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Reiki

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I would like to share a little with you all today about Reiki!  

One thing some of you may not know about me… for those of you who have been following my blog… is that I am a level 2 Reiki practitioner.  I love it!  Reiki has brought about many positive changes in my life, and I have had the wonderful opportunity to bring some healing to others, both human and animal.  I had my doubts at first, being raised in a very religious home and being taught to shun or look down on pretty much anything “in the world” that wasn’t explicitly listed in a holy book… I was hesitant to study Reiki. It was different and foreign to me, so I didn’t know if I could trust it.   There are a lot of things that I have missed out in life because of a strict belief system, or because of being fearful it might be “evil”…  and wanting to please those I cared about… but the past 14 months has been a time of finding myself and renewing interests that once I used to love, but out of fear that I might somehow be sinning, I had let them slip away.   I didn’t realize that in the process… it was my own self that was slipping away.  I was losing the essence of me… becoming someone I didn’t even know anymore, someone who was not full of compassion as I had once been, but more concerned with judgment and those things that go along with that.  I am grateful for this time of rediscovery… getting to know this brown eyed girl again for who she really is inside… not what everyone else wanted her to be… but who she was born to be.  And it has been a time of letting go of fears… and making new and wonderful discoveries.  Life is to be lived, not feared.  It is for sharing love and happiness … not looking down on anything that is different than you, or fearing it. Or making others feel less than they are, because you believe differently.  

Back to my topic! Sorry about that… lol.

During this time of rediscovery… I found something wonderful.  I actually found Reiki a couple years ago… but due to my belief system I never went further with it.  Now, though, it seemed like the point to get back to studying it… my heart was hooked… and I received my first attunement.  Shortly afterwards I received my second attunement.  It is amazing to me… each time I lay my hands on my little girl’s head to relieve her of a headache or fever… send a distant attunement to a friend for their pain relief… help my sick dog to get well… or lay my hands on myself when I burn myself cooking! LOL (which happens frequently).  There are so many instances that it has been such a beneficial, amazing thing to have.  And it is not me…. it is the Reiki that flows through me.  I have noticed that when I lay my hands on someone for healing, or send a distant treatment… I can feel such a hotness in my hands.  It’s not unpleasant, but it is very noticeable.  I can feel a warmth and a pulsation that doesn’t stop until I am done.

Reiki is healing energy… Rei is Japanese for Universal …. ki means spirit, energy or life force.  It was developed (re-discovered) by Dr. Mikao Usui, a theologist… the short version I will use here, is that he was searching for a healing modality that could be used to help others.  

To me, this means it is the closest you can get to God energy… the very energy that makes us live… breathe… the spirit that animates our bodies.  This is the healing power of the universe.  Many believe it is akin to the Holy Spirit… and perhaps even the way Jesus himself healed.  I believe this is entirely possible.  

Reiki is not massage.  It is a technique that encourages relaxation, stress reduction… and allows healing energy to flow into the body, helping it to heal.  It is not magic.  Sometimes it is instantaneous, but most of the time it takes a little time.  It has even been used in chronic conditions to help people, over a number of treatments.  Reiki is even being used in some hospitals and by some doctors and nurses!   The higher level of Reiki you are, and the more you use and work with it, the more healing energy you are able to use and share with others.  Reiki practitioners lay their hands on the person or animal that needs healing and the Reiki energy flows to wherever it is needed.  Reiki is not just about physical healing… it includes emotional healing as well.  It is not even something you have to believe in, or have faith in… it just is.  And it works.

A person receives the ability to use Reiki by an attunement.  It is simple and easy to do, and doesn’t require any special college degree or years of training.  From the moment you receive your first attunement, you are able to use Reiki for self healing and healing of others.  Typically the first level of Reiki is used to self heal and the additional, higher levels are for Reiki work as a practitioner.  Usui Reiki consists of three levels with the Master level allowing you to teach and attune others to Reiki.  

