurs from proximity.

I’m not sure who is still doubtful about this, except that Western medicine seems to want scientific proof. Here it is.

This finding applies to the healing modalities that include touch and proximity (all forms of massage, Reiki, faith healing, and deeksha come to mind, and also psychotherapy and being in the presence of spiritual teachers).

Here’s the link to the whole study, The Electricity of Touch: Detection and Measurement of Cardiac Energy Exchange Between People. It’s from the Institute of Heartmath.

Self-care for massage therapists, part 2 (what works for me)

In part 1, I listed various self-care methods that massage therapists use for their own aches and pains from giving massage. In part 2, I want to share what I’ve tried (so far) that works.

First, I want to say that my strength and endurance have increased with practice. I used to be in pain after giving 3 hour-long massages in a row several days in a row. Now I can do 4 hours 5 days a week with just a few twinges and aches afterwards. For several weeks, though, I was hurting and feeling some despair about having upended my life to get trained and start working in this new profession and the possibility of not being physically able to do it.

Key learnings from a newbie:

  • I no longer attempt deep tissue work, sticking to Swedish and reflexology. My Swedish massages are good and getting better. I incorporate some of David Lauterstein’s deep massage strokes into every Swedish massage, and I use pressure points, stretching, techniques from sports massage, body mobilization techniques, and reflexology, depending on the client’s issues and the amount of time I have. I cannot deliver the pressure that some clients (well-informed or not about what “deep tissue” means) seem to want. If I work within my limitations, it’s win-win for everyone.
  • I trained in Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy so that I can deliver deeper pressure using my feet and body weight, controlled by holding onto overhead bars. It’s so much easier on my body and a lot of fun, too.
  • I rock with my feet and leverage my body weight strategically as I deliver Swedish massage so my arms and shoulders do less work.
  • Hydrotherapy totally rocks after a long shift. I fill my double kitchen sinks with hot water (my water heater is set to 130 degrees F. for sanitizing laundry) and cold water that I dump a quart or two of ice into. I immerse my aching forearms and hands in the water, alternating cold-hot-cold-hot-cold, for one minute each. I can barely stand it, and yet it makes a huge difference in just 5 minutes. Seems to flush toxins and swelling and pain right out.
  • I stretch my fingers and wrists, holding each stretch for 15 seconds. Good to do when driving, at red lights.
  • I press into the trigger points for the elbow and wrist (see part 1 for links).
  • I apply magnesium gel with seaweed extract topically. According to Wikipedia, symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle cramps, weakness, and fatigue, and fifty-seven percent of the US population does not get enough magnesium from food.
  • I love epsom salts in a bath. (Guess what? They contain magnesium!) When I was feeling a lot of pain all over, I would dump a cup or two of epsom salts into a fairly hot bath and add a few drops of lavender oil, then soak for 15-20 minutes. I felt like a new woman when I came out! I learned this years ago from dancers.
  • I use Young Living’s OrthoEase oil on clients’ painful muscles, and I use it on mine as well. Contains wintergreen, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and more that are analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
  • I keep hydrated and have been avoiding nightshades lately. I’m already gluten-free and eat fairly healthily. I’m interested in following an anti-inflammatory diet but haven’t done the research yet.
  • I take at least a couple of days off per week, not always together, though. I’m still finding my ideal schedule.
  • I do 10-15 minutes of yoga every morning. Sun salutations stretch and strengthen my body. Plus, it’s a great check-in to do something that starts the same every day. I start slowly and really let my hamstrings lengthen in forward bend before I move on to the next pose. I add standing poses, balance poses, and pigeon as I feel the need and to keep it interesting.
  • I get at least a chair massage every week. I’m interested in setting up a weekly trade for a full-body massage with someone, too.
  • I use a foam roller on back when needed, and a tennis ball to my gluteus.
  • I have two tennis balls tied into a sock that I use when driving to massage my back. I’ve also learned to “pop” my own back while giving massage!

Here’s something that just doesn’t fit into any of the categories I’ve seen so far about self-care for MTs. It’s about how you use your attention. I’ve learned to keep some of my attention on my body most of the time.

When I focused exclusively on the client’s body, delivering what I thought they wanted, I hurt and fatigued myself. I listen more to my body now and check in verbally with the client if I am not noticing nonverbal feedback.

If I notice that I feel rigid anywhere in my body, I say to myself, “Soften,” and my body softens.

