The Future of Reiki Practice

IMG_20191020_141902637As we all move forward through this pandemic, I wanted to ask this group for their thoughts, ideas and decisions they may be making in how they will be practicing Reiki in-person if you choose to do so.

Below is a compilation of resources I created for my own practitioners enrolled in The Reiki Training Program.

Those of us who practice can attest to Reiki’s benefits in reducing stress and promoting healing, necessary in any time of crisis. This recent article in The Atlantic also reinforces the popularity of Reiki in traditional healthcare.

Any profession or vocation that interacts directly with people incurs a risk. Here is information on what percentage those risks are.

In scouring allied health profession websites for guidance (as there was scant information to direct Reiki practitioners) I found these guidelines from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW):

The WA state Dept. of Health has posted these guidelines for massage practitioners. What stands out for me the most is the requirement for therapists to change their clothes between sessions. If Reiki practitioners were to adopt this guideline, perhaps we would wear scrubs?Masks for both practitioner and client are recommended as well as the sanitation and hygiene mentioned above.

What are your thoughts on having more air filtration in your practice office/room?

Here’s an article on what Chinese Medicine has found in treating COVID-19 along with the recommendation of NOT using an elevator as it is a transmitter of the virus. So if you have an elevator in your building, you and your clients should use the stairs for now (if they or you are able).

When should we begin offering sessions? When testing/contact tracing in place? I feel all practitioners should purchase liability insurance if they haven’t already. Also should we have liability waivers for our clients to sign? ‘Hold Harmless Agreement’ is the legal term, releasing us from liability should a client become ill and contract tracing links that back to your office?

Please feel free to contact on the above and together, as a Reiki community, we can create a safe and healing future for everyone. For additional training in Ethics, Guidelines and Planning Your Practice you can visit The Reiki Training Program, offering WA State Certified Practitioner and Master Programs.

In light

Eileen

Photo and text Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Keeping sane keeping compartments

91Gph1pFN4L._AC_SX466_We are living in an extraordinary time.  Even if the pandemic is not in your city (yet) you are affected by it in some way.

I’ve found as a counselor working with my clients, that even in the best of circumstances, underlying conditions like anxiety and depression are difficult to manage.

Add in an extra external stress and it can be the tipping point.

I’ve been advising clients to manage their stress as best as they can and to think of self-care practices they can do each day that will be sustainable during this time of dramatic change.

I think one practice might be compartmentalizing.  It can be a useful short-term strategy to navigate the tide of anxiety.

I emphasize short-term strategy because at some point, when the crisis subsides, one can begin to properly process more deeply the effects and feelings of the prolonged stress.

There also may be periods within the crisis where one can process as well.

So how do you begin to compartmentalize this experience?  I like to think of it like a filing system that you can imagine in your mind.

Start with the first folder: “Coronavirus Epidemic”.  Just putting it into a folder usually feels a bit better, something is now there that can ‘hold’ it for the moment.

Maybe underneath it you start to build sub-folders  like ‘Stats of cases’ ‘Local government actions’ ‘Department of Health advice’ as well as more personal sub-folders like ‘How does this effect me?’ ‘How does this effect my family?’ ‘How does this effect work?’ ‘How does this effect travel?’.

Then sub-folders underneath those sub-folders to spell out more options like the following:

Coronavirus Epidemic—How does it effect me?—I am healthy—I maintain my health—i.e. exercise, eat well, sleep well, maintain social networks.

But then you get to that last one, ‘social networks’ to help maintain health and then you start to deal with a government suggesting social distancing and abstaining from gatherings.  But this doesn’t have to feel like a wall.

I encourage you to create another folder, entitled something like ‘Creative solutions’.  So when you end up reaching an obstacle in your filing system, you can put ideas into this folder that may lead to solutions.

I recommend to all my clients to utilize both social media and online support groups and meetups for additional social support.  For those on a path of sobriety, you can find an extensive list of online 12 step support groups: https://www.12step.org/social/online-meetings/

Meetup is offering some of it’s groups online also.  If you know of others, please leave comments and share.

Keep calm and stay informed.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst and photo credit

And the number is…

s-l300Since last week, my daily habits have changed significantly, including looking at the statistics of newly infected COVID-19 cases in Washington state.

Each morning, with my coffee in hand, I read the daily counts of infected and other news updates on what other part of the infrastructure has been effected.

Increased testing of the population in Seattle has begun.  UW School of Medicine has established a drive-through testing center in their parking garage on campus.  The governor has said that the university has used genetic modeling to show the likelihood at least 1000 cases in the state.

