Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around -Leo Buscaglia
Yesterday, I wrote about that intellectual spark. What or who prompts and inspires someone to explore new thoughts and ideas. Someone who can stoke the fires of curiosity. A great teacher will do that and their lessons will stay with you for a long time after the class has ended. My husband and I still quote some of our college professors and the encouraging words about writing (and tempting me to try writing this blog) stem from one of my high school teachers. Twenty five (ssshhh!) years later, I can still see the red-inked, loopy handwriting of my dear history teacher scrawled atop some of my writing assignments…”Keep up the great writing”…”Nice descriptions”….
Amazing. I can remember those comments, but ask me what I had for dinner two nights ago and I have to bend and contort my brain.
Today, I want to touch on a different kind of electricity and spark-the physical. The almighty power of human touch.
My yoga teacher, as I came to find out recently, is studying Reiki. I vaguely knew what it was but certainly couldn’t explain it with any sense of authority; I also had never experienced it. Reiki is defined by Wikipedia as a spiritual practice developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui which has since been adapted by various teachers of varying traditions. It uses a technique commonly called palm healing or hands on healing as a form of complementary healng and is sometimes classified as oriental medicine by some professional medical bodies.Through the use of this technique, practitioners believe that they are transferring universal energy (i.e., reiki) in the form of ki (energy) through the palms, which allows for self-healing and a state of equilibrium.
When she asked me if I would be interested in a mini-session, as she is in training and needs guinea pigs, I agreed without much hesitation. Why?
1. I’m a huge fan of massages and this is in the zone. I just need it to be in the zone and you can count me in.
2. Why not? I mean, really. It was going to be free since she’s practicing and who couldn’t stand an extra blast of relaxation?
3. I fully believe that there are many, many things in this world that just can not be explained by man. Life is mysterious and works in mysterious ways. Just go with it and suspend disbelief for a spell. Worst case scenario, I’d get so relaxed that I’d just fall asleep for fifteen minutes.
So today, when yoga ended Reiki commenced. I had my eyes closed the entire time (as was instructed) and the in beginning of the session, I know I was totally over thinking things. You remember the feeling of being blindfolded when you played Pin the Tail on the Donkey as a kid? You are almost straining to see through the dark (if that makes sense) for any shape of that fool donkey. This was sort of the same thing. I was thinking, thinking, thinking…could I sense where her hands were hovering over me? Wait, I heard a little creek in the floor…she’s to the right of me. But wait, I thought she was down near my feet?
After a few minutes of this hyper-senses game I was playing with myself, I gave up and gave in. I just laid there. I will admit that I did feel some tingles. Whether they were Reiki- induced or mind-induced, I’m not sure, but some kind of energy was swirling around. Most of the time, her hands were hovering over me, but several times, she did lay her hands in the absolute slightest way on my shoulders…on my head…on my feet. The feet will get you every time. It’s amazing how the most minute touch can make you stand at attention and just melt you into a puddle. It was tingly and it was calming. Whether it aligned my chakras, or set me in a balanced state, I’m not sure, but post-Reiki, I did feel pretty darned relaxed AND energized. Almost as if I had had reflexology or a full massage…which is odd since she barely laid her hands on me. Maybe it just felt good to rest a while.
Can’t explain it but it felt good. Sometimes that’s all the explanation you need.
The power of touch is an amazing thing. We all know the healing power of a good hug or even better, a good kiss. To be touched is to connect. How can we deny that energies are present? Maybe then, there is a way to tap into them and sooth them without even “real” touch. No doubt, most of you have heard the horrifying and heartbreaking reports of orphans around the world who are left in cribs without any cuddling or human caresses. They suffer immeasurably and their emotional growth is stunted because of the lack of human touch. The feeling of warmth and security and bonding with another soul is virtually as crucial as food and water. And how can we explain that?…whether it’s holding big or small hands, stroking someone’s hair or just brushing up against someone…that zap of electricity…that energy that passes between people. There’s just something there that comes alive. Just to be around some people is electrifying (Harrison Ford-ha), never mind touch them. Electricity and energy is present.
It’s just a matter of how we tap into it.