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How Reiki helped my diet – part 2


In the last post, I left you with my doctor who was telling me not to lose any more weight. Having found a new balance, I did not lose any more weight. Two great unexpected benefits arrived with this new awareness of diet.

Headache relief

For many years, I had suffered with painful sinus headaches. Every couple of months, I would spend all night sitting up in a chair trying to find sleep through the throbbing. I thought they would go away when I quit smoking some years before I learned Reiki – but sadly, they did not. I had resigned myself to thinking it was simply heredity and I would have to live with them.

A few months after I quit dairy altogether, I noticed an absence – I had not had an all-night headache, nor a headache of any kind. Could it be the dairy?

Well, I know now, and so do many of you – dairy products are inflammatory for most people, and create congestion. Sinus passages easily constrict and create pressure.

Most thankfully, I have avoided sinus headaches ever since then. There are no painkillers in my medicine cabinet.

Deeper meditation

With a diet that worked to reduce inflammation instead of increasing it, my digestion suddenly was much better. I had been used to low level background discomfort all my adult life.

It turned out that, if I sat down in meditation, I was able to sit much more still, with far less restlessness — and thus go deeper into my sitting.

This promotes peace, within me and for others who come in contact with me.


These benefits flowed naturally out of loving self-healing and self-awareness, not from imposing a regimen on myself from the pages of a book or magazine.


How Reiki helped my diet – part 1


During the year after I first learned Reiki, my body became transparent.

For my whole adult life until that time, I had lived in my head. My body was a “black box”. Food in, physical energy and waste out – it was simple. In pain or discomfort? Ignore it if possible, otherwise take a pill.

Then, one day, sometime during my first year practicing Reiki on myself and loved ones, I noticed the darkness was lifting. In my mind’s eye, I could see my inner organs, how they were feeling, and what they were telling me about the food they needed.

I listened and learned, and began to eat far less meat, and many more fruits and vegetables. That made me feel better, every day.

Instead of listening only to my brain, I was letting my body make more of the decisions about what was good to eat. When I went to the store to buy food, I would let my feet take me more often to the produce section. Certain foods seemed to leap off the shelves, such as garlic, onions, and broccoli. I even found I liked kale.

All of this progress came with regular, daily Reiki self-treatment. I had never in my life experienced this before – I was listening to my body and taking pleasure in doing what it asked of me. I wasn’t reading about what was supposed to be good for me, then trying to impose someone else’s ideas on my body; I was just following inner guidance that made me happy because my body felt better.

But there was more to come.

After my Level II attunement and training, I learned a “time-release” treatment technique, published by Bonnie Bercume. As with all new Reiki techniques, I tried it on myself first, and set it for a 7-day duration. I voiced no specific intention other than to experience my best healing.

The first night of the seven days, I had one of my most lucid dreams ever. Highly precognitive, it gave me guidance and strength for years to come.

Midway through the seven days of self-Reiki, I began having rather dramatic digestive troubles. Encouraged by the clarity of the earlier dream, I went to sleep on the seventh night asking sincerely for help. In the wee hours of the morning, I partly awoke hearing a strange language spoken by a half-seen dream figure. After I asked him to tell me in English, the strange language continued for a phrase or two, then he clearly said “lactose intolerant”.

On the phone that day, I asked my doctor, “How would I know if I were lactose intolerant?”.  She replied, “Well, you could go into the hospital for an entire day of expensive tests, or you could just abstain from dairy for a couple of weeks and see how you feel.” My doctor was a pragmatist.

The first morning I poured soy milk in my cereal, my whole being cringed. I had grown up on raw milk, so my expectation was that the soy was going to make me gag.

Instead, with the first spoonful, my taste buds lit up with joy. No more poison! they exulted. Wow!

So, I abstained from dairy, simply because my body was telling me it felt great to go without. During this time, I was also only eating meat once or twice a week. Lots of veggies, grains and fruits went through my system.

At my next physical exam a few months later, the nurse did a double take at the scale, checking and re-checking against my chart. I had lost 25 pounds.

My doctor’s first words on entering the exam room were “Jeffrey, don’t lose any more weight!”