Sometimes I put my attention on the soles of my feet and their connection to the floor/earth (I massage with bare feet always for Ashiatsu and as much as possible for Swedish), making the movements of giving massage into a soft, fluid dance.

Sometimes I attend to my breath, letting it become easy and relaxing (and audible to the client, as a nonverbal suggestion that they relax too).

All of these techniques activate the inner body, subtle body, energy body, whatever you want to call it. It feels better to give massage with this “soft present alive expanded body” than not. There is definitely an aspect of being “in the flow” that seems somehow related to doing Reiki, but I don’t know how to put it into words (yet).

Another bonus: the sensations of pain and fatigue become distant as peace and love fill my awareness.

I don’t know if clients perceive the difference, but I don’t think it could hurt. I do it for me because I “in-joy” it!

It’s been four months since I got licensed and began working. I look forward to learning even more new things about self-care and sharing them here.

Self-care for massage therapists, part 1

I’ve been doing 16-20 hours of massage per week lately, mostly Swedish but also a little deep tissue work. (I’m still getting up to speed on ashiatsu.)

The up side? I burn a lot of calories so I can really dig in at the table (one of life’s sweet pleasures), and I sleep well, being physically fatigued, another sweet by-product. And of course I’m the richer for it, in money, skill, connections, and making a difference.

The down side is that such physical work can take a toll on my body. I understand why a lot of massage therapists get burned out and leave the profession. From my fingers to my spine, I have felt achiness, inflammation, swelling, tenderness, stiffness.

Luckily, I belong to a group on LinkedIn, the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP). I joined to keep up with discussions about the profession. One person not long ago asked the following question:

What do you do for your hands when they ache after giving a series of massages? I am using proper body mechanics. My hands ache. I appreciate your feedback.

There were 55 responses that I’m going to summarize, because I feel so grateful to have this resource. Thanks to all the MTs who responded.

Please note that many of these are new to me; I am just summarizing what people posted. Later I will post what’s worked for me (that I’ve tried so far) along with a few of my own discoveries.

Recovery time

  • scheduling days off to recover
  • taking a 30 minute break after 3 hours (or however long works for you)
  • taking adequate time between clients to recover
  • not scheduling deep tissue sessions back to back

Body mechanics, stretching, strengthening, and recovery

  • paying attention to how you use your hands on your days off
  • doing hand stretching and strengthening exercises
  • resting in semi-supine position to open the brachial plexus (on your back, knees up, feet flat, book under head for 15-20 minutes)
  • paying even more attention to body mechanics as you work
  • getting a colleague to observe you work and give feedback
  • stretching after each client
  • lifting weights to strengthen arms and hands
  • punching a punching bag (with training)

Therapeutic devices

Heat and cold

  • dipping hands into hot wax/paraffin bath
  • applying hot and cold hydrotherapy
  • dipping hands into ice water

Self-massage

  • getting regular massage yourself
  • stripping your own forearm muscles
  • getting Reflexology on your hands or doing it yourself
  • learning Trager self-care movements for the hands
  • getting myofascial release work done on your arms
  • this page describes how to release wrist trigger points
  • this page describes how to release tennis elbow
  • cupping with suction cups

Delivering massage

  • working within your limitations (i.e., telling clients you don’t do full body deep tissue work)
  • reading the book Save Your Hands!
  • switching to Trager
  • learning Reiki so the energy goes only one way
  • learning Bamboossage, Ashiatsu Oriental bar therapy, or floor Ashiatsu to deliver deep tissue work
  • use alternating areas of the hand/forearm/elbow in moderation
  • having a box of tools available (balls, bamboo sticks, knobbers) to use on clients’  tough spots
  • using Art Riggs’ techniques for deep tissue work
  • using your forearms instead of hands whenever possible
  • using cupping
  • applying hot towels to client
  • holding thumbs tight against hand and using body to push for static pressure point work
  • using the edge of your hand or base of palm area instead of thumbs for sweeping or kneading motions

Oils, herbs, creams, gels, minerals

  • applying essential oil of rosemary for warming or peppermint for cooling (add to jojoba oil)
  • applying oils that are anti-inflammatory: helichrysum, frankincense, German chamomile, Cape chamomile, katrafay, and ginger
  • applying oils that are analgesic: lemongrass, clove, litsea cubeba, peppermint, wintergreen, and eucalyptus citriodora
  • combining anti-inflammatory and analgesic oils; applying them to neck, shoulders, forearms, hands, and feet to relieve hands
  • applying St. John’s wort oil, white willow tincture, fresh turmeric tincture, comfrey fomentation, raw apple cider vinegar fomentation
  • using arnica cream
  • applying Biofreeze
  • applying magnesium oil or gel
  • soaking in an Epsom salt bath
  • soaking your hand in lukewarm or cold water with a minimum amount of salt

