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May 2010
Healing Matters
In This Issue
The Healing Touch of Reiki
Clinician in the Spotlight
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 Book Review
Journey to the Heart: daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul
By: Melodie Beattie
Harper collins Publ.
Be open to everything. Your most valuable lessons may well come from the things you're resisting most."    This is just one of Melody Beattie's many pieces of wisdom in this  book of daily meditations.  Throughout, Beattie offers inspirations and thoughts that provoke one's creativity and potential and help to expand one's sense of self.   Journey to the Heart, similar to her other books, is written with warmth, tenderness, and compassion, touching the core of all that makes each of us human.  Whether focusing on grief, forgiveness, or self-comfort, each daily reading is dedicated to helping the reader find a path to wholeness.   For anyone who is on the journey of self-awareness and healing, I highly recommend adding Beattie's meditations to your daily routine. 

Reviewed by ZoŽ Worrell, LCSW-C  301-712-9015, Ext 1301

In each issue of Healing Matters, we plan on sharing information related to body, mind, and spirit and the importance of each of these in living a healthy fulfilling life.

We hope you enjoy this publication, and we welcome feedback on possible future topics that would
 be helpful for you.
The healing Touch of Reiki  
Reiki, (pronounced ray-key), has become a favorite complementary and alternative healing modality for many Americans. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that more than 1.3 million Americans have used Reiki as a healing modality.  It is being used in hospitals, cancer care and HIV/AIDS centers, hospices, private practices, and spas as a technique to help people reduce stress, encourage deep relaxation, and promote healing.  Reiki is Japanese for "Spiritual or Universal Life Force," and is a healing energy system that works with the body's natural healing capacity to bring balance and wholeness to body, mind and spirit.
About Reiki
Everyone has the potential to be a Reiki healer-we all have this universal life force within. A Reiki practitioner has had the Reiki energy activated through a series of attunements that is part of the training. During a Reiki treatment, a practitioner holds her hands, which can either be lightly touching or just above the body, in a series of positions from head to toe to allow Reiki to flow to the client. Reiki is gentle and intuitive and knows where to go to balance and assist the client in his or her healing process.
Reiki is increasingly being accepted by the medical establishment as it relaxes and calms clients with no negative side effects. In addition, Reiki works seamlessly with modern medicine. As an example, Portsmouth Regional Hospital in New Hampshire has a Reiki program that trains nursing staff in Reiki and makes treatments available to patients before and after surgery. Anecdotal reports reveal that some patients healed faster and needed less medication with the Reiki treatments than those without. Indeed, the government-funded National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has taken notice of the popularity of Reiki and has funded several clinical trials to investigate its effectiveness.
Reiki works with the principle of life force energy much like Qi Gong and Therapeutic Touch.  While there is no clear medical understanding of how Reiki works, the answers may be found in application of models of quantum physics, string theory, and bioelectromagnetism. These models suggest that very delicate vibrations of energy are at the substratum of all life in the universe and therefore, may also apply to the human body and management of our health and wellness. This theory is in alignment with Eastern religious thought and understanding of the innerconnectedness of all living things through levels of energy or consciousness. While more research into energy fields in the human body is needed to fully comprehend the scientific mechanics of Reiki, Reiki practitioners report that they experience the movement of energy through them to their clients.
Brief History of Reiki
Reiki was discovered by a Japanese Buddhist, Mikao Usui, while he was on a solitary meditation retreat on a sacred mountain in Japan in 1914. During his fast and meditation, he received a powerful energy healing and became aware of the Reiki energy healing system. He returned from his retreat and found that he could use Reiki to heal himself and others. His purpose for sharing Reiki was to help others develop spiritually. He saw Reiki as a tool for deeper transformation and personal awakening. When he taught Reiki to others he included a set of principles to help Reiki practitioners live a noble life:
Just for today, do not anger.
Just for today, do not worry.
Be humble.
Be honest in your work.
Be compassionate to yourself and others.
Reiki was brought to the West by Mrs. Hawayo Takata who developed and formalized the training of Reiki practitioners into three degrees. She focused less on the spiritual aspects of Reiki and more on the physical healing benefits. In the first degree, the student is attuned to the Reiki energy and learns about hand positions for self-healing. The focus is on learning to feel and connect with the Reiki energy in one's self and allowing time for self-healing. The second degree teaches the student about the Reiki healing symbols that amplify the healing capacity of the practitioner and prepares the practitioner for working with clients. The third degree is the Master degree and the practitioner learns the master symbol and how to teach and give attunements to others.
As Reiki has become increasingly popular, the degrees are taught in many different formats.  A well-grounded teaching should include face-to face instruction with a Reiki master/teacher and ample time between degrees for the practitioner to deepen his or her connection to the Reiki energy, work on self-healing, and practice sharing Reiki with family and friends.
What to Expect During a Reiki Session
A Reiki session is meant to relax and calm the client to stimulate healing on whatever level the client needs, be it body, mind or spirit. The client remains fully clothed and may be seated or may lie down on a massage table. The practitioner often begins the session with a guided meditation to help center and quiet the client.  A Reiki treatment includes about 12-15 hand positions on the head and torso, arms, legs and feet of the client. The practitioner usually rests her hands in a position on or slightly above the body for about 2-5 minutes-she is intuitively feeling the energy flow through her to the client. The client may feel a sense of warmth at the site, some tingling, an energetic or emotional release, or just deep relaxation. A typical session lasts 45-80 minutes, depending on the condition being treated. While a client may experience relaxation and refreshment in one session, if he or she is being treated for a chronic condition a minimum of 4 treatments may be necessary to fully address the condition.
Finding a Reiki practitioner
Reiki practitioners are not licensed and the levels of training and experience can vary widely. As with choosing any health professional, it is important to ask questions about the practitioner's level of expertise and experience.  Many Reiki practitioners are also licensed massage therapists, psychotherapists or nurses and therefore have an additional background in treating and caring for clients. It is important to remember that Reiki is not a substitute for conventional medical care.  The beauty of Reiki is that it assists modern medicine in the healing process while providing the client with a deep sense of relaxation and peace.  Reiki is also an empowering system for self-healing. If a Reiki client benefits from treatments, he or she may want to explore learning the Reiki degrees for themselves to deepen their  healing in body, mind and spirit.

Pamela McDonald, LCSW-C and Reiki Master Teacher                             
301-712-9015, Ext. 1022

Take a Break and Learn to Meditate! 

Did you know that practicing meditation can help you to safely and naturally  manage your moods, improve brain health, awaken creativity, and create more balance in your life?

Pam McDonald offers a weekly Meditation workshop on Thursdays, 12-1 p.m. at Healing Circles Wellness Center. Pam provides inspiration, guidance and support for your meditation practice in a nurturing and relaxed environment.

Each workshop includes time to learn, practice, and discuss meditation techniques. You may bring your lunch, if desired. No experience is necessary! For more information, please call or email Pam at 301-712-9015, x1022 or pmmcdonald1@verizon.net. 
Clinician in the Spotlight
Krisit hallman, LCSW-C 
         Kristi Hallman, LCSW-C will be joining the clinicians of Healing Circles Wellness Center this month.  Kristi arrives with nineteen years of experience working  with children of all ages and their families. She is experienced in working with children and adolescents struggling with depression, anxiety, adjustment issues and school-related difficulties. 
Kristi believes in a developmental, strength-based philosophy which acknowledges the resiliency and potential in all individuals.  Kristi's empathetic and straight-forward approach assists in building a strong therapeutic relationship with her clients, which she views as essential to the healing process.  Kristi uses a combination of talk and creative therapies in individual and group sessions.  She thinks that children are best served when all individuals in their lives work together with a common focus. To that end she will work with families, schools and other significant individuals to create a team approach when needed.  Kristi recognizes that each child and family situation is unique, and  works with families to create an individualized intervention to empower everyone to meet their goals. 
Kristi received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Maryland School of Social Work.  She has provided a continuum of therapy services and trainings in a variety of settings including, schools, treatment foster care and counseling programs.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with Kristi, please call (301) 712-9015 ext. 1012 or email kristi.hallman@doctorelise.com.
Live well,

The Clinicians at
Healing Circles Wellness Center