Next time: more gifts from this healing


Hayfever quick remedy

Suffering from hay fever and allergies?

Want to try something that “can’t hurt, might help”?

Last weekend, I gave a focused Reiki treatment to someone who was sneezing and coughing from the spring pollen in the air, well on her way to a miserable evening.  To both our amazement, the sneezing and coughing stopped, and she gained relief  for at least a couple of days.

The evening afterwards, a Facebook friend was complaining about allergies.  This friend does not know Reiki, but she is highly intuitive and in tune with her mind-body powers.  So, we speculated about what may have been the success factor for the prior day’s allergy relief, and re-imagined it as a visualization.  Amazingly, it worked immediately.

Neat!  Maybe we have another Tommy’s Heart Tap here, I thought.

Here’s what to do, and you don’t need Reiki to do it:

Focus your attention and awareness on that inner part of your nose and throat that is irritated by the pollen, dust, pet hair, whatever it is.  Notice how it feels, the tickling and itching all crunched in a small area.

Pretty awful, huh?

Now, let your imagination make a picture, or a sound, or a feeling, of how that feels.  My Facebook friend and I used a dandelion flower with seeds ready to fly.

Simply let your mind expand that imaginary thing you made.  We let the dandelion seeds blow off and fly away, making the sphere of their existence so much larger.

Allow your nose and throat to live inside that much larger space.  Feel how you no longer clamp down against the itchy feeling — because there is plenty of room for it to live in.

All imagination, just playing in your mind.  Let that point of suffering, just breathe itself out into the infinite universe.  There is plenty of room for everything there.  Peace.

Let me know if and how it works for you, please?

Share your comments here, so others can learn how!


Reiki clinic celebrates a milestone with gratitude

I’ve just had the honor of writing a guest blog post for Pamela Miles, describing the creation and operation of our Reiki clinic at Integr8 Health in Falmouth, Maine.

Pamela Miles is a prominent Reiki Master, author, consultant and teacher, who has worked diligently for many years to gain credibility for Reiki practice in medical settings.  I am very grateful for the opportunity to highlight our successes to her audience around the world.

Our clinic has operated for eight months now, bringing pain relief and wellbeing to our clients.  Deep gratitude and great credit is due to those who have participated in and supported it.

Lynne Nichols, N.P., and Reiki Practitioner, first connected me with Integr8 Health.

Dr. Dustin Sulak, D.O., and Brad Feuer, founder and CEO of Integr8 Health, respectively, invited me to start the clinic.  Dr. Sulak is himself a Reiki Master, and prominent in the field of integrative health and medical marijuana here in Maine.  Brad worked out the details with me, and has supported us through thick and thin.


Dr. Sulak receiving Reiki

Tammy Riley, and Chris Chapman, LMT, show up just about every week to staff the clinic, so that most Fridays, we have two or three pairs of hands giving Reiki.  Bonnie Handy, LCSW, LADC, and Debra Kramlich, RN, also attend when life events allow.  And, my heartfelt thanks go to all those practitioners who gathered at the beginning to get us going, and to those in the future who will join us as we expand our work.

Jay Reighley, N.P., a Reiki practitioner, gave early enthusiastic support in referring her patients to our clinic.

Dr. Michael Eng, M.D., and Holly Frost, N.P., are also trained as Reiki practitioners.  Along with Jay, they participated in a workshop I gave, to practice hands-on treatment skills and discuss protocols so that they could give Reiki to their patients.

The office staff at Integr8 Health has been most supportive — my thanks to all of them.

Together, with a strong focus on helping our patients feel better, everyone has shown how we can run a Reiki clinic in a medical office.  We are setting a strong example, and look forward to building on our success.

Living or visiting in Southern Maine?  Come visit us, and see what Reiki can do for you!

Mrs. Takata, and hours of self-treatment



If you wish to invite a deep healing experience,

set aside an hour or two for yourself

then gaze for a few minutes at Mrs. Takata

feel her smile


Mrs. Takata, and hours of self-treatment

For Reiki practitioners


Preparing now for an important student next week, thoughts turn, once again, to Hawayo Takata’s experience when she first encountered Reiki practice, in Dr. Hayashi’s Reiki Clinic in Tokyo.  For months, she received hours of daily treatment, and obtained profound healing from it.

