Category Archives: Healing

6 Evidence-Based Reasons Why You Should Listen To Your Body

“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes a matter of opportunity”
~ Hippocrates

The U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health define listening to
your body as “body awareness” and as follows: “Body awareness involves an attentional
focus on and awareness of internal body sensations. Body awareness, as we define
it here, is the subjective, phenomenological aspect of proprioception and interoception
that enters conscious awareness, and is modifiable by mental processes including
attention, interpretation, appraisal, beliefs, memories, conditioning, attitudes and affect”.
I just call it listening to your body.

Our physical bodies communicate with us every day through stimulus responses that
either feel good or feel bad. Despite the relativity of what is good and what is bad for
each individual, these responses are acutely accurate – simply because each individual
is different and thus is going to process all stimuli differently. Our physical bodies respond
to everything in our environments from the tangible to the intangible whether we
are aware of it or not. And there is growing proof that the more we can learn to listen to
and heed our bodies’ messages, the healthier we become in all ways.

Mindfulness is one form of listing to your body. Jon Kabat-Zinn, is the founder of the
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical
Center and defines mindfulness as “The practice of paying attention “on purpose” in
the present moment nonjudgmentally”. Mindfulness can increase your health and wellbeing.
For instance, by deliberately noticing your body’s responses to eating, you are
more likely to decrease the amount of food you consume in addition to consuming those
foods with greater nutritional benefits. Similarly, by deliberately noticing your body’s responses
to exercise, in particular over-use, you are more likely to decrease your risk of
long-term injury. Basically, you can apply the positive benefits of mindfulness to anything
and everything you do.

Somatic psychotherapy is another form of listening to your body using the aid of a
trained therapist. Psychotherapy has often applied the use of traditional talk therapy to
effectively address many mental and emotional health challenges. However, somatic
psychotherapy is known to quickly address deep emotional issues not revealed through talk therapy, simply by paying attention to the communication of the body. Somatic
psychotherapy points to an individual’s autonomic nervous system (ANS) as being
the primary “holder” of past trauma, emotional issues and psychological issues.
Some or all of these issues may hold clues in their physical concerns such as sexual
dysfunction, hormonal issues, digestive issues and tension held in specific parts of the

Epigenetics research (the study of biological mechanisms that switch genes on and off)
shows that we are not trapped by our genetic history and that in fact, it is the cells’ response
to environmental conditions that turn on or turn off physical conditions in the
body. By listening to our physical body and how it reacts to our environment, we can
pay better attention to the limiting thoughts and beliefs we have about life and thus
change them to match the quality of life we desire. It doesn’t matter if circumstances
outside ourselves change, it only matters that we hold (within our cellular structure) the
thoughts, beliefs and emotions about the life we desire to live. This switches off the
genes that would otherwise deter us as well as switches on the genes that match our

Still unsure if you should practice listening to your body? Here are some case studies
to motivate you:

  • A 2014 literature review of 47 trials in 3,515 participants suggests that mindfulness
    meditation programs show moderate evidence of improving anxiety and depression.
  • In a small, NCCIH-funded study, 54 adults with chronic insomnia learned mindfulnessbased
    stress reduction (MBSR), a form of MBSR specially adapted to deal with insomnia
    (mindfulness-based therapy for insomnia, or MBTI), or a self-monitoring program.
    Both meditation-based programs aided sleep, with MBTI providing a significantly
    greater reduction in insomnia severity compared with MBSR. (
  • Qualitative studies represent a growing body of evidence that body awareness-enhancing
    therapies such as yoga, tai-chi, body-oriented psychotherapies, and massage
    to name a few may provide psychological and pain-related benefits for patients
    suffering from a variety of conditions. (
  • Results from a 2013 NCCIH-supported study involving 49 adults suggest that 8
    weeks of mindfulness training may reduce stress-induced inflammation better than a
    health program that includes physical activity, education about diet, and music therapy.

REAP vs. Reiki

The question I get asked most regarding the REAP Healing Method is “how is it different from Reiki?”. REAP, which is an acronym for Remote Energetic Alignment Process, does have similarities to other forms of energy medicine such as Reiki.  Yet like each of the various energy healing modalities it has distinct differences in how energy is harnessed and transmitted to the client.  Moreover, how the client experiences their healing process has significant distinctiveness as well.