This isn’t just limited to long-term care facilities.  As the numbers come in, we are headed into serious measures that will impact our city and state.

Enjoy the freedoms you have now, they will change significantly with the infected case numbers being confirmed.  And..they will be coming in this week.

I am copying this news update by Daniel Bookman from this evening’s Seattle Times for you to read.  Specifically open the chart (‘shared’ link highlighted in red).  Italy has just done the 5th level of action in closing their country.

Seattle area official outlines potential next steps in coronavirus response

Seattle area public-health officials are “at the ready” to start ordering involuntary isolation and quarantines and are considering cancellation of major public events, with information coming soon, a top official said Monday.

Patty Hayes, director of Public Health — Seattle & King County, outlined potential next steps in the area’s effort to slow the spread of the virus at a Seattle City Council meeting and said officials are talking about what to do.

Hayes shared a Washington State Department of Health chart that listed five levels of actions that officials could take. Gov. Jay Inslee hinted at the ongoing discussions Sunday on the CBS show “Face the Nation,” saying the state’s response could involve “reducing the number of social activities that are going on.”

Although King County’s first confirmed COVID-19 case was announced less than two weeks ago, the area’s response already has ratcheted through Level 1 and Level 2.

Read the full story here.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Photo credit

What’s Next?

whats-next240x400With northern Italy now putting 16 million of their people in quarantine the US and more specifically, Seattle, where I live, is asking ‘what’s next?’.

Since starting an online Coronavirus support group/healing circle last week, residents of King County have been joining me and sharing their own personal experiences.  It’s been helpful to hear we aren’t alone in how our communities are responding to the crisis.

Coming together like this does help in reducing the sense of being isolated at a time when we will be encountering more restrictions of social interaction and gatherings in the weeks to come.

Our leaders in government have only offered recommendations rather than mandatory measures, but today there has been hinting that these initiatives will be coming to pass.

If you take a moment and do a little self-educating of how this virus has spread infects it’s hosts and you’ll see that in order to help defeat it’s spread, containment, including quarantine, is imperative.

Is it too late for that in Seattle?  It remains to be seen.  This next week we will hear about more cases and more deaths.

As several people in our online virtual groups have mentioned, just dealing with the daily news reports is anxiety producing.

So I talked about my last blog of being proactive rather than reactive.  If we are aware of how a virus spreads, and also that cases and deaths will continue, when we hear reports about it, we will be less surprised and shocked.

Also, if we can continue to monitor ourselves, taking care of our health, getting enough sleep, boosting our immunity with vitamins, fresh fruits and fresh air, we really are doing as much as we possibly can.

I recommend following the advice from the Department of Health to avoid large groups of people, especially inside buildings or when close together at events.  I feel that whether you have health complications or are healthy it is probably a good idea for everyone at this time.  You can be a carrier for the virus and not even know it.

This weekend I went out to the nearby mountains as well as to a museum in town.

I observed plenty of fellow Seattlites and Washingtonians taking time to be outside as the weather became a bit sunnier today.  I saw them out at the farmers markets and on the nearby ski slopes.  I noticed only a dozen or so people within the Asian Art museum itself, but many were walking around the grounds outside.   It seemed to met people kept their distances from each other (the 6 feet recommended?).  It wasn’t awkward, but it was apparent.

Perhaps if and when measures are enacted to limit indoor gatherings, the outdoors will become our sanctuary and haven as it is already for so many of us.

Keep calm and stay informed.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Photo Credit

Just the messenger

Speedy-Delivery-e1472106532704My clients and students have been getting the message this week and especially today that I’m now working remotely, offering circles and workshops by webinar, sessions by phone or Skype.

I can’t ethically put them or the public at risk when the public health division of your city and county issues the statement: “If you can feasibly avoid bringing large groups of people together, consider postponing events and gatherings.”  “Workplaces should enact measures that allow people who can work from home to do so. Taking these measures can help reduce the number of workers who come into contact with people with COVID-19 and help minimize absenteeism due to illness.”  See the full announcement here.

And yet if you look on the local community calendar listings, groups are still meeting, events still occurring.  Most of the schools are still open and people are going to work.

But driving around today just to get out of the house and take a walk, the streets are definitely more quiet.  There is caution and hesitation in the air.  The city feels ‘on hold’.

Pulling back from the daily rhythm of life is hard, but as a community, we are being asked to do this.  We aren’t being told to…yet.

The governmental leaders in enacting states of medical emergency, all have the power in one degree or another to cancel events and gatherings.

My preference would be to have the choice to opt-out rather than have it dictated to me.  It’s something I ‘am in control’ of in a situation that is very much out of control.

