Why Do I Offer So Many Services?
I am often asked why I offer so many varied services. Some point out that acupressure, for instance, is included in the Unified Energy Therapy, so why have it available as a separate service? And don’t I combine coaching and counseling techniques with most of my clients? It’s true that many of my services overlap, however, I understand that there are different levels of comfort with different practices and different people. Although none of my practices are aligned with a particular religion or faith, there are those in my community who are not comfortable with every practice I offer for cultural reasons. For these, a coaching session may be acceptable, but a counseling session may not be. Essential oils and herbs may be helpful but shamanic use of plants (such as incense, spirit work, moxibustion and burning) may not be. For others, an acupressure session may sound wonderful, but Reiki makes them uncomfortable. Still others want a Reiki treatment with absolutely nothing else mixed in, including meridian work and other modalities I include in Unified Energy Therapy sessions. Still others want to work with essential oils and nothing else, or nutrition and nothing else, or want to avoid one or more of these specifically. Still others want to have only services from their cultural or ancestral background, believing this is part of the power of their experience. For reasons like these, I have made a wide variety of practices and resources available to the people who are looking for help because it is my desire to reach and help all people who are looking for a way to heal. I never make any judgements when a person wants to avoid a form of holism or prefers one over another, and am always looking for ways to meet those in my community where they are right now. If you have any questions about any of these services, feel free to take a look below and if your question is not answered, please feel free to contact me directly through the information on the contact tab. I’ll be happy to help you if I can. If I cannot, my referral list spans most states and several countries, and I will do my best to suggest resources or referrals that may be appropriate for your needs.
What is energy?
There are many names for energy, such as Prana, Qi/Chi, Ki, Holy Spirit, Life Force and others. Though there is an endless supply of philosophies and ideas about what this force is, where it came from, why it’s here and how to use it properly, what we know for a certainty is that all forms have energy and many believe it is the source of consciousness and vitality. One of my teachers, Dr. Stephen Meeneghan, ND, provided one of the best definitions I’ve ever heard when he described it to me as “information.” He suggested that energy is not material and therefore not a thing that can be measured the same way matter can be, but could be quantified like information can be, as well as transmitted, moved, shared and developed. He suggested that really, when you do energy work, you’re relaying information to different parts of the body on how to function and that it’s the improved information flow that allows the body to function more optimally.
I like this way of thinking about energy, however, I would say that it is much more than this. Energy is also awareness, and impacts and flows through more than the physical body alone. Working with energy seems to lead to also working with the person’s emotions, mental state, past and even future. In my personal philosophy, I think of energy as the force that the person is that is an extension of the source of all things. In my opinion, this is different from the soul, which is the part of a person which has a life path and creates the drive and encourages the circumstance to fulfill that life path. Most of the work having to do with the soul is something we use shamanic techniques for in the office. Energy work involves itself with the energy of the body, that is the spiritual, mental and emotional layers of the being.
What is Reiki?
Reiki is an energy healing system that originates in Japan. In the adapted form used in the United States, commonly called Usui Reiki or Western Reiki, a practitioner increases their natural pull of energy from the sky down into their body and channels it through their hands into the client. Various standardized hand positions are used to impact the major organs of the client. I am trained in both the Western version and the Japanese version. If you would like more information on the differences, feel free to contact me.
What’s the difference between Reiki and Templar Reiki?
Templar Reiki is training beyond a Reiki mastership. It is passed on to people who have done something or demonstrated skill in a way that impressed one of the Knight’s Templar and accepted the invitation to learn. The major difference I have noticed in using both Templar and standard Reiki is that Templar Reiki is warmer, more heart centered, and more balanced as far as having both earth and sky energy. It also utilizes more energy flows than Reiki does and involves learning more techniques and principals than standard Reiki. The thing most people I’ve shared these modalities with comment on when they experience Reiki and then Templar Reiki is that it feels warmer, more loving, and more filling (though your experience may be different, this is what people commonly say in my presence). Becoming a Templar practitioner is not easy as it requires a practitioner to have already been working as a Reiki Master for some time, and then be able to demonstrate skill and experience in the field. It also requires a person to be recommended by other experienced people in the field and considers the person’s character before training is considered. For a person to become a second degree practitioner like I am, they also have to have completed traditional ministerial school, ordination and be licensed ministers or higher in an established religious path.
Is energy work a religious or spiritual practice?
Energy work is not religion specific, nor is it a spiritual practice, however it can enhance these practices if a person wishes to apply energy work skills to their spiritual or religious life. For instance, most people pray or have prayed, but someone who prays in a way that involves energy work may open the energy center in the top of their head or in their heart in order to feel more connected to the deity or force they’re praying to. Having a religion or spiritual path is not a requirement for energy work, though many people develop one or deepen the practice they have once they start using energy. There are also systems of energy work which cater to different belief systems, such as Hebrew Reiki or Templar Reiki.
What is a meridian? How do meridians work?
A meridian is a line of energy that runs over and through the body. In my opinion, there’s really only one meridian, but as it weaves in and out of the body we refer to sections of it in sections named for the organs it affects. Having clear, unblocked, free flowing meridians that are flowing in the right direction are thought to enhance the clarity in the internal body and promote healthy organ function. They have also been used to ease pain and discomfort from ‘phantom limbs’ and other health concerns not yet understood completely by western medicine.
Meridians are like highways. They are paths that energy flows through that transport energy from major energy centers and flows to other parts of the body. Keeping these clear and running smoothly can help make or keep organs and the body full of vitality.
What is a chakra? How do chakras work?
“Chakra” is actually the Sanskrit word for “wheel” and they work very similarly to wheels of energy in and around the body. The seven major chakras in the body are situated along the central column, or flow of energy up and down the center of the body, and distribute energy to the body. These are multi-layered and can become clogged, blocked or otherwise hindered by improper thinking habits, negative emotions that are not released, traumas that are internalized and a myriad of other things. There are many chakras, but I usually use a system that involves 15-22 in a standard, non-eventful one hour session. In shorter sessions I typically use the more standard seven chakra system. If a client needs more attention to a particular area, I may not use the whole 15-22 system but touch on 7-9 and work on the particular areas they need help with. If we are working on the soul and more esoteric topics, we may actually only briefly touch the ones considered to be part of the physical form, and then work with up to 30 other chakras that are outside the body. Few practitioners use more than the primary seven in sessions, but because of the impact of the other chakras on the primary seven and their impact on the overall system, I feel it is important to be more thorough.
Chakras sit in the flow of energy that naturally occurs in the body. When healthy and unhindered, they spin and radiate energy out to the body, nourishing it and making it vital and healthy. They also provide the energy that composes the emotional and mental aspects of a person. They can be strengthened and cleared with energy work, spiritual practice, meditation, and self-development practices.
Where does the energy used in sessions come from?
Energy is naturally pulled by the body without any training in or practice with energy work. Two major flows run down the center of all human beings, one flows from the ground (the earth) up into the sky and the other flows from the sky down through the person into the earth. Anything beyond this is speculation and part of personal philosophy, usually based on personal experiences and cultural background. In basic energy sessions, I use these two flows in my own body and work with those flows in my client. If we are doing a sort of healing that would involve energy from any other source, including doing ancestral work in the epigenetic traits of the body, I will always discuss this with you prior to the session to ensure your beliefs and desires are always respected.
How is Energy Healing different from Faith Healing?
Each specific discipline has its own characteristics, but faith healing involves a specific religion and the idea that it is the person’s faith in that religious thought that makes them well. Energy work, Traditional or Classical Chinese Medicine, Reiki, and other methods used in the office are not dependent on a religion or on faith in a higher power.
What traditions do you incorporate in a typical, non-specific energy session?
I am trained in generalized Indian and Chinese energy work, Reiki (from Japan) and Templar energy healing (which is technically from Ireland, but evolved from Eastern and European traditions). I am trained in Cherokee, Lakota, Andean (Bolivia and Ecuador), Peruvian (jungle and mountain), African, and Celtic (northern Druidic and Welsh Sin Eating) shamanic techniques, and though I am not a shaman, I find these useful. I work with several energy systems I have not yet encountered another practitioner using. The most common of those is a system involving energy from plants, which I have a particular affinity to. I sometimes use tools in energy sessions that may include herbs, essential oils, stones and natural elements, sound healing tools and instruments, and other tools. If the client is open to learning a technique that can help them I use a variety of helpful tools for homework assignments taken from everything from Yoga and Tai Chi to energy work to meditation to indigenous medicine to herbal recommendations.
