Mind over Medicine by Lissa Rankin

I recently finished reading Lissa Rankin’s book, “Mind Over Medicine.”  There are many insightful nuggets in it. The beginning establishes, through extensive research, the power of the mind to heal what ails us. Lissa then goes on to relay many beautiful stories of her journey and those of others who have used their mind to heal disease. I think many people will find the detailed “prescriptions” at the back of the book to be incredibly helpful.

The part that I keep coming back to is Lissa’s Whole Health Cairn. As I review my own health in each of these categories I notice areas of extreme imbalance. I especially love the way she does not put physical health at the foundation of the whole human system. Indeed it is important, but if the rest of the human experience is out of balance, the others suffer and, eventually, fall (or fail).

Lissa Rankin Whole Health Cairn

Take a careful look at the cairn and notice that the foundation is the “Inner Pilot Light.”  Wow! To me, that’s my intuition. “Wait!,” says my mind, “What about ME?! You can’t trust that intuition! You don’t even know where it is!” Wow, that mind always wants to be in charge! Honestly, it triggers fear in me to build my health there. However, the Inner Pilot Light has never failed me. When I look at some of the wonderful turning points in my life, I see that they were built on my the guidance of my Inner Pilot Light.  I “just knew,” on an intuitive level, that it was right to study Reiki, to marry my husband, etc., etc.

What are your thoughts on the Whole Health Cairn? Do you listen to your Inner Pilot Light and allow it to guide your approach to healthy living in all aspects of your life?  Please leave your comments below!

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Reiki is Enough . . . for me

Image Reiki Japanese characters on stoneReiki is enough for me.  I don’t need to practice any other healing modalities.  I am not drawn to learn a variety of other techniques.

However, for others I know their experience is different.  As bodyworkers and healers, they integrate multiple modalities to provide the best experience for their clients.  However, for me, it’s Reiki, Reiki, Reiki.

I’m not sure I can explain this singular focus.  I LOVE other modalities and luxuriate in the healing that comes from them.  Unending gratitude comes from me to those who can provide a healing massage, a skillful acupuncture session, or an uplifting CranioSacral treatment.

When I think about whether or not I want to learn another healing modality, my answer is always a shrug of the shoulders.  For me, Reiki is complete.  I love its simplicity and the ability to provide self-care in any setting.  This love of Reiki does not mean I love the others less, it just means this is my focus, this is . . . my path.

I hope you’ll join me on this path by attending one of my upcoming Reiki Classes or Clinics.  By becoming attuned you can treat yourself and others and offer universal life force energy for the highest healing good.

Wishing you profound healing.

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Is Self-Care Selfish?

As a Reiki Master, I have a confession to make:  Sometimes I am hesitant to engage in self-care.  My concern for the care of others often overrides making self-care a priority in my day-to-day activities.  As a healer, is my care of others more important than the care of myself?  Do others need me more than I need me?  Is self-care selfish?IMG_0177

I’m certain that many of you are confident that the answer to these questions is, “no”.  I appreciate your certainty but I believe this deserves some exploration.  My first step was with a definition of the word, “selfish”:

“1.  concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others

“2.  arising from concern with one’s own welfare or advantage in disregard of others <a selfish act>”


The words that stand out for me here are: “excessively” or “exclusively” and the concept of putting oneself ahead of others.  So self-care that is balanced with the concern for others and that is not done to indulge oneself is not selfish.  My second step was to explore the balance between care of self and care of others.  How does one know when the balance is struck?

For instance, with a Reiki treatment, the practitioner receives the benefit of the Reiki at the same time as she/he is offering it to another.  However, her/his concern is for the highest healing good of the other person.  The Reiki that is received by the practitioner is a benefit but not the intent of the session.

In this month’s issue of Psychology Today, the cover article addresses the power of touch.

“Every evening at bedtime, DePauw’s Hertenstein gives his young son a back rub. ‘It’s a bonding opportunity for the two of us. Oxytocin levels go up, heart rates go down, all these wonderful things that you can’t see.’ Moments like these also reveal the reciprocal nature of touch, he says: ‘You can’t touch without being touched. A lot of those same beneficial physiological consequences happen to me, the person doing the touching.’ In fact, when we’re the ones initiating contact, we may reap all the same benefits as those we’re touching. For example, Field’s research has revealed that a person giving a massage experiences as great a reduction in stress hormones as the person on the receiving end.” http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201302/the-power-touch

As Reiki practitioners, in our giving we receive.  The need for self-Reiki still exists, however.  We still need a mature evaluation of our physical, emotional and spiritual needs as a whole person.  Are we balancing the care of others with the care of the self?  Have we filled our emotional bucket through the connection with friends and family?  Have we supported our physical health with nutritious food, exercise, fresh air, and plentiful water and sleep?  Have we connected with our spiritual selves through self-Reiki, meditation, time in nature, and quiet reflection?

