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How to Choose a Reiki Practitioner

This article was originally posted on on August 11, 2016.

10582791_687850721291028_263499406779933290_oHow does one choose a Reiki Practitioner? I get asked this question a lot. I also want to reassure those who normally wouldn’t ask that they SHOULD ask. I feel it’s an important point to consider. I’ve had many clients as a social worker, massage therapist, and Reiki practitioner that were deterred from seeking various services because their first experience was awful. They assumed the service would always be that way from everyone…but it isn’t.

It’s difficult for me to change or find new healthcare professionals because everyone’s style is so different. Every industry, every business, every employee has a different feel, philosophy, and approach. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced horrible bedside manners and didn’t go back to the doctor for way too long. Or sometimes you have the nicest massage therapist with the worst hands. I always appreciate referrals, but everyone’s tastes and preferences vary.

So I suggest this in finding a Reiki Practitioner:

  • Check out some of your local Reiki Circles. They’ll often be fairly priced and you won’t be alone. You can get a small glimpse at what style the practitioner has, how they set the feel of the session/room, and many times you’ll meet other practitioners or get referrals from the circle participants.
  • If you’re able to afford it, book appointments with several different practitioners. If money is a consideration, check discount services such as Groupon or Living Social for Reiki deals. Many practitioners also have their own discounts.
  • Remember that Reiki Practitioners encourage the flow of energy. So in return, observe how the practitioner’s space and presence makes you feel. Do you feel safe? Do you feel comfortable?
  • Remember – NO NAKED REIKI! This is a point my teacher always reiterated during ethics discussions. There is no need for a client to undress for a Reiki appointment UNLESS it is incorporated with a massage or similar modality. Most modalities don’t require clients to undress for therapeutic benefits.
Photo credit: Milada Vigerova via Unsplash

Regarding style, some Reiki sessions are conducted mostly in silence with discussion before or after. I tend to discuss my observations as they come up, though I customize for preference. Some will practice various kinds of Reiki – Usui, Kundalini, Karuna, Rainbow, Shamballa, etc. Others integrate extra services into their sessions – use of oils, healing stones, etc. Sometimes the extras can be overwhelming or distracting. One day you might prefer a certain style over another. In all these cases, you can ask your practitioner to change it up or have a few therapists you visit regularly and rotate through.

The most important thing in choosing someone to aid in your health is that you trust them. They’ll answer your questions satisfactorily or refer you to someone who might be able to. You feel comfortable with them. You feel safe in their hands and their confidence. I also believe that a client should never feel obligated to me. Everyone should have a say in the direction of their healing. If you feel another therapist/practitioner will be better at taking your healing further or where you want it to go, then I encourage you to branch out. If a client feels obligated to me, then that becomes their focus instead of their healing. Many healthcare professionals will have referrals for you should you need or want one, so don’t be hesitant to ask.

Happy choosing, friends!

What do you look for in a Reiki or other healthcare professional?

How to Choose a Reiki Practitioner was originally published on

GT_GibsonRanchCourtney Ginn is a certified Reiki and Massage Practitioner. She combines her Usui and Practical (Kundalini) Reiki training with various modalities to create personalized sessions for her human and animal clients alike. For more information, please visit her at GinnTree.

Is Distance Reiki Just as Effective?

This article was originally posted on on June 1, 2016.

Many Reiki practitioners offer Distance Reiki sessions. What does that mean and does it work?

First we must understand what Reiki is and how it works. The word “Reiki” breaks down to this:

“Rei” – universal, trascendental spirit, essence

“Ki” – Qi (Chi) or life force energy, the energetic building block of life

Life force energy flows into and through all things. It is part of us, our consciousness, soul, and physical being – connecting us. Our Qi can become imbalanced in various ways and for a myriad of reasons – emotional trauma, our ancestral karma, giving too much without receiving or replenishing enough, etc. Reiki can refill and refresh these imbalances, helping us to heal and strengthen our Qi.

We are all connected through this life force energy. Let’s imagine a spider’s web, a giant one that spans the Universe with each strand connecting to every animal, insect, person, pool of water, inanimate object, etc. On this web, one small movement from a flea will generate vibrations felt throughout, and all the way to the opposite end of the web. In this way, we can imagine that when we use the web of energy to intend to send Reiki over a distance, it will create ripples and be received in full force.

This web also allows Reiki to transcend not only space, but time. Everything is connected. Past occurrences still affect us. Today’s actions will affect our future. The possibility of what lies ahead affects our now. The energy of those events, who we were, are, and will be, can be tapped into with a mere memory, thought, or intention.

Energy works through intentions. Reiki is a specific channel of energy, well-known for its ability to never harm nor be forced upon anyone. This makes Reiki one of those perfect little morsels of Life. Reiki resonates only with intentions that align with our highest good in mind. It is a form of healing energy that correct’s our Qi’s imbalances and deficiencies, and though I may facilitate the flow of Reiki, the receiver is truly the one at the helm and will let the energy know if, when, and where to go.

Ever randomly thought about someone only to have them call you within days? Or perhaps you’ve felt someone staring at you without even looking? We feel energy. We feel the intentions of others and they feel ours.

So, we’ve got the web of energy and we’ve got intention. When you put them together, you can do any number of things…

Sometimes you’re just too busy to fit yet another appointment into your day. No worries, I’ve queued up your Reiki so that you can receive whenever you ask. Until then, it’s basically just sitting in “the cloud” waiting until you can finally slip into that relaxing bubble bath or settle into bed.

Perhaps you’re in need of some Reiki, but you’ve moved away and haven’t had a chance to check out the local practitioners. That’s OK because you’ve got internet and can shoot me an email asking for a Distance Reiki session. Problem? What problem?

So, does Distance Reiki work? YES! It is different than receiving Reiki in person? Yes! In-person interactions always feel different and have amenities that distance sessions never will. However, the Reiki, without a doubt, is just as effective!

When you book your Distance Reiki appointment, we’ll discuss how you want to receive it – a specific time, queued up until you ask, however you like. I’ll send the Reiki, pull Oracle Cards from the deck of your choice, then email you with any observations I received and some suggestions to complement your healing process.

Is Distance Reiki Just as Effective? was originally published on

GT_GibsonRanchCourtney Ginn is a certified Reiki and Massage Practitioner. She combines her Usui and Practical (Kundalini) Reiki training with various modalities to create personalized sessions for her human and animal clients alike. For more information, please visit her at GinnTree.

Meditation Challenge(s)

This article originally posted on on December 7, 2015.

via Wondergress, via RealLife

I have always found meditation difficult, a fairly common sentiment. My challenges come in various forms – not being able to develop regular habits, an unusually high (and untimely) amount of itches and fidgets, having a great meditation one day and a really bad one the next, low confidence that I’m doing it well (or right)! I find guided meditation much easier, but I’m determined to develop a strong practice of self-meditation.

Over the years I’ve tried various approaches to meditation, changing the method when I felt that something didn’t work. I thought, “If it doesn’t work, then it probably isn’t for me – the right path should be more clear, right?” Mmmmmmmmaybe not. On my Reiki teacher’s recommendation I picked up Lawrence LeShan’s ‘How to Meditate’, in which he suggests that sticking with a method is worth a try. Consider meditation to be like going to the gym to work out…picture this: it’s a new year and I’m motivated to work out, get fit, and lose weight. It’s been a while since I’ve moved any part of my body except to eat, but I somehow think dumbbells are where I should start. One should be able to lift 20 lbs right? Nope. Well that’s a shame…and a bit embarrassing.

So now, do I give up on the dumbbells? Do I move on to other equipment and maybe try again later? Or do I pick up my pride from the puddle on the floor and see if the 3 and 5 lbs weights are better suited for me? Well I know we’re all saying it…I’d better lower my expectations and try again. Decrease the load. Work at it until I get comfortable and can eventually take on more. We often expect too much of ourselves when we begin a workout or meditation practice. A teacher once told me I should be meditating at least one hour per day. After attempting to do so several times with several “fails”, I became turned off from meditation for a few years. Then a friend suggested I start with 2-5 minute sessions. WHAT?! I can do that? So I did, and though I continue to struggle, the relief from expectation has been amazing.

How to Meditate‘ by Lawrence LeShan

On September 1st I began a 30 day meditation challenge using the the count-your-breaths method similar to the one discussed in LeShan’s book:

Breathe in – 1, Breathe out – 1
Breathe in – 2, Breathe out – 2
etc., counting first to four, working up to 10

It started out really well, but as with most “challenges” I try, my endurance only lasted about two and a half weeks. My meditation frequency dwindled to every other day, to just a few days, until I was only meditating maybe once or twice a week.

Some may see that as failure, but I learned a lot during that challenge:

  • I do better when I meditate in the morning instead of at night.
  • I meditate better with routine and only three days out of the week allow me to have a morning routine.
  • Meditating only three days out of the week is OK right now.
  • I’m just finding my rhythm at the mental gym, so I will have workouts and not-so-good workouts…but at least I’ll be gentle and forgiving with myself.
  • Letting go of meditative expectations makes meditating easier.
  • The method doesn’t necessarily matter, what matters is the work.

Since the challenge I’ve become more comfortable with meditation. I find that my distractions are shorter and I am able to focus on my breath for longer blocks of time. I’m still not great at it, but I definitely see growth! I don’t know if I’ll ever master meditation fully, not that I don’t hope to become really great at it. I will stagnate and I may regress, but that’s OK. It’s all part of the journey.

