The Pagan Experience - Wk 5 - Mar.30 - Any topic of your choice! Have fun with this one. Prose, poetry, fiction, art work or any other creative format are welcome!
As regular readers of this blog know, my main occupation is in practicing bodywork. I'm a healer, and the longer I do it, the more that I embody the true meaning of the word (or at least I hope that is the case). A healer is someone who helps others return to health, by a variety of means.
“the process of bringing together aspects of one’s self, body-mind-spirit, at deeper levels of inner knowing, leading toward integration and balance with each aspect having equal importance and value.”*
The Oxford dictionary says a healer is "a person who claims to be able to cure a disease or injury using special powers: a spiritual healer and medium." Thanks for the condescending definition, Britain! I don't claim to have any special powers per se, but something that may be considered a "power" is what has prompted this post.
Mainly, I use bodywork-focused methods to help my patients. I am a Medical Massage Therapist, Yoga Therapist and Reiki Master. I'm trained in a variety of other things, including Ayurvedic Medicine, but day to day, I like to get my hands onto the bodies and figure out what is going on. But if you really were to do an analysis of what I do for my patients, I would say that treating soft tissue is the least of what I do. What it means to be a healer is something I’ll cover in detail in another post.
Today, I want to talk about something that is happening during bodywork sessions. But first, a story, quelle surprise! When I first got formally trained in massage therapy, one of our first lessons was developing touch sensitivity to different structures in the body. What does skin feel like? Connective tissue? Muscle? Bone? This is the first thing we have to know. I took to it immediately. Truly, I’d been doing massage since I was a wee one, so this wasn’t new.
As I began to practice professionally, my patients gave me lots of positive feedback. Being able to accurately palpate the correct spots made it easy for me to be a good massage therapist. From there, I began to be able to find the painful areas quickly. "That’s where it hurts, how did you know?" "You’ve found my pain!" Things along those lines. While I’m flattered, it’s usually quite easy to do. The person will tell me where they feel pain, then my training tells me where to look and most of the time, voila! A big knot!
Sometimes, it’s not so easy. Sometimes when I look in the most probable area, I don’t find anything.
But somehow, I always find it. Oh sure, there have been a handful of times I couldn’t find the pain, or I wasn’t able to help at all. Almost always, though, I just…find it. So how does this happen?
For a long time, I would answer simply: I don’t know. Then I assumed it was just my knowledge of anatomy and good training, with maybe a bonus from experience. The next stage was feeling as if it was intuition. Then, I began to feel as if my hands led me to where I needed to be. This made a lot of sense to me as an energy healer – Reiki energy is said to have an intelligence of its own. The energy knows where it needs to go. As a Reiki practitioner, I act as a channel for the energy. Ergo, something directs me.
Lately, something else is happening. I am finding that when I close my physical eyes, I can see more clearly what is happening in my patients’ bodies. This is something new. Earlier in my career, I could feel things well when I blocked out distractions. Now it has become visual.
What I see is hard to describe. It’s still on the dark and murky side, though I have a feeling this may change over time. It’s as if I can see the texture of their muscles and connective tissue. The best part of it at this point is that I can see where to put my hands. In fact, that’s how I began to become aware of what is happening.
I noticed that in bodywork sessions, I had naturally begun to close my eyes. Yet, I still knew how to avoid things like ringlets of hair, the legs of my massage table, bony structures and so on. I knew where to put my feet, how to position my body and where to put my hands.
At first, I thought that I just knew my massage room quite well, like a blind person would. Being of a scientific mindset, I resolved to test myself. Recently, I’ve acquired a new job and a new office. I don’t know it well yet. Could I still do my thing? Yes. In unfamiliar surroundings, still I could see.
So what is going on here? Initially, I thought it was simple clairvoyance:
"The meaning of the word clairvoyance is 'clear seeing.' and this refers to the ability to see psychic visions. Psychic visions are the type of communication that your spirit guide sends to you if you have the gift of clairvoyance."*
I already see visions from time to time, and that does feel like I’m receiving information from beyond the veil. Whether it’s from a guide, an ancestor or the Akashic Records, I don’t know. But that clearly feels like…almost like an email. Someone/thing sent me a message.
This feels different. It’s like a sense…just a sense beyond the ordinary five. It’s not quite the same as seeing with my eyes open. There’s some flavor of differentness about it. Like I’m seeing literal reality plus some layers of additional information.
At this point, I can only hypothesize that I’m seeing with inner vision, using my third eye. The theory here is that our third eye chakra is linked to the pineal gland, which is a vestigial organ located between the two hemispheres of the brain. Spiritual practices like meditation can activate the pineal gland to allow us to see information beyond that of consensual reality.
I hope that one day it develops into spiritual x-ray vision:
"This was the aspect of X-ray vision that was taken up most enthusiastically by occultists and supernaturalists. X-ray vision revealed what occultists had been saying all along, that matter was fundamentally insubstantial, especially when regarded by the transpiercing inner eye. Swâmi Abhedânanda’s How To Be A Yogi (1902) attributed the power of X-ray vision to the enlightened:
They digest their food consciously, as it were. They claim that by a third eye they can, so to speak, see what is going on in their internal organs. Why should this seem incredible to us when the discovery of the Roentgen rays has proved everything to be transparent? (Abhedânanda 1902, 47)"****
I have heard and read about stories where people could use inner sight to diagnose illnesses. They can look at someone and see what organ is affected, even the locations of tumors and broken bones.
I’m not at that level, by far. It feels very nascent, like a sense in the process of becoming. In fact, if I wasn’t blogging regularly, I would likely have not become aware of it so soon. It would be added to the list of things I have unconsciously done for years.
What happens next, I don’t know. I am hoping that this inner sight continues to develop. I’m also hoping that the third eye tension headaches I used to suffer from were an indication of growth, as I have also read is the case for some people. It makes sense to think that is true. These forehead aches have been happening in the past five years, which has been a time of explosive healing and growth for me.
If you have experience with this phenomenon, I’d love to hear from you. Comments most welcome!
The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak