ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
So I don't know if I mentioned it here at all, but I've been getting Reiki treatments for the past six months or so. Reiki, at least as far as I understand it, which isn't very far, involves energy manipulation, and s sort of like a massage only with gentle touch and rubbing your energy rather than your muscles.

(No, rubbing energy is not intended as a euphemism, shush.)

There is a part of me that thinks, stubbornly, cynically, that it's Woo. Kind of like the book my maternal grandmother sent me, when I was first diagnosed with FOP, about using visualization to do everything from curing cancer to getting your dream job/home/whatever, as long as you visualize hard enough and so it every day. Or like the "pray to Jesus and He will cure everything" thing that Christians do, based on the "if you have enough faith you can move mountains" scripture. Both of which are extremely victim-blaming: if you don't get magically better, you just didn't try hard enough.

But. Reiki ... well, it's not a magic cure-all, but it also wasn't presented to me as one; there are local people who use it for cancer patients but less in a "this will magically disappear your tumor" and more in a "this will help you get through the effects of chemo/radiation" way; and I fully believe there are things that science doesn't really know about yet, and "science can't explain this" is not a *validation* of alternative techniques but it isn't a contradiction either -- but regardless.

Even if it is pure woo, which I don't think it is? The touch aspect is huge for me. Most of the touch I get is functional, like my aides wiping my butt after I poop, but it's not really the level of touch that I crave; a lot of the remainder is my mom touching me, which is as awkward and fraught with complications as it is helpful. I can't cuddle. I can't hold hands. I can't lean against someone. I am massively touch-deprived, massively isolated because of both the wheelchair and the position I'm fixed in, and *even if Reiki is entirely woo it is a way I get meaningful touch*, and that is hugely significant.

It's also really interesting ... I know that priopreception is a thing and that we are aware of our own bodies, but usually my perception of my body is very dissociated and very blobby, kind of this:



Face but no chin, side boobs, no arms, hands fixed in place, no legs, toes that stick out, but there is no real body outline and I am very merged with my chair and stuff. Obviously my self perception is different when I'm lying down in bed, but not much different.

Somehow, especially with the person I've done most of my sessions with, reiki gives me back a sense of my body. It's related to the touch thing, I'm sure, but -- a few months back she was doing stuff with my lower legs and feet, and I was connected with them as leg- and feet-shaped objects; even though my feet are blobs, IRL as well as in my self perception, for that while they felt like normal feet-shaped feet.

And mostly I don't want a sense of my body, because all my body brings me is pain and/or immobility, but it's nice just feeling like I get plugged back in. Like I'm actually a person and not a blob.

And that's a significant thing too.

Date: 2017-06-20 01:13 pm (UTC)
darthneko: purple cartoon bunny (Default)
From: [personal profile] darthneko
My mom and godmom are both registered nurses in the US - proper scientific medical professionals, in other words. But both of them are also open minded enough to look beyond the straight scientific bits; my godmom is also certified in reiki, and my mom has at least studied it though she never went through the whole thing to do it herself. I'd classify it as not entirely "woo" - I mean, I'm sure you can reduce it to "woo" if you go in skeptical and disbelieving and scoffing enough, but people can manage to write off pharmaceutical effects from actual drugs if they're stubborn enough too. =P Even if it was just woo, the placebo effect is REAL and works in controlled scientific test groups.

But in my experience it's not JUST woo, and there's some real effect to energy work whether you call it chi or reiki or chakras or whatever. Maybe not everything that's attributed to it, but I love that reiki isn't presented as a cure all by most people - it's there to relieve symptoms and speed natural healing, not work miracles. I've wanted to get certified in it myself for the longest time and haven't found the time, sadly. (the energy work I can do is self taught and while my ex swore to its pain relieving effect it's absolutely exhausting for me.)

But yeah - what you GET from the sessions is very real and that's significant for you. It sounds like it's a good thing!

Date: 2017-06-20 04:11 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
Good! I'm glad it works for you.

I don't know what to make of reiki generally speaking—though it does follow that if manipulating one's own energies and those of the earth are things that can be done (and these are things I have done) then manipulating someone else's energy is a thing that can be done; it's just it sounds so very woo and people seem to think it can be done at a distance and unconvinced. But I am very glad it works for you.

Date: 2017-06-20 06:21 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: those words in red on white sign (be aware of invisibility)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
I'm very glad to know there's someone and something providing you meaningful touch.

Date: 2017-06-22 09:38 pm (UTC)
ephemera: celtic knotwork style sitting fox (Default)
From: [personal profile] ephemera
Meaningful touch has so much value! Hurray for things that feel good.

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masquerading as a man with a reason

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