What are your experiences with meditation? Do you have any suggestions or questions?

Meditation Challenge(s) was originally published on

GT_GibsonRanchCourtney Ginn is a certified Reiki and Massage Practitioner. She combines her Usui and Practical (Kundalini) Reiki training with various modalities to create personalized sessions for her human and animal clients alike. For more information, please visit her at GinnTree.

AMBP Article: Should I Cancel my Massage if I am Sick?


Should I Cancel?

Short answer: Yes.

Long Answer: Yes, please. But there’s more.

Massage is great. You know this. But it’s not always a great idea.

As cold and flu season approaches again, it’s important that you know when it may be necessary to cancel your appointment.


When you are sick, your body needs rest. It’s strange to think about it this way, but receiving massage is an active task, it is not entirely rest. Massage causes change in the body, and your body has to work to maintain stability. Getting a massage when you are sick takes attention away from infection-fighting. That’s no good.

You’re not going to be cozy on the massage table.  Sure, it sounds like a warm squishy massage table would be great. But the moment you put your already-stuffy head into that face cradle, you’ll realize the error of your ways. Gravity and pressure are not your friend here. Even if I do a great face massage to drain your sinuses, you’ll likely feel worse when you get off the table.

You could get me sick. Since most of the common winter viruses are contagious even before symptoms show up, I could pass the cooties along to more clients before I even know it’s happening.

Further, when I get sick, I have to cancel clients and take a few days off work. I work for myself, with no paid sick days to compensate for lost wages. Sure, as a responsible business owner I have a fund for these situations. But I would rather use that fund for a jetski or a fancy new oil holster. So I’m gonna try to stay germ-free this winter.

So it’s a deal. You’ll cancel so as not to infect me and my massage room, and I’ll do the same for you. We’ll keep each other safe.

When to cancel

If you have nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea in the past 24 hours, or are still feeling punky from a recent bout of such things.

If you’ve had a fever in the past 24 hours, or fever-related symptoms. This includes chills, aches, and fatigue. Even if you’re keeping the fever down with medicine, you’re still sick. The fever counts.

If you are itchy, runny, and/or sneezy, and you’re not 100% certain it’s seasonal allergies. And even then, allergies may leave you so miserable that the hour on my table would be wasted time and money for you.

If you are coughing constantly, or just a lot.

If someone in your household is ill and you are feeling at all funky, please cancel.

There is often some gray area here, especially if you are in the recovery phase of a virus or bacterial infection.  If you’re unsure about your situation, please call me before your appointment and we can make a decision together.

Continue reading AMBP Article: Should I Cancel my Massage if I am Sick?

Lymphatic Drainage Benefits

By Nancy Barrett

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is one of the oldest, most often preformed treatment of the body and cleansing of tissue spaces. In the early 1930’s, Dr. Emil Vodder created a special series of light massage-like movements that included massaging lightly over cervical lymph nodes. In doing this, he found that it cured a range of issues. In his studies Dr. Vodder noted 60 different aliments and conditions for which this special massage can treat. These include migraine and chronic headaches, constipation, common acne and acne rosacea, tinnitus, eczema, whiplash, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid and osteo arthritis, sinus congestion and tendonitis just to name a few. It is also an excellent therapeutic method to rejuvenate beauty and reduce puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles.  By the 1950’s, Dr, Vodder, along with his wife, Estrid, began educating the European world on lymphology and began teaching others about the benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage or MLD.

Continue reading Lymphatic Drainage Benefits

Reiki Tips: At Home Use

Jeff Sheldon via Unsplash

This article originally posted on on July 14, 2015.

Can’t find time to make an appointment with your Reiki practitioner? Here are a few simple ways you can incorporate Reiki into your daily life to keep you going (many of these involve charging items with Reiki beforehand for use at any time):

  • Bedtime
    • As you lay in bed, set your intention, lay your hands in a comfortable position on or around you, relax, and drift off into blissful sleep.
  • Food and drinks
    • Before you sit down to eat, take a few seconds to cleanse your food (and drinks) of negative energies; the better to nourish your mind, body, and soul.
    • Reiki your teas, coffees, cooking oils, milk, etc after your grocery run so you don’t have to worry about it later.
    • Let your Reiki charged coasters do all the work while you and your guests sit back and relax.
    • This also helps ease and heal past traumas of the plants and animals we consume.
  • Candles
    • Prepared beforehand, you can light them any time for a little extra boost for parties, relaxing after a rough day, or to calm a group of rowdy children.
  • In the washroom
    • Take a bath in Reiki infused water!
    • If you like salts, oils, or herbs in your baths, prep them when you bring them home from the store so you’ll have a little extra Reiki to dip into.
    • Also prepare your soaps and shampoos so they, too, can boost your cleansing routine.
    • Hang a Reiki infused charm from the middle of your shower spout so as the water flows over it, it’ll aid the water’s ability to cleanse you.
  • Technology
    • Reiki your phone cover or a small sticker to put directly on your phone, tv, and computer (etc.) to help clear any negative energies they may emit.
  • Around the home or office
    • Infuse small stones or other objects to put around the room, plants, garden, and pet kennels or bed areas.
    • Get your water delivered? Reiki those water bottles as you change them out.
    • Or maybe you use a water filter. Charge the filters when changing them out. This is a great way for your family, plants, and pet companions to also receive Reiki.
    • If you love gardening, Before planting or transplanting, give Reiki to the seeds, seedings, or root ball. Both you and the local wildlife will benefit from these plants.
  • You CAN take it with you
    • Charge pieces of jewelry and your travel mug so you can receive Reiki when you’re out and about.
Ryan McGuire via Gratisography