I realize that my ability to work from home is a privilege that not everyone has, but I am exercising that privilege for the greatest good of public health and to protect myself, my clients, students and larger community and world.

It’s my hope that this action along with the many tens of thousands (more?) of others who can work from home are all helping to contribute to slowing the transmission.

Because, the transportation hub that is Seattle has not ceased.  Planes still come in and out (except for the limitations imposed by the Feds), trains, ships, cars and buses are all still running, still taking people, infected or not all over the world.  If those channels were to have limitations imposed upon them, further disruptions will occur, of course.

We’re not there yet.  Our leaders, I feel, have been keeping our community informed every day, and now twice a day.  Each successive day since last week we’ve gotten updates and progressively more encouragement to withdraw and set limits on our social activities.

This is all still the ‘new normal’.  Many people I’ve spoken to seem to be in some early stage of grief about it:  Either flat out denial that this is really something to be worried about, that it’s being blown out of proportion by the media or they are angry that it’s intruding on their lives and disrupting the ‘flow’.

Some people are paying attention and making adjustments, but this is really just the beginning.

People who live elsewhere and have 1 or 2 COVID-19 cases in their community, I encourage you to look at how Seattle is handling the crisis.  It will probably serve as a model as more cases occur where you are.

It remains to be seen just how this develops and evolves, and I feel it’s always best in times of crisis to do only what you are really able to do.  Limit having to make too many decisions if you can and help out if you feel called to do so.

In my work as a community leader, I feel it important to serve as a connector for individuals to resources and information that may be helpful to make the most informed decisions.

Creating the (now) bi-weekly online healing circle/meditations, switching my classes to webinar and sessions to remote have all been blessings in disguise.  I’m still able to maintain connection and groundedness  with my community and to the people I serve despite how fast everything is rapidly changing.  It’s a touch point.  I’m grateful for the technology that exists today to permit this to occur.

I foresee the importance of maintaining this connection as we are either asked voluntarily or are required to make changes to limit social interactions.

People are social and usually do not fare well in isolation.

In future blog I hope to explore this last point.

In the meantime, keep calm and stay informed.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Photo credit

Calm in the storm

IMG_20200220_133021246Tonight the Reiki Fellowship connected around the shared experience that is the ‘new normal’ in the Seattle area.

We talked about ways to maintain good health, including exercising at home or going for walks/runs/biking vs. going to the very public gym.  We commiserated over the mob mentality at Costco and other stores and how public transit, despite best efforts, didn’t seem like a great idea.

I have lead in-person healing circles for many decades, but this was my first online version.  It felt rich and supportive to connect to others who have meditative and healing practices to help ground and center despite times of crisis and uncertainty.  Connecting in this way is the key to prevent feeling isolated in such times.

Below is the meditation I wrote and read followed by sending healing energy to the health care and frontline workers, patients, families, friends, loved ones, co-workers and all those effected in our area.

We also sent healing energy out in the future into the next day and days ahead as more is revealed.

We’ll be back online next week, 3/11 7:30-8:30pm.  If you care to join, please do so here.  Password 010470

Calming Meditation (read to  the music of Shamanic Dream)

Take this time to center yourself and receive the calming benefits of working with your breath.

Inhale deeply and exhale all the way down and through your body to the tips of your toes.

Now, let’s do that again.  Deep inhale and then exhale all the way through.

Feel the strength of that breath.  It is always with you and supports you in all that you do.  Day in and day out.

The changes of the world happen around you and yet here, in this moment is your breath.  Even and flowing.  Feel it now.

Your are sustained and held by the breath.  Give yourself permission to receive this time to be refreshed, rejuvenated and restored in the abundance of ki now flowing through your system.

Ki, prana, chi flows through the breath.  As we take this journey, we receive the benefit of this healing energy through every molecule of our being.

So, let’s get comfortable and settle in as we imagine ourselves taking a walk on a beautiful sunny spring day, like today through a wooded park.

The air has a slight chill to it, but the sun makes your skin feel warm and your body relaxed.  As you approach the trees lining the edge of the park you feel yourself take a deeper breath and feel the support of mother nature all around you.

As you walk onto the earthen path,   you feel the forest ground underneath your feet and you enjoy the sounds of birds chirping in the distance.  Inhale the serenity you are starting to invite into all of your being.

In gratitude, you take a moment and pause,  perhaps envisioning yourself opening your arms all the way and taking a deep inhale as you enjoy the comfort of being.

You feel all the thoughts and worries you had melt away and in it’s place is the calm, cool quiet of this shaded wood.