Diet, teas, supplements

  • staying hydrated
  • changing your diet to lower inflammation (no details given)
  • drinking coconut water
  • drinking a blueberry smoothie
  • eating cucumbers with sea salt
  • avoiding eating sugars, nightshades, baked products with flour and corn
  • avoiding caffeine
  • taking turmeric internally
  • drinking comfrey tea
  • taking supplements for joint health (no details provided)
  • taking MSM with glucosamine

Daughters, hospitals, trust, relating

I’m sitting in a chair in a hospital. Next to me is my daughter’s boyfriend, P. My daughter, L, is lying on a portable hospital bed with us in this little pre-op cubicle, waiting to go into surgery. The TV is on — cartoons.

L is a nurse, and she’s saying what a good job the nurse here did of putting in her IV. She’s marveling at the paper hospital gown that is more like fabric than paper, that can actually have warm air blown into it should she desire it. I marvel too.

Me? I’m out of my element. I avoid hospitals as much as I can. I’ve dropped stuff off for my daughter at the hospital where she works a few times, but other than those quick visits, it takes something like this to get me into a hospital. (God forbid I should ever need hospital services. I’m planning not to. I’m going to be healthy for a long time and when I’ve used up my full life, I plan to die lucidly, painlessly, and with dignity. Like doctors die.)

I’m watching L and her boyfriend. He’s holding her hand, stroking it. I see how they talk and smile at each other, how they enjoy each other and laugh easily. The affection is palpable. There is trust there, and love.

Now she’s telling me about her anxiety dream last night where they were making her eat little Tupperware containers with little plastic dinosaurs as part of her surgery. She thinks it’s from seeing a commercial about gummy vitamins for grownups.

Now we’re watching Spongebob Squarepants, with subtitles. So unfunny. I know it dates me, but I really like the cartoons from the good ol’ days, like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Bullwinkle, even Popeye.

I ask her to turn the volume down. Silence. Thank you. We listen to the sounds of the hospital. It’s 6:55 am. Bright lights, people doing their jobs, preparing patients for surgery. Anesthesiologist came around to introduce himself, ask questions. Then the OR nurse.

The patient in the next cubicle has been wheeled away to the OR. L is probably next. I tell her I’m scared and ask if she is too. She says yes. I say:

It’s like I have to surrender to a higher power.

Yes. I do. This is out of my hands.

I hug her, my baby, my only child, who wrapped her tiny fingers around my little finger shortly after birth and entered my heart forever. I tell her I love her and kiss her on her cheek. I can’t help but tear up just a little. She tells me:

Don’t make me cry. It’s going to be all right, Mama.

The daughter becomes the mother. I love that.

Now we’re laughing because I told her I have to take a drug test for a temp job. I remind her that the last time I did anything was taking a hit of pot at her birthday party last May. We doubt that will show up on the drug test.

She thinks Spongebob is funny — sometimes.

Now the topic is politics, the GOP war on women. She tells me she encountered this awesome saying:

If the fetus that you fought to save grows up to be gay, would you still fight for its rights?

Then she tells me this is why she watches cartoons.

I’m glad to have this laptop, this blog, to have something to do besides just wait and feel. If I was feeling, it would be anxiety. Okay, it is anxiety.

The surgeon is here now. He’s older, a bit weathered, about my age. I’m relieved. He’s experienced. He’s serious, not jokey. I like that in a surgeon. He tells P and me that he’ll see us in a couple of hours. It’s 7:20.

I hug and kiss her again. The anesthesiologist puts the knock-out drugs into her IV. She says she’s high. Then her eyes close. I kiss her hand. She’s out. They immediately wheel her away. P marvels about her arm going flaccid. He has never seen or experienced the effects of anesthesia before.

P and I are back in the original waiting room, each with our laptops. There’s a TV blaring about rush hour traffic, weather, etc. Early morning programming. It’s now 7:22. I pretty much dislike television. I ask the receptionist if I can turn the volume down. No one is paying attention, and I can’t stand gratuitous noise, especially right now. She gives me the remote, and I turn it down. Yay.

Trust has been a topic on my mind lately, what it takes to trust another person. You can like someone, enjoy them, have compassion for them, and yet just not quite trust them.

