Reiki Lifestyle

Reiki lifestyle is one of balance and empowerment — empowering you to live a healthy, happy life.

People spend a lot of money trying to help themselves, but choose products that are poor quality. You might be one of those people.

In order to help you make smart, practical choices that strengthen your well-being everyday, I’m sharing some of the same suggestions I offer my private clients. Nearly everything listed here is something I use for myself and my family; the few I don’t use are simply ones I don’t need.

All these products are superior quality and well priced. This information is offered to enhance your self care, and in no way replaces your relationship with your physician. Full disclosure: I have an affiliate relationship with some of the businesses mentioned.

My basic strategy for health and happiness starts with Reiki, chocolate, and tea. These are part of my every day (ok, no chocolate when I’m fasting — although I dream of a chocolate fast), and each is covered in detail elsewhere. But there is more that I do as I feel the need.

Few of us are ready to toss our cell phones, yet the concern about microwave radiation is real. Using a hollow tube headset or adding a ferrite bead to the cord greatly reduces radiation to your brain. Or you might want to try the radiation redirecting covers from Pong Research for your iPhone and iPad. For more safety tips, read my short article 9 Tips for Smarter, Safer Cell Phone Use.

Ayurveda has been a longtime support to my family’s wellness, and Banyan Botanicals has been my preferred source for Ayurvedic herbal formulas for many years. The formulations my clients use most often are the intestinal toner Triphala, Mental Clarity, and Women’s Support, but I suggest you look around the site to see what is relevant to you. The formulations are gentle, comprehensive, and nutritive. Although many of these products bring a quick response (especially the three mentioned), the deeper benefits of botanicals may not be apparent for 4-6 months.

Cleaning your tongue each morning when you awaken, before brushing your teeth, removes bacteria and toxins, gently stimulates the digestion and inner organs, and can help you avoid bad breath. Banyan offers a tongue cleaner inexpensive enough to keep one in the bathroom and one in your travel kit.

“I don’t know what to eat” is a complaint I hear often. When your appetite is confused, it’s an indication that you are disconnected from your body’s wisdom, and there are a few simple interventions that can help you feel better quickly.

Triphala is a gentle botanical intestinal toner. Although it helps loosen irregular bowels, it is not a laxative. Triphala is prized in India and considered safe for all.

Organic India is another conscious business that carries Ayurvedic products, including various adaptogenic herbs that help strengthen the body’s resilience to stress. Ashwagandha and turmeric are two of the most widely used adaptogens. Organic India also offers a variety of tulsi tea blends. Tulsi is another adaptogen and the teas are delicious, caffeine-free, and available loose or in convenient bags.

A kitchari mono-fast actually stokes your digestion and encourages a gentle detox, quickly relieving that bloated feeling and restoring bowel function. Komal Herbals offers a kitchari packet that is the quickest route I’ve found to home cooking. The packet itself is all you need, but it’s even better with ghee and whatever vegetables you have on hand.

I only use ghee, olive oil or occasionally coconut oil for cooking. Ayurveda prizes ghee as a health-promoting fat, good for the liver and the nervous system. Be sure to buy organic, as pesticides congregate in the fat. You can find it at your neighborhood health food store, or order several large jars at a time from Purity Farms.

Probiotics provide another valuable digestive support, and Theralac is the one I recommend and use. Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that inhabit a healthy digestive tract. A vibrant bacterial community is necessary for health, both to optimize absorption of nutrients and to discourage the growth of harmful bacteria that wreck havoc with our health. Since healthy bacteria are destroyed by antibiotics and stress, it only makes sense to send in reinforcements.

The challenge, however, is to get the probiotics past the stomach, where they are destroyed by the acid needed for digestion. Theralac is enteric-coated so that bacteria is protected until it reaches the intestine, and is the only probiotic I’ve ever taken and noticed a difference. The suggestion is to take one capsule daily for 2-4 weeks, depending on your need, and then just twice a week for maintenance. If I’m traveling or feeling low, I take it daily until I feel better. The website and e-newsletter are very informative, and everyone in the company is there to serve.

Columbia psychiatrist Richard Brown wrote about the value of a Siberian adaptogen in his book The Rhodiola Revolution, and Rosavin is the product he recommends. Rhodiola rosea helps the body balance stress, and is particularly known to support healthy adrenal function.

Phytodent was formulated by master herbalist David Winston. It contains six botanicals and two essential oils traditionally used to promote healthy gums. Diluted with water and used as a mouth wash, Phytodent can be a useful adjunct to your daily oral hygiene. I have known David as a colleague for many years and he is one of my most trusted sources for botanical products.

If you are concerned about bone health, take a look at Osteo Herb. Thistles Compound supports healthy liver function. All of David Winston’s products are made from certified organic or ethically wild-crafted plant materials.

Food for thought

Quality food is one of our most important health resources. I buy from local farmers whenever possible (we have greenmarkets in my neighborhood four days a week). But that doesn’t meet all my family’s needs.

I met the people at Vital Choice some years back at various integrative medical conferences and was consistently impressed by the quality of their offerings and what great folks they are. Owner Randy Hartnell was a fisherman for 20 years and knows more about salmon than anyone I’ve met (we don’t have too many salmon fishermen in Manhattan but we have a lot of experts!). Although I usually prefer fresh fish, even in NYC, that’s not always available, and even some reputable shops have sold not-so-wild salmon as wild, so I’ve learned to keep a few tins of salmon in the cupboard. I rarely eat frozen food, but this winter I stocked the freezer with some of their wild Alaskan frozen salmon and halibut, and with the frigid weather we’ve had, I am so happy I did.

