Monday, September 15, 2008


A year ago I would have laughed at the idea of visiting a shaman. Way too far out there, too "woo-woo." However, one positive outcome of CFS is that I've had to open my mind to a variety of healing modalities.

A few months ago I started seeing Rose De Dan at Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing. All the Western doctors I'd seen had basically told me that there was nothing they could do. (Luckily I'm now seeing one who is willing to help.) I'd been to two acupuncturists. One wasn't helpful and I actually felt worse after seeing her. The other wasn't helpful, and I was told that I simply didn't have enough qi to move around and that I should probably try something else.

Enter the shaman.

She's fantastic. She does stuff that I would never have believed possible. It's very hard to describe...every session is different. But I almost always leave feeling wonderful, at least for a day or so. During one session, I went on what Rose called a "journey," in which I "became" a crow, swooping and diving and flying around, seeing the world through bird eyes. Another time I felt as if freezing cold lightning was coursing through my body. It wasn't exactly pleasant, but it wasn't something I felt I should stop. Anyway, descriptions kind of fail to convey exactly what happens, and sometimes I can't even describe it to myself.

Rose combines shamanic healing with Reiki, a form of energy healing. Nick and I have taken classes from her, and we are now both Reiki Level I practitioners. I'm taking a Level II class in October. Reiki is a way to direct universal life energy (qi, ki, prana, whatever you want to call it) to one's highest healing good, be that physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. (I still have trouble believing that I can say that with a completely straight face.)

It's been wonderful to be able to practice Reiki on myself, as well as on Nick and the cats. Nick was just trained this last weekend, and he's got a crazy powerful energy flow, despite his protestations that he might not be able to do it "right."

I should note that all of our cats are also Reiki attuned, so we've got a complete Reiki household! Juno is like a Reiki sponge--she just sucks it in. Percy, however, is happy to receive Reiki, but he also is very good at giving as well. Bean remains a strange little wild thing, and I never know what's going on with her.

The great thing about working with non-human animals is that they don't know about the placebo effect. So when I "turn on" the Reiki and Juno comes running, shoving her head into my hands (even if I'm working on myself or Nick at the moment), it's much more obvious that something is happening than if I get feedback from a human subject, who can be swayed by personal beliefs, desires, etc.

Woo-woo it may be, but I'll take whatever works.

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