Is Thai or Reiki for you? Which one’s best?

Thai or Reiki

Thai or ReikiWhat do you think is more popular? Thai or Reiki? I don’t know for anyone else, but in my practice, it’s Reiki! Though Thai is a very, very close second. How close? Last year I had 99 Reiki appointments and 97 Thai bodywork appointments. That’s how close!

Even though both services work from the same principle, the approach is so different that people are usually drawn to one but not the other. The question of what is better for them, Thai or Reiki, comes up pretty often as people wonder if they are missing out on something. But what is the unifying principle that brings both services together? That we have energy running through us, and it needs to run unimpeded in order for the body, mind, and spirit to be healthy.

The difference in Thai or Reiki comes in how both services help that energy to move along. In Reiki, a light touch is used and more energy is poured into the body through the practitioner. You can think of it as having a super heavy rain that fills the river that then overflows a dam, sweeping it away. The energy channels in your body are the river, the dam are areas of injury, emotional discord, surgery, painful memory, and so on. That extra heavy rain is the extra energy provided through the practitioner (me, in this case). Even though it sounds somewhat tumultuous, the process is actually gentle.

Thai or ReikiIn Thai Bodywork, the aim is also to move the energy through the body and remove the dam. But here, we use pressure and stretches to get into the nooks and crannies of the body and remove the dams. There is no rain, just the internal force of the river that is now allowed to flow unimpeded, with dams loosened up. As this is a much more physical practice, the body feels differently immediately, with lasting health benefits to follow.

Which one is right for you? It depends! While everyone can benefit from both services, we have our goals and inclinations to keep in mind.

Thai bodywork hopes to achieve wellness through working on the body. The effects are physical to start with. It is a great service if there is tightness in the body or you are losing your range of motion. Sciatica, lower back pain, general tension in the body can all be helped by regular Thai sessions. It also teaches you trust. Didn’t expect that, right? It takes complete trust that I won’t hurt you to be able to relax fully, with body and limbs limp. That trust on the mat can then creep into the rest of your life where you just might be able to stay more in a relaxed state versus the high alert ‘fight or flight’ mode.

Reiki, on the other hand, hopes to achieve wellness by working on the spiritual and emotional level. While I might use a bit of pressure on certain points in the body, this is not exactly significant for the overall session. The extra energy being provided to you does create a sense of peace and relaxation, but how fast would depend on how used you are to relaxing. In other words, if you are typically very stressed, it will take longer and several session for you to come close to what I would consider relaxed. On the other hand, if you are only occasionally stressed and your body has at least a vague memory of being relaxed, you will get to that total body rest much faster.

What is more important to you at this time? What would you like to experience? That’s for you to know and for me to find out when you schedule 🙂

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Happy Independence Day!

eagleI love July 4th! I love the celebration, the fireworks, the idea of freedom and independence. There are many shades and nuances to freedom, I think. Of course, there are very literal interpretations in the case of a slave or a prisoner. It is unfortunate that even now literal slavery still exists in the world. And the prison population in the US is nothing to be happy about. But if you are reading this, chances are you are well removed from those two instances.

The question then is, “Are you free?” My favorite teacher always closed her yoga classes with the following blessing, that I also use:

May you be happy as I wish to be happy.

May you be healthy as I wish to be healthy.

May you be full of joy as I wish to be joyful.

May you be free from suffering, as I wish to be free.

The last line always made me unsettled. My thoughts would dart to slaves or prisoners and I would feel rather uncomfortable saying that I wish to be free. “I AM free!”, I thought, “What suffering?” Given that I had a comfortable middle-class income at that time and practiced with my all-white middle class colleagues made it all the more silly. But yoga and repeating things over and over have a funny way of sticking with you. Eventually, I had a light bulb moment as I was endlessly going over and over of what to do with my life. Do I leave said comfortable, but numbing job and do what I really feel can help others and be fulfilling, or do I write that dream off and stick with my career. The indecision and going back and forth was just painful. And that’s when I got it, that’s suffering! Yes, different kind, the one that we create ourselves, but suffering nonetheless!

Since then I have begun to view the superfluous mental activity as suffering. The kind where you keep worrying about things that are out of your control, where you think up all the different possible scenarios and not good ones either. And in that light the freedom looks a bit different too. Am I free from other people’s expectations of me? Am I free to do what my heart desires? Are you?

I hope as you are drinking some beer this weekend (make it a local one) and munching on some food (local?), you’ll have a minute to think of both physical and emotional freedom and toast to that.