Today, we set aside so little time for self-care.  Always rushing, on the phone, racing to the next meeting, appointment or commitment.  Stuck in traffic, frustrated at the passing of “non-productive” time.

Ten years ago, when I became a Reiki Master, one of my adventures was meeting Rahel Warshaw-Dadon, hearing her stories, and learning of her project, Reiki for Peace.  In our encounter, she asked me how much time I spent self-treating with Reiki every day.  When she heard my answer of 10 to 20 minutes, she advised me sternly, “you should try for three hours.”  That opened my mind to the possibilities, and I started seeking opportunities throughout the day, to self-treat.  It made a difference. 

As I practiced, and taught others how to practice Reiki, I kept this idea in mind – think in terms of hours, not minutes.  I started offering hours of treatment, all-day treatments  — changing the mindset that everything in the modern world, including healing, is done in increments of an hour at a time.  Some people tried these extended treatments, and found great gifts in taking the time to explore deeply.

A big part of our illness today, our shared illness, is the chopping up of the world into little pieces, with the illusion that we can thereby control our lives.  Instead, what we end up with, is a pile of little pieces.  Stress accompanies each piece.  The same goes for our time.  As we imagine that we are multitasking, we slice our day up into hours, minutes, seconds, and harness our work and play to the arbitrary machinery of clocks and calendars.  That is not the rhythm of the soul, is it?

Now, as I prepare to open the Master path to another, I am once again reminded of this principle.  I think of self-treatment with Reiki.  Instead of hours per day, why not all day?  Why not, every waking moment?  If, in a particular moment, I am not able to put hands on self, can I still do self-Reiki, in walking or moving (or writing) mindfulness?  Can I learn to do self-Reiki through all my other actions — while I’m walking to work, buying a coffee, driving the bus, planning clinics and classes and projects, even catching up on finances?

Can I use advanced Reiki techniques, to “send” it to myself while sleeping, or time-release over the next seven days?  So that, when I meet for teaching and learning, I can be fully present, and do my best for student?

Is there a limit? 

Why not try?

You, who practice Reiki, why don’t you try it?  If you do, can you tell us about it in open comments?

Web of Healing Friends 1

  Dede Eaton and I, getting ready to draw the winning raffle ticket for a massage table, for an EldersBloom fundraising.

Many are the teachers, students, healers and friends I have encountered in my elder journey.  This is the first of many posts to honor those relationships in the Web of Life.  I encourage you to look further into the work of any of these people who strike a chord within you.  They’ll be featured in random order, and many in my web may well remain hidden, their magick being done in the quiet, dark places, preparing for the sun to rise as it does every morning.

Let me honor my Reiki Teacher, Lindsley Field.  Twelve and half years ago, I attended my first class with her.  It was truly an opening experience — eyes, heart and soul.  I traveled through the levels of training with her, as she “danced along beside” until I got the rhythm.  Today, with her husband John, she makes frequent trips to Vietnam, for healing of veterans on both sides.  I am eternally grateful to Lindsley, for her skill and joy as she held the space for me to find my healing.

Next, Dede Eaton, humble nurturer of the healing community in Southern Maine and beyond.  I met her when The Magick Closet was a physical store; taught and treated in her space, and have exhibited at her masterfully organized Enlightenment Expo, the go-to metaphysical healing fair in Portland, twice a year.  Dede is very learned about crystals, and practices the lovely peace-giving modality of Primus Activation Healing.  She truly cares deeply about each one of us, and acts with soulful clarity, from the heart. 

One more for today!  Tricia Santi, with a lifetime of experience in counseling and teaching, with gentle wisdom offers healing, in a beautiful setting on the banks of the Kennebec.  She, the trees, the water and all other beings, hosted a memorable Reiki Master class some years ago.  You will find sanctuary there — peaceful power and safe space with Tricia.


My deepest thanks to Lindsley, Dede and Tricia for touching my life, and I hope they may also touch yours.