Sometimes people withhold essential information about themselves. It’s not that they’re lying. They may have revealed some tender vulnerabilities, while concealing others.

Doesn’t everyone want to trust and be trusted by a select few? To have a safe circle of people with whom you can relax and be yourself? To have at least one person in your life that you can count on and be close to?

People not accustomed to trusting others can do things that hurt, scare, and freak others out. I don’t want to believe they intend this. Not only is building relationships new, sometimes they carry ghosts from past experiences with them.

It seems to me that trust is constantly built with every encounter. It’s a process. Sometimes it’s so deeply ingrained, it’s part of the fabric of relating and makes relating flow easily.

Sometimes a lot of time between encounters is the best medicine when affection exists but trust isn’t there. Trust can sometimes be rebuilt when the people and the timing are right.

Rarely, sadly, people I once was close to have become somebody I used to know because trust left the building. Watch this creative depiction of the pain of that.

 

Forgiving is not about the other. It’s about you and your heart. We talked about forgiving at my 4th way book group last night, about how to forgive. One way that I like is to imagine that you have already forgiven. Keep imagining that and eventually you cross over to the other river. I’m working on that.

I’m upset that what I believe should have been disclosed clearly, cleanly, up front, wasn’t, and I’m working with the best pro I know on unhooking these recent fearful, painful experiences in my own psyche. I want forgiveness and inner peace for myself. I’m ready to move on.

Okay, now I have to get up and move. Going to the cafeteria across the street to get breakfast.

Hospitals don’t have really healthy food. You’d think so, but no. Nothing is organic. Of course, none of the delicious-looking breakfast baked goods are gluten-free. I settle on scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, sweetened ice tea. I’m not gonna think too hard about the quality of this food. I’m hungry.

As I walk back across the street to the surgery center, I think,

My daughter’s in that building somewhere, in an operating room, unconscious under general anesthesia, and people I don’t know have cut into her body to make it work better. God give them peak skills. God be with us all.

I eat, sitting next to P. We talk about our hopes and fears.

A nurse calls us to come meet with the surgeon. It’s half an hour sooner than we’ve been told the surgery would take. This makes me feel afraid.

P and I sit in a little cubicle waiting for the surgeon. I tell him how I like that the surgeon was serious. P tells me his dad was a surgeon in Poland who has practiced various forms of medicine, including teaching basic medicine to African villagers and also teaching flight medicine in the U.S.

We both cross our fingers on both hands and look at each other.

Then the surgeon walks briskly toward us. A no-nonsense man. He makes eye contact and immediately says that everything went well.

Whew. Thank you, God.

He explains what he did in layman’s words. I reach out to shake his hand and tell him I prayed. His grip is very strong. His eyes light up, he cracks a bit of a smile, and he says he appreciates the prayer, because it helps. He and P shake hands. P and I go back to the waiting room. L is in recovery and will be perhaps able to go home about noon. It is now 8:57 a.m.

At 9:45, P is called to the front desk. She’s awake enough for one visitor at a time. He goes back to be with her. Then it’s my turn. She is so groggy, and with unstyled hair, no makeup, and her glasses on, she looks about 15.

I hang out with her as she removes an ice bag and fusses with the oxygen feed at her nose. They’ve inflated the paper hospital gown with warm air!

Her speech is slow and slurred, her movements slow and weak. She’s still high as a kite.

She falls back asleep. I hold her hand, images of her at various ages popping into mind. I marvel at how her hair has changed from blonde duck down as an infant to dark thick brown now, at the skinny scabby-kneed tomboy who’s become this smart, likable young woman. I watch her vital signs on the monitor.

She sleeps, snoring lightly. I feel reiki flowing through me into her hand and begin to give reiki consciously, hands intuitively moving to crown, neck, shoulders, chest, heart, abdomen, hands. I stand erect to facilitate the flow. I close my eyes and let this prayer of gratitude and love happen.

I’m given paperwork to read and sign about aftercare. The nurse takes her off oxygen and tells her she can get dressed now. I give her my hand to help her sit up and help her get dressed. There’s some unexpected bleeding; I call the nurse back; she bandages it and says it’s happens about half the time.

She can go home. We leave. Once home, goofball that she is, she makes a video of herself talking so she can later see how fucked up she was.

Life. Change. Growth. Love.

Healing bruised, sprained toes

A friend called me last night, said she had injured her toes, wondered if I could help.

Of course, I said yes, come on over. While she was driving to my place, I got the massage table ready, with a round bolster for her knees and half bolster for her heels or ankles to rest on, to keep her toes elevated.

