Like a first kiss, I will never forget my first experience with energy work. I had only been exposed to the massage and bodywork profession for one month before attending a polarity conference, in Colorado. I had done my homework, chosen the courses I wanted to attend, made myself familiar with the players and their work, and prepared myself for whatever I might be exposed to — or so I thought.
Energy pulsed through this conference, both in terms of the people it drew, the topics being discussed, and the environmental stage in which it was set. After experiencing everything from Biosonic Repatterning to experiential movement (where people both writhed and cried) to good, old-fashioned polarity, I indeed felt like I had tumbled down the rabbit hole. Once I’d swallowed that pill, I knew there was no going back.
What still amazes me today is that even with the skepticism ingrained in me during my years as a newspaper reporter, I felt immediately at home in this world of energy. Though I couldn’t begin to understand all that I was witness to that weekend, I took away from the experience a vibrational energy that has stayed with me even today.
It really was a gift I was given — to be able to open my mind to the possibilities of energy even as I was only just discovering what effluerage and tapotement were. I feel very fortunate that I was so quickly exposed to this aspect of bodywork. I believe it gave me a personal insight into the potential that exists in bodywork, and it certainly gave me a respect and appreciation for these therapies, even if I didn’t understand them.
I think of the energy experiences I’ve had, I’ve witnessed, or I’ve written about since that first exposure. I vividly remember the reiki session where I had so much release, that barely hours later I felt as if I’d been to the chiropractor. I still recall the distinct visual images that swam through my quiet mind as my craniosacral therapist held my head in her hands.
When a dear family friend was given just a year to live after the discovery of an inoperable tumor, her daughter learned reiki training as a means to help them both traverse the difficult road ahead. While it helped with the dying woman’s pain, it also created a peace between mother and daughter, as one lovingly nurtured the other through the stages of death.
It was hope that I felt when I wrote about a newly pregnant mother who, after learning her fiance had been tortured and murdered, was able to rely on and be rescued by a house full of energy workers who had come to her side.
And when I placed my hand on the tummies of my newborn babies and watched them calm with my simple touch, I knew it was an instinctual application of energy held in the palm of every parent’s hand.
In many ways, energy medicine is still very much a mystery to me. And then again, its intrigue, power, and potential create a warm, safe place to call home — a place where possibilities are endless, just like the rabbit hole itself.
By Karrie Osborn contributing editor to Massage & Bodywork magazine.
Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, August/September 2005.
Copyright 2005. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. All rights reserved.
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