ORANGE – Increase Your Sense of Delight!

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For those of you who are just joining us, welcome to the University of Life. In the previous “classes” we laid the groundwork for this course—The Color of Wellness, and looked at the therapeutic properties of the color red. Today’s palette features the color Orange.

Orange is associated self-gratification, pleasure, and occupational wellness. It enhances happiness, independence, and confidence. It’s the color of molten lava. Think of a robin’s feathered breast, a mouth-watering tangerine, the velvet wings of a monarch butterfly, the impish grin of a jack-o-lantern glowing on Halloween, or the life vest you wore in the boat at summer camp. Remember the taste of Orange Crush as the bubbles hit the back of your throat?

The positive properties of orange are expressed as joyful, enthusiastic, spontaneous, optimistic, sporting, good-humored, gregarious, and sensual.

The negative properties of orange are described as over-indulgent, dependent, free-loading, deceptive, and superficial.

The healing properties of orange are warming and energizing and can address physical symptoms such as low vitality, poor appetite, indigestion, cramps/strained muscles, joint pains, and negative states of mind such as listlessness, boredom, sadness, and inhibition. Orange fosters sociability and helps us to assimilate new things, and to unclog emotional energy that can get trapped in the lower abdomen,

When you need a boost in the areas of pleasure and self-gratification, indulge yourself with this color. The frequency of orange emboldens us to take in what we truly need from life and to let go of what no longer serves us.

Are you drawn to a vivid orange? Combined with the drama of red and the cheerfulness of yellow, pure orange is luminous, bright, glowing, and bold. Or maybe you prefer more muted and shaded tones that offer a bright but subtle glow that is restful, earthy, natural, and soothing.

What we do with our physical environment—our personal space—speaks to our heart and helps us to flourish. Buy a piece of orange clothing, or add a splash of orange to your décor with flowers, pillows, a candle, or a throw. Paint a wall apricot. Or take advantage of the healing frequency of orange crystals such as carnelian, sunstone, or moonstone that has a hint of peach or a shade of apricot.

A great big thank you to Joseph’s Market for allowing me to take photographs in their produce department.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights ReservedNo part of this blog post may be used in part, or in whole, without written permission from Laurie Buchanan.

RED – Enhance Your Sense of Groundedness

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For those of you who are just joining us, welcome to the University of Life. In the last two “classes” we laid the groundwork for this course—The Color of Wellness. In each of the next seven posts, including today’s, we’ll look at the properties of a specific color. Today’s palette features the color red.

Red is associated with self-preservation, survival, and physical wellness. It enhances vitality, energy, and courage. It’s the color of blood. Think of the mouthwatering strawberries, the inside of a ripe watermelon, flaming maple trees, iron-rich soils, a juicy beefsteak tomato, fire engine red, or the brilliant red of a cardinal against a snowy backdrop. Remember the sweet, rich taste of red licorice at the movies?

The positive properties of red are expressed as energetic, assertive, powerful, exciting, passionate, strong-willed, courageous, and self-motivated.

The negative properties of red are described as aggressive, domineering, impatient, insensitive, and self-centered.

The healing properties of red are stimulating and vitalizing and address physical symptoms such as tiredness, poor circulation, colds/chills, and negative states of mind such as apathy, fear, and lack of initiative. Red boosts brain activity and increases heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure.

When you need a boost in the areas of survival and self-preservation, indulge yourself with this color. Its frequency refreshes crucial earth energy by stirring the base chakra and stimulating all of the body’s energy centers. Like the deep root system of a healthy tree, red stabilizes our foundation and can help to bring our energetic body “down to earth.” It gives us legs to stand on. When our energy wavers or we feel used up or indifferent, red helps us ground and center our energy so that we can realize our goals.

Are you drawn to a true primary red? That’s a statement color, dramatic, vibrant, and stimulating. Or maybe you enjoy more muted tones; they’re cozy and intimate with just a hint of passion and romance.

What we do with our physical environment—our personal space—speaks to our heart and helps us to flourish. Buy a piece of red clothing. Add a splash of red to your décor with flowers, pillows, a candle, or a throw. Do something bold, paint your headboard red. Or take advantage of the healing frequency of red crystals such as garnet, red jasper, or ruby.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved
No part of this blog post may be used in part, or in whole, without written permission from Laurie Buchanan.

The Color of Wellness

Opposite each other on the color wheel - these colors feel good together - balanced

Welcome to the University of Life. I’m glad you’re attending this class! Over the next nine blog posts (including today’s) we’ll have an in-depth discussion on The Color of Wellness—how color positively and negatively effects us.