There is a specific Reiki self-care habit that I am developing. I am doing an absent Reiki session for myself in addition to the times I’m sending it to others.  I find this to be very supportive and uplifting and often filled with deep insights.  It is one of the ways I find the balance between care of others and care of myself.  I give and I receive.  It is balanced, and, certainly, not selfish.

How do you practice self-care?  How do you balance your needs with the needs of others?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please share them in the comments.

Wishing you abundant love and light!

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Pamela Miles Mainstreams Reiki

Last week, Jonathan Fields posted a video interview with Pamela Miles as another inspirational installment in his Good Life Project.
Watch the Video Here

Pamela is a dedicated and gifted Reiki Master who believes in the importance of teaching Reiki not just offering Reiki sessions. She carefully describes Reiki as a spiritual healing practice and compares it to meditation. I often describe the body as a healing machine. Pamela says, “Our bodies are remarkable self-cleaning ovens.” So true!

As a Reiki Master of Masters, I was really impressed by her use of mainstream terminology to describe the practice. As you watch the video notice how she never uses the term “attunement” or the term “universal life force energy” and she never describes herself as a “channel”. Also, she positions Reiki as primarily as self-care practice.

I really enjoyed this interview and learned so much that I will integrate into my future class proposals. What stands out for you in this interview? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Wishing you light and peace!

Reiki Resolution Technique

The past five days have been filled with anxiety, anger and pain.  Sometimes for me this has been almost disorientating and disabling.  I almost don’t know what to do next as I feel held by these strong emotions.

However, I have reminded myself of the wise and helpful technique presented by my teachers, Libby Barnett and Maggie Babb.  They call this technique the Reiki Resolution Technique.

The technique works as follows:  If you are a Reiki practitioner, level 2, then first do the mental/emotional symbol plus the empowerment symbol.  Place your hands on your heart and hold the emotion in your hands and heart.  Don’t shy away from it.  Don’t dismiss it.  Hold the anxiety, for example, in your hands and notice what happens.  (Hold it for about 5-10 minutes, with your eyes closed, your body relaxed and your breathing deep and steady.)  As I have done this the past few days, I’ve observed a melting away of the emotion as it replaced by a wave of peace.

If you’re not a Reiki practitioner, you can try this technique as well.  It is helpful to not turn away from our emotions but apply loving and heartfelt attention toward them.  The practice of self-compassion is very important.  The more compassion we create in ourselves, the more we generate this out into the world.

Try this technique and let me know how it works for you.

I will take a blogging break until after the new year.  I wish for each of you a Blessed Solstice, a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year filled with love, light and peace.

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Turn toward the Light

It’s that time of year.  The shadows are long.  The sun creeps along the southern part of the sky.  The hours of daylight are minimal and, if you’re like me, Reiki Healing Energy.netyou long for “extra” hours of sleep, candles, friends, blankets and chocolate.

In Reiki, we often sign our correspondence, “With love and light.”  We offer the universe’s gifts to those we interact with.  What light are we offering?  Is it sunlight?  Certainly, in our human existence many of us are energized by a sunny day or rooms filled with natural or artificial light.  Currently, I’m enjoying the natural light that comes through a newly cleaned window with the screen removed.  The outside scene seems brighter and more appealing.  My gaze often wanders that way as if the answer to all my questions lie there in the light of nature.

However, there are many days, especially here in the Midwest, that are filled with gray skies.  This time of year we have just over 9 hours of daylight.  Does that mean that we don’t have light that day or night?  That our existence is gray too?  No, the light we refer to in Reiki is the light of our souls.  It is the light of the universe.

As we face these days of less external light, seek out and nurture the light of your soul, the light of the universe.  Access it in whatever way you can; with nourishing food, uplifting conversation, vigorous exercise, quiet meditation, abundant kindness, a smile for a stranger, beautiful surroundings, the light of a candle, the gentleness of Reiki.

There are many things that you can do to connect with the light of the universe.  What ways resonant for you?

