Someone asked me the other day how I got into energy work and it took me a minute to remember how it all started. Like many things that feel so natural to us, energy work feels like it's always been a part of my life, but that isn't the case. I had heard about Reiki and energy work mostly as an alternative healing method or relaxation technique over the past two decades working as a social worker, therapist and birth doula. I understood it to be another means to support one's physical, mental or spiritual well-being, but it wasn't until I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer when I was 38 that I discovered the healing benefits for myself.
Once I understood that it was unlikely that I would die right away, my cancer diagnosis became my wake-up call. Getting cancer became an invitation to stop, take stock and reflect on whether I was living the life I wanted to live. Gratefully, I was for the most part, but there were also unexplored dark corners of my mind and spirit that I knew needed to be explored and cleaned out. My doctors told me in order to stay alive I needed aggressive medical interventions, and I knew my recovery required something more subtle, yet equally powerful in the form of energy healing or Reiki.
Reiki and other forms of energy work not only to increase the flow of energy in the subtle or energetic body, but releases stagnant energy that results from emotional or physical trauma or illness or from long held belief patterns. (You can imagine how this works by considering how you hold tension or stress in your own body. Perhaps your back, shoulders and upper back are tight and painful? Or your stomach is often in knots. Energy patterns are held in our energetic body like this as well. We can't "see" the effects of this tension, not directly anyway, but they are there.)
So as a part of my cancer treatment and recovery, I received energy treatments as well as acupuncture, massage, and talk therapy. As a result of these treatments, my body felt more relaxed and my mind more peaceful. I experienced a strong connection to my Higher Power (God, Universal Love, Source, whatever you want to call it) and own intuition as well. I gained insight and clarity that helped me change behaviors that kept me out of alignment with my higher purpose. I've been cautious to say it in the past partly because I know I am so very fortunate to be alive and it feels insensitive to other survivors and their loved ones, but for me, getting diagnosed with cancer was a gift. It introduced me to the transformational healing power of energy work and led me to share this healing work with others.