The first two posts are designed for the purpose of laying groundwork that will lead us to a detailed look at the therapeutic properties of seven different colors. So without further ado, let’s get started:

Color is simply energy, energy made visible. Different colors stimulate or inhibit the functioning of different parts of our body. Treatment with the appropriate color can restore balance and normal functioning. Each of the seven major chakras (energy stations in our body) is associated with—and influenced by—a specific color. Every color has a different wavelength and individual properties, both positive and negative.

As human beings, color is the only energy we can actually see. While the speed of light is a constant 186,282 miles per second, the speed of color—its frequency—travels at varying speeds depending on the color and shade. As it meets the rods and cones in our eyes, the frequency sends a signal to our brain that allows us to distinguish one color from another.

Color has always had significance. In prehistoric times human lives were completely governed by day and night, light and dark.
   – Day brings bright, warm colors with action, activity, and an increase in metabolic rate.
   – Night brings cool, dark hues with rest, inaction, and slowness.

The cells of our bodies react to light—or lack thereof—directly affecting us physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Color produces a biochemical reaction within our bodies directly stimulating important glands, like the pituitary gland, which produce hormones regulating sleep, libido, metabolism, moods, emotions, and behavior.

In the late 1950s this awareness went a step further when color researchers noted that in human beings, both psychological and physical activity appears to increase as the wavelength of the light increases. In other words, reds, oranges, and yellows are just naturally more stimulating to us than greens, blues, and purples.

These researchers felt the color blue could be used as a supplementary therapy. For example, blue could serve as a tranquilizer and relaxant to anxious individuals and serve as a way of reducing blood pressure in the treatment of hypertension. Later research clearly supports that hypothesis.

In an experiment where prisoners were randomly assigned to either red, yellow, blue, or green wings, those in the blue and green wings were less inclined to violence than those in red and yellow wings.

Pink has also been found to have a tranquilizing and calming effect within minutes of exposure. The color pink seems to suppress hostile, aggressive, and anxious behavior. Further tests demonstrate that blood pressure, pulse, and respiration rates tend to increase most under yellow light, moderately under orange, and less under red. These indicators decrease most under black, moderately under blue, and minimally under green.

We’ll finish laying the groundwork day after tomorrow. But in the meantime, please share with us:

What is your favorite color?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

Emerald Eyes, Isles, and Stones

Raw Emerald

One of my friends, Donna Jill Witty, recently returned from North Carolina where part of her time was spent gem mining near Ashville. Much to my surprise and delight, she gifted me with three raw pieces: emerald, sapphire, and citrine. Since green is my favorite color, emerald is the gemstone that I chose to highlight in this post.

But first, please follow this LINK so that I can introduce you to Donna Jill Witty and her amazing artwork. I’m tickled to share that she was featured in the current (summer 2010) edition of the American Artist Watercolor magazine. The article, Mixing Careful Planning with Spontaneity, starts on page 42.

Emerald
The frequency of Emerald is said to enhance harmony, joy, cleansing, abundance, clairvoyance, memory, and faith. It provides inspiration and helps those in need of balance, healing, and infinite patience. It also benefits intuition, intellect, communication, decision-making, and promotes truthfulness and honesty. It motivates the possessor to give love and wisdom to others. Emerald is used to enhance intuitive awareness and to bring forth manifestation. It’s a stone of protection and is associated with the heart chakra.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

Death is Not the End

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Over the past few weeks, we’ve learned that:

Health is a state
Wellness is an action
Wellbeing is an ongoing pursuit

They all attend the same church but sit in different pews, so to speak. They work hand-in-hand to bring about balance—body, mind, and spirit.

Wellness can’t be achieved from health. Neither can health benefit if there’s no wellness. However, we can experience wellness even if our health is questionable. Wellness is an inner state of being that supports health.

Health is the property of the body.
Wellness is a gift of the spirit.

Every single one of us—without exception—has an expiration date; the date that we’ll draw our last breath in our current body. Most of us don’t know when that will occur. It can happen in any number of ways: heart attack, car accident, natural disaster, illness, war, plane crash, or natural causes from the aging process.

I’ve shared with you before that my mother was a physically small woman, yet she was the biggest person I’ve ever known. She taught me by example that how we live impacts how we die. She lived a life of courage, beauty, and integrity; she died in the same manner.

As human beings we are energy. Each of us has a personal energy signature. One of the fundamental laws of physics states, “Energy can be transferred from one form to another, but neither created nor destroyed.”

As such, birth is not a beginning; it’s a continuation. That lends tremendous comfort because we then understand that equally true, death is not an end; it’s merely a continuation. In either case, it’s a change from one form to another.

Rabindranath Tagore was Asia’s first Nobel laureate by winning the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. One of the writings that he’s best known for is, “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come.”

Recently in her blog post – Poem and Book about Death and Grieving – my friend, Sheila Glazov, shared about a wonderful book that explains death—especially to children. I purchased it and fully agree. It’s titled, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages by Leo Buscaglia. It’s a beautiful, strikingly simple story that illustrates life and death through a leaf and the changing seasons.

When recognized as a continuation, death is no longer a threat or a tragedy; it’s not a defeat or necessary evil that we have to brace our self against. Rather, it’s the way we embark on the next part of our journey. A journey we can undertake without fear.

 

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Have Sex for Better Health

Floral Anatomy – Pistil and Stamen by Laurie Buchanan

On May 22nd we began the Energy Medicine 101 series in the University of Life. During this “course” we’ve taken a detailed look at several energy-based modalities. We started by laying the groundwork with The Language of Energy Medicine. Then we discussed the Difference between Curing and Healing, followed by a look at the Master Key to Healing, and defining the difference between Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative Medicine. Finally, we launched into eleven different energy-based modalities:

Affirmations
B.E.S.T. – Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique
BodyTalk
Breathwork
Cranial Therapy
Crystal Therapy
EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques
Elixirs and Essences
Reflexology
Reiki
Vibrational Therapy

And while sex doesn’t technically fall into the category of an energy-based modality, it does generate a lot of energy, and it’s extremely healthy. With that in mind, here is the twelfth and final “energy-based modality” – Sex. Following, is a reprint of an article I wrote for the February 2010 edition of Mindful Metropolis magazine, Have Sex for Better Health – enjoy!

Many of us in today’s world dance a wicked two-step with a very ungracious partner named stress. Stress flings us through our days and muddles up our mind with lists of things to do, worries about the bills, potential layoffs, and the list goes on.

Countless people in relationships are stressed to the point that their times of intimacy occur much less frequently. Stress is a killer. However, it can destroy more than the body. That’s why it’s a priority to reduce stress.  One of the many health benefits of sex is lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction.

Our desire for pleasure and gratification is governed by an energy center in the body known as the sacral chakra. This desire often translates to food and intimacy—specifically sex. When you’re feeling romantic, it’s a sure bet that the last thing on your mind is boosting your immune system. But having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, which protects you from getting colds and other infections.

Sensuality and sexuality are both part of pleasure and gratification. Many people use the terms synonymously. And while there are areas of overlap, sexuality is not the only arena for sensual expression. Sensuality is something much broader; it’s how in tune we are with our senses. Sensual perception includes the appreciation of beauty and refinement; of simplicity and the remarkable gifts of nature; the passion in creative inspiration, and the deep connection to self and others.

Sensual perception also plays a role in who we find attractive. It may not be their drop-dead smile or dreamy eyes that draw us like a magnet to another person.  In his article, The Smell of Love, which appeared in Psychology Today, F. Bryant Furlow states that it is, in fact, human pheromones at work. Pheromones are naturally occurring chemical substances that trigger specific mating responses. And while pheromones have no smell or odor, they are sensed by an organ in the nasal passage—the vomeronasal organ—that sends a message to the hypothalamus and other emotional centers of the brain. These odorless compounds have a profound effect on attraction and the desire for sex.

Mood is demonstrably affected by what our senses experience. That’s why many couples combine the sensual with the sexual experience to enhance their lovemaking. This may include candlelight, a scented bath, the silky feel of satin sheets, and romantic music. Sensuality is a key ingredient for richer sexual expression, pleasure, and gratification.

Sex can enrich cardiovascular health. Whenever we feel sexually aroused, our heart and breathing rates increase. Our body does this to channel more blood to the genitals in preparation for the act of sex. But that’s not the end of it. Our brain sends a message to the adrenal glands telling them to increase the level of adrenaline in the bloodstream. As things progress toward climax, a rush of hormones is released. These include adrenaline, noradrenaline, prolactin, DHEA, and testosterone; most all of which have cardio-protective effects. Research shows that having sex twice or more per week reduces the risk of fatal heart attack in men by half, compared to men who have sex less than once a month.