G0t an ice pack out of the freezer and wrapped it in a kitchen towel.

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.25.32 PMI checked my collection of Young Living essential oils and immediately pulled out the PanAway. I looked in the Essential Oils Desk Reference to see what else might be helpful. My friend had said she thought her toes were bruised and sprained but not broken. I didn’t have geranium, helichrysum, or German chamomile on hand, any of which would have helped, but I did have lavender, peppermint, and wintergreen.

I decided to just stick with the big gun, PanAway, a blend that includes helichrysum, wintergreen, clove, and peppermint.  Continue reading

Bodywork and TRE update

Yesterday I learned something: there is such a thing as too much bodywork.

I had an early appointment with Chandler Collins, DC, who did applied kinesiology on me. I’d been having some nerve pain down my outer left leg. He made it feel better. That was about 20 minutes.

At 11, I had two hours with Bo Boatwright. We talked and then did some tablework. We did the stretching myofascial release on my hips, and then he spent a good amount of time doing reiki on my left sacroiliac joint. Just quietly holding. I had some shaking in my left arm. Then a lot of neck work.

That is, if I’m remembering right. You’ve heard of “sex haze”? There seems to be such a thing as a bodywork haze, because when I showed up for my appointment with Fran Bell at 1:30, she took a good look at me and could tell I couldn’t integrate much more.

She taught me an exercise using a stability ball, worked on me, woke me up to being more present. We talked, then she got out her pendulum and had me lie on the table. She checked — my chakras were still, not spinning. (Heck, I can’t tell. All I know is how open they are.)

So she did more work with me on the table, and left me there to integrate it. I dipped down into delta waves for I don’t know how long. My chakras were spinning after that, energy reaching at least a couple of feet out.

Advised me to look at tree trunks and go home and take a nap.

It has hardly ever happened that my appointments line up on a single day like that. A few times I’ve seen two healers, but never three.

You really do need time after bodywork to integrate it and get the most out of it. Take a nap or do simple things — gazing at a landscape, walking at a leisurely pace, making a salad, playing with a child, listening to music — not reading, working on a computer, or watching anything intense on TV or movies. 

~~

This morning I did the trauma releasing exercises, which I haven’t done for a few weeks.

Wow. I had an entirely new pattern come up. After shaking of legs, pelvis, arms, shoulders, and neck while lying with knees bent, soles on floor, I straightened my legs. Usually that puts an end to the shaking.

Not today.

My legs wanted to shake while lying straightened on the floor. They even came off the floor for a bit. Then they shook with my heels as pivots. My feet and legs rocked right and left in unison, like windshield wipers. They moved pointing out-in-out-in in unison. They moved forward and back in unison. Sometimes just my knees lifted and lowered repeatedly.

Some of these are Trager-like movements. (I’m barely familiar with Trager but remember that. My astrologer mentioned recently that she was certified in Trager and referred me to someone if I’m ready to experience it.)

When my body stops shaking, I lie still, not knowing if I’m done. Usually, more shaking arises.

I like to give my body the space and invitation to release what needs releasing. When nothing is forthcoming, just being still seems to give the deeper tensions time and permission to release. 

It wasn’t intense shaking when my legs were straight. The most intensity came from my arms and my legs with feet flat on floor. The rest of it was mild to moderate.

~~

I am hoping to start Level I training in TRE later this summer. After completing it, I’ll be able to do sessions with individuals.

Helping a healer heal with sound, Reiki, and presence

I had a most remarkable experience last night. I was planning to go to the Saxon Pub to listen to The Resentments play on the last night of SXSW after teaching my restorative yoga class, and on the way, I took a detour to check out a nearby mobile home park. (Yes, I’m still looking, but just today discovered an online directory of MH parks in Texas with phone numbers! My next home is getting closer and closer.)

Just as I was leaving, my iPhone rang. It was my friend B. We’ve had a couple of bodywork/unblocking sessions, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know him. He’s a teacher for me, someone who knows a lot about healing.

B asked me to breathe with him, which we’ve done together before, in rebirthing. Curious but game, I did.

I discerned that he was in pain from his occasional moans and sobs, and I could tell the pain was pretty intense. I pulled the car over and breathed with him for a while, not knowing what had happened, unsure if it was physical or emotional pain, not that it really matters.

All he could tell me was “I was out riding bikes with my son and something happened.” Didn’t know if he was bleeding or if something happened to or with his son… I watched my mind try to make up a story and give up.

