Massage & Bodywork

November | December 2014

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attending the event, and they offered the reiki community several of those spots. It was such an honor to be a part of this massive collaboration and witness hundreds of veterans being introduced to energy healing work throughout the day. LESSONS LEARNED As reiki volunteers continue to reach out to decision makers to gain acceptance for this modality, I hope they benefi t from some of the lessons we've learned along the way. Perseverance It is within our power to overcome obstacles and elevate understanding and receptivity to our services through education—particularly by offering experiential opportunities. Energy healing modalities may not immediately resonate with those fi rmly rooted in the Western medical paradigm, but the more times they hear the same message coming from a wide variety of sources, the more readily they will come to understand what is being offered. Try not to become discouraged. Instead, delight in being part of this remarkable process. Patience Change may not happen overnight, but it will happen. Our collective efforts are shifting the way the public perceives complementary healing modalities and facilitating their integration into mainstream systems of physical and mental health care. Going forward, I will personally continue to work to make reiki available to all veterans, soldiers, fi rst responders of all kinds, and anyone holding trauma in their energy fi elds. I would love to see reiki available in prisons and all manner of rehabilitative environments. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have all Peace Corps volunteers trained in reiki before they head out to their assignments, and have reiki practitioners dispatched in conjunction with the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders? The value of the work is illustrated in this one simple quote from a grateful veteran who was basking in the calm that followed his 10-minute reiki session: "If we would have had this type of technology before we went to war, nobody would want to fi ght." Now that's a goal we can all get behind. Notes 1. US Department of Veterans Affairs, "Report on VA Facility Specifi c Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) Veterans Coded with Potential PTSD," accessed September 2014, available at http://s3.documentcloud. org/documents/551718/va-ptsd-report-september-2012.txt. 2. Ernesto Londoño, "Military Suicides Rise to a Record 349, Topping Number of Troops Killed in Combat," accessed September 2014, available at suicides-rise-to-a-record-349-topping-number-of-troops-killed-in- combat/2013/01/14/e604e6b4-5e8c-11e2-9940-6fc488f3fecd_story.html. 3. Jaeah Lee, "Charts: Suicide, PTSD and the Psychological Toll on America's Vets," accessed September 2014, available at politics/2013/01/charts-us-veterans-ptsd-war-iraq-afghanistan. 4. Kathie Lipinski, "Reiki and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder," accessed September 2014, available at www.reikiwebstore. com/ProductPage.cfm?ProductID=668&CategoryID=39. As a Reiki Master teacher, Heather McCutcheon is helping usher in the Age of Aquarius one class, one client, one session at a time. She can be reached at REIKI AND PTSD If you are interested in offering reiki to veterans, get involved with your local VA Stand Down. Here's where you'll fi nd the current schedule: events.asp. Once you have secured an invitation to an event where veterans will be gathered, these tips will help your event go smoothly: • Recruit volunteers well in advance from within your local reiki community. • Distribute information about PTSD to all volunteers in advance so they know what to expect (see Reiki for Vets with PTSD on page 68). • Send out event reminders, including a map, recommended dress code, what to bring, and your contact information. • At the event, use a sign or banner to attract attention and educate the crowd. (One veteran suggested our banner would be more effective if it simply read, "Got PTSD? Try this!") • Create a waiver/media release for all recipients to sign prior to their session. • Provide handouts with information about reiki. • Distribute stickers that say something like, "Ask me about my FREE reiki session." Get Involved

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