When we talk about attunements, you can think of it as tuning a radio to a certain station.  Perhaps you can hear a faint bit of music… or it blends into another station… just a little turn of the knob and you hear the music in full!  It is very similar with an attunement.  Everyone has the ability to use Reiki….  It is as natural as breathing!  Remember… it is the universal life energy.  What could be more natural?  An attunement simply tunes the receiver (the one desiring to learn Reiki) into the right “frequency” to enable healing to flow through our hands, and in some cases also our feet and eyes, as some are able to do.  Level 2 and up Reiki practitioners are able to perform distant healings and attunements as well.  Some use symbols and some do not.  There is no distance in spirit.

Reiki is not harsh, painful, evil, or scary.  It is a gentle, pure and loving energy.  It cannot harm you or those you lay hands on… it is only good.   There are hand positions that you use… each hand position is held for three to five minutes.  Reiki will go where it needs to but my personal belief is that the reason for the hand positions is A) we are able to focus the Reiki directly onto major areas of the body and B) it would be very uncomfortable to hold your hands in the same position for 30 or 60 minutes!  A typical Reiki treatment can last from a half hour to an hour, depending on how long the hand positions are held and whether or not you feel led to work on other parts of the body besides just the basic positions.  I also think that since the more you work with Reiki, the more healing energy flows through you… that when we put our hands on specific areas of the body, it enables the Reiki to get there more quickly and directly.  Imagine if you are a new practitioner and not yet accustomed to the flow of energy through your hands… maybe you only get a very small stream at first.  It would make sense to lay your hands where the pain was, or at least a few inches above, so that the energy would get there in a more direct and timely way.  But that is just my opinion.

When you go for a Reiki treatment, all clothes stay on.  The Reiki  practitioner may lay their hands directly on you (head, neck, shoulders, etc) or they may keep their hands a few inches above you, especially when it comes to other areas of the body.  There is to be respect and proper distance maintained at all times.  You will likely hear soft, meditative music playing, and you will be made to feel comfortable, in a relaxing environment.  

If Reiki is something you are interested in, I highly suggest some good books and further research.  You can find a lot of good info on google too.  My favorite book, though I have many, is Reiki, A Comprehensive Guide, by Pamela Miles.  If you could only read one book… this would be it.  Another one of my favorites is Reiki for Life:  The Complete Guide to Reiki Practice for Levels 1, 2 and 3  by Penelope Quest.   A third one is Living a Life of Reiki, by Shalandra Abbey.   One that I have not read yet but plan to is Reiki Nurse: My Life as a Nurse and How Reiki Changed It by Meredith Kendall.  I would highly suggest any of these books to someone seriously interested in learning about Reiki, whether for attunement or just personal study.

A final word about receiving attunements.  Some charge set amounts for their classes and attunements… others feel it should be freely given and received.  I received my attunements distantly, freely,  and I am so grateful, because I could not have afforded the class and attunement, or had a way to travel to get there.  I read everything I could beforehand, several books and articles, and it got so big on the inside of me that I felt if I didn’t receive my first  attunement soon I would go crazy!! I wanted this so badly!  I found a wonderful Reiki master who agreed to attune me for free, and the energy exchange here (for those that are concerned about such things)  is that I will also “pay it forward” and freely heal and attune others.  I consider it an honor and a privilege.  I am also a member of the Distant Healing Network, which allows people to send in reiki requests for distant treatment, who are unable to afford a treatment.  When I reach my master level I too will offer free attunements and teaching materials to those that happen across my path.  It will be my happy pleasure to give to others what was so freely and joyfully given to me!  Reiki is too wonderful not to share.  :)

If you are in need of a reiki treatment, or would like to try it for yourself, please feel free to email me at freespirit.amy@gmail.com,  and I would be more than happy to help you.

Blessings and Reiki hugs!

Amy

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The Message from Water: Emoto Peace Project

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This is just amazing and I had to tell you all!

