Updated: Feb 4, 2022
What is the difference?
Many of you have asked "What is energy therapy? What is the difference from a massage?" Massage and Energy Therapy are both Holistic Therapies; meaning they can work on the mind, body, spirit, & emotions. However, many massage therapists are not trained in energy therapy, therefore they do not recognize the energetic component of their work. Many patients (and massage therapists) think of massage as only dealing with the physical body to include tissues, muscles. However, massage is indeed energy work. If we analyze what actually happens during a massage, there is a manipulation of the tissues as well as the patient's energy. A transfer of energy can also occur when one individual touches another.
Massage certainly is focused more on manipulation of the patient's tissues & the physical body; however, the energy there could be a transfer of energy during that massage. The massage therapist could transfer energy to the patient and vice versa. When this is understood, the massage therapist is able to set the intention for relaxation to the body but also the mind, & spirit.
Energy Therapy is conscious work in which the therapist or practitioner is aware of the phenomenon of energy transfer. The intention is set for positive energy to flow into the patient. You may have heard of Reiki, Healing Touch, or Chakra Balancing, which are just a few forms of energy therapy. Reiki is one of the more popular forms of energy therapy.
Reiki has been used for centuries and shown to help with ailments of the whole body (mentally and physically) by improving the body’s flow of energy. We are all composed of energy and have energy around us. Sometimes this energy can become blocked which can lead to malfunctioning in the body. A Reiki Practitioner works to relieve these blockages to promote relaxation and natural healing. Many patients report a feeling of deep relaxation and/or a glowing feeling during and after a session.
How Long Will a Session Last & What Should I Expect?
Energy therapy sessions such as Reiki usually last 45-60 minutes. Animals and children require much shorter sessions. Reiki is often performed on a massage table, but can also be performed in a chair. You will be fully clothed throughout the session. You should wear comfortable clothing that will allow you to relax.
Reiki Practitioners with clinical backgrounds, such as nurses, will usually start the session by reviewing your health history briefly, (allergies to scents, etc) and also your intention for the session. The Practitioner will also answer any questions you may have about the session.
If you have scheduled your first Reiki session, it is always appropriate to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your session to complete intake forms and address any concerns with your Practitioner. You should make the Practitioner aware if you are comfortable with light touch or prefer off body touch only.
Many Reiki Practitioners will reference the Chakra System. Chakras are energy centers within your body. There are 7 major chakras that have different colors. Each chakra helps regulate different functions within the body to include the immune system and your emotions. Maintaining balance within the chakras keeps you grounded: psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. ( Chakras will be discussed in more detail on a separate post).
Some Practitioners use Meditation Techniques and/or Imagery during a Reiki session. It is best to have time to review your Reiki Practitioner's information (website, brochures), and possibly have a conversation prior to the session. The outcome of a Reiki session is best achieved if the client arrives with an open mind & an understanding of the concept of energy healing. You can educate yourself prior to your session by reading information on the internet, books, etc.
A Reiki Practitioner and a Massage Therapist can assist you with achieving your wellness goals. These therapies are highly beneficial, but it is up to you to allow your body to do the healing through continued self care. Please note it may take several sessions to achieve a certain level of healing, however, each session provides a healing effect at some level. This could be emotional healing, releasing stress to create the space for a focused mind, total relaxation, or whatever intention you set for the session. With an open mind, setting an intention, and when integrated into your self-care plan; Reiki & massage can help you to be happy & healthy for years to come.
LaDeidra N. Wooten, BSN, RN, CCM
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LaDeidra Wooten is a Registered Nurse who specializes in Holistic Nursing & Holistic Therapy. She attended the University of Memphis and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 2008. During her 12 years as a Nurse, LaDeidra completed extensive training & obtained several certifications in Holistic Health and Nursing. She is a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association. LaDeidra is also an avid reader and enjoys sharing the knowledge she gains to help all individuals be happy and healthy. She continues to study and stay abreast of clinical information, through nursing scholastic journals , training programs, holistic literature, and personal experience with holistic therapy. After a number of years in Emergency/Trauma Nursing, and meeting so many people during transitions in life, LaDeidra realized Holistic Nursing is her passion . She now works in private practice as a Holistic Nurse and provides Holistic & Complementary Therapy . She is also a Reiki Master, Licensed Massage Therapirst, Certified Nurse Case Manager, and Life Purpose Coach. Through her work as a Nurse Case Manager, she was able to witness that a personalized, and culturally sensitive plan of care creates a healing environment and leads to better outcomes for the patient. When not with patients, LaDeidra enjoys creating unique products to help people relax and heal naturally. She believes Holistic Health is extremely important and this is her life's work. She is very proud to offer holistic & complementary therapy to be integrated into a conventional medicine plan of care to help heal the whole person: mind, body, spirit, and emotions. To learn more about Holistic Therapy & to book an appointment with LaDeidra visit: www.thelisteninghands.com.