Can energy work hurt me?
If you are seeing a trained, experienced energy worker who truly lives a lifestyle conducive to being an energy worker, you are safe. There is no evidence that energy work can harm a person. However, there are many ways a person can wreak havoc on another person’s energy system, usually by ignorance, a lack of respect for the client, or inexperience. Many people are not taught how to live a lifestyle that is conducive to a clean flow of energy and are not taught how to control energetic interactions or are even taught that their personal lifestyle does not reflect on their energy work. There are still others who understand how their daily personal lifestyle affects their work, but who lack the discipline to live an appropriate lifestyle. You should look for and research a practitioner who is well qualified for the best results, and then pay attention to their disposition when you meet them. Red flags with an energy practitioner include someone who did not practice under another practitioner in the beginning of their public practice, got all of their attunements/qualifications very close together (attunements should be spaced 30 days or more apart to work through the entire energy body and should never happen all in the same month or in a single weekend), someone who did not go through a training process, or someone who displays abusive or imbalanced habits. You will also want to have a practitioner who is respectful and humble but not shy. Such a practitioner will be most likely to do the work that needs done while still respecting your system and your boundaries.
What does energy work feel like?
Sometimes a person does not feel anything when having an energy session. Other times, they do. Common experiences on my table have been feelings of deep relaxation, feeling hands on the body or all over the body, feeling pleasantly heavy, feeling warmth or warm light, feeling something move inside the body, or even feeling releases like part of the body exhaling. Others see colors or experience themselves in a different location. Emotional releases are common, as are suddenly remembering things from the past that haven’t been thought of in a long time. Sometimes a client doesn’t feel anything during the session, but has experiences when they go to sleep or on first waking. I very rarely hear complaints of discomfort on my table unless there is serious illness present, and this is generally a sign of the illness being disrupted or leaving. You should always say something if you are uncomfortable or feel pain during a session, as that may not be needed and this tells me to adjust what I am doing so the pain can be relieved or so whatever process is creating the pain can be done quickly if it is necessary in the process.
How does a practitioner experience energy?
Every practitioner experiences energy differently, and indeed, every session is different, even for a singular practitioner. Energy workers have several senses that they are able to develop to use if they choose to. Some see energy, either as color or as symbols (or, in my case, both), others feel energy as physical sensation, and others hear it. Sometimes a practitioner will smell certain illnesses or vibrations that are off. In my case, I use all these senses at different times, and I’m really not sure what makes the difference. Often times, I’ve noted, that what I experience is exactly what the other person needed me to experience. I remember one session where I saw very clearly a house and a particular room in the house, and a Nautilus shell. I could smell water and certain plant life. The shell is a personal symbol of mine that refers to deep things in the unconscious, and I felt that that part was mine to know that what we were about to clear was rooted deep in the client’s unconscious and had been there awhile. The rest was not mine, but as I described it to my middle aged client, she told me about the house and the location, and had forgotten about it because she hadn’t been there since she was five or six. Immediately after remembering the house, memories, emotions, and several traumas came up immediately one after the other. The client, with my assistance and support, was able to clear most of these issues herself and gave me permission to clear others within that single session. After the session this particular client saw positive changes in her health on a mental, emotional and physical level as well as a positive shift in her relationships. Though I am always careful to state that energy work is not a treatment option, nor is it part of the medical field, I feel that experiences like these are useful for a person’s quality of life. If you have a serious or life threatening illness, you may wish to use energy work as complementary care, but I never recommend ending medical care for any reason, as this is a decision you must make with your doctor.
Meditation and Journeying
What is meditation?
