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Reiki, mindfulness and immunity

As I am creating this post, we are still in the midst of a pandemic from the viral threat, coronavirus. Unfortunately we don’t get a break since we have to consider the influenza virus and it’s inevitable spread across the world.

In addition to the precautions that we know we must all take such as wearing a face mask washing your hands frequently, watching your own symptoms and living in contact with others, there are still other steps you can take to keep your internal defensive strong.

When I discuss the immune system with my patients I often envision a military system. Over the years I’ve played with this comparison so many times because family and system doesn’t quite match up to the modern military but they’re fairly close.

Components of the Human Immune System

Skin

Healthy healthy skin is a very important part of your immune system. your skin provides a physical barrier to the outside world. Your skin actually has immune cells built into it that help decide what’s threats and what is not. By the skin separating your muscles, fat, blood vessels from the world it is often your first line barrier against infectious threats.

Respiratory tract

Your respiratory tract has the main function of getting oxygen into the system and getting carbon dioxide out. We often forget that certain parts of your respiratory tract are often your Frontline defense against infectious threats. Your nose contains small hairs that help filter out debris. Your sinus cavities also container system to help filter out and contain debris. Finally within the airways of your lung they’re very small hairs called cilia that move out debris and hopefully infectious material. Coughing is the respiratory system way of eliminating threats that have made it into the lungs.

Digestive system

We often forget that our digestive system is incredibly important in our immune system. The acid within your stomach is able to destroy many bacteria and even viruses. You’re digestive system also has immune cells built within it that constantly scan your body for threats.

Immune system

Finally, circulating within your bloodstream, within lymph nodes, contained within organs including the skin and digestive tract are the cells of your immune system. This is one of the most interesting parts of the body to me. The immune system is compliant mostly of white blood cells. These cells are further split into neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, natural killer cells, eosinophils and basophils. Many of these cells are highly intelligent. They live for several decades and maintain data on infectious threats. Some of these cells maintain the job of producing the labels that identify threat that we call antibodies. Other cells are part of your assault which is the day actually going and kill the threat.

What your immune system needs to stay healthy

Your immune system is highly capable system that accomplishes amazing feats every second of the day. When it does its job well you don’t even notice it’s there. The cells in your body sample the air you breathe, the food and water you take in, as well as your overall environment for threats. Your immune system can actually accomplish amazing things beyond fighting viruses and bacteria. You’re immune system surveys your body for abnormal growth, or early cancers and takes them down before they become a real threat.

Although your new system is miraculous it needs your help. One of the most important things you can do is maintain a healthy diet. As we enter cold and flu season you want to be taking in fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably from an organic source. If you consume meat you want it to be the highest quality, and from the best sources possible. You want to drink plenty of water and eliminate sugary drinks everywhere you can.

Stress and it’s Effect on you immune system

Stress plays a key role in how every aspect of your immune system functions. There’s actually a certain amount of stress that’s beneficial to your overall immune system and provides just the right amount of challenge to help it become stronger. One example of this is intentional exercise. When you exercise you challenge your cardiovascular system, and your muscles. They will start a chemical cascade that will feed back to your bone marrow that will later create healthier, stronger immune cells. Exercise will also help your adrenal glands function better and not overproduce cortisol.

When you are under stress, your body tends to perceive stress in a number of ways. There are certain parts of the brain that are often thought of as the”lower” brain or lizard brain. These parts of the brain correspond to the limbic system and brain stem that operate your organs. When you perceive stress as interpreted by the higher brain or the frontal lobes the lower brain responds by turning key systems in your body on to get ready for an attack. This includes tuning your adrenal glands to produce more stress hormones. Chronic exposure to this leads to high cortisol levels which will inadvertently decrease the white blood cells ability to function.

If you are experiencing high levels of stress right now it may seem contrary to practice mindfulness. However, this is exactly the time that you want to do that. Your mindfulness practice can take on a number of forms. Here are some quick recommendations that you can start at any moment of your day to help lower your stress levels and let your immune system do it as it was designed to do.