Reiki self-treatment – post 1: empathic struggles

More and more these days, students are coming to beginning Reiki classes already aware of their highly empathic and intuitive natures.  They have been struggling for a long time, because their extreme sensitivity to the moods and wounds of other people makes it hard for them to be in large groups.  They never go shopping at the mall — too much information comes at them from all directions.

When empaths arrive in Reiki class, they are looking for ways of relieving that stress.  Often, they ask me about spiritual protection, against negative energies.

First, I refer them to Master Duan — “there is no such thing as ‘ill’ energy”.  To believe that is a bit of a stretch for most of us, but the man who said it had lived 96 vigorous and healthy years, so it’s worth wondering why he held that view.

When students look doubtful at that pronouncement, I say something like, “but if you’re worried about it, then regular, daily Reiki self-treatment is your best defense.”  Don’t go for elaborate schemes of spiritual protection.  Just make yourself stronger.

When highly empathic people learn Reiki and start doing self-treatment, they create an anchor in their lives.  Before, much of their time was spent being concerned about others’ feelings and intentions, leaving them little time to honor their own feelings and intentions.  Daily self-treatment creates a powerful habit of self-care.  It feels good, leads to improvements that the practitioner can validate for herself, and carves out time, from her busy schedule of doing for others, to be completely concerned with her own wellbeing.  The simple act of putting hands gently on her head, her heart, her belly, and feeling the improvement in calm and balance, over time makes her aware of those inner gifts that help her balance others’ demands on her time and energy.  Day by day, step by step, she finds she can face what used to overwhelm her.

There are so many ways that self-treatment improves our lives.  Future posts will explore some of these.

Reiki practice quadrupled in a decade? Maybe more!

When I first started to actively market my Reiki practice, 11 years ago, maybe 1 in 20 – 30 people had even heard of it.  Now, most people I meet at least know of someone who does, and likely has a relative or family member who has learned it.

Back then, I joined a great online community — the Reiki Cafe, people all over the world sharing their experiences, questions and opinions.  We were very excited when the number of members reached 7,000.  Now, Pamela Miles’ Facebook page “Reiki, Medicine and Self-Care” has 38,000-plus followers, while the “Reiki” page has 24,000.

If you did a Google search on “Reiki” back then, you’d get a little over a million hits — pretty respectable.  Now, it’s over 37 million.

Mrs. Takata, the teacher who brought Reiki to the West, had a vision that it would become “as common as aspirin”.  I used to predict it would become a household word like yoga was becoming early in the last decade.  It appears we were both right.

What accounts for the incredible growth of this healing art?

Here are my speculations:

– It is quick and low-cost to learn.

– It helps people feel better, sometimes profoundly.

– To learn to teach it to others, is relatively quick and low-cost, compared to other healing modalities.

– In medical settings, it has no known contraindications.

– You can do self-treatment as easily as treating others.

– In a touch-starved world, it gives a way to receive gentle hands-on comfort, without hidden agendas.

– It does not require any complex or dogmatic belief system, to practice.

– Anyone can do it, from children to frail elders, from athletes to wheelchair-bound or bed-restricted.

These are all powerful reasons for Reiki’s continued popularity and explosive growth.

If I had to pick one that matters the most, both for its growth, and as a reason for learning Reiki, I would have to say the self-treatment ability.  I spend a lot of time and words, teaching and promoting Reiki self-treatment.  It is the core of the practice.  You take time out, every day, to put your hands gently on yourself, and simply take care of yourself.  That, all by itself, is a powerful example to set for yourself and others.  More on self-treatment in future posts.

Now, I can see this has become a rah-rah “it’s all good” kind of puff piece.  And there is a lot to rah-rah about.  One future musing may have to do with “why is Reiki practice coming to the fore now?”.  On the other side, I may also write about some of the challenges that come with its popularity, such as permission issues, extravagant claims, and opposition to Reiki from various quarters.

But for now, I’ll just pause and contemplate the above, and take heart.

Tommy’s Heart Tap

A gift for you, if you’re not trained in Reiki (yet).  Originally published in the Community Leader from Falmouth, Maine in 2006.

Tommy’s Heart Tap – Pain Relief at your Fingertips

               Working late at the office one day, in my former career, I wandered by my friend Tom Hopkins’ cubicle and found him also working late.

“How are you doing, Tommy?”  I asked him.

“Oh, man, not so good – my teeth are killing me!”  He held his jaw with one hand and keyed his computer with the other.  “Can you do that Reiki thing on them?”

If I did Reiki for him, that would help for a while, but what if the pain returned later?  I wanted to give him something he could use to help himself.  I had been using Reiki instead of novacaine at the dentist for a couple of years, and had been amazed and gratified by my heart’s ability to bathe my teeth in loving warmth while they were being drilled (many thanks to Dr. Alex Hutcheon in Yarmouth for letting me experiment with this – he is a kind and gentle dentist who does not like to see his patients in pain).   No time to teach Reiki right now, but what if – ?

“Tommy, try this as an experiment.  Just tap with your fingertips over your heart, right on your sternum.  While you’re tapping, ask your heart to give you relief from the pain.  Ask your heart, out loud, as if it’s a separate person, to do this for you.  Keep tapping and asking, and I’ll come back around in a little while to see how you’re doing.”

I left Tommy tapping his heart, went upstairs to file some paperwork, then swung by his desk as promised.

“That was amazing!” he said as soon as he saw me.  “After I tapped for a while, I could feel my heart beating in my teeth, and then after that, the pain went away completely.”

I stared at him, stunned.  I had thought he might a get a little relief, but to have the pain go away completely, that was indeed amazing.

Thus was born Tommy’s Heart Tap, a simple, straightforward technique to relieve your own pain.  Tommy used it some weeks later to help with shoulder pain.  Another friend at the office went to her dentist appointment, tried it there, and told me afterwards, “that was amazing!”.

We all have pain from time to time.  Many of us have chronic physical or emotional pain.  We try to relieve our pain any way we can, whether with traditional medical approaches, exercise, meditation, legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, even lashing out to give our pain to others.  Some approaches work better than others, some are counter-productive.  Tommy’s Heart Tap is quick and simple, and it’s worth a try before you use more risky methods.

Here are the instructions.  Do this in a spirit of exploration and curiosity – everyone’s experience will be different.  Caution:  if you’re under a doctor’s care, follow his/her instructions.  If you have unexplained pain, you need to see your doctor.  Tommy’s Heart Tap does not replace qualified medical care.  You use Tommy’s Heart Tap at your own risk.

  1. Make sure you’re not driving, operating hazardous machinery, or otherwise distracted.  This is the time to focus totally on yourself and your own well-being.
  2. Decide what you are going to ask for, specifically.  Example:  “I ask my heart for relief of my knee pain.”
  3. Say it out loud, while gently tapping over your heart.  If you don’t want others to hear, just whisper your request.  If you have physical limits that prevent you from tapping, just imagine it.
  4. Keep tapping and asking.
  5. If nothing happens after a few minutes, then say “oh, well”, and chalk it up to experience.  If something good happens, enjoy the wonderment of it, then remember to thank your heart for its miraculous help.  Gratitude increases our daily gifts.

Let me know what happens, whether it’s something or nothing.   Are you skeptical?  Try it anyway, if only to show yourself it won’t work and have the pleasure of telling me so.

I thank Tommy Hopkins from the bottom of my heart – it was his timely request that brought the heart tap into being.  It is a divine Gift to all of us – our heart’s wisdom.

Choosing a Reiki Teacher or Practitioner

Much has been written about how to do this.  Intuition and serendipity play a big part.

A good teacher or practitioner will want to know your motivations and expectations for learning Reiki or receiving Reiki treatment.

Here’s what you ask her/him:

1.  How much self-treatment do you do?

2.  What are your ideas about getting permission to send Reiki?

My answers are:

1.  As much as possible, at least a half hour a day, and ideally a total of hours throughout the day.

2.  Conscious, informed consent is a moral and ethical imperative for giving Reiki to another person.  Giving Reiki without permission is an assault.

I’ll elaborate in future blog posts.