A side benefit to all this “awakening” of the physical body is that it builds the strength of the heart and circulatory system. Once orgasm is achieved, both men and women release a hormone called oxytocin, appropriately hailed as “The Love Hormone.” That surge of oxytocin has many “anticlimactic” actions, just one of which is lowering blood pressure. Studies found that men in their 20s who have five or more orgasms a week reduce the risk of getting prostate cancer later in life by a third.

Oxytocin encourages the urge to nurture and bond. This may explain why many women feel the desire to cuddle after sex. The more contact there is, the higher the oxytocin levels. This is linked with the feelings of generosity, trust and interestingly, with pain relief. This is because stimulation and orgasm lead to the release of oxytocin, corticosteroids and endorphins that increase our pain thresholds, providing short-term relief with conditions such as migraines, back pain and arthritis.

Sex can improve our mood. The same endorphins that ease pain can make us feel euphoric after having sex. Along with this benefit, the release of oxytocin helps relieve tension. Oxytocin is known to be present when we are in stressful situations. People with higher levels of oxytocin are generally calmer and more relaxed than others. A study done at UCLA shows that estrogen in women enhances the calming effects of oxytocin, while testosterone may counteract it.

Sex provides many of the same benefits of exercise. Just as our body responds to a workout at the gym, sex causes our muscles to contract, our heart rate to increase, and our body to release calories and fat from storage. For many people, sexual expression is a vital piece to their core being; a celebration that oftentimes mirrors the health of their relationship.  It can reflect all of the best things you and your partner share; what you enjoy and appreciate most about each other.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Healing Benefits of Vibrational Therapy

Tuning Forks by Laurie Buchanan

Tuning Forks by Laurie Buchanan

The human body is sustained by life force energy. Vibrational Therapy is based on the subtle energy principles and interventions involving the dimensions of the body, mind, and spirit. The laws governing quantum physics demonstrate that everything in the universe is made up of vibrational fields — the human body is no exception.

Located on the mid-line of the body there are seven major transition points for the distribution of life force energy. These are known as chakras (energy stations).

Energy travels from these stations on distribution paths that are similar to a highway system. They are known as meridians (energy pathways). The energy that travels through the meridians feeds all of the organs, glands, body systems, and sub-systems — ultimately every muscle, nerve, tissue, and cell.

Surrounding the outside of the body there are several electrical energy fields which are collectively referred to as the electromagnetic field; Human Energy Field (HEF); or aura (energy shell).

The chakras, meridians, and aura are intrinsically linked — forming an intricate network that distributes life force energy. It is this complex system of energy transfer and distribution that is the focus of all energy-based therapies.

The Importance of Sound in Healing
Sound is audible vibration. Sound is in constant motion. It is made up of three important interconnecting elements, namely: pulse, wave, and form. These cannot exist one without the other — forming a trinity of three elements in action in order to create one powerful force.

Sound and vibration from any source can have beneficial or detrimental effects to our well-being as a whole. When the human body comes into contact with sound and vibration, depending on the source, either a positive or negative resonance occurs and the body’s delicate cell structure can become affected.

Resonance is the process whereby the primary vibration can initiate the secondary vibration which becomes sympathetic to it so that they both start resonating at the same frequency. A classic example of this is the sound that can be created by the trained voice of an opera singer which can shatter a glass if the note is held long enough. It resonates and vibrates to the point of destruction because the material is not flexible enough to withstand the vibrations it produces in sympathy.

Frequency - Drawn by Len Buchanan

Frequency – Drawn by Len Buchanan

In the case of Vibrational Therapy a beneficial process of resonance occurs. This means that if the frequency measured in vibrations per second (vps) is applied by focusing the sound generated by tuning forks on various parts of the body, it can help to establish a new pattern of balance, erasing the detrimental patterns caused by the negative resonance pattern of ill health.

Sound has many other effects on both conscious and unconscious levels often evoking emotional responses. It has a counterbalancing action upon the physical and emotional states of the body and mind. The power of sound can energize the body when tired, or relax the body by soothing the nervous system when we are angry. It also has the amazing ability to lift our spirits in times of depression and grief.

The body vibrates and requires many frequencies to maintain its correct anatomical position and in so doing, creates vital health. The moment your body is out of frequency, energy imbalance ensues and ill health follows. The harmonics of sound carry the frequency to allow the body to self-correct. Vibrational therapy has long been used by NASA to increase bone density in astronauts who develop osteoporosis in gravity-free outer space.

