I am often asked during an initial client enquiry which therapy I think is most appropriate for the particular condition(s) that someone is presenting with. Unfortunately there is no clear-cut answer to this question, just as there are no guarantees of a cure, reversal or alleviation of symptoms. In many ways the healing process is quite a mysterious journey, dependent on a number of variable factors, although there are several ‘constants’ within this process, namely:
-that a relationship is formed (hopefully a nurturing one) between the healer and the person receiving the healing. This relationship is really the starting point in the move from illness into wellness and includes elements as simple as a smile, a listening ear or a sympathetic nod. A trust relationship is formed and a commitment to better health is made simply by the activity of engaging with the therapist and receiving healing.
-that an energetic interaction occurs between the healer and the recipient – this is not something that can be scientifically measured, but we are influenced in many ways, some of which are very subtle, by others, and especially within the context of healing. This occurs through the cross-transference of energies between healer and recipient. The positive energies or ‘vibes’ that are given out by the healer – through intention and healing techniques – send invisible messages to the recipient’s aura which trigger positive changes.
-that changes will occur in the client; they may be subtle ones but they will occur. It is impossible to exit the healing room in exactly the same energetic state that you were in when you entered as something happens, regardless of how much is felt or experienced consciously. At the least, an individual will feel refreshed, relaxed and rested from ‘time out’ from their usual lifestyle and daily pressures.
So bearing these factors in mind, how might using a number of therapies influence this process?
Firstly, if we look at Reflexology, this is a treatment that usually involves work solely (excuse the pun!) on the feet; it has a very grounding effect, similar to the way that focusing on your feet can help with feeling spaced out or lightheaded and helps us to connect with the part of us that treads its way through life’s ups and downs on planet earth. Working on the feet is also less intense for intimate for those clients who would find touch in other areas of the body too intrusive. I often recommend Reflexology as the initial point of contact for new clients as it has an overall rebalancing yet gentle healing effect through its ability to connect to all the organs and systems of the body via the feet. It is also something tangible; in the most basic sense it is a ‘foot massage’ that people can relate to and understand.
So if we think of Reflexology as being the initial point of contact, what might happen if other therapies are added to this foundation?
Indian Head Massage can be seen as the polar opposite to Reflexology as it focuses mainly on the head area and therefore the thoughts and mental processes. It is very much a physical therapy and more tactile than Reflexology so might be a good alternative if the client would like more physical contact and has issues in the head, neck and shoulder areas. The stroking techniques have a more obviously nurturing and soothing effect as opposed to the subtle balancing of Reflexology. Both of these therapies are what can be described as ‘bodywork’ as they mainly involve direct touch in a healing capacity yet are coming from different places, both in a literal and a more abstract sense. So, someone for example, who suffers from headaches and sleep issues could benefit from work on the feet to balance the hormones and stress levels and work on the head and neck to ease tension and slow down the thought processes.
Moving onwards, or rather outwards into the energy field, is the zone of spiritual healing. I work mainly with a form of healing called Reiki, which can be described as energy healing through the hands which activates and strengthens our connection to the life force of the universe. Although the physical body, and perhaps the emotional self, are both quite easily satisfied with soothing touch during the more tactile therapies, there are other aspects of the self that are more directly accessed through spiritual or ‘faith’ healing, much of which takes place off the body or in the energy field.
This is a concept that is difficult for many people to grasp so I do not automatically recommend Reiki as a starting point in the healing process. If someone is new to healing and energy work, they generally want to feel what is happening in or on their physical body and can find mysterious healing without touch rather odd or confusing. However, as an individual becomes more spiritually developed they will increase in awareness of their energy field or aura and this is often a good time during which to introduce Reiki into the healing process. Also, in situations where healing is slow or there seem to be spiritual blocks, Reiki can be a welcome addition. Thinking back to the example of the person who has headaches and insomnia, Reiki could help to access mental blockages or imbalances in the chakra energy centres which are hindering the healing process.
Although Reiki can be performed by touching the body, working in the energy field (i.e. the air around a person) is more powerful and seems to access those parts of us that need deeper healing such as deeply ingrained thought patterns, difficult emotions and past traumas. It is said that the human aura or energy field contains all the memories and experiences we have had in this life and beyond so that helps to explain why this form of healing is so effective in that area.
A fourth treatment that can add another aspect to the healing process is Crystal Therapy. It is similar to Reiki in the fact that it looks beyond the physical body and into the non-visual aspects of a person and their holistic health, but it works in a slightly different way. Crystals are organic objects that are grown in the earth and therefore carry a certain vibration which is different from that which is channelled human to human in the forms of healing mentioned above. They are very grounding and help to balance the different aspects of an individual whilst adding their own unique qualities. They contain traces of different elements such as iron, sulphur, calcium etc so can help with imbalances in these areas. Crystals are excellent cleansers and very effective at removing the toxic reside from medication, electro-magnetic stress or extreme negativity that has become lodged in the aura. Included in Reiki and Crystal healing sessions are guided meditations to aid relaxation and visualisation and these can also help someone to shift their thinking and move more easily into a state of recovery and healing.
So in summary, a multi-therapeutic approach can be helpful for the following reasons:
-Clients have the choice of therapies with more or less physical contact
-Physical therapies can zone in to specific physical complaints whereas non-physical healing therapies can access deeper mental, spiritual and emotional blockages which may be hindering the healing process
-If one approach is not looking to be very effective, a move to another type can kick start the body’s recovery process.
I hope this has given a deeper insight into the differences between the various therapies that I provide at Magenta Therapy and how a multi-therapeutic approach can be effective in encouraging the move from illness to better health.