I have made many changes in diet and nourishment due to a lifetime of occasional headaches. Reduced sugar, non-processed foods, properly grown produce and meats, more greens and smoothies are part of my regular repertoire. Emotional triggers have been addressed. And massage and chiropractic have helped with the musculoskeletal misalignments that bring on the pain.
Despite this, the headaches sometimes return. Having covered physical, emotional, and mental, I found myself wandering into the metaphysical, the all-encompassing spiritual part of me that might need tending. Some folks dismiss this region as “woo-woo,” but I absolutely love the “woo-woo” and keep myself open to the possibilities.
Three energy therapies have helped me tremendously and are worth checking out. For the sake of common language, I’ll point out the spiritual story (the so-called “woo-woo”) and the physical phenomena that have occurred during sessions.
1. Reiki/Therapeutic Touch: Reiki and TT work with energy flow in the body as perceived by the practitioner. Reiki uses the client’s energy primarily and involves light touch from the practitioner. Therapeutic touch transfers energy from the practitioner to the client more obviously.
The “Woo-Woo:” I tried this in 2007 for the first time, looking for some calm after running a 10K for which I hadn’t trained well. A day after my session, I spent hours in tears grieving events that had been beyond my control that I had stuffed away for a year. I felt refreshed having gotten it all out and much of my resentment dissipated.
The Phenomena: I kept my eyes closed for the session and could feel radiating energy coursing up and down my overworked legs. This felt like a massage. A good half hour later, the practitioner continued to rub my legs rhythmically. I opened my eyes, no practitioner in sight. It was all energy.
2. Shaman: A shaman enters the spiritual world to tend to spirit wounds and issues from past lives. I chose a shaman who apprenticed in Peru, since I knew I wouldn’t be making it to South America anytime soon. My specific concern was an aspect of the headache where a triangular portion of my neck would seem to disappear, rendering me useless until feeling would return and I could crack that area. Headaches of this nature could last for 24 hours.
The “Woo-Woo:” Armed with talismans and a legal herbal beverage, the shaman worked above me chanting as I lay flat on a blanket on the floor. He found soul wounds on my knee and around my head and neck. Without knowing about my neck story, he observed that I had been guillotined in a past life! He cautiously told me as though it would freak me out, but I then alerted him to the feeling I had.
The Phenomena: He healed the spirit wounds via ritual and had me stand up really slowly. I thought the whole thing was cool, but entered a new dynamic when I stood. My left knee, which had been healed, buckled beneath me as though I’d never walked on it before. While I still get occasional headaches, they don’t last as long and I’ve not felt as though my neck were missing at any time.
3. Craniosacral Therapy: Craniosacral therapy works with the spinal fluids that move from the sacrum to the cranium and back. Carrying a 17-pound baby can create strain and I felt as though I was retaining a lot of heat. The headaches have been pressure-filled of late. After taking our daughter there to address any trauma she might have physically attained at birth, I gave it a shot.
The “Woo-Woo:” Our therapist asked me about my birth – a rapid two hours from labor to entry – and noted that a huge pressure shift occurred from the water world to the earthly environment. Perhaps I was not given time to adjust and complete the process seen in a slower birth.
The Phenomena: In my first session, I asked if the therapist had rotated my head. She had not, but internally I had shifted. In the second session, she felt she had reached completion for whatever needed help related to my birth. At that exact moment, I felt a rush upward as though I had been drowning, followed by a guttural throat clearing I did not control. I believe the two were linked.
So many modalities can help us work through physical and emotional pain. I believe addressing the spirit is just as important. What do you think?