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East Meets West: How Alternative Therapies Complement & Help my Sjogren's Journey

As a Reiki Master practitioner and a student of yoga for 25 years, I have personally benefited from complementary modalities over the years -- long before my Sjogren's diagnosis (a serious, complex systemic autoimmune disease).

Before I launch into how I have personally experienced positive benefits from complementary therapies, remember that you have full autonomy over your body. What works for me may not appeal to you, and/or work for your body's specific needs and your symptoms.

Listen and pay attention to the signs and messages your body sends you. Do not push your body to the point of extreme pain, or allow any practitioner to tell you what you should do with your body. You know your body the best!

As a Sjogren's patient, I deal with a myriad of complex systemic issues and also have severe spinal stenosis so I deal with physical limitations. In the past, I hiked long distances but I can still enjoy outdoor walks in nature albeit my walking mileage is reduced. I am also a former dance fitness instructor so dancing and movement have always brought me great joy in my life.

While I also take prescription medication for Sjogren's and see multiple Western healthcare specialists, I also listen to what my body needs outside the parameters of Western-based medicine. I see a Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncturist and I have found pain relief and ease of my symptoms through regular acupuncture sessions.

If acupuncture sounds too invasive or you dislike the thought of needles (although acupuncture needles are small and painless), there are other modalities such as gentle massage, Reiki (which can either be done hands-on or hands off), Bowen therapy, craniosacral therapy, EFT/tapping, myofascial release, aromatherapy, sound healing, and yoga nidra.

Reiki is a non-invasive healing modality. Studies show that reiki can help reduce stress and anxiety, and ease pain and help relieve symptoms related to chronic illness. Like acupuncture and massage, it is recommended to have Reiki sessions done on a regular basis.

While I personally tout the benefits of yin yoga to stretch my connective tissue and lubricate joints, I understand that yoga is not an option for some patients based on their limited mobility.

While other yoga styles focus on the muscles (Yan style of practice), yin yoga is a passive practice that holds yoga poses/stretches between 3 to 5 minutes. Chair yoga is another option if you are unable to sit or lie down on the floor.

Last year I added qigong to my daily self-care routine. Qigong is a gentle movement practice rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It coordinates breathwork and meditation as you move through a series of slow-paced body postures and flowing movements. Qigong is very relaxing and as someone who deals with bouts of anxiety, it helps ground me and release tension and stress.

If interested in exploring alternative therapy modalities, along with Western medical care, I encourage you to be curious and ask yourself what sounds or feels good to your body.

Discuss with your doctors before starting a new movement practice such as yoga or quigong. Vet practitioners and research them online. Make sure they are certified and licensed practitioners. Read their client testimonials and reviews. Ideally, they should have experience working with clients who have a chronic illness.

There is no "one-size-fits-all" when it comes to exploring non-Western complementary therapies. If one doesn't work out for you, try out a different modality or practitioners. Look into community-based acupuncture centers which usually offer lower rates or research your insurance plan to find out if acupuncture is covered (some plans sometimes cover massage therapy).

Self-care is not selfish and dealing with a chronic illness can drain us not only physically but emotionally and mentally. I have personally benefited from looking outside Western medicine to help ease my physical pain and bring me comfort and peace throughout my chronic illness journey. I encourage you to find what works for you and remember you are not alone in your journey.

#sjogrens #autoimmune #Reiki #Acupuncture #massagetherapy #traditionalchinesemedicine

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Anxiety Relief

I like to share some things that helped me and perhaps that can help you too. I struggled with emotions, anxiety, anger etc in the past.

When I am angry before bedtime, I cannot sleep and for the whole night, it's as if I am holding a ball of fire. Later on, I learnt mindfulness meditation to cope with emotions and meditation is wonderful for calmness, and there is this method of meditation for body scan that helps me fall asleep easier. There are times where I can't sleep much the whole night but meditation helps to sort of put the mind at rest so even though I was aware that I didn't sleep much, I was not cranky and I feel ok. Energy level is also ok and not too tired out.

Meditation also teaches me to observe my anger, sadness and emotions instead of being overwhelmed by it, and that emotions, like thoughts, comes and goes and we should be kinder to ourselves.

I used to think that meditation is for religion but its great for mental health. You can try "calm" or "smiling mind" app for a start.

The other method I use is Reiki, also great for calmness and rest and I also use some reiki visualizations when I am on the train and I can get anxious but the visualizations helps me calm down. Hope these methods may also help you.#Anxiety #Reiki #Meditation #MentalHealth

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Can Reiki help mental health conditions? #Reiki #Holisticcare #energyhealing #holyfire

I am a Reiki practitioner, qualified in 2011, in Holyfire Reiki. Being a reiki practitioner, your laying hands above ones clothed body emitting reiki energy out their hands and directed to body parts. It is said that reiki can do no harm, it’s universal life force energy originated by Usui Sensi in the 1900’s in Japan. Who taught reiki and opened venues to practice. It was advertised in the West by a reiki master mrs Takata.

Studies have been carried out on Reikis results; one of which from Dr Emoto, on two portions is water - one portion where pleasant words spoken to it, the other negative words. What concluded was the first condition A, kind words spoken the water was vibrant and shinny; the later condition B, the water was horrid.

Reiki essentially relaxes the client, creating space for the client to heal. So it’s not reiki per say that heals mind body or soul, but rather it some how activates and encourages healing energy. In regards to anxiety in hospital prior to operation, the client can receive reiki to relax and calm ones nerves. It is becoming more popular in the west as time goes on.

Reiki can be treated on practically anyone, any animal or anything or any illness. If one has depression, reiki can help the mind, and body relax, become calm, create space to face unwanted challenges or issues so that it’s a safe place to release negative emotions.

Whose tried it?

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#akashic #devinefeminine #goddess

I'm new here is anyone using spiritual energy to heal the body and emotions, tapping into the akashic records and doing massive #energyhealing #Reiki

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Nurturing Time for Self Healing

#52SmallThings #EhlersDanlosSyndrome #PosturalOrthostaticTachycardiaSyndrome #MCAS #Migraine #Reiki #Meditation #Gastroparesis #Dysautonomia

I have always had a very “Type A” personality. Despite my body crying out (and definitely to my own detriment), I will try against all odds to check off every box on my daily to do list. In fact, I will hesitate to even list something in my planner that I don’t believe I have a shot of completing because an empty check box will agonize me. That said, I like to think I have turned this personality weakness into an asset in my battle against chronic illness.

I started meditating in high school and got more serious about it under the strain of university life in NYC with multiple health conditions. Meditation stayed with me but inconsistently. When my health got to an all time low about five years ago, I got serious about it again and signed up for reiki courses. I started scheduling time daily for meditation and reiki self healing sessions. Uh, oh! Checkboxes on my planner! Wait a sec - using Type A personality to make sure I chill out?! Yes!!!! And it worked!

I’m not saying that daily meditation or reiki took away even one of my conditions. What they did was give me a daily pause - a time to breathe, a time for my intuition to map a new thing to try, time to make new plans and hear my body speak its pain and its needs, time for gratitude and self love, time for hope and healing. 💗

I don’t even have to put a checkbox for this daily self care these days. It’s a wonderful and nurturing addiction. I guess it is always the way that our weaknesses are also our strengths if we direct them properly. This was certainly the case for me. Wishing you healing and love. Namaste. 💖


Spa Day

Yesterday I had an appointment for reiki, massage, and a facial. It was a birthday gift that was needed so badly. Lately my anxiety has been so high!! After the reiki she told me she kept seeing a snake shedding its skin while she did the reiki on me. I am shedding energy I no longer need.
#Energy #Reiki #Spa

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