Vital Choice also offers a line of organic foods and green tea.

Smells good, is good!

I use scent in various forms every day, several times a day. Never perfume or cosmetic scents, which are synthetic; I use only natural healing products. The one I choose depends on the situation. Hydrosols can be sprayed in a room, on bedsheets, in the refrigerator (try basil), or directly on your skin. My two most trusted sources for hydrosols are Floracopeia and Mountain Rose Herbals. All hydrosols are refreshing and uplifting, but different botanicals have different scents which carry specific benefits:

  • Rose lightens the heart and is particularly useful when you are feeling low.
  • Lavender is soothing.
  • Lemon balm relieves stress
  • Sandalwood supports meditation
  • Chamomile calms a fretful child (of any age)
  • Rosemary gets your attention and is enlivening
  • Helichrysum has unrivaled benefits for dry or mature skin (spray it on immediately after washing your face, and as often as you like during the day)
  • Rose geranium is useful for mature, complex skin and for balancing menopausal symptoms.

Although of course you want to avoid spraying directly into your eyes, hydrosols are quite safe and very light. Even sprayed with abandon, the scent will gently lift your state rather than overwhelm your senses.

And then there are times when light just doesn’t cut it and we need something with greater impact. This is when I reach for essential oils. They are an important part of my home remedy chest, and Floracopeia is my favorite source (I also love their jasmine hydrosol). Lavender is the top all purpose oil, the one I recommend if you are going to keep only one on hand. Lavender is calming, balancing, and antimicrobial, as useful in wound care as it is for anxiety, restlessness, distress, and insomnia. Add a few drops to baking soda and dissolve in warm water for a soothing bath that is great for your skin. Avoid making the water so hot that you break a sweat.

Do you need help focusing from time to time? When I lose focus, I reach for basil essential oil. Try placing a drop in one hand (in an unscented carrier oil if you prefer) and rub your palms together lightly. Cup your hands over your face, carefully avoiding the eyes. Sit and breathe for a couple of minutes.

You may have found Reiki practice while looking for gentler approaches to wellness than what is available at your neighborhood drugstore. Maybe you want to support your health — and that of your family — now rather than wait till there is a reason to see your doctor. Flower essences are a safe, gentle, and accessible approach. The most commonly used flower essence is Bach Rescue Remedy, and research supports its usefulness in reducing anxiety. There are no side effects, and you can use it as needed without worrying about dependence or withdrawal.

Rescue Remedy Cream is a gentle, light and deeply soothing cream that helps heal burns, diaper rash, and other irritations, even insect bites.

It can be challenging to balance and strengthen people who are naturally sensitive, because conventional inteventions often overwhelm a sensitive constitution. Flower essences offer effective, yet subtle support, functioning more like a balancing reminder than a forced entry intervention. Flower Essence Society (FES) has a line of essences that I particularly like. Self-Heal reminds your system of its innate ability to right itself. Think of Echinacea, St. Johnswort, and Yarrow to help balance and strengthen delicate constitutions. Look at Yarrow Environmental Solution to help when there is stress from your environment. If you need help with endurance, if you have trouble with sustained, focussed effort and tend to feel sorry for yourself, Penstemon may help. Additionally, think of Madia to support your capacity for disciplined thinking, which is often compromised when we’re overwhelmed, yet which is so necessary to create lasting change. And Activ-8 is useful to gather your energy when you are starting a new project.

The Wellness Inventory helps you assess and strengthen your overall wellness by recognizing those parts of life where you consistently support your well-being, identifying those areas where you are not satisfied, and creating an on-going program to raise your satisfaction.

Psychiatrist and intuitive Judith Orloff has created a number of valuable supports for you in your journey to regain or maintain your wellness. Her book, Emotional Freedom, offers a variety of ways to explore and heal emotions, illustrated by sharings from her patients and personal life, and supported by medical information.

Anyone who is addressing cancer or who works with cancer patients will find much of interest in this book, including a section the authors asked me to write on Reiki for cancer prevention. Alternative Medicine Magazine’s Definitive Guide to Cancer: An Integrative Approach to Prevention, Treatment, and Healing.

Andrew Weil, MD, is a trusted resource for information on integrative medicine and health practices.

People often use Reiki to support healthy weight management, and rightly so, because it is well documented that stress affects metabolism. It is also well documented that chocolate improves mood and energy, and reverses insulin resistance (a precursor to Type 2 diabetes, and the reason many people have trouble losing weight). But commercial chocolates, even the dark ones, have had much of the naturally occurring benefits processed out, and raw chocolate from the health food store just doesn’t cut it, for me anyway. That’s why I was thrilled to discover Xocai chocolates, and I’ve been pinching myself ever since (and finding there is less to pinch). Xocai chocolates are a pure, natural food that tastes delicious and delivers important nutrients that help you lose weight and curb your appetite. I’m seeing that once they start eating Xocai, people typically start eliminating junky sweets and reducing caffeine from their diets. They also start sleeping better, and research has shown that poor sleep leads to weight gain.

If weight management is a challenge, you may also find these CDs useful The Self-hypnosis Diet: Use the Power of Your Mind to Make Any Diet Work for You by Steven Gurgevich, PhD. Try placing your Reiki hands on your body while you listen.