As you continue to walk through the park you notice distant sounds of the city, passing cars, maybe even a lawn mower.  But you are not disturbed.  You are part of this city and it is part of you.  You find yourself acclimating to the background noise.

Take another deep breath, return to the sensation of being in the forest.  You feel the connection to both nature and to the community you are part of.  In this moment, you are healthy, well and grounded and can even take a deep breath further into your own sense of well being.

Through each breath, you bring healing ki into your cells and the systems of your body:  cardiovascular, respiratory, skeletal, nervous, lymph, reproductive and endocrine.

Each system responds by shining a different color with each breath you take.  Notice the various colors and textures with each breath.

Spend a few moments here inhaling healing ki into each system and notice what you notice.  Honor the pause here and be grateful for the effortless functioning of your body.

Now, in the next inhalation, take a full body scan from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and notice how you feel now within body and mind.

What’s different, what’s new, what’s still taking it’s time.

From this place you are now at, feel the centerdness within you and how present you are in the moment.

Remember this place when you need to feel the support and abundance of the healing energy all around you.  Take a few moments and inhale deeply.

Now, when you are ready, begin the process of returning back through the woods along the path.

When you reach the edge and are ready to return back from where you started, give thanks for taking this time.

You are healthy and well and full of light and the refreshing natural energy.

Give yourself time coming back at your own pace.  Perhaps first feeling your feet on the ground and your body in the chair you are seated in.

Next, take each arm and rub the tops of your arms and legs and slowly, slowly, come back to this space now.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst (includes photo)

 

 

 

 

Keep calm and stay informed

downloadToday was not an ordinary day in Seattle.  I turned on the news in the morning and the first story I heard started off with the death toll and active cases of COVID-19.  Of course by now, all the local officials are declaring states of emergency in reaction to this medical crisis.  That news, well, that’s enough for anyone.

But then, as many in this metropolitan area are already experiencing, schools and companies have closed for the day, days or even the week while they are being sanitized, even if only a few employees have been exposed to someone who was infected.

Containment is the goal, but the news has said our area has most likely already been exposed over the last six weeks and still, the estimated toll of this pandemic on the population in Washington state, or the rest of the US for that matter, has yet to be revealed.

Ok, so like a lot of folks in Seattle, I was wishing this was the script of some apocalyptic movie, but it is not.

So, I offered to remotely talk with my clients today, but bearing all of the above, they all chose to seek solace in the personal company of myself as their caring counselor.

Going into the office where other massage therapists, acupuncturists and naturopaths work, we nodded to each other in solidarity.  A level of caution was felt for the first time in this holistic healing environment.

I prepared myself by centering and doing some self-Reiki before I saw my first client.

In session after session, the impact of this crisis is revealed at all the levels it effects:  companies curtailing domestic and international travel, instead, utilizing the existing infrastructure of telecommuting.   Large events are being postponed.  The stock market in flux.

One client called it ‘the new anxiety’, and I’d have to agree.  It’s a state of both anxiety and fear of the unknown and not being in control.

But instead of spiraling into despair, I encouraged my clients to rally around previous similar experiences and how they were able to come through the adversity,

I mentioned to my client to recall that after the events of 9/11 there was much uncertainty and fear and it took awhile before a sense of familiarity returned.   But despite the tragedy of the event, it was almost 20 years ago and so I encouraged her to recall something more recent.

I asked her to think of how she handled the recent summers in Seattle when we were engulfed in the choking wildfire smoke of British Columbia and advised to stay indoors and limit exposure to the air.  Those summers were not our ‘normal’ and many things were cancelled.  We all felt frustrated, disappointed and of course grateful when it resolved.

This situation has elements of both past traumatic events but in itself is a totally new experience of traumatic change.

I was honest with her.  I told her, in the coming days we will learn that there are more people infected and there will be more changes.  Much of it will be inconvenient and err on being conservative and prudent.

We talked about what we both had noticed in the grocery stores: empty shelves of water, cleaning wipes/hand sanitizer, medical supplies, and how the parking lots were more than half empty.

So what’s next?  Well, I would advise what the CDC guidelines are issuing forth, and also to be prepared with prescriptions and extra food/water because there may be more ‘mass buying’ as well as delays with distribution of supplies.

If you are feeling anxious, remember that is normal.  These are uncertain times.  Seek support for your emotional and mental health if you need to.  I am facilitating an online Reiki and meditation group March 4th at 7:30pm if you are interested.  The password is 789141

This was my experience of March 3rd, 2020

Copyright Eileen Dey Wurst, M.A., LMHC

Image credit

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