How Does Reiki Work?

A holistic perspective sees health as a dynamic state of balance with considerable resilience in the overall system. A healthy person can withstand a certain amount of stress and bounce back. This is because the human body’s ability to heal includes various self-regulating mechanisms that maintain overall balance, which is known as homeostasis.

However, after experiencing sudden, intense stress or moderate stress that is constant over a period of time, the body’s ability to regulate itself becomes compromised and health declines, slowly or not so slowly. Stress causes the body to lose its ability to rebalance, to restore homeostasis.

Unless they are addressed, the stresses of everyday life - environmental, emotional, physical,financial, social etc. – can combine with an individual’s genetic predispositions and result in declining health and wellbeing.

At the simplest, most obvious level, it appears that Reiki treatment helps lessen the impact of stress, releasing tension from the entire system. Not only does the person move toward his or her own unique balance in body, mind and spirit, but also, depending on the level of physical health when Reiki begins, the body’s own healing mechanisms often begin functioning more effectively.

What is Reiki doing?

How exactly does Reiki release tension and help the body heal? That question has yet to be answered. Although there is increasing research evidence documenting the effects of Reiki (such as lowered heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones; increased immune strength), we have only broad theories as to what causes these effects or the pathways through which the healing occurs.

The multileveled, rapid response to Reiki suggests a complex process that engages many body systems, simultaneously or in quick succession, shifting the body from domination by the “fight or flight” (stress) response to the relaxation response, and supporting the body’s own healing mechanisms. (For more information about the relaxation response, see the Mind-Body Therapies section.) Some researchers theorize that Reiki’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing effect is triggered on a subphysical level, perhaps in what science refers to as the biofield.

What is the biofield?

The biofield is the term medical science has adopted for the intricately layered vibrational energy field that is said to surround and penetrate the physical body. The biofield is extremely subtle and there is as yet no conventional scientific technology that can document its existence or otherwise study it directly. However, for thousands of years, traditional, indigenous, prescientific medical systems have recognized a balanced, evenly pulsing biofield as the foundation of health and wellbeing, and seen any disruption of this balance as the beginning of illness.

The healing traditions of indigenous cultures around the world use vibration to restore balance through ceremonial drumming, through instruments such as the didgeridoo and the tamboura, and through chanting, overtoning, and humming. Moreover, the therapeutic value of vibration in the forms of sound and music is increasingly supported by science. Perhaps Reiki’s benefits occur through the same vibrational mechanism, a process which likely involves increasing coherence and decreasing dissonance in the system.

One theory is that the Reiki practitioner’s hands carry the energetic vibrations of the recipient’s wellness. The effect of Reiki could be seen as a shift in attention in which the recipient becomes aware of the wellness that exists deep within his or her being regardless the current level of health. Reiki could then be understood as entraining the recipient back to health in a process similar to the way grandfather clocks in the same room self-adjust to the rhythm of the dominant clock, or in the way we relax when in the presence of someone who is deeply peaceful. Reiki seems to connect the practitioner with an inner source of peace no matter how he or she feels in the moment.

Many therapies aim to restore balance in the biofield-acupunctureqigongshiatsu, andyoga/pranayama to name a few. Reiki appears to be the subtlest of these therapies, balancing the recipient through subtle Reiki vibrations rather than through manipulation or even the gentlest force. It is also possible that Reiki, which some practitioners consider more akin to meditation than to energy therapies, does not originate in the biofield, but rather arises from an even subtler source: what physicists have termed the unified field.

Friday Night Restoratives w/ Kath Meadows 8/29

Release the week’s stresses and start your weekend feeling refreshed and well-rested! Relax, renew and restore with cool and calming restorative yoga. We start with some slow, gentle movements and then settle into the use of blankets, bolsters, straps, and other props to safely support the body in various postures allowing the body to move towards a state of release and balance. All levels welcome; no yoga experience necessary. $20

7:45 – 9:00 PM
Click Here to register!

Taoist Flow and Yin Yoga w/ Machelle Lee 7/19

Machelle returns to Blue Heron to offering this exciting workshop.  Blending the energetic and poetic expression of Taoist Flow Yoga with the contemplative experience of Yin Yoga, this workshop will combine a creative muscular practice with joint tending. While you may know Machelle as a mentor of Yin Yoga, come and enjoy how the inclusion of fluid muscle movement complements the therapeutic joint stimulus of the quiet practice of Yin. This gentle to moderate paced practice is appropriate for beginners and experienced participants alike. Modifications are offered throughout but the ability to move between standing and the knees/belly a few times during the flow section is suggested. The Yin practice is all done on the floor.

$40 minimum donation.

Click here to register.

Yoga Nidra with Shira, Fri. 7/11

Join Shira for 75 minutes of bliss.
In our over-stimulated world, many of us live chronically exhausted. Yoga Nidra is a systematic way to obtain complete relaxation that rejuvenates and restores body, mind and spirit. Using guided imagery, body scanning and breath work, students are led into a deep physical relaxation, allowing the mind to release tension and stress. It leaves you feeling completely relaxed and rested and at peace with a more positive outlook than before. No experience necessary.
$20
Click here to register.

Free Community Class Today (6/27) at Noon

w/ Rekara Gage -Rekara Gage is an RYT 200 who started practicing flow yoga with hopes of finding community and purpose. Although the physical practice brought her to the mat, the peace of mind urged her to explore the philosophy and spiritual connection that helped her unlock her full potential. Incorporating both elements of yogic teachings and a variety of styles into her classes. She links meditation, breath and posture to the practice, with the goal that her students leave feeling better than they did when they came in. Students can expect a creative class that explores the energetic possibilities of asana and breath.