Meditation is a state of focus and clarity experienced when the electrical wave patterns in the brain shift into patterns that encourage mental quiet and relaxation of the body. It is different from journeying in the sense that the person’s consciousness stays in the body and in the moment, totally focusing in on the moment and being fully present. Meditation, when practiced regularly and patiently, can lead to silencing unnecessary chatter in the mind that results in more clarity. Sometimes meditation leads to journeying and other experiences, assuming the individual practicing is open to and willing to have these experiences.
What is Journeying?
Journeying is usually considered a shamanic technique, but it is interesting to note that dreaming can be a form of journeying. This is a journey, or experience, that the person has while in an altered state of consciousness or in a state of deep focus. It is often experienced in the place between dreaming and being fully awake. In Shamanism, journeying is used to go to other worlds thought to be spiritual planes that impact the common world we live in each day. In generalized journeying, a person may also travel inside their own consciousness, energy body or even physical body, or that of another person, or even the past, to gain understanding, perception, or to catalyze a change. Journeying is different from meditation in the sense that it is not simply a focus but the person experiences going somewhere. That is not to say that a person cannot journey when they meditate, which sometimes happens too. When a person journeys it is also common to experience different energetic fields of other beings, including other people, animals, physical locations, plants, or even things we might think of as inanimate in a direct way so the relationship between the two fields can be altered or worked with.
How do meditation and the chakras inter-relate?
Meditation can take on many forms, whether that be mindfulness, where a person learns to observe the world and the self in a compassionate non-judgmental way, or focusing in on something (whether that be the breath, a mantra, an object, or anything else). Meditation on the chakras helped me greatly in my personal journey to wellness and happiness and so I incorporate it often in my sessions and even teach classes entirely on this. Meditation on the chakras can often lead to clearing the energy center and experiencing the self on a deeper level which can lead to balancing the root cause of illness that is not in the physical body. There’s a lot to this question and I would love to talk to you about it sometime if you’re interested in more information, examples, or would like to try it. A person can spend years working with the chakra system through meditation, and if this calls to you and works for you, that’s exactly what I suggest you do.
How can meditation and journeying help me?
People have reported many benefits from these practices, and scientists are now beginning to understand how many of these work in studies. First, clarity, better focus, positive changes in the brain that help memory and emotional processing, a feeling of being centered, a drop in hypertension, anxiety and depression amongst other things come the first time you get it and have been scientifically proven benefits. Emotional releases, better understanding and perspective, improved connection (to yourself, to others, between the body and mind, and between the hemispheres of the brain), a releasing of attachments and fears, and peace come next. Often times, release and balancing of deeper issues found during meditation and journeying make a person happier and more content in their lives overall. Empowerment and physical healing can sometimes be fun side effects of this process too. Many of the energy centers we work with in meditation or energy work directly correlate to glands or bundles of nerves in the body and relaxation of associated organs has been reported.
Where does meditation come from? What about journeying?
Meditation is an ancient practice, the source of which has been lost to history. The oldest mention of the practice in Indian scripts dated at five thousand years old, however, the mildly altered, focused, quieted state that many people come into when they gaze into a campfire is a form of meditation, so it is probable that our earliest ancestors were aware of and even possibly developed this practice. Journeying is literally as old as recorded history, and common journeying experiences can be seen in cave paintings that pre-date recorded history. As journeying and dreaming can be compared, it is a fair statement to say that journeying is also probably as old as our human species is.
Herbalism and Supplementation
What’s involved in supplementation?
The primary things a person needs to know about supplementation is that 1. Supplements are not replacements and do not replace a healthy diet or medical treatment, 2. Supplements can cause imbalance in the system if not balanced with diet and other needed supplements, 3. Most supplements require other substances in the body to be absorbed properly and 4. Multiple supplements with conflicting purposes in the body will strain the body, counter each other and will cause more harm than good. You’re best looking for supplements that are powdered and can be mixed with water for the best absorption, except in the case of oils. I also like to choose supplements that are balanced with other nutrients needed for their proper absorption and use these only when needed. It is possible to do damage with supplements if you are unaware of how to use and balance them properly.
What’s involved in using herbs?