The Emoto Peace Project is an organization that wants to bring peace, through books to children.  But they are not ordinary books!  They show the impact various things have on water crystals… such as music, words, thoughts, etc… and how it changes them from beautiful, to downright ugly, depending on what is said or listened to.  The kicker is this… it’s not just for the water in the rivers and oceans.  Our bodies are 70% water – children when born are 90%!  That is an awful lot of water that gets affected.  If water in the rivers is affected by these things… it logically follows that we are affected too, in ways we are not even aware of.  The book is aimed for children… probably because so many stick-in-the-mud adults just couldn’t (or wouldn’t) grasp it… LOL!  The message would  likely fail, left in our hands, at least for many of us.  But the kids are the future, so this makes sense.  It will stick with them.  I applaud the work of the Emoto Peace Project.

If you’d like to check out the book for yourself, you can view or download it here:  http://www.emotoproject.org/english/picturebook.html I viewed it and was just astounded… then I showed it to my daughter.  I think he is on to something here and I encourage you to give it a look.

The following message is from his site at http://www.emotoproject.org/english/home.html :

“The research of Dr. Masaru Emoto captures frozen water crystals in photographs that present a glimpse into the mysterious response of water to thoughts, words and pictures. As part of the United Nation’s International Decade for Action: Water for Life, Dr. Emoto wishes to share his discoveries about the responsive nature of water with children around the world. Beginning in 2006, “The Message of Water” children’s book , will be provided to all the children in the world at no cost within the decade. This effort is called the “Emoto Peace Project.”

Dr. Emoto and many of his readers believe that water holds the potential to create peace on earth. Dr. Emoto and many of his readers believe by holding the intention of peace towards water — by thinking, speaking and acting with the intention of peace toward water — water can and will bring peace to our bodies and to the world.

The Emoto Peace Project presents “The Message from Water” children’s book in hopes that this book will play a leading roll in bring peace to the world.

One man cannot change the world but one man can deliver the message to change the world. We believe it is “The Message from Water”.

We thank you very much for your support to Emoto Peace Project.”

Gluten Free for Me

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I have recently discovered that I have a gluten intolerance/allergy. I believe that this is probably something I have had all my life. A little background for those of you who may not know what gluten is:  Gluten is that protein found in wheat, barley and rye.  It makes our dough stick together better, makes our cakes and breads all light and fluffy and yummy.  But it also makes the body work very hard to digest it.  For someone who does not have a problem with digesting gluten, this is okay and even beneficial.  But for those of us (and there are a lot of us, more than was previously thought) that *do* have a problem with gluten… the results in our bodies can be terrible… leading to sickness of all sorts… even premature death, eventually, because of the effect it ultimately has on our systems.

I started gaining weight when I was little, about 3 or 4, and when I was younger, the only way I have ever been able to keep it off is by drastic dieting measures, extreme exercise, etc.  It used to work, but as I have aged, it’s gotten harder and harder.  Now when I undertake a  major exercising plan, it ADDS INCHES to my middle.  I recently began a vigorous daily plan of 1-2 hours day.  I  lost a few pounds… gained them back… lost them… gained them back.  Every few days I would lose a couple pounds and get so excited… and a few days later, despite the fact that I was dieting and eating healthily… those pounds would come right back.  And then, I thought, well maybe I at least got some lean muscle!  Sure… right around my middle, on top of the fat that was already there.  I felt discouraged… depressed… hopeless.  For those of you that look at overweight people and think “well they just don’t exercise” or “they must eat twinkies all day,” this is wrong.  I’m sure there are people who do… but get to know the person before making a snap judgment.

I always thought that maybe it was a thyroid condition and so I recently made plans to visit an endocrinologist, as some doctors seem to ‘pooh pooh’ the idea that anyone could have a real thyroid condition (even though it does affect so many people.)  I know… I should have already had that checked out long ago… but that kind of thing costs money that I just didn’t have.  I recently tried the “morning temperature reading” test for thyroid problems and my temperature was just a slight tad under normal … so what in the world was wrong with me?  I went vegetarian for three months… and GAINED WEIGHT.  Two of those months I even followed an 85% raw diet.  What gives?!  Now I know what it was. **(Update:  since identifying my gluten problem, I have lost one dress size and working toward my next! YAY!!)

