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I tripped and fell at work. I was carrying a box, had to swerve through a narrow area, caught my foot on something and fell. One second I was upright, the next all my weight landed on my right hand.
It hurt like hell. Two people came over immediately and asked if I was OK. I automatically said yes. The pain was screaming. Then the middle of my hand went numb; it was a weird sensation. A man came over (funny guy) and asked if I had been licking frogs that morning. For me, sarcastic humor is my home base. Humor brought me back from that place I call being out-of-the-body.
After a little bit of time the hand was OK, swollen with a small cut but OK. I worked the rest of the day until around 2:30 when it cramped up. I lost all strength in it; couldn’t grasp things with my fingers and I couldn’t lift a thing. It hurt like heck. That kept getting worse until I couldn’t hold my hand in any position where it didn’t hurt. After doing the accident report I left work and drove immediately over to Celestial Esscents. There I asked Peggy Spencer for some Reiki on my hand.
She took my hand between her two hands and got into her Reiki space. I just relaxed and watched how my hand reacted.
My hand ached while her hands got warmer and warmer around it. Then I had a sensation of the pain changing. The middle of the injury felt like it was being scooped out. Maybe that sounds bad but it didn’t hurt any more than originally. I thought about how I was scared almost to tears, of losing the strength in my hand and I released some of that bottled up grief. I got the feeling that I was resisting the pain, and that resistance (fear based) was making the pain stay. So inside my head I said it was OK to release the pain, I didn’t need to keep it for any reason. The pain shifted again. Then the edge of it towards my wrist felt like it was being sewn inside. That’s just what it felt like to me. I told Peggy what I experienced and she said that I’m the only one she knows who gets so many impressions like that while receiving Reiki.
When she was done my hand was noticeably better and kept getting better. By the time I left her shop I could use my hand and hold things again. I wasn’t in total pain. But it still looked swollen and bad and Peggy suggested that I get it checked out by a doctor. She suggested wrapping it in comfrey and she had some there that I took home. I slept like a baby and by the next morning had strength back in my hand and no pain, just a little soreness. I was elated. I took a day off work to let the hand heal but was bored and wanted to go back to work.
Reiki has been offered and taught in Clarksville since I have been here. Nancy Telford and Vicki Slater, both RN’s, taught Reiki classes at the original Body, Mind and Spirit shop. There are different levels of Reiki certification.
What is Reiki? I asked Linda Cain, Reiki master and proprietor of Visions Metaphysical Boutique. Pronounced Ray Key, it is an ancient Tibetan healing technique that was recorded on Sanskrit scrolls and rediscovered by Dr. Mikao Usui. The Reiki practitioner uses “laying on of the hands” to the patient and healing energy goes where it is needed in the body and promotes deep healing, whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual. It gives the receiver great relaxation and can be helpful for stress, depression, pain, anxiety, or meditation.
For me, trusting just anyone to “run energy” into me is a big issue. I don’t want someone, no matter how wonderful they are, to run their energy into me because they can put their limits on what I am able to cure or what miracle I am able to accept. Reiki practitioners are taught to “get out of the way” of universal healing energy and just direct that energy into someone’s body. The energy comes from the universe, not the giver.
I asked Linda Cain for some of her Reiki stories. Linda has been a nurse for 26 years and by learning Reiki found an alternative way to help people.
The other nurses wanted Linda to put her “magic hands” on one of their patients, a soldier who had severe back problems for seven months. He had recent surgery which made the pain worse. He was yelling and screaming at the top of his lungs, out of control, and drugs did not help him. He was horrible to everyone around him, including his fiancée, who was mortified at his behavior. Before this back pain he was not like that at all, she said. Linda told the fiancée about Reiki and offered it to the soldier. He was willing to try anything. Linda promised no guarantees. He received Reiki from her for about an hour. At the end of it his eyes were closed and he was silent. His fiancée whispered to him, “Are you OK?” A tear rolled out of his eye. He finally looked at her and at Linda and said he had no pain. He went to sleep, something he had not been able to do. He was released from the hospital the next day. Though he was not absolutely pain free forever, he had received enough healing to allow the medications help him through rough times. His fiancée sought Linda out to receive Reiki for herself.
