Reiki is often the first experience of energy healing for many, and can make a major impact upon their lives as they experience a positive shift in their health or awareness. The next step beyond it lies in either a shamanic approach, or one which blends psycho-emotional support with energy healing skills. Relational Energy Therapy combines both.
The grafting of Western psychological personal process into energy healing work was an inspired leap, although inevitable given popular psychology’s love affair with the effect of the mind-body upon health. It’s not that emotional repression always leads to illness, but rather that it may degrade the healthy immune response to health problems. Illness or physical challenges to our health have a material reality to them, but often can only be fully healed by a strong, resilient, and positive psycho-emotional body.
Health balance is restored not only by medical treatment but by the way the client or patient responds to the treatment itself. Many of us believe that this is part of the medical treatment of the future, one already understood by tribal Shamans everywhere: you have to heal the whole person, not just treat the bodily symptoms. My own preference for psycho-emotional support of my clients comes from principles derived from astral healing work, Hakomi mind-body therapy, Buddhism/Taoist concepts, and early childhood therapies inspired by the Object Relations school of relational psychotherapy. I find these approaches are often therapeutically-helpful to a client, without re-stimulating trauma-based emotional patterns that hinder that client.
Relational Energy Therapy follows a particular way of working with a client:
1) We begin by gathering a personal history of the client, and approximate a place in their development that can be used to focus upon, initially. For instance, if they are the eldest daughter in a large family, the starting place is the all-too-common “eldest” pattern of self-sacrifice to others, over self care. If they are the youngest, look at the “baby of the family” pattern, again only as a starting place to uncover hidden agendas.
2) As the client proceeds up the main chakras / developmental stages, session by session, (see below) we begin to refine the Six Session focus towards their most prominent restriction or issue. We are looking to locate the “blockage”, energetically, or the weak area of development, and then orientate the energy work to either releasing it, or clearing the way forward for a new experience to occur in the client’s life.
3) The relational energy healer is not replacing the role of the psychotherapist, but they are orientated to be therapeutic in their support of the client. Deep, non-judgemental listening, balanced reflective responses to the client’s words, and a collegial approach to uncovering hidden material in their process, are the primary skills used, along with healthy professional boundaries and ethics. This is much closer to a coaching model, than an authoritarian father/mother role in the client’s process.
4) When progress is made, it is essential to keep the rewards and success heavily anchored in the client’s self-identity, and not external to them. Progress needs to be constantly internalized, and owned, by the client. It belongs to them, and especially not to the healer.
The therapeutic dialogue with a client moving through the Six Session Series is also setting up an energetic template for the energy healing which is the primary event in any Session. The psychological and emotional “frequencies” accessed during the initial dialogue with the client, and prior to the healing commencing, sets the stage for the energy work itself. This initial dialogue is not just history-taking, or verbal sharing/human-to-human contact: it is the energy body equivalent of creating a template, a subtle structure, into which the important energy healing work can pour itself. This is the main reason why the Reinforcement Recordings are sent to the client after each session: to further deepen the template for the previous healing.
The therapeutic dialogue is analogous to the use of a rifle scope. To hit your target, you need to be able to see it clearly, you must zero in on it without allowing any distractions. Therapeutic energy healing should not be “firing off” energies blindly, hoping you are going to eventually hit your target. It should, to the best of your ability, be precise. It should hit the target, as close as possible to the bulls eye, and repeatedly.
The six developmental stages in healing and personal transformation
Energy Healing as a therapy holds, for me, three areas of potential growth and personal transformation. The first is that it explores our intuitive sense that there is more than meets the eye about our direct experience of life. The second is our desire for healing from the past; coming to terms with what has shaped us, as well as looking to gain present-time skills in dealing with the events and options in our lives. Thirdly, and related to the first issue, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are hidden but vitally important structures operating upon society as a whole, and awakening into this, our potential, helps us make sense of these global changes.
My own experience over thirty years, as both receiver of energy healing and as a practitioner, has verified that energy work (when combined with a therapeutic approach) does indeed support what is often labelled “awakening”: emergence from a past-history-induced experience of self, and a movement into closer contact with the authentic (or true) self existing within each of us. Energy healing (or Energy Therapy) does this by activating potential, or by clearing hindrances to necessary processes that, historically, spiritual paths have highlighted as essential to any human awakening. These six main areas of personal transformation are:
1. Physical health, and health challenges. Physical changes always follow any meaningful insight or shift towards the authentic self. In actual fact, if you train or exercise the physical body with a view towards developing access to a more awakened sense of self, any transformation process speeds up dramatically. Training the physical body provides better results than passively receiving a transmission or healing event from others. Similarly, any healing event from illness or surgery will lead towards some kind of physical change in the client’s body; either via a small restructuring of some kind, or weight loss (body fat stores emotional memories), or a recognizable change in life style and personal choices.