I have been interested in healthy eating for a long time now, as well as taking vitamins, etc.   Recently though I became aware just *how* bad white floured items were (turns to sugar after 5 minutes in the body!) for us… if you eat a piece of white bread for example, as I have read, it turns to sugar super quickly in the body, within minutes of eating it! And if those carbs are not used up… guess what… excess fat.  I was horrified when I thought of how much white bread in just one day we used.  So I began studying more about whole grains and decided from that point on, we would be a whole wheat, whole grain family.  And we’d like it! :P

So we switched to whole wheat *everything*.   If it was a bread or cereal or cracker item, etc… it was whole wheat.

But… after a couple of weeks of whole wheat in different forms, several times a day, I suddenly broke out in hives.  Terrible, itchy, miserable hives.  I couldn’t figure out what triggered them… where they came from.  I thought maybe a detox reaction… clothes detergent… I just didn’t know.  I have never had allergies of that nature, just like sinus, hayfever-type stuff… nothing involving welts or hives!  I had read a while back about people who were gluten intolerant (or that had celiac disease) but I never thought much about it.  I really can’t say what it was that made me put 2 + 2 together… I personally think it was God.  I was thinking about this one morning, feeling extremely sorry for myself and wondering what the heck was wrong and should I see a doctor or a dermatologist… when it was like this thought jumped into my mind: “Gluten Sensitivity.”  I know it sounds weird… but it was like that thought was “inserted” there… I hadn’t read about that in a looooong time and never would have thought I might have that.

So I hopped on the internet and started researching everything I could find about gluten intolerance and celiac disease.  I read a book by Dr. Shari Lieberman titled “The Gluten Connection – How Gluten Sensitivity May Be Sabotaging Your Health” and it was like she was reading my mail, as the saying goes.  All my life I had just felt… bad.  Not much energy… acid reflux constantly… gall stones… headaches all the time… often depressed, even when I was “happy” … just blah blah blah.  I took my vitamins and ate as healthily as I knew how… it would help somewhat but nothing ever major. Sometimes I would tell my husband, “I just don’t feel good. I don’t feel good at all.” I would sleep and not even felt like it when I woke up.  While these symptoms can be attributed to other things too… they are also symptomatic of people with gluten intolerance/allergies or the more advanced form, celiac disease.  And long ago it was thought that extreme weight loss was possibly a symptom of celiac disease… but now they are finding weight gain and inability to lose it can be a symptom as well… weight that people could not get rid of,  disappears on a gluten free diet… not overnight… but it does go away.  Some people have lost it rather quickly, others a bit slower.  It seems to affect people in a way that normalizes their bodies… those that were underweight, gain up to a normal weight… those that were overweight, lose down to a normal weight.   I felt I had stumbled onto my lifelong problem.   I highly recommend this book if anyone has had problems like that.

And if you think these symptoms might sound like you, my suggestion is just to try a few weeks with no wheat, barley, or rye items… just see how you feel.  If you notice a change for the better, then do what you feel is best.  Have your dr. check you out… whatever… but remember that even drs can make mistakes.  You know your body best.  I read of people who had *asked* their doctors to test them for gluten problems, and they were laughed at.  This is very poor professional judgment on those doctor’s parts and I know not all doctors are that way.  In those situations, the people took care of the situation themselves… went gluten free… and today are enjoying happy, healthy lives, free from the problems that had once plagued them day in and day out.  I’m not against doctors… I am very thankful for them.  I’m just saying that God gave us a brain and common sense.  We need to use it.

Anyway… I began going gluten free… and where before the hives had been continuing… the *next day* after I stopped my gluten intake, I noticed a difference.  They started to go away.  Then we went to a restaurant & I decided to eat just a salad… but they served light ranch dressing.  I would never have thought wheat would be in light dressing… but low and behold, it was.  I ate half of it before I realized it, after reading the packet (I was new to reading labels that closely and just figured the dressing would be okay… never assume anything about gluten.  They hide it in places you would never dream.  If it contains wheat… barley… or rye… it contains gluten).  And guess what… by the time I got home, a couple small patches of hives had newly popped up.  That cinched it for me.  (Please note that corn and rice glutens are not the same and are considered safe for celiacs.  Corn and rice lack the “gliadin fractions” that are found in the other grains mentioned above.)