Linda’s sister Diana suffered from something called “Shrinks”, a nerve condition which gave her back and neck pain. Her left leg was numb and prickly feeling most of the time. She could not walk without difficulty. Linda explained Reiki to her and finally talked her into some, with no guarantees. At the end Diana sat up and rubbed her leg. “Linda, I can feel my leg,” she said. Linda said that was nice. “No, you don’t understand”, Diana said. “I haven’t had feelings in my leg for at least a year.” Diana walked down the stairs normally to her husband who couldn’t believe his eyes.
Animals respond to Reiki. They seem to “get it” faster than we do. Children also. Sometimes animals don’t really want Reiki at first. Then they insist on it. Kitty Madden’s dog shoves her hip against the fence toward Kitty and waits for her Reiki healing. Kitty uses Reiki to calm her dogs down when they get over excited. Since Reiki masters “lay their hands” on a person or animal, some of the reactions have to do with not wanting to be touched.
“My cat didn’t want me to do Reiki on her at all, but then she’d come and lay flat on her back and just accept it, eyes rolling and all. She even lets me touch her paws” ~~ Afton Chandler.
When getting Reiki sometimes the pain can get more intense before it releases. Linda treated a soldier with a knee injury. He hadn’t slept for five days and for whatever reason was not allowed medicine. She offered him the healing and laid her hands on his knee. He began writhing in pain during the Reiki. She freaked out, worried that she was hurting him more but she decided to persist and leave her hands on his knee. He fell asleep and slept all night. Because she was on a different shift, she was unable to talk to him for a few days. Nurses told her he was asking for her. He was about to be discharged but he wanted to talk to her. He told her the pain had gotten worse when she was working on him but then something gave way, let loose and when he woke up he had no pain.
Reiki is in no way a substitute for medical attention.
With Reiki sometimes an emotion that is squashed down may stir up and be felt before releasing. Louise Hay (You Can Heal Your Life) writes that repressed emotions sit underneath illness that develops in our bodies. During a Reiki session I received many years ago when I was working on my cancer, I felt a little overwhelmed by stirring up and releasing emotions of anger and under that tremendous grief and despair, about the idea that I was helpless to do anything to help someone. At the time I was surprised that all that surfaced in a Reiki session but it was something I needed to release in order to heal. Cancer is a resentment based illness, says Louise, and the repressed anger that we’re not allowed to express gets stored in our bodies, eventually causing ill-ness.
I asked Linda if there are times when Reiki does not help people. I’ve heard a lot of miracles about it but have also seen people who haven’t improved after it. Reiki is not based on whether a person “believes” it will work or not. If that were true it wouldn’t work for me because I take my healthy skepticism with me everywhere. Linda said sometimes a person isn’t ready to be healed and for whatever reason they want to hold on to that pain. She’s seen herself hold on to a pain because she wanted to know what was causing it. “Maybe the pain is serving a person somehow. Maybe there’s a lesson they are trying to learn”. Emotional pain is more likely to fit in this category. Something works at the level that they accept it. “But no one can make someone else receive a healing. This is a free will activity”, she said. “Amen”, says I.
The Reiki practitioner uses a flat table that you lie on if able. They will rest their hands on places on your body and leave them there until the change (in energy) has finished. Usually they do the front and back of the body, doing the feet and head also. One needs to only remove their shoes. Relaxation occurs.
Some places offering Reiki in Clarksville:
Visions Metaphysical Boutique
101 Franklin St., Clarksville
1850 Wilma Rudolf Blvd., Clarksville
Nancy Telford, RN, MSN
103 Jefferson St. Ste #100, Clarksville
Debbie and her family moved to Clarksville slightly after the tornado of 1999. Debbie founded the group, Clarksville Freethinkers for Peace and Civil Liberties, in 2004. She participated in Gathering to Save Our Democracy, a group dedicated to obtaining free and verifiable elections in Tennessee. She has supported groups including the NAACP, Nashville Peace Coalition, PFLAG, Friends of Dunbar Cave and the Mountain Top Removal Series of Films and speakers. She participated as an artist in the ARTZ gallery group in Clarksville and won Best of Show, First and 2 Second Place awards for four of her sculptures. She won a voter’s choice award for a performance at the Roxy Regional Theatre. She is a wife, mother and cancer survivor. She is always amazed at the capabilities of the human spirit, and the wisdom to find humor when there is none.
SectionsArts and Leisure, Education, News
Topics"You Can Heal Your Life", Afton Chandler, Celestial Esscents, comfrey, Dr. Mikao Usui, Louise Hay, Nancy Telford, Peggy Spencer, Reiki, Reiki master Linda Cain, Vicki Slater, Visions Metaphysical Boutique
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