My practice is in the heart of New York City, a wonderful metropolis full of opportunities — and stimulation! For those of us who are highly sensitive and easily pick up on the energy of others, living in a big city can sometimes overwhelm our sympathetic nervous system.
What happens when our sympathetic nervous system is taxed? Our bodies go into fight-or-flight mode, and our survival instincts are set into motion.
When this happens, our heart rate increases. We experience shortness of breath, have difficulty taking in full breaths, our muscles contract, we may break into a sweat, and our adrenal glands get activated, thus shooting up our cortisol levels (the “stress hormone”) to step in and help us handle the source of that stress. Adrenaline is our fight-or-flight hormone, which also gets activated by our adrenal glands, and helps give us the extra energy we need to deal with (or run away from!) a stressful situation.
Imagine what happens to our bodies when we’re in survival mode on a regular basis. Our adrenals get taxed, our system feels shot, we get fatigued, we may hyper-react, and we may even develop physical pains and strains that are not due to physical trauma.
This is a clear indication that what we’ve been dealing with energetically, has now manifested itself into a physical issue.
In addition, we may absorb energies that do not belong to us. This can leave some of us feeling irritated, fatigued, drained, and possibly even frazzled, stressed out and overly anxious.
One of my patients, "L," used to come into my treatment room, often crying with overwhelm as soon as she sat down. It was clear to me that she was still working through old patterns of self-sabotage and low self-esteem. These patterns kept her from enjoying a satisfying love life, or from moving forward in her career from a verbally abusive boss. She was feeling the energy of everyone around her, because she is a highly sensitive person. Because of this she regularly felt off-kilter, scattered, and frightened, often speaking at breakneck speed.
It took her a while to calm down during her first Reiki treatment. But by the end of the session I could feel that she had already released some of the old energy through her hands and feet, and her chakras were cleared and infused with Universal Light. She shifted to a far more grounded and calm state, before she even got off the table.
Her eyes were less wild and they sparkled with Qi and aliveness, in a way they hadn’t before. She had said to me, “Wow. I feel so calm.” She was comfortable with the silence between her words, once again.
As each session progressed, her inner strength started to emerge, and she started to create awareness around her self-sabotaging patterns. She began to shift them, creating new and more productive, habits. She started to treat herself with more compassion and self-love, started trusting in her intuition, and taking better care of her body, despite her ongoing challenges.