Massage & Bodywork

May/June 2011

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FOR INFORMATION ABOUT JIM GILKESON'S BOOKS, WORKSHOPS, AND RETREATS, VISIT WWW.JIMGILKESON.COM. becomes one of integration. Integration means learning to live one life. The energy healing practitioner who works at the cusp of the physical structure of the client's body and the energy that enlivens it is in a unique position to promote the integration of deep inner experiences with the world of everyday. While energy healing works to open the way to transcendent experiences, it also honors the need to come back into the world. OFF THE TABLE, BACK IN THE WORLD As an energy healer, it is important to help your client absorb the changes brought on in your energy work session. We typically underestimate the power of the subconscious and it is easy to forget that subtle but powerful forces have been activated. As you conclude a session, try to discourage the client from hopping up from the table immediately and rushing out into the traffic of life without first integrating their experience. They may not know it, but they have been in an altered state of consciousness and they stand to gain something In my practice, I invite the client to stay on the table and simply "simmer," relax, and feel what is moving within her. I leave the room for a few minutes, wash my hands, check my schedule, and give her space and a bit of time alone. This is part of the session. I frequently come back to find that her process has taken a step in my absence in the form of insights, memories, tears, and reflections. It is often in this short interlude that the arc of the treatment comes full circle. It's also important to alert your client to the fact that she will be in a slightly altered state after the treatment and that this is perfectly normal. I often give my client a bit of homework following an energy treatment as a way for her to integrate her experience and attend to the heightened energetic and psycho- spiritual activity. In my experience, this window is open for about 36 hours. • Dreams can be very accessible. Freud called dreams the "royal road to the subconscious" and in the period immediately following an energy healing session, they can suddenly be quite active, vivid, and instructive • Long-forgotten memories can come into the foreground. Energy work affects the etheric storehouse of the subconscious. Energy work that integrates your physical body with your energy field will bring forward held memories. Include a section of your journal for this. • Acute and chronic conditions are likely to shift. For example, a pain might come suddenly and then leave; a sleep pattern might change. • Emotional release is not uncommon during this period, as excess buildups of energy discharge from your body and psyche. • You might suddenly connect some previously unconnected dots in the form of insights; outer events, in the form of synchronicities, might trigger some significant inner process. With experience, I believe you will come to see that your involvement with energy work delivers a healthier, more grounded, centered, expanded, and spiritually aligned person to the world. Sending your client out the door in a bit better shape to face her personal challenges contributes positively to her family, society, and the world. Likewise, the step taken by the pilgrim in your body raises our collective consciousness and makes you more ready to step more fully into your deepest calling. It is no small thing. important by making the transition slowly. By intentionally slowing down this re-entry phase, you are wordlessly teaching your treatment partner an appreciation for spiritual process by honoring the need we all have to integrate what we have experienced into our everyday lives. The nice thing about it is that, in most cases, this integration will happen all by itself when you create the right context for it. about your process. Whether you are aware of them or not, dreams are always part of the interplay between your conscious and non-conscious worlds, and in the aftermath of treatments, it's not uncommon for this important function of dreams to be stepped up. Keeping a dream journal is an excellent way to help this side of your life become more conscious. and the author of A Pilgrim in Your Body: Energy Healing and Spiritual Process (IUniverse, 2009) from which this article is adapted. He teaches meditation and energy- oriented healing in Northern California. Contact him at jgilkesn@earthlink.net. Jim Gilkeson is a bodywork therapist NOTE 1. I have decided to use osteopath John Upledger's word "non-conscious" because, as he points out, it does not seem to have the limitations that cling to words like "unconscious" and "subconscious" from various psychological schools of thought. By "non- conscious," I mean everything that is not (currently) accessible or available to one's conscious awareness. earn CE hours at your convenience: abmp's online education center, www.abmp.com 57

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