As a Usui Reiki Master Teacher, I am intimately familiar with the subtle nuances of Reiki. In fact, I still enjoy giving and receiving it from time to time.  The REAP Healing Method was, in a sense, born from Reiki as well as from Shamanic Energy Healing and a technique called Body Activation.  I love each method and in time found myself blending them into one. I also added the use of my intuition and empathic abilities into the mix.

My knowledge and training in massage therapy and the various body systems has provided a body-based foundation for the REAP Healing Method. Additionally, my familiarity with other forms of energy healing through my ongoing studies (such as Polarity and Traditional Chinese Medicine) have had an influence on the birth of REAP, albeit minimal.

As you can see, the REAP Healing Method is a composite of many forms of energy medicine. Still, for those who are Reiki practitioners and may be wondering just how different REAP is from Reiki I have created the following table comparing the two below:

Reap Reiki
Obtains healing energy through “Activation” of one or more physical organs or systems of the body Obtains healing energy through “Universal Life Force”.
Healing is targeted in one or more of 11 areas of the body which extends outward into energy field (formal structure). Healing is targeted anywhere in or around the body (no formal structure).
Use of intuition and empathy plays a pivotal role in administering the healing. Intuition has no role and empathy is discouraged.
Healing is “sent” through a process called “Magnetic Resonance” in which your body’s innate God-given intelligence is utilized. Healing is sent through the hands using “Universal Life Force” energy.
Advanced level uses “Activation” to correct distorted mental and emotional patterns and imprints in the energy field, along with restoring DNA and wholeness of soul. Advanced levels use symbols to correct mental and emotional patterns.
12 hours of Level 1 training = 12 CEU’s issued by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork 4-8 hours of training (varies by state) = 4-8 CEU’s issued by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork
The client is often given intuitive information about the origin or cause of the problem and are often given “homework” after the healing session to empower them in the process (and further their healing, growth and expansion of wholeness). The client may or may not receive intuitive information about the origin or cause of the problem or receive homework.  This provision of intuitive information is generally not encouraged nor is this kind of training provided.

These are some of the significant differences between REAP and Reiki. This comparison is intended to provide an understanding and is not to disparage the use of Reiki.  If you are unsure about which method is best to use or learn, I always recommend one should rely on accumulated practical information, study and most importantly to follow what resonates most with you.

Spiritual Healing Methods: Using the Power Within

Shamans over many centuries, have operated under the basic truth that all power comes from within. Spiritual teachers, leaders and healers from around the world have different names for this – the higher self, the core self, Source, the spirit, the I AM Presence, and many more. Regardless of what name it is given, this inner power refers to what is most true about you. It refers to the fact that each one of us is innately connected to a far more powerful source of creation. This connection ensures that we have the ability to do just about anything we can conceive of and believe in – especially including healing.

For instance, it is well known that our physical bodies have infinite intelligence as a result of this power within. If you think about it, there are millions of tasks that our bodies perform every day to keep us alive – all without any action on our part. You may wonder then, why are we sometimes riddled with unhealthy conditions or illness, feel depleted or just plain sick? The answer lies in today’s culture where there is too much emphasis placed on cognitive activity and production. Another way of saying this is we become extremists trying to keep up with the demands life presents us and neglect our intrinsic need to lovingly nurture and care for our growing body, mind and spirit. This inadequate attention results in imbalances of our entire systems – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual – which then results in poor health and ill-being.

However, good news lies ahead. Because of this power within, we can turn these conditions around. This inner power allows you to focus your energy and attention to empower, strengthen and activate your health and well-being – or if you choose – the health and well-being of another. The REAP healing method teaches you how to harness this inner power and apply it to the exact locations on the body that restore your balance, health and well-being. Additionally, you’ll find that by learning the REAP healing method, your connection to a far greater Source within you and around you will be activated and strengthened – bringing about a greater sense of clarity, purpose and understanding about your own infinite nature. I invite you to learn this healing method and join our growing community of practitioners. The learning experience that REAP provides, is enlightening and profound for students at any level.