At this writing in April, I have been gluten free for about two weeks now… the hives have nearly disappeared (and would probably have been gone sooner had I not scratched them so badly) and I have a new energy.  My headaches, which I had always thought were just sinus problems… have disappeared.  I have not had a headache since going GF (gluten free).  My problems with feeling depressed have greatly improved, even after just a couple weeks!  I have felt cheerful, happy, and even my husband has noticed the difference.  They say it takes time for all the gluten to be flushed from your system, it can take as much as a month, to three months even… but I am already seeing positive changes. I have slowly, steadily, and surely started taking the weight off.  Some people say it takes as much as a month to start losing the excess weight and to notice the other beneficial changes… but if you think gluten sensitivity is a problem… and you swear off everything (it must be everything!) that has gluten in it… and if you notice yourself feeling better, looking better, even feeling GREAT … you may have found your answer.  You can’t go halfway though and expect to see great changes.  I have read of people who bloat up several pounds after a spaghetti dinner (it has happened to me too) just overnight!  And while it sounds strange… it is TRUE, I promise you.  If you really care about your health and you even suspect that gluten is the culprit… start finding better ways to eat.  One thing that has helped me is my friendly neighborhood health food store.  I buy quinoa (a wonderful grain, as old as the hills, the native americans used to grow it) “pasta” and I cannot tell the difference between it and reg. pasta.  I cook a small amount of quinoa pasta for me and my family still wants the reglar pasta, so I cook it for them… and we all have our dinner together as usual.  There are lots of little things you can do. (Incidentally… if you are currently dealing with hives and rashes, as I was, and after reading this you suspect it may be gluten related… I suggest putting tea tree oil on them. It helps greatly with the itching, I wish I would have had some on hand sooner, maybe I could have slept better! haha  Be careful with tea tree though, as it is very strong.  It would be best to mix it in a base with some olive oil, in a separate jar.  Like, 1/4 cup olive oil and about 5 or 6 drops of tea tree.  Remember this is NOT medical advice, just my suggestion for things that have worked for me!  I love aromatherapy so this was easy for me to implement.)

I wanted to share this with you out there, anyone who may be suffering from this and just never thought to check it out… now is the time.  Research it.  YES you can live without bread. At first I was like, “Oh no… now what will I eat?” But there are so many good healthy foods out there… after a few weeks, you truly will not miss it.  If you crave something bread like, there are lots of good recipes that use flours such as white rice flour, soy flour, tapioca, corn, etc… get on the trusty internet and google your way to good eating with all the great GF recipes that you can find.  I have found though that I feel better not eating of the breads, cakes, etc., even the GF ones.  But they are great to help you with the transition, or to break up the routine.

This is not intended to be medical advice.  As I have said in my last post… I am not a doctor.  But I have a desire to help people and when I come across something that will possibly be of help… I want to share it.  I am simply sharing what I have read, and what I have found to be true in my own life.  Take what I have said and do what you will.  I am a firm believer in doing my own research!  It’s not hard with today’s technology… just hop on the internet highway and get surfing! Search engines are great vehicles to take us where we want to explore.  Do your own research… and see what you come up with.   You just might find yourself on the best ride of your life, the ride to good health!  You can have all the money in the world… but if your health suffers… you will never be able to enjoy it.  The good health of you and your family is more important than anything else physical this world can offer.

Here are some good links that helped me, I hope they help you too, towards the road to good health!

Allergy MedSites.com

Celiac Disease, Gluten and Wheat Allergies


Celiac Disease & Obesity – There is a Connection

Gluten Sensitivity, Celiac Disease, and Weight Gain


There are lots of gluten free recipes on the net, here is one site:

Gluten Free Recipes


Tortillas are naturally gluten free, this recipe tells how to make y our own at home!

Book of Yum, Gluten Free Recipes


All kinds of gluten free foods you can get, even mail order:

The Gluten Free Mall

Hopefully this info and these links will get your road trip started out to success.  I hope this is helpful to you.  :)