2. Emotional health provides the underpinning to our sense of self, and in our relationships with others, and of course, our relationship with ourselves. Transformation (as in, moving from a limited sense of self towards a more expanded one) requires emotional work that brings our attention to problematic issues in our personal lives. No deep change can occur in a human being unless it embraces psycho-emotional development: the clearing of past challenges, and developing connection to new resources in the present.
3. Dietary changes are usually fundamental to personal transformation, as the food we take in either feeds our habits from the past (as in when we crave “comfort foods” from our childhood, during stressful times) or supports a body image that is rooted in past experiences (such as taking in more calories than our body actually needs, “stuffing” ourselves in order to soothe emotional stress, or as in an addiction). Transformation inevitably leads to dietary changes, and exploring new resources for intellectual nutrition, such as studying new information. Our old mental maps of the world will need to be updated to reflect the change in our consciousness that is attempting to break through. Food and our belief systems are an important part of who we are.
4. Relational connections with others often require a meaningful shift of some kind, especially those relationships from our childhood, such as our parents and siblings. Both historic and present-day relationships with others determine our own relationship to our self; they are the structural underpinnings of how we see ourselves, and how we define our available options for change. And, fundamentally, these connections either provide for our self-care, or leave us looking for new resources to get our needs met.
5. Self-expression is an area that spiritual transformation highlights as an essential stage of our development. Unless we learn to speak with an original and highly personalized voice, we will tend to merely repeat or parrot the words and concepts emulated by others. We should speak with our own authority, and not “borrow” it from others, or emulate another person’s identity. And, we should listen deeply, as well as be able to speak authentically.
6. Developing “psychic” perception, and energetic interaction with the greater world, is also an essential part of any spiritual development. This includes both personal perception of the inner workings of our own energy body, as well as the perception of others. This is the Shamanic perspective on reality: that we are energy beings first, emotional beings second, and physical beings last of all. All transformation comes from our authentic energy body self, moves into our present-moment experience, and changes that “self” into a closer alignment with reality.
The Six Major Chakras, and Relational Energy Therapy
These six steps also parallel the six major chakras, and their developmental functions.
◊The First Chakra (Muladhara) is devoted to physical safety and maintenance. The physical body is seen as the doorway to the next stage of transformation: emotional reality.
◊Our emotional body (or Astral body) is rooted in the Second Chakra (Swadhisthana), and is deeply affected by our past and present energetic connections with others (via chakra cords).
◊ Our mental sense of self is highly influenced by our food intake, along with other forms of intellectual nourishment, and ideas. This is the influence of the third chakra: Manipura.
◊ As all of these changes to the sense of self are held in place by our short and long-term relationships, it is the fourth chakra (Anahata) that will process through what works, and what does not work, on our love for others, and for ourselves.
◊ Out of these four essential stages arises the fifth one: personalized expression, allowing us to generate a unique connection not only to the outer world, but to our inner world (the fifth chakra, Vishuddha).
◊ And, finally, the increase in available refined prana leads towards activating the Sixth chakra, Ajna. Once functioning well, the sixth chakra “sees” (hence it being known as the “third eye”) beyond the old and conditioned sense of self, and the reality it assumed was solid, into newer and more advanced states of beingness. We see in a new way, and this new spiritual vision changes the chakra growth spiral yet again, as we return to chakra one, looking to initiate some kind of physical shift that better represents our true self. Perhaps we begin a tranformational practice, or we leave home to go and explore ourselves as well as the outer world, or any of a hundred different ways a transformational cycle begins.
Energy Therapy works to address each stage of change, or compromised health or functioning, by working specifically with each main chakra, and their relational chakra cords, affecting all that the energy center represents. The various forms of prana need to be developed, for personal and spiritual health, and then channeled through the energy body over several years, in order to activate our personal potential. Deep transformation requires shifts in all major chakras, and in all six areas of our personal life. This maximizes change, and helps support the natural growth process (and awakening process) in our lives.
Hopefully, this process of flow in the transformational work we all engage in, will also provide insight into the use of the Six Session Series, which consists of six energy healing sessions that focus on one chakra and its development in each week, and then the next one up the developmental spiral. When working well together, and cleared of past hindrances or reduced functioning, the six main chakras generate tremendous momentum towards any positive or essential transformation in our lives.
Taking on one chakra level or aspect of self can be vital; working all six chakras together can be more powerful, though, as they are fundamentally designed to work together, as an inner “team”. And, outside of the application in Relational Energy Therapy work, you can now assess your own journey towards awakening, and see if you are skipping a step. Does your journey towards personal awakening to our authentic self include all six chakras, and all six ways of growth? If not, how can you add in the missing support, and thereby maximize your personal tranformation? This is a major step for all of us, in any physical, personal, or spiritual healing.
2016 by Dean Ramsden. All rights reserved.