Massage therapy and prevention research are both professions assisting others to higher health. Fortunately for us, insights from prevention research—a field that attempts to identify the best ways to prevent negative outcomes related to social, physical, mental health, and safety issues—may also prove extremely beneficial to massage therapy. Its approach to innate health provides a fresh perspective for massage therapists that will profoundly enhance their professional and personal lives.
What is reiki, how does it work, and how can it benefit bodywork practitioners, both personally and professionally? The concept for this article began with a newly published book, written by reiki master Pamela Miles, simply titled Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide. I had collaborated with Miles a few years back when reporting on a reiki study for Massage & Bodywork’s Somatic Research column. Despite Miles’ best efforts to guide my understanding of this spiritual healing practice, my mind remained in a muddle.
Bioenergy, the assumed basis of what is now commonly called “healing,” is a complicated subject for many of us — and an even more complicated subject for research. In this evolving field of science, experts offer a variety of definitions, explanations and mechanisms for the process.
I didn’t breathe during most of my 20s — or at least I didn’t breathe fully.
I had no idea my chronically tight shoulders, constricted intestines, insomnia and unyielding jaw tension were so closely related to my limited breath. To regain my health, I had to relearn how to breathe. And, though I still have to remind myself to do this from time to time, I understand how healthy breathing supports the body’s ability to heal itself.