Blue Heron is offering free community classes to allow new and existing teachers to share their love of yoga with new and existing community members. All levels welcome.

Healthy Back Workshop w/ Naomi TONITE! (6/6)

Don’t miss the last class of this mini-series.

7:00 – 8:15 PM, Friday, 6/6

Low back pain is one of the most common complaints these days among yogis and non-yogis alike. Sometimes back pain is a symptom of too many hours seated and sedentary; other times unsupportive repetitive patterns can contribute to back pain. Even yoga, when done with less mindful alignment can wreak havoc on our backs.

This class is here to help. Learn the ways that your yoga practice can support your low back, through specific poses designed to help relieve low back pain as well as strengthen an unstable spine. Using some basic, but essential actions to create healthier alignment in your legs and hips, you’ll offer your spine the optimal circumstances for freedom. You’ll also be given tools to take this healing and strengthening practice into your everyday activities.

Core Power~Awaken Your Abs to Create Greater Back Strength

This class is appropriate for all levels. The intent of this series is to give tools to yogis who have struggled in yoga due to lower back pain, as well as reintroduce yoga to those who have taken a break from their yoga practice as a result of lower back pain or injury. Ideally this series will offer confidence to students looking to regain access to their bodies by creating healthier patterns and actions. This series should also serve as an opportunity for injured students to learn how to practice yoga safely in a public class or at home, respective to their low back impairment.

 

Friday Night Restoratives w/ Kath Meadows tomorrow!

Friday, 5/30/2014, 7:45 pm – 9:00 pm

Join Kath Meadows to release the week’s stresses and start your weekend feeling refreshed and well-rested! Relax, renew and restore with cool and calming restorative yoga. We start with some slow, gentle movements and then settle into the use of blankets, bolsters, straps, and other props to safely support the body in various postures allowing the body to move towards a state of release and balance. All levels welcome; no yoga experience necessary.   $20
Click Here to register.

Yoga for a Healthy Back w/ Naomi this Friday

Friday, May 16th – 7:00 – 8:15 pm.

Low back pain is one of the most common complaints these days among yogis and non-yogis alike. Sometimes back pain is a symptom of too many hours seated and sedentary; other times unsupportive repetitive patterns can contribute to back pain. Even yoga, when done with less mindful alignment can wreak havoc on our backs.

This class series is here to help. Learn the ways that your yoga practice can support your low back, through specific poses designed to help relieve low back pain as well as strengthen an unstable spine. Using some basic, but essential actions to create healthier alignment in your legs and hips, you’ll offer your spine the optimal circumstances for freedom. You’ll also be given tools to take this healing and strengthening practice into your everyday activities.

Each of the 3 weeks will focus on a different area for strengthening and supporting the low back.

Week 1: Find the Midline~Learning to Use Your Legs to Support Your Lower Back

Week 2: Strength and Length~Accessing the Hamstrings and Quads for Optimal Lower Back Health

Week 3: Core Power~Awaken Your Abs to Create Greater Back Strength

This series is appropriate for all levels. The intent of this series is to give tools to yogis who have struggled in yoga due to lower back pain, as well as reintroduce yoga to those who have taken a break from their yoga practice as a result of lower back pain or injury. Ideally this series will offer confidence to students looking to regain access to their bodies by creating healthier patterns and actions. This series should also serve as an opportunity for injured students to learn how to practice yoga safely in a public class or at home, respective to their low back impairment.

You can sign up for the remaining 2 Fridays or attend as your schedule allows.

2/$34  or Drop-Ins/$20

Yoga Nidra – TONITE w/ Shira

May 9th, 7:45 pm – 9:00 pm

In our over-stimulated world, many of us live chronically exhausted. Yoga Nidra is a systematic way to obtain complete relaxation that rejuvenates and restores body, mind and spirit. Using guided imagery, body scanning and breath work, students are led into a deep physical relaxation, allowing the mind to release tension and stress. It leaves you feeling completely relaxed and rested and at peace with a more positive outlook than before. No experience necessary. $20

Strength and Serenity While Sitting – Chair Yoga Workshop Tomorrow!

Chair Yoga Workshop with Nancy Kaufman

Saturday, 4/26 – 12:30 – 2:00 PM

Chair Yoga incorporates all of the benefits of yoga – strength, flexibility, relaxation, serenity – without having to get on and off the floor or tie yourself in knots. Regardless of your age, level of activity or physical challenges, you can experience the many benefits of yoga while seated in or supported by a chair. This workshop will incorporate a full-range of postures for the neck, shoulders and hips as well as some breath work and a meditative cool-down. Students will learn chair yoga practices that they can use anytime to enhance their sense of well-being. All levels welcome. $20 until April 20th, $25 after

New Caregiver Workshop Added in April!

Sunday,  April 27th,  3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Do you find yourself constantly juggling between your family needs and your own? It is easy to get so caught up in the role of caregiver that finding time and space for yourself may feel secondary. In this workshop, participants can expect to learn skills and practices to use to support ourselves as caregivers and maintain a healthy emotional balance and mental perspective. This workshop is designed to help caregivers nurture their own needs and gain ideas for how to refuel, re-energize and get centered.
Click Here to register.