As a side note, observe whether Reiki energy increases relaxation or is more stimulating, and during which times of day. If stimulating in the evening, receive Reiki in the morning instead of bedtime and remove Reiki stones from your bedroom for the evening. You may also find that items you charge with Reiki for later use may need recharging once in a while.

And remember: you don’t need to be Reiki attuned to channel loving energy. Set your intention and spread the love :).

What would you add to the list?

Reiki Tips: At Home Use was originally published on

GT_GibsonRanchCourtney Ginn is a certified Reiki and Massage Practitioner. She combines her Usui and Practical (Kundalini) Reiki training with various modalities to create personalized sessions for her human and animal clients alike. For more information, please visit her at GinnTree.

Cords & Karmic Bands

This article originally posted on, June 17, 2015.


One of my dear friends had a co-worker that wiggled her way into my friend’s comfort zone. It started out in a charming way, as many unhealthy relationships do. They became close very quickly, but just as quickly, this co-worker began to mother, smother, and criticize her. A strong note of jealousy blossomed from the co-worker as her true insecurities revealed themselves. My friend attempted to disassociate from her co-worker with great difficulty. Soon enough my friend’s lower back began hurting. She suspected the physical pain was being caused by the unhealthy energetic attachment (cord) from the co-worker. While I worked to pull the cord out during a Reiki session, I began receiving similar feelings and images, validating my friend’s impressions.

Gratisography2So what are Cords? Consider all the relationships we develop throughout our lives – to people, our pets, and even places. We have energetic attachments to all of these, which we refer to as Cords or Karmic Bands. Some are healthy. Sooommmmme…not so much.

We’ve all had relationships that held lingering feelings even when they’ve ended. It’s natural to continue holding attachments – wanted or not, consciously or not. We can’t control who attaches to us and, at times, who we attach to. What, then, can we do to ensure our attachments are healthy? We can work on energetically healing that bond, even withdraw and send it back to it’s original source with love. Sometimes those cords will find their way back, and when they do we can wash, rinse, and repeat.

What do Karmic Bands look like? What do they feel like? Try this simple meditation:

  • Close your eyes, breathe deeply several times, and become aware of your physical, mental, and emotional state.
  • Visualize or feel what the energy around you is like, specifically scanning for any cords radiating from your energy field – there may be more than one.
  • Focus on each one. What do they look like? What do they feel like.
    Are you the source, or is someone else?
  • Follow each Karmic Band to see who’s on the other end. What is the intention behind each cord?
  • As you send healing energy to the cord, also send love down through the cord to whomever is on the other side.
  • Let it detach so that it may find its way back to its owner, whether that’s you or another person.


Maintaining healthy cords:

  • Begin in a similar fashion – breathing deeply and becoming aware of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally.
  • Scan your energy field for any Karmic Bands.
  • “Speak” to it, have a conversation with it regarding the intention of the attachment and any messages it brings.
  • Send thanks and love down the cord to the other side with the intention that this attachment be healthy for the duration of the relationship, for everyone’s highest good.

Of course, these are my preferred methods. Everyone has their own :). Try these meditations as starting points and let them evolve into what works best for you. And remember: not all cords are unhealthy, but it’s good practice to maintain the healthier cords so they continue to be healthy and don’t run away from us.

What are your experiences with maintaining your Karmic Bands?

All photos by Ryan McGuire via Gratisography.

Cords & Karmic Bands was originally published on

GT_GibsonRanchCourtney Ginn is a certified Reiki and Massage Practitioner. She combines her Usui and Practical (Kundalini) Reiki training with various modalities to create personalized sessions for her human and animal clients alike. For more information, please visit her at GinnTree.

Spas, Corporate Massage, CMTs and the Body Café

Zen-SandToday’s massage industry is ever-changing, sometimes confusing, but always exciting in the choices it presents to the massage consumer.

The CMT, or Certified Massage