Why Tuning Forks?
Tuning Fork Sound Therapy is a form of Vibrational Medicine:

“Tuning forks are precise instruments that have the ability to change our inner tuning by creating a resonance throughout our mind, emotions, and body. They do this by creating a vortex of sound that leads us into stillpoint, which is a moment where everything seems to stop and we can retune ourselves. Our nervous system, like the string of a musical instrument, vibrates to the sound of tuning forks.” —A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SOUND HEALING WITH TUNING FORKS by John Beaulieu, ND, PhD

At HolEssence, I use a full middle octave of eight tuning forks (C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C) based on the Pythagorean Scale, also known as the Just Scale. The octave of tuning forks in this set is middle C through the next higher C. They are the traditional chakra frequencies from the Hindu tradition with C being the root chakra, D the sacral chakra, etc. The tuning forks emanate pure sounds and overtones to help you relax and center yourself. The vibrations fill you inside and out — providing a soothing and deep healing sound bath.

Researchers have discovered that cells resonate at particular harmonic frequencies. When these cells are healthy, they vibrate at “optimum balance,” like tuning forks. Obviously, disease is dissonant or disharmonic, having a negative effect on cells.

Have you ever tried to walk a straight line after spinning in place for a while? As we all know, it takes a few moments to regain equilibrium. Being continually immersed in the spin of everyday life without re-attuning to a harmonic rhythm of peace, quiet, and rest creates an imbalanced disequilibrium. Recovering and reversing the disequilibrium means stopping or spinning in the opposite direction until balance is regained.

How Does It Work?
Depending on the need, the appropriate tuning fork is struck and then held by the base at skin-point on a specific charka, meridian, and/or acupuncture point. Additionally, a specific tone, or combination of tones, may be generated and used in a slow sweeping manner in the space around the person — the aura.

They are meticulously crafted so that each fork produces a pure sound, with a regular wave that has a fixed number of vibrations per second. The sound from a tuning fork is pure and has a smooth, regular sound-wave pattern. My tuning forks are made in Switzerland from a special aluminum alloy that is specifically designed for health and healing.  They have long ringing decay times so that the pure, vibrant note is sustained as long as possible, from its initial phase of loudness to the very delicate phase, as the note subsides into an all-pervading silence at the end.

Bottom Line on Top
Tuning Fork Sound Therapy is a powerful, non-invasive healing modality that uses sound vibration to re-harmonize and attune the human energy field. It has been used successfully to treat a wide variety of conditions by unblocking or releasing energy disturbances inside and outside the body.

The vibration of sound has many effects on both the conscious and the unconscious levels invoking emotional responses. The power of sound can energize, uplift, and relax. Body Tuning is an effective way to align your inner rhythms and achieve optimal health and well-being.

 

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Reiki for Health, Healing, and Life

Laurie's Reiki Hands by Len Buchanan

Laurie's Reiki Hands by Len Buchanan

What is it?
Reiki is an ancient healing art thought to have originated in Tibet thousands of years ago. The Japanese word, Reiki (pronounced ray-kee) consists of two syllables:

Rei —  “Universal”
Ki — “Life Force Energy”

The word Reiki refers to the energy itself, or the actual practice of healing with the energy. Simply put, Reiki is the method of channeling healing energy through the practitioner into the recipient. It is important to understand that the energy does not come from the practitioner; rather through the practitioner for the good of the recipient — energies needed to heal oneself, loosen internal energy blockages, reestablish mental and emotional equilibrium, and revitalize the body and soul.

Reiki is versatile in that it can be used as a stand-alone treatment, or combined with any other type of intervention to treat almost any disease, the most common being stress-related disorders. Research shows that 90% of all illness stems from stress in one way or another. Reiki helps to relieve the body of stress and triggers the body’s innate ability to balance and heal itself naturally. Reiki can be used for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing. It is a ‘hands-on’ method of energy work, although Reiki energy can be sent as ‘distance healing’ also. 

How Can It Help Me?
For healthy individuals, Reiki is a simple, effective way to relax, relieve stress, and restore energy.  For those with acute or chronic health problems, Reiki is a valuable complementary therapy. Reiki blends well with interventions such as medications, surgery, acupuncture, chemotherapy, and psychotherapy. By enhancing a person’s sense of well-being and helping their system to regain balance, Reiki can strengthen the benefits received from other health interventions. 

How Does Reiki Work?
Without conscious intervention by the healer, intelligent healing energies flow through the healer to the recipient in exactly the right amounts to precisely the right places in the recipient. The healer’s job is to “get out of the way” — to keep the healing space open, and to watch and listen for signs of what to do next. The Reiki energies are multi-dimensional and can heal the root of a problem on whatever level it may exist — body, mind, or spirit. Because it is a channeled healing, the Reiki practitioner’s energies are never depleted.

The energy flows out the palms of the practitioner’s hands, and the recipient’s energy does not flow back into the practitioner. The Reiki practitioner can stay in one place projecting the energy on or towards the person who is receiving it, but typically moves around the body. While the Reiki energy fills and surrounds the recipient’s body with its gentle vibrations, if there are parts that require more balancing of energy (called energy blocks), the Reiki energy naturally focuses more in those places.

Garden Hose - A Reiki Analogy by Laurie Buchanan

Garden Hose - A Reiki Analogy by Laurie Buchanan

An Analogy
Consider whenever a person goes outside to water the garden. They turn on the water tap, pick up the hose and focus the nozzle of the hose toward the garden. The person is not usually concerned with the water running out, or with the possibility of anything foreign coming in through the sides of the hose. The person does not worry about anything coming back up through the nozzle because the water pressure is too strong. While this person could just let the water run and it would work its way to all parts of the garden, they enjoy directing the water to their favorite plants, then possibly the balance of the garden. However, if there is a part that is in greater need than the rest of the garden, the water will accumulate more there and balance the entire garden’s water content.  And it is usually obvious where these spots are, as more water gets absorbed there than elsewhere.

The water can be thought of as the Reiki energy. It comes from a source outside of the Reiki practitioner, and seems to have no limit to its availability. The hose is like the purified Reiki channel that is opened within the Reiki practitioner. It is pure and strong and nothing can penetrate it. The energy flows out the palms of the practitioner’s hands, (the nozzle, as well as other chakras in the body), and the recipient’s energy does not flow back into the practitioner. The Reiki practitioner can stay in one place projecting the energy on or towards the person who is receiving it, but typically moves around the body, starting with the recipient’s head (just like watering the favorite flowers first). While the Reiki energy fills and surrounds the recipient’s body with its gentle vibrations, if there are parts that require more balancing of energy (called energy blocks), the Reiki energy will focus more in those places. The end result is a balancing of the energy in the recipient — body, mind, and spirit.

Reiki Session by Len Buchanan

Reiki Session by Len Buchanan

What to Expect
Every practitioner is slightly different in their approach. During a Reiki session at HolEssence the client lays fully clothed on a Reiki table that is lightly heated in the fall and winter months. The head and neck are comfortably supported by a pillow, and the legs are elevated a bit to insure that there is no pressure on the lower back. The client then enjoys a somewhat cocoon-like effect that is created by:

– A lightweight blanket
– Comfortable stereo headphones softly playing Reiki-specific music
– An eye pillow

This ‘cocoon’ serves to diminish, if not eliminate, any outside distractions — providing the client with the opportunity to simply ‘float away’ during the session. The treatment room is filled with our gentle Signature Scent—a proprietary blend of essential oils specifically designed for profound relaxation. 

During the session my hands are placed in specific positions slightly above, or very lightly on, the recipient. Breathing becomes slower and more comfortable as the recipient moves toward a deeper state of relaxation. The client may encounter a variety of responses. Some people feel a sensation of warmth from my hands. Others feel a soft wave of subtle pulsations flowing throughout their bodies, or a sensation of tingling or humming energy; while others feel somewhat like they are floating. Some people simply fall asleep.

After a Reiki treatment people generally experience contentment, greater mental clarity, feelings of deep relaxation and greater vitality, encouraging a return to wholeness and well-being. What every person agrees with is that Reiki is very comforting and relaxing. 

A few other things about Reiki…
There are few limitations to Reiki, but there are some things that Reiki will not do. Reiki, by design, can not do harm to anyone or anything. Reiki can not change the course of an illness when death is imminent. It can, however, smooth the transition for the dying person and even their family. Reiki cannot violate free will. A person is free to refuse the benefits of a Reiki session if they choose, consciously or subconsciously.

Reiki is not faith healing. The belief in Reiki by the recipient is not important for it to work. Belief in Reiki, or lack thereof, does not validate or invalidate its effectiveness. Reiki is not a religious belief, principle, or dogma as it encompasses all systems of thought, but the results can be spiritually uplifting. A single person or organization does not own Reiki, and there is not one particular ‘right’ way to practice Reiki.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved. 

The Ancient Healing Art of Reflexology

Reflexology by Len Buchanan

Reflexology by Len Buchanan

Foot reflexology is the most common style practiced by Reflexologists around the globe. Hand reflexology makes a close second, with ear reflexology and face reflexology trailing behind as specialty modalities in the field.