After about 10 minutes, he asked me if I could come to where he was. I said sure, thinking he was at home. No. He gave me directions to a little woods behind a grocery store several miles away. We stayed connected on the phone as I drove.

He asked if I had any blankets in the car. Yes, B, as a matter of fact, I happen to have a dozen or so yoga blankets in my car. Good thing, because he was wearing a sleeveless t-shirt, and it was dark and starting to get chilly.

As I drove, he asked me if I had any Reiki training. Technically I’m a third-level Reiki master, but I have only done Reiki on myself and distance healing on others. He told me:

You’re about to get initiated.

He asked me if I was ready. At first I said yes, and then I said no, I couldn’t know that. All I could know was that I was willing and open to it. He was satisfied with that.

From my car, I could barely see him, back in the woods. I parked and brought some blankets over to where he was. I covered his upper body, and we began to work together.

From there on, the sequence of events gets fuzzy. We spent a couple of hours together in that little woods behind a suburban grocery store, out of sight of the hustle and bustle, healing his foot. 

He’d dropped a board on top of his foot that morning, and he worked on it then, and it seemed fine, and then he and his son went on a late afternoon bike ride. When he got off his bike, he couldn’t bear weight on that foot. The pain was excruciating. The motion of pedalling had apparently further dislocated a bone that had been impacted by the earlier injury and not quite gone back into place. Anyway, that seems to be the likeliest story.

This man works on his feet, but he was uninterested in going to any kind of medical establishment. He could have called 911 at any time from his cell phone, or asked numerous people to take him home and give him painkillers. Instead, he sent his son home on his bike. His wife, D, was working and he couldn’t get hold of her.

So he called me. Not sure why; maybe I was the only person who picked up. But we have a good strong connection, and I was able and willing to help. I helped him text his wife so she would call when she got off work.

I mentally reviewed my preparations for giving Reiki to myself. At his direction, I wrapped my hands around his foot just so, and he occasionally directed me verbally and nonverbally where to apply pressure, where to ease off, how to elongate his foot.

After a little while, my hands felt really good. I had a really good, positive, loving energetic connection with his injured foot. I could feel the pulse in it, feel the life force. I felt plugged in and connected to the Source.

We breathed together. Fast, slow, loud, soft. Mostly he led and I paced him.

We moaned, toned, sang together. Some of the toning we did was amazingly powerful. I could hear the resonance between two notes becoming so much more than those two notes. They amplified the energetic connection, almost as if we were supported and held in place by sound.

I noticed that when I could be in a position where my body was symmetrical, my energy flowed better. My crown chakra opened wide, and I felt very present, engaged, and relaxed.

B was a marvel to me. Here was someone in pain who fully faced it. Now that’s a different approach. He was totally present with it. Sometimes it was overwhelming, and he just had to lie down. Sometimes he sobbed from the pain. He was so open to his experience, even though it was intensely painful.

Pain is just sensation without the story.

He reviewed the sequence of events and admitted he had made a mistake getting on the bike, but I never heard any self-castigation. He accepted that he had made a mistake, but it didn’t mean anything, as in “therefore, I am a failure.” Just facing what is, that he had made a mistake. End-of-story. I never heard any cursing — in fact, he chided me for using strong language at one point.

He was very clear what he wanted to use his attention and energy for. He said let’s not talk about that, or let’s talk about that later.

Over time, the pain abated somewhat, he said from about 8.5 or 9 to a 7 on a 1-10 scale. That’s still pretty intense.

Then D called, and she came, and all of us held his foot and toned together. D had some Young Living Essential Oils in her purse, and he slathered them on his foot and  put some on his head. He used a whole bottle of Pan-Away on his foot. That’s what it’s for. (And by the way, I’m selling this stuff now.)

After maybe 30 minutes, D said she was ready to go home. She took his bike with her. B crawled from the woods to my car, and I drove him home. It was 10 pm, and I’m currently a gal with a job.

Today B called twice and thanked me. It was actually an incredible honor to be called upon to help, and to witness this method of healing, and to let Reiki flow through me in the service of alleviating suffering.

This afternoon when B called, he said he could now bear weight on his foot. He had continued with someone else giving him Reiki, and D had applied comfrey leaves to his foot, but he gave me a lot of credit. Really, I just met his presence.

As amazed as I am at this way of healing an extremely painful injury, I am even more amazed at his valor, presence, and most of all to his commitment to and faith in the healing power that lies within each of us, that when combined with others, can work what seems like miracles.