Energy Healing Benefits Of A Massage Alternative Put To The Test… Results Surprisingly Positive!
by Bob Olson
You’d think the editor of a holistic magazine would be knowledgeable about things like shiatsu, Reiki or polarity, but nobody can really understand something until they have personally experienced it. Now that I’ve experienced a bodywork session that utilized all three of these modalities, I’m unexpectedly hooked. All my previous misconceptions have been shamefully proven wrong, and I now understand why people are using their lunch hours to relax and rebalance with an energy bodywork session.
I have never been keen on having my shoulders or feet massaged, so the only bodywork I’ve had done is on my car. As a result, my knowledge of therapeutic energy healing has been sadly limited to the articles I’ve edited for OfSpirit.com. It was time I had a personal experience, and De Costanza of Wayland, Massachusetts, was willing to accept an ignorant and slightly skeptical new client.
My skepticism stemmed from my suspicion that the benefits of bodywork, or any kind of energy healing, resulted more from a placebo effect than anything physiological (boy, was I misguided). So I walked into the bodywork room like a cop begins an interrogation—suspicious and safeguarded. De Costanza wasn’t shaken. She is one of those people who is grateful for rain because the flowers and plants need the water—eternally optimistic. I couldn’t help but to feel my energy lift just being in her presence. She handed me a sheet of questions about my health and left the room while I filled them out. Some interrogator I turned out to be, now I was the one being quizzed.
When De returned, I learned that my answers to the questions helped her assess the energy needs within my body. The bodywork she was about to do on me would harmonize that energy, thereby balancing my body for better health and healing. After hopping up on the bodywork table (all the work is done while the client is fully clothed), De turned on some relaxing music and began working her magic.
Knowing that I was a little uncomfortable with strangers touching me (psychotherapists will have a field day with that remark), De began with a “head cradle,” which was basically just her holding my head in her hands as a Reiki technique. I don’t know exactly what she was doing (the word “craniosacral” was mentioned), but with the comforting music and her occasional shift in hand position, it was causing tingling goose bumps to spread all over my body. I don’t want to admit that I was already beginning to enjoy this session, but my mind was opening to the possibilities.
The Reiki head cradle turned into a polarity technique that has something to do with gas release. I’m glad I didn’t know about that at the time or I wouldn’t have been able to stop from giggling. It is now my understanding that this involves some type of gas inside the head, not some other place. If you had asked me while it was happening, I would have guessed she was just massaging my skull. Regardless of the technical aspects of this polarity method, I was beginning to float on air and we couldn’t have been more than fifteen minutes into the session.
I can’t tell you the exact order of everything from this point, because I was in a deep mental state of blissful euphoria, but I recall De applying some sort of acupressure on my arms and legs that I later learned was shiatsu. Whatever it was, it felt like tension was being released from my muscles with every move she made. Sometimes she would actually stretch my arms or rotate my shoulders, ankles or wrists so that every last bit of resisting stress surrendered. By the time she had worked from my head to my feet, I finally understood what it would be like as a noodle, and we were only halfway through the hour.
The one part I really expected to dislike was the footwork, which she does using a combination of reflexology and polarity. I don’t know if it was the peppermint cream or the fact that I was numbingly comatose by the time she got to my feet, but I didn’t experience anything uncomfortable, just a deeper sense of relaxation. When De finally asked me to roll over so she could work on my back, I wondered if I might possibly melt right into the table.
With the back work, De strategically saved the best for last. I never realized how much my back is neglected. Yet it wasn’t just my back, but also the back of my arms and legs that got massaged, stretched, rotated and rocked. I thought to myself how the person who invented this combination of Reiki, polarity and shiatsu in one all-encompassing session must have truly been a genius. I later learned that De, herself, created this specific program that she uses, which she named her “Integrated Energy Therapy” session. The name didn’t mean much to me before we started, but when I understood how she integrated the three bodywork methods into one therapeutic energy technique, I realized the name was perfectly descriptive.
After about an hour, the session was over. De left the room instructing me to take my time sitting upright and getting off the table. As I left her office, my only regret was that I had to fight five o’clock traffic during my two-hour ride home. I was afraid I would undo all the relaxation and tension release De had provided. Instead, I glided home, never noticing the hustle and bustle of the stressed-out commuters.
If I had to describe my experience with De’s polarity, Reiki and shiatsu technique in only a few words, I would narrow it down to a combination of deep massage and meditative relaxation. That’s my layman’s perspective, anyway. Most people have a pretty good idea of what a massage is like, so I’d have to call this the “massage alternative” for those who don’t like the nakedness of traditional massage or seek the strategic meridian acupressure of the energy therapies. It’s no wonder why so many people claim that this energy work has healing benefits. If you have ever read Dr. Herbert Benson’s book, The Relaxation Response, you understand why a session with De can have unexplainable healing results.
Before the session, I asked De to tell me some of her healing success stories, of which she had several. Unfortunately, she prevented me from writing about them, as there is no scientific evidence to back up the claims. This is an issue with many holistic therapies—plenty of testimonials, but no federal approval for advertising these healing benefits. That leaves us with personal referrals and stories like my own for discovering many of the best alternative therapies available to us. If I had not had this experience myself, I never would have believed shiatsu, Reiki and polarity could create such a therapeutic state of relaxation.
The next few days following my first energy healing with De proved to have a lingering effect. This is when I discovered that my placebo effect theory was wrong. If the benefits I felt from De’s bodywork were simply a result of my expectations, I doubt I could have awakened the next morning feeling so alive and energetic—long before I remembered the previous day’s session. Plus, my expectations of bodywork had me believing that it only felt good while you were having the session. It never occurred to me that the effects would last several days.
My wife, Melissa, and few people with whom I work, commented on my calmer attitude over the next few days. I enjoyed being able to handle the stress of running a magazine with a little more balance and ease. The only problem was that I was now hooked—I wanted to feel relaxed and calm all the time. The effects eventually wore off and I wanted another fix! In one single dose, I had become an Integrated Energy Therapy junky.
I now understand why the “Relaxation Response” alone can have such healing effects. I still don’t fully understand the theories behind shiatsu, Reiki or polarity. But a guy like me doesn’t really need to know why something works; it’s enough to feel the results.
De Costanza: 508-653-3443 (Mystical Wisdom, 185 Commonwealth Rd, Wayland, MA)
De Costanza is the owner of Mystical Wisdom in Wayland, Massachusetts. The bodywork she offers is a therapeutic energy massage that includes, Reiki, shiatsu, craniosacral and polarity. Call De (pronounced “D”) to make an appointment at 508-653-3443.
Mystical Wisdom is De Constanza’s brand new Holistic and New Age Store (opened 2003). Check it out for the latest in natural skin care and health products, handmade gifts and products from artists and holistic product growers and producers, gifts, books, music, candles, crystals, aromatherapy and herbal products, and “instructional classes” such as:
|Meditation For Beginners|
|Intro To Energy Healing|
|Reiki I & II|
|Reading The Tarot|
Check out De Constanza’s website for Mystical Wisdom at: www.MysticalWisdomMA.com(the MA stands for Massachusetts).