The feet are extremely complex in that each foot has over 7,000 nerves, 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles. Add to that a system of tendons that hold the structure together and you have an extremely intricate network. Considering the entire body has 206 bones, both feet have almost one quarter of the bones in the human body. 

How Does It Work?
Reflexology is not a foot massage. Massage and Reflexology have one thing in common—touch. Beyond that, the difference is immense. The training, techniques, and methods of application are unique to their respective professions.

Specialties
In addition to general health and well-being, there are other specialties. These include: Preconception Reflexology for both males and females with fertility concerns, and Prenatal or Maternity Reflexology where mother and baby can enjoy a relaxing reflexology session in preparation of labor and childbirth.

Reflexology is a natural, non-invasive treatment that relaxes, restores, revitalizes, and brings about a state of healing. The nerves in each foot contain a representation or “map” of the entire body. When direct thumb or finger pressure is applied to these neurological-reflex points, the corresponding area in the body is stimulated, cleared of congestion, and the natural healing process is enhanced.

The Science of Reflexology
The science of Reflexology teaches that a vital energy, or life force, circulates between the organs of the body, permeating every living cell and tissue. If this energy becomes blocked, the part of the body relating to the blockage is affected. Energy blocks in the human body are reflected in the feet. By using specific pressure techniques, they can be detected through the experience of discomfort, or through the presence of “gritty areas,” often referred to as crystal deposits. These occur in the part of the foot that maps to the part of the body that’s imbalanced.

The pressure and techniques are designed to dissipate energy blocks, and break down crystalline structures. Through stimulation of the circulatory and lymphatic systems, and by encouraging the release of toxins, Reflexology enhances the body’s ability to heal itself. Apart from treating disease, Reflexology is an extremely effective therapy in cases of stress, tension, and tiredness, and it can be used as a preventive measure against ill health.

Is Reflexology a Cure-All?
Reflexology doesn’t claim to be a “cure-all,” but numerous disorders have been successfully treated with this energy-based modality. These disorders include: plantar fasciitis, menstrual cramps, postpartum depression, diabetes, restless leg syndrome, sports injuries, migraine, sleep disorders, sinus problems, hormonal imbalances, breathing disorders, digestive problems, circulatory problems, back problems, tension, stress, the list goes on.

Most people who’ve experienced Reflexology agree that the treatment is beneficial and is also extremely relaxing. And because Reflexology treats the whole person, not just the symptoms of disease, most people benefit from treatment, including people with acute and chronic conditions, and people of all ages – infant through adult.

What are the Benefits of Reflexology?
The body has the ability to heal itself. Following illness, stress, injury, or disease, the body is in a state of “imbalance,” and vital energy pathways are blocked, preventing the body from functioning effectively. Reflexology can be used to restore and maintain the body’s natural equilibrium and to encourage healing.

A Reflexologist uses thumbs, fingers, and hands to apply gentle pressure to the feet. For each person the application and the effect of this energy-based therapy is unique. Sensitive, trained hands can detect tiny deposits and imbalances in the feet. By working on these points, the Reflexologist can release blockages and restore the free flow of energy to the whole body. Tensions are eased, and circulation and elimination is improved. This gentle therapy encourages the body to heal itself at its own pace, often counteracting a lifetime of misuse.

Bottom Line on Top
In general, Reflexology increases the circulation of fluid within the body and promotes relaxation. As a result, Reflexology:
Dilates the blood vessels, improving circulation and relieving congestion throughout the body.
Boosts the lymphatic system.
Acts as a mechanical cleanser, stimulating circulation and hastening excretion and waste products.
Increases nutrition of the tissues by improving general circulation. This, in turn, increases the interchange of substance between the blood and tissue cells heightening tissue metabolism.
Relieves tension and reduces stress.
Balances the nervous system.
Improves the circulation and nutrition of joints and hastens the elimination of harmful deposits.
It helps reduces inflammation and swelling in joints and so alleviates pain.
Enhances detoxification.
Assists in healing all body systems.
Makes you feel good!

Some of the benefits of Reflexology such as relaxation, are felt immediately. Others may take a few treatments — this depends on the length of time the body has been out of balance.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

Elixirs and Essences – Cheers!

Elixirs by Laurie Buchanan

Elixirs by Laurie Buchanan

Gem Elixir is the name given to a fluid that has been infused with the energies of a crystal, either through the power of sunlight or moonlight. Simply put, elixirs and essences are water in which a crystal has been placed during the infusion process. Water has the ability to hold energy patterns intact for long periods of time, therefore making this an ideal medium for capturing the therapeutic and metaphysical properties of a stone.

Sunlight is traditionally used for elixirs that are designed for aiding the physical body, while moonlight is traditionally used for elixirs that are directed toward emotional, mental, or spiritual needs.

Elixirs can be used for healing, or whenever you need to take in the energies of a particular crystal. They’re easy to make and are very effective for a variety of purposes — especially for long-term healing. But first, let’s talk about the difference between an elixir and an essence:

Elixir
An elixir is meant for ingestion — you take it orally. Not all crystals can be used as ingredients in elixir making.

Please see the warning section at the bottom of this page.

Essence
An essence is meant for topical use — applied to the skin. Here are some examples of essences you can apply to an afflicted area of the body that you wish to treat. You can also use an essence in a bath:

Amethyst – acne
Blue Lace Agate – puffy eyes
Moss Agate – athletes foot
Rhodonite – minor cuts and abrasions
Rose Quartz – burns

Instructions
To make an elixir or an essence, first you need to determine the crystal that matches your need. An excellent reference book to help you accomplish this task is ‘Gemstone Healing Guide, A Healing Apothecary’ by Kristi Huggins. I know Kristi personally, she’s a gem (pun intended). Follow this LINK to learn more about her book. It’s laid out in alphabetical order — by ailment — with a list of crystals that have the therapeutic and metaphysical properties for that specific issue.

The size of the crystal doesn’t matter. A small piece of your chosen stone will be sufficient. Start by thoroughly cleansing the crystal. Then gather the other two items you’ll need for preparing the elixir or essence: (1) Clear glass jar with lid, and (2) Good drinking water (i.e., bottled, mineral, reverse osmosis, or distilled). If you’ve got good tap water, then use that.

Sunlight or Moonlight
Next you need to decide whether you are going to use sunlight or moonlight for infusing your elixir or essence. As mentioned before, a general rule for an elixir or essence that will be used for physical purposes or bodily healing should be created with sunlight. An elixir that will be used for emotional, mental, or spiritual purposes should be created with moonlight.

Choose a day or night when the sky is cloud-free, as the infusion process is best accomplished with direct sun/moon light for at least three hours. Some people keep crystals in water for 24 hours. I keep my elixir jars in a wide window sill all the time. That way they get sunlight during the day and moonlight during the evening. Some people take 7-14 days to make an elixir. Regardless, spend time each day to mentally reinforce your intention.

If there is cloud covering, you won’t be able to create a strong enough infusion in only three hours. In other words, the energy pattern of the stone won’t have enough time to imprint the water and it will need to be left out all day/night.

If you’re interested in learning more about water and intention, I highly recommend reading “The Hidden Messages in Water” by Masaru Emoto.

Dosage and Administration
Dosages and methods of administration vary depending on the source you refer to. Some practitioners recommend only 2 drops of elixir mixed in a glass of water daily, while others suggest drinking it undiluted directly from the jar it was made in. I suggest you use your own intuition to decide on the dosage and frequency of administration.

I’m a “chug it from the jar” practitioner. The photograph is of my personal elixir jars. The big one in the back is a half-gallon Mason jar, the one on the right is a quart, and the one with a cork on the left is less than a quart. I drink each jar daily.

Exception
The only one I don’t chug down is the one in the front—that’s Baltic Sea amber. I take that one drop per day sublingually—directly under the tongue with a dropper. The rich blood supply to the mouth area and the thin skin under the tongue allows for rapid absorption of the elixir. The sitting time for that elixir was 30-days before use. That jar will last years. Why only one drop? That’s not water – it’s 190 proof grain alcohol.

Consistency
One thing to remember is that once you choose a dosage you need to stick with it. Crystal elixirs and essences are designed to gently affect the body and mind over a period of time — not instantaneously. You need to continue use for at least one month to achieve the best results. After that time you may decide to cut down the dosage and eventually stop. Treatment can be repeated if you feel the need arise.

Warning!
Please follow this LINK for a list of crystals that should never be used to make elixirs in the above-described manner. The basic rule of thumb is this: any stone containing metals should not be used. This includes most brightly colored blue and green stones — as these often take their coloring from metals, and metals can be toxic in humans. Water leaches the toxins from the stone, which would then be ingested. Also avoid any shiny, metal-like stones because most metals are toxic to humans.

Refer to the list (see link above) when making an elixir to insure that you do not select a stone that can cause you harm. If you have any doubt — do not use the crystal. In other world, when in doubt, leave it out. There are other crystals that possess the same therapeutic and metaphysical properties that are safe to use.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

“Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.