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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Relaxation, a need or a hype?

restorativeI have to admit, I am not a fan of relaxation. There, I said it! Anytime I read an event description that is all about relaxation, I have zero interest in it. I view relaxation for relaxation’s sake as a form of escapism. I see it as a way to escape your troubles, your discomfort, your unease instead of dealing with it. As such, it just doesn’t hold a lot of value for me. I feel that we learn and grow when we are uncomfortable, when we can face our situation head on and acknowledge it, accept it, and change it if we need to. If you are just trying to avoid dealing with it by attending a variety of “feel-good” events, how will you change the course of your life?

Now, stillness, mindfulness, those I hold in high regard. In those rare moments of stillness, that’s when magic happens. That’s when invaluable insights have room to show up and be noticed. That, I can get behind on.

But guess what? We are so stressed and overwhelmed, we are so rushed along our lives, that we no longer know how to be still and mindful. It is no longer a natural part of our lives to slow down. And this is where relaxation does come in. If you are able to relax and let go, you will be able to be still and mindful. You can get out of being stuck in your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and back into your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). And did you know that we are supposed to live in “rest and digest” mode? With short bursts of activity in “fight or flight”? It feels as if though everything in today’s world is stack against that.

I can’t tell you how many clients I have seen that have trouble relaxing and letting go. I see it both in Reiki sessions and in Thai bodywork. With Reiki, they do eventually settle down and relax or doze off. It is also more of a mind that might stay agitated. The body lays still, so it’s easier to relax. But with Thai, and all the movement that comes with it, the person has to consciously relax the muscles so that I can move them without resistance. And I remind them to do so if I feel tension. One of the most common answers to that is, “But I feel like I am relaxed.” Nope, there is still tension, still effort. Slowly, they learn how to let go and relax and boy, what a difference it makes!

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