Quick Immunity Boosters

3 Minutes of Breath work

Wherever you are you can stop whether you’re standing, sitting at your desk, or even parked in your car. Inhale to the count of five and exhale to the count of five. Do the cycle for 1 to 3 minutes.

Essential oils

If you’re already using essential oils, keeping a small stock with you throughout your day is a perfect way to calm your nervous system and boost your immunity. Many essential oils are very safe, and using them by inhalation throughout your day is a good way to remind yourself to take a deep breath while you inhale all the benefits. Here are the oils I’d recommend to improve your immunity especially during flu season and the pandemic:

  • Lavender: can be used without dilution, and is relaxing in it’s scent.
  • Tea Tree oil: potent anti-fungal, anti-viral as well good for making you feel peppy. I don’t recommend using without diluting in a carrier oil or a lotion.
  • Patchouli: this is a nice, relaxing scent that you can put on your wrists and temples for stress relief.
  • Frankincense: This is good for everything, can be used without dilution, and is also a nice oil to use during the season change. I like to apply directly to my joints in the mornings before doing Yoga.
  • Manuka: this essential oil can be a little harder to find, but is safe to use topically and helps to open up your airways.

Mind Reset

Your mind is a power driver of your immune system’s function. Its easier said than done to control y our thoughts, however, in the times we live in, is worth your effort to control and even eliminate your negative thoughts. You can control negative thoughts a few ways:

  • Do you need to watch the news so much?
    • Stay informed, but at some point, what we see in the media can program us to see only the worse around us. Consider limiting how much news you take in.
  • Journaling
    • Start a journal, or use your journal to write out all the thoughts that may circulate through your head. After your write those down, read them and question if they are really true.

Taking the time to care for yourself is invaluable. We are learning so much about what’s contagious, and hopefully, we can spread calm, peace and health in this time.

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How Reiki Heals

The Power of Intention

Healing is a process.  In order to heal, there is an injury or an illness of some sort.  The injury or illness may be sudden, such as an infection or a fractured bone.  The illness or injury may be chronic in nature, such as Diabetes, or Major Depression. 

Explaining how healing will occur in traditional medicine tends to be fairly straight forward.  A bacterial infection is treated with antibiotics, which are meant to kill the bacterial growth.  We use surgery or a cast on a fractured bone.  These therapies are tangible and easy to imagine.

Healing That’s Unseen

Most of us like to see results in terms of our healing. If I cut my hand, I see the stages of healing, from the formation of  scab, to eventually a scar.  If I’m working on weight loss, I will see the number on the scale go down.  Having a visual process makes it easier to understand healing.

Reiki heals in ways we can feel, possibly during a session, but the healing may not be obvious.  Some people feel sensations while they are receiving Reiki, such as heat, or  a cool sensation or tingling.  Others may feel relaxed or fall asleep.

Reiki is a treatment modality that does not create any obvious visual changes.  This requires both the Reiki Practioner and the  Reiki receiver to operate on faith that that healing is happening.

The Healing Intention

The power of Reiki healing is the intention.  Intentions are much more powerful than we realize.  So many times in life, we proceed through our actions without a deliberate intention.  Particularly, when we rush, such as during most settings at work, we fly through our actions focused on productivity, and forgetting what our initial intention was.

The Reiki practitioner, who focuses energy from a higher source, is using a healing intention to help the client.  The Reiki practitioner 

Reiki and the Precepts

The Reiki precepts are the guiding principles that Reiki practitioners learn and use to guide their practice. These precepts set the tone of a Reiki session to assure that the overall tone of the healing is for the highest good.

Demystifying the Mystical

Reiki is generally accepted as Energy Medicine. The energy from a higher source is channeled into a living entity, person or animal, that supports the optimal function of life. We have some understanding of what energy this may be but overall, it is a mystery.

In a medical practice I prescribe medications on a regular basis. Although most these medications have an understood mode of action, many meetings appear to work by an unknown mechanism.

One example of this is the drug topiramate. It is a prescription medication frequently used to treat seizures, migraines, and psychological disorders.

According to Epocrates.com the mode of action of topiramate is: exact mechanism of action unknown; blocks voltage-dependent sodium channels; augments GABA activity; antagonizes glutamate receptors; inhibits carbonic anhydrase

http://www.epocrates.com

So we we have some understanding of how this medications works, but we don’t exactly know. This drug has been tested clinically as well as prescribed for many years to patients. We have data that tells us overall this drug is safe when it’s needed, but it isn’t prescribed without acknowledging the risk.

The mechanism of Reiki and how it heals appears to be that it heals by gathering subtle energies that are programmed with healing intentions then channeled into a receiver in order to encourage the functioning of the mind as body together .

I am a physician and a Reiki practioner although I have experienced healing, as in both modalities, putting this process into words is not easy. I hope this explanation helps anyone who seeks to understand.

Finally, the best way to understand Reiki if you are curious is to schedule a session for yourself.

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The Story of my logo and the Future of Healing Arts

My Mother and have been blessed to have visited Hawaii a few times. On our first trip, we visited Maui. We were driving around and exploring when we came across a park with lots of cars parked. We decided to have a look.

We found a hiking trail with no description or signs. We are both Air signs, so naturally, we had to find out what was on the trail. We walked for several minutes when we came across these stones.

We spent several minutes staring at the stones wondering who set this up, why? Would it fall over? I took a picture because I loved how these stones were perfectly balanced. Away we went to enjoy the Hawaii sun.

The past 5 years, this picture always give me peace. If these stones could stay balanced, can’t we all? Although I’ll never know the mystery of who created this and why, this image is in my brain when I think of staying centered, remaining calm, and not letting the outside world toss me off my lava rock.

The future of Healing Arts

I am a practicing physician, working full time in Internal Medicine. I am also a Reiki Practitioner. I have been wanting to create a space I can combine both of these, and share my knowledge and experience to those who want to find their own inner balance.

I am creating courses covering topics in Functional Medicine and Reiki. My first course can be found here Starting Your Own Meditation Practice.

I will also be providing ways to work with me personally. I am offering 30 Minute and 1 Hour Reiki Sessions. Most exciting, I am developing a Functional Medicine Program for those ready to dive deep and find their own path to healing and balance.

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Chakra Blocks and Insomnia

This PDF accompanies the podcast that covers Insomnia and energy blockages. If you’d like to listen, have listen here.

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Reiki for Treatment of Insomnia

There are so many reasons to become attuned to Reiki’s energy. Insomnia is one of my favorites. Insomnia is one of the most common complaints I hear in my medical practice and my Reiki practice.

I’ve had many clients in my Reiki practice seek Reiki to help with insomnia.

I consider insomnia to be a symptoms of a bigger problem. There are medical conditions that present only as insomnia, but these are rare. There are also many psychiatric diseases that present with insomnia. Medical conditions that commonly cause insomnia include: pain, respiratory diseases, heart disease, digestive disorders, and problems with the bladder. Psychiatric conditions that typically

No matter what the root cause of the insomnia is, having a meditative or mindfulness practice of some sort will help nearly every cause of insomnia.

Reiki is a healing art that combines the knowledge of multiple modalities to create an all encompassing healing system. What I learn about Reiki is that anyone can learn it. Honestly, you can practice Reiki without formally taking a course. However, I feel that you get so much more out of learning in depth about the healing system.

Reiki can be used to treat Insomnia . In a study conducted at Rush University Medical Center, 54 individuals were enrolled in a study comparing two types of meditation programs against simply monitoring sleep quantity and quality. The individuals engaging in a mindfulness activity had “43.75 fewer minutes of Total Wake Time (the amount of time it takes to fall asleep)1 “. Another study, which was a systemic review of multiple studies found that “that mindfulness meditation can improve sleep quality in a variety of clinical populations with sleep disturbance2 “.

Reiki has not been studied as thoroughly as other meditation modalities, but nonetheless it’s worth considering if you are wanting a way to treat your insomnia to complement you ongoing treatment.

If you are already a Reiki practitioner, you are already aware of using Reiki in many ways. I like to do a Reiki session on myself at bedtime. This tends to be a nice to do it as I’m not distracted. It’s also a good way to unwind.

dreaming charming black woman leaning on table
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Reiki Sequence for Bedtime for Reiki I Practitioners

It may not always be possible to do a complete session at night. Here is a short variation you can try, which takes about 9 minutes. I have a version of this recorded if you’d like guidance which you can find at this link here.

  1. Once you are situated and comfortable, place your hands at the top of your head for 3 minutes, or alternatively, 30 breaths, allowing Reiki to flow, using Se He Ke.
  2. Next, move to your heart, keeping your hands there for 3 minutes, or 30 breaths, using Se He Ke and letting Reiki flow into your heart chakra.
  3. Finally place your hands on your belly, or solar plexus chakra for 3 minutes or 30 breaths letting Reiki flow freely.

If after you’ve completed this sequence you are still not sleepy, simply continue as you would a full treatment with a timer or counted breaths.

Photo by Charlyce Davis

Healing Sequence for Everyone

You do not have to be a Reiki practitioner in order to perform this sequence. You will follow the same instructions, however at the beginning, you should try to create an intention to set the tone of your meditation. Try this alternate sequence:

  1. Before laying down, rub your hands together gently. Close your eyes and set an intention silently, such as “May this brief meditation create a restful sleep for me”, or “With this quiet time, I allow Divine energy to flow in, and I release energy that no longer serves me.”
  2. Once you are situated and comfortable, place your hands at the top of your head for 3 minutes, or alternatively, 30 breaths. Take long breaths in through your nose, and exhale through your mouth for the first few breaths.
  3. Next, move to your heart, keeping your hands there for 3 minutes, or 30 breaths.
  4. Finally place your hands on your belly, or solar plexus chakra for 3 minutes or 30 breaths.

This short practice is the perfect compliment to any ongoing medical care or psychiatric care you may be receiving. It can also be used alone to help you relax.

As always, I hope your visit to this site has been pleasant. I am creating a Reiki training based on my own experience as a Reiki Practitioner that I will be sharing soon.

  1. Ong, J. C., Manber, R., Segal, Z., Xia, Y., Shapiro, S., & Wyatt, J. K. (2014). A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation for chronic insomnia. Sleep37(9), 1553–1563. https://doi.org/10.5665/sleep.4010
  2. Rusch, H. L., Rosario, M., Levison, L. M., Olivera, A., Livingston, W. S., Wu, T., & Gill, J. M. (2019). The effect of mindfulness meditation on sleep quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences1445(1), 5–16. https://doi.org/10.1111/nyas.13996

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Reiki Practitioners- returning to your practice

One of the blessings of Reiki is that I have met people I would not have met had I not learned this healing modality. I have met several individuals in my medical practice, personally, and in social media who share with me that at some point in their lives they learned Reiki I or II or even Reiki Master but over the years have forgotten to continue practicing.

These individuals will have to share that so much time has passed that they don’t feel connected to the energy of Reiki.

Herein lies a true gift of Reiki that we often forget. Once you have been attuned to Reiki you are attuned your whole life. You are always connected with the energy and it never goes away. Of course, if you’re not practicing it is easy to forget that you have this gift at your hands.

I advise individuals that the easiest way to reconnect is simply to start performing Reiki on yourself on a regular basis. It is best to do a full treatment from head to toe, however if your life circumstance does not allow the time or place for this even a three minute treatment is better than nothing.

I’ve noticed that many of these individuals often don’t have dedicated space in their home, office, or anywhere in their life that they can practice their healing art. In my course, Starting Your Own Meditation Practice, I give brief advice on how to reclaim that space for yourself. If you don’t have a space you can go to you may need to create one.

Once you know where you would like to start your daily Reiki practice consider setting a timer or a reminder in your calendar. It’s simply a good habit that you’re trying to get back to. Plan to treat yourself for 21 days daily. If you recall in your initial attunement you had a 21-day. Of self treatment that allowed for self-improvement.

Once you decide to return to your practice try not to focus too much on feeling the energy flow or any specific outcome. You may recall when you first learned Reiki you may not have had immediate response or felt anything right away. But if you give it time, your own body’s ability to heal will become apparent to you and it will come to you easily.

I practice Reiki on myself daily. I did not always do this but in the last 2 years because of transitions and stress in my own life I found this to be a lifesaver. There are times I do only a brief 15 minute session and there are times I do a full session that I last more than an hour.

If you need any help getting started I have created a short 9 minute self treatment meditation track that you can find below. I do hope this helps any Reiki practitioner who feels like they’ve lost their gift. I promise you haven’t lost anything you just simply had to pick it back up.

9 minute meditation for Mind-Heart-Gut

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Distance Reiki, Telemedicine, and new paradigm in healing

Those that practice or receive Reiki on a regular basis are likely familiar with the concept of Distance Healing. I notice that many people are not used to the concept, or don’t understand or trust this concept. I find this topic especially intriguing now, when I, like many physicians, have had to embrace telemedicine in order to continue my practice. In my Reiki practice, I have always offered Distance healing as an option to in person sessions.

One reason it can be hard to accept Distance Reiki, or Telemedicine, is because many of us are trained on and think in a “Newtonian Model”. Vibrational Medicine: The #1 Handbook of Subtle -Energy Therapies by Richard Gerber MD is recommended reading for many Reiki trainees and interested people will pick up. Dr. Gerber discusses idea that medical care is currently based on Newtonian physics. What this means is that the human body operates like a machine with every process having a clear started and and everything being visible were described by some sort of objective findings such as a number, of volume, or weight.


Newtonian View of Healing

action balls black and white illustration
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Dr. Gerber summarizes Newtonian Healing, or the philosophy of healing based on Newton’s laws of physics, as seeing the human body as a machine. When we view the human body as a machine, malfunctions require a repair that is mechanical, such as a medication or a surgery, which of course is what we frequently do in modern medicine.

This means that treatment has to be hands on in some way. There has to be direct contact with the “machine” of the human body in order to create any change.

This limits a healing encounter to something tangible and in person. So only in person visits can be seen as useful.


Eisenstein View of Healing

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Einstein’s ubiquitous equation is summarized by recognizing that mass and energy are interchangeable.

Applying this concept to medicine and healing , we have to go out on faith in understanding that some of the healing encounter will not involve direct touch, a direct measurement, or any tangible interaction.


Distance Healing by Telemedicine

Many factors lead to the wide acceptance of telemedicine during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Lack of supplies, along with social distancing guidelines meant that some doctors visits are best done virtually. The major downside of telemedicine is that the hands on physical exam is lost. However, it is possible to do some physical exam virtually by using the camera to visually asses what’s going on. The encounter relies heavily on the exchange of information, so questions asked by the provider must go beyond what would usually occur in the clinic. Likewise, patients must willing to share more information than usual in order to get the best benefits from the visit.


Distance Healing with Reiki

In my Reiki practice, I offer distance sessions. Those seeking Reiki are often comfortable with this concept, but anyone that is not versed in energy medicine, this does not make sense. In a Distance Reiki session, the client may have the treatment wherever they are most comfortable. I connect with my clinic either by phone or text at the start of the session. I channel Reiki just as I would an in person session, however, rather than focusing my attention on the person in front of me, I am going around time and space to heal them. We learn in Reiki that time and space are concepts held by man, and are malleable. I may “feel” that my client is 20, 50, or 1,000 miles away from me, but once the healing session starts, I simply eliminate distance as a factor, and use Reiki to close the distance gap.

Mind-bending concept, but its so cool in action.


The New Healing Paradigm

My personal prediction, and purely my own opinion, is that the changes in healthcare that are coming will be amazing. Modern American healthcare, which has previously operated on the mechanical, Newtonian model has been forced to accept that healing can be accomplished in a number of ways, and is not limited to time or space. I feel that as we venture further into this pandemic, we will find ways to heal our patients beyond face to face encounter. As a Reiki Practitioner, I am so happy that in healthcare, we are slowly moving into accepting a little quantum physics. I feel that as we move away from the simplistic view of medicine as seeing the human as a machine, our capacity to reach and heal our patients will grow by leaps and bounds.

I know these are lofty concepts, but bear with me. I’m an Aquarian.

Thanks for reading! Have a fabulous day.

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Meditation to Channel Negative Emotions

Every one of us is going through some kind of change right now due to the Pandemic and the ongoing economic changes. 

Emotions like stress, anxiety, worry, anger, etc, are thought of as negative emotions because none of us wants to feel these.  These same emotions also have bad effects on our bodies.  One example I use with my patients is the biochemical response to chronic anxiety we all have.  Prolonged anxiety leads to higher production of stress hormones, such as cortisol that   Eventually suppresses the immune system, leading to increased risk of infections or cancer.

 I’d like to share a brief meditation I’ve created to help alleviate the feeling of stress and uncertainty.  The idea of this meditation is to capture the intensity of the emotions you feel, change it to something beneficial and send it towards the thing, person or situation that worries you.  

  1. Find a comfortable place to sit quietly.  I have been doing this before I lay down to sleep to dispel worry thoughts as I’m trying to sleep. 
  2. You can play music or any soothing sound if you ‘d like, and maybe set a timer (the less disruptive the better, like a gentle bell, or set your phone to vibrate).
  3. Place your hands palms up in your lab, sit straight and comfortably.
  4. Imagine what creates the most negative emotions.  Give this thing, idea, object or whatever a color and a shape, and in your mind’s eye place it in your hands.
  5. For a few minutes, let these negative thoughts flow into your open hands, and don’t be afraid of what comes up.
  6. Now in your mind’s eye, reach out your Higher Power (God, Allah, Angels, Ancestors, or your higher self) and ask that this negative energy be changed, or transmuted.  
  7. The negative energy in your hands you can now start to imagine becoming a lighter color, it may feel better, and you may notice pleasant sensations such as warmth.
  8. Now imagine sending this ball of Love, Energy, Healing, Hope or whatever it is you have changed it to directly to what needs it; Send it to a person, situation, place, the future. Trust it will get there.

Here is a guided version of the meditation as well.

The idea of this meditation is to take the intensity of negative emotions, repurpose those and create healing energy.  There is no reason not to, no harm done, and your body and mind will operate better with positive vibes. 

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Reiki in Health Care and Shielding for Health Care Workers

Here is a link to my next podcast episode. In this podcast, I give share with you a technique I use throughout the day to protect my own energy while I’m treating patients. The above link will download the podcast, but you may also click here to go to the page to stream.

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Thoughts on Self Care

Many of us are taught to think of self-care in attention to self as selfishness. Particularly those that tend to be empathetic often find it hard to turn their attention only to themselves.in these turbulent times with so many things going on around us and so many reasons to turn our attention outward, I would like my readers to think about reasons to turn in word even for a few minutes.

There’s so many ways to help in the community. Volunteering, helping your neighbor, donating if possible I just a few of those ways. these are all very valuable and I attempt to help out when time and resources allow myself.

As we approach the weekend I would like you to think about your own self care. Being selfless is Christ-like and beautiful, but if you don’t make sure to fill up your own body and soul you will quickly become depleted.

Self-care can take on many forms and by all means don’t feel limited by my recommendations but here are a few:

  • Hiking in nature
  • Taking a bath in epsom salt and essential oils
  • Meditation
  • Taking a nap
  • Reading

When you have cared for yourself, you develop your own resilience. You also deepen you ability to have empathy for others. You lower your own stress hormones, which improves how your immune system functions. When you come from a calm, centered place, it’s easier to be supportive for others.

My own experience with self care has made me a strong believer that self care leads to better care for others. I give myself some kind of self care daily. I will try to start my mornings with Yoga and usually give myself a Reiki treatment at bedtime. I find that I am able to see many patients during the day with complicated cases without feeling stressed. Years ago, before I started my journey to Reiki, I frequently felt overwhelmed. I wanted to be there for my patients but struggled to create a safe boundary in which patients could express themselves without taking on their issues personally.

If you find yourself feeling stressed, especially with the all the external reminders of our constantly chaning world, turn off your devices and practice some self care.

I always appreciate you spending time with me on my site. If you stay tuned, I am working on creating self paced courses on Reiki Training. Stay Tuned!