Today’s stress reduction methods are of the “done for you” variety. They take a longer amount of time than the methods we discussed in Tuesday and Wednesday’s episodes. (Generally about an hour.) They also cost money. But there is a time and a place for everything, and sometimes, you need to prioritize healing and relaxation. And the things you spend money reflect your priorities.
Today I’m advocating for you to get some kind of healing practices that is expressly designed to rebalance your energy and activate your relaxation response. Which include acupuncture, reiki, or craniosacral therapy. Because it’s when you’re truly and fully relaxed that your inner healing abilities can come to the fore.
So in addition to relaxing you, these healing practices can help you address symptoms, conditions, or imbalances that may have started chipping away at your quality of life. Nearly all forms of illness have a stress component. Although nothing can eradicate stress completely, these modalities help lessen the effects that stress is having on you.
Listen to the Podcast Here
OK let’s talk about three wonderful ways you can experience relaxation and healing.
The first healing practice is craniosacral therapy
Which aims to rebalance the flow of energy, lymph, and craniosacral fluid around and between your skull, pelvis, and everything in between. I got craniosacral therapy about every three weeks when I was going through my transition to menopause. My lower back was killing me for several months. And every time I went I was very relaxed during the treatment, felt super good for a couple days, and noticed my pain level never went back to as high as it as before my most recent appointment.
So while the pain didn’t go away immediately, it gradually progressively lessened. And now, several months since my last appointment, it rarely bothers me. My point being, the treatment was gradual, but it’s changes have been lasting. I felt like I was getting recalibrated, subtly, every time. Both on a physical and on an energetic level.
I would also noticed that I slept better, and my digestion was working better, and I felt more patient with my kids. Sigh, I kinda miss it…
The second healing practice is acupuncture
Which is all about releasing stuck energy, or chi, and getting it flowing again in a balanced way throughout the body.
Acupuncturists use very thin needles that they insert into specific parts in the body that are on the meridian, or line of energy. Where their assessment of your overall state of physical and emotional health suggests your energy may be stagnating.
While the healing practices of acupuncture is great for specific ailments, like insomnia, musculoskeletal pain, infertility, etc. It also is wonderful for just getting you into that dreamy relaxed zone. Which definitely shuts off your stress response and invites your inner healing capacities to wake up.
I have a friend who was very Type A, working full time and going to school to get her doctorate. She got so stressed from overworking that she developed a heart arrhythmia. Her doctor wanted her to implant a device that could shock her heart and get it back into a normal beating pattern. But my friend decided to try acupuncture first. After her first acupuncture appointment, she spent most of the next two days sleeping. Once she felt rested, she realized she needed to find a different job. And as she made one change and then the next, her heart problem went away.
That’s just one example of how true relaxation can change not just your state of being, but also your overall health and life. I’m not saying that you don’t need to tend to any true medical issues that you have, but I am saying that Western medicine is not the only tool you have available to you. And sometimes you have a tremendous amount of influence over what’s contributing to your condition in the first place. But it takes getting quiet and relaxed to be able to see that influence.
Some of these healing practices can really help you heal on an emotional level, too.
I find that reiki, a healing practice from Japan that involves actual hands-on healing, is really helpful for getting some insight on your issues. I’ve paid for many reiki sessions. On the first one, I went into kind of a lucid dreaming state where I was hanging out with my grandmother, who died decades ago. We did some crafts together and chatted about my Dad. Other things I can’t explain have happened to me on the reiki table. I signed up for a free reiki session at a women’s conference. It wasn’t fancy at all, just some easy chairs set up in a conference room.
Just because that session was free didn’t make it any less impactful. In fact, it really helped me out at a moment where I was processing some stuff and feeling sad. I can’t explain it but the woman who worked on me said, I felt like there was a little hole in your heart from where something or someone had really hurt you in your past. So I just imagined stitching it up and bringing it back together. Call it, or me, crazy, but I swear I felt more whole after. Whole with a w, that is.
Again, these treatments do typically cost money–unless you get lucky and they’re offering them for free as part of some event. But there are often community centers that offer acupuncture or reiki where you can pay a reduced or sliding fee. Maybe you won’t be in a private treatment room–Providence Community Acupuncture here in providence is one big space with treatment tables in it, that are often separated by hanging curtains.
Daily Tiny Assignment
Your tiny assignment is to think which of these healing practices appeals to you the most–acupuncture, reiki, or craniosacral therapy–and then just do a little Googling to see what’s available near you. You don’t have to make an appointment if you don’t feel like now’s the time you need it. But if you’ve already done a little research, whenever it DOES feel like a time when you could use a little external support, you’ll be that much closer to actually making an appointment.
And of course, there are so many other healing modalities out there–like massage, sound healing, reflexology, and the list goes on and on and on. Maybe something besides acupuncture, reiki, or craniosacral therapy is calling to you, in which case I say, go for it! It’s calling to you for a reason. And acknowledging that desire for healing and then actually acting on it is an important way to show yourself that your relaxation and health are a priority to you. I’m willing to be there’s some gold waiting for you at that appointment, so I hope you’ll act on it to whatever extent you can, now.
Come back tomorrow, when I’m talking about the one thing that will make your relaxation practice, whatever form it takes on that day, even MORE effective. This is a secret ingredient that you won’t want to miss.