Most people think that using herbs involves googling a remedy, ordering a bottle online and taking a pill x amount of times a day. I don’t recommend that you do this. First, the herbs suggested most on the internet are usually endangered and may not be the most effective plant for your situation anyway. Also, taking multiple herbs often causes interactions with each other or causes contradictory actions in the body, leading to an ineffective result or even harm. It should also be noted that herbs taken at a therapeutic level have side effects, though these are usually gentler than drug side effects. St. John’s Wort, for instance, is a popular remedy for depression, but it’s side effects include interactions with birth control (leading to ineffective birth control), causing light sensitivity, and, for people who have had organ transplants, causing a rejection of that organ and the medication to get the body to accept the organ. Gingko Biloba, a plant shown to be effective for memory issues, migraines, preventing and slowing Alzheimer’s, breaking up and preventing blood clots and other fun useful things, can also disrupt a pace maker and cause an allergic reaction to people with certain sensitivities and encourage bleeding. As you can see, reading a blog post or even a materia medica entry may not tell you all the details you need to know. There is also a process of choosing herbs that are as untainted and high quality as possible. What dictates high quality may be more about the consumer’s needs than the actual product. There are also factors like standardized or non-standardized, USA or foreign grown, etc that a person needs to consider. There are also other (sometimes more effective) ways of taking herbs than the standard pill and if you do choose a capsule, you need to be able to recognize the quality of the capsule you’re taking.
To keep things brief, I’ll stop there. I think you can grasp that the process of choosing and using herbs is much more than people realize overall and can have very serious side effects. I always recommend seeing an herbalist before starting any plant, or even considering it, and, especially if the client is on any medications or other medical treatments, to check with one’s MD too as herbalists are not trained in drugs and drug interactions in many cases. I personally have been trained in medication administration, but still recommend that a client double check with their doctor before starting an herbal program.
How can I choose a good product?
First, you need to decide if you want a standardized product or not. The key benefit with herbs is that they are balanced. For instance, dandelion leaf is a popular diuretic and is the only diuretic (herbal or chemical) that contains the minerals and nutrients diuretics pull out of the body in equal proportion to what it removes, which totally avoids the negative side effects of using the diuretic. Standardized options are not as balanced as they have an active ingredient increased or added to the product. At the same time, this adding ensures that there is at least the supplemented level of active ingredient, which cannot be guaranteed in a non-standardized product.
Then you need to consider the label. Look at the ingredients to see what plants are exactly in your supplement (many are labelled as one plant and have multiple other plants mixed in). Look for information on how the product was grown, harvested and processed. Heat and chemicals break down the active ingredients in most products, so you’re looking to avoid these. In oils, look for cold pressed. If you can find a note that the product is free of GMOs, pesticides and preservatives, it’s a sign that the manufacturer at least considered the quality of the plant. You also want to see a specific dosage level, and contact information for the company (this is a sign of accountability for the product and gives you someone to contact should you have a question, complaint or want more information).
Once you choose a product and have it opened, actually look at the product. Dull colors and mild or no scent are often signs of an old herb being used. For best results you want as fresh as possible, so look for a strong smell and bold colors. Remember that herbs break down quickly once they’re processed and you want as fresh a product as possible. Herbs also break down when exposed to light and air, so an airtight container that keeps the light out is the best way to store them (out of the heat, too, which also speeds the breakdown of active ingredients, so be sure never to store your herbs above the stove).
I am deliberately not affiliated with any herbal distributor or particular company, so I’m also a good one to ask if you’re unsure. Feel free to bring supplements with you when you visit and I’ll be happy to talk about their quality with you.
Can herbs or supplements hurt me?
If used in an imbalanced way, or if a low quality or poor fit product is used, yes. Supplements and herbs that are not balanced with the strain that particular product puts on the body can cause damage, and some cause reactions in certain bodies that can end a person’s life. Not all supplements are what they appear to be, especially in the vitamin and mineral world, and the same goes for herbs. There is also the fact that each supplement or herb will work a unique way for each person. I always suggest that you take any questions or new products you want to start to your practitioner first.
I also utilize shamanic techniques, acupressure, sound healing and sometimes suggest Tai Chi or Yoga movements/poses to clients. If you have any questions on these, please feel free to contact me or perform your own research.