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Reiki Haiku

Jealousy grips my heart
Why her not me
Recognition and breath frees

by Janice E. Lodato, Reiki Master Teacher

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Reiki Poetry

I love poetry.  I find with my self-Reiki practice I am more patient with the process of writing poetry.  I enjoy playing with the words and sounds in my head for several days.  Then I jot down what has come together and edit it some more over the next several days or weeks.  So for me, it is Reiki poetry, because it is full of energy and, I hope, touches the universal.

Another Reiki practitioner friend, is a professional poet and writes beautiful Reiki-infused poetry.  Find Gwen Bindas’ work here: Sometimes in Summer.

Here is a recent poem of mine.  Please let me know what you think!

Chicago Sidewalks

Pigeons weave

among Florsheim/Nike/Converse

Hearts pump
Blood flows
Nerves jump

and respond


in this ever-changing space

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“Oh, I could hide ‘neath the wings
Of the bluebird as she sings.
The six o’clock alarm would never ring.
But six rings and I rise,
Wipe the sleep out of my eyes.
. . .
Oh, what can it mean.
To a daydream believer . . .” by John Stewart, performed by the Monkees

Last night, as I was scrubbing the stuck on linguini off the colander, it occurred to me:  It has been years, and I mean YEARS (maybe in the 10 year range), since I last engaged in daydreaming.  I don’t mean a momentary drift off into “lala” land as one gazes at the clouds.  No, I mean, a full daydream of the joyful and involved type, where I dream about a future scenario for myself.  I would act it out in my mind and find the words, responses and situations that would bring me the most joy.

Definitely, in the past few years I have engaged in thought processes that in some ways mimic daydreaming, but they all fall short on one vital component.  They are negative, anxiety-filled musings of the mind.  They are the kind that make me say to myself, “Stop!  Think of something positive.”  I quickly identify the thought as “anxiety” and attempt to fill my mind with comforting thoughts and my heart with Reiki.

However, daydreaming, at least for me, is different.  It is positive, fun and sometimes inspirational.  It can be an anchor to my truest desires and aspirations.  If I can find the time to daydream again, it may be the key to answering the question that I just can’t seem to answer lately, “What do I want for my future professionally?”  I have many general ideas that incorporate my skills and experiences and I know what I enjoy at work and what I don’t.  The clarity of it is missing.  The vision, the mental visual acuity, is missing.  Perhaps I will find it again in daydreaming.

Do you daydream?  Do you find it helpful and empowering?

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Change . . . Child’s Growth vs. Aging

It is Fall in the Northern Hemisphere.  One of our seasons of change, people say.  Maybe all seasons are seasons of change.  Maybe we are constantly changing.  Constantly in a state of flux, but we are not aware of it.  There are moments, of course, when we are acutely aware of change, for example, during major life events like moving, changing jobs, getting married, etc.Janice Lodato, Reiki Master

Lately, I’ve been reflecting a lot on my body’s physical changes that are coming about because of my age.  Many of these are not welcome and I’m having extreme difficulty with acceptance.  In contrast, I was reflecting on the changes we observe, and welcome, in children as they grow and mature.

We marvel at the first year of life and all its physical and developmental changes — the first tooth, the increase in height and weight, the first words, the first steps.  But on the other end of the spectrum all the physical changes are to be accepted, not celebrated — the first gray/white hair (and the many that follow), the veins that must be covered, the eyes that need assistance, the shorter height, the injuries that heal so much slower, and speaking of slowness, the races that will never be won.  Nothing to celebrate here.  Just accept.  We cheer on the ascent into adulthood only to turn our eyes away from the “decline” to old age.  The statistical bell curve of life:  going up is good, going down is bad.  Why must it be a decline?

So this is where my mind is right now, in a battle with acceptance.  Why accept?  What’s in it for me?  Accepting seems like rolling over and playing dead.  Is that what I’m practicing to do?

I once worked for a woman who, during times of corporate reorganization, would spout out “Change is good.”  She would repeat it as if trying to convince herself and us.  Change is not in itself good or bad.  Change just is.  Our perception of it is what makes it good or bad.  In her statement she was glossing over the fact that some change is bad – it’s painful, difficult and sad (if those things are indeed “bad”).  Again, change just is.  It is:  inevitable and constant.  We can celebrate it, as in a child’s growth, or we can rail against as in our attempt to look and act younger than we are.  Change:  accept it.

My mind is continuing the battle with acceptance.  I’m trying to smile at my wrinkles and marvel in the new, even if I don’t welcome it.  My body is doing the best it can and I try to help it with adequate sleep, nutritious food and plentiful exercise.  A daily dose of self-Reiki helps too.  It brings me back to the constant and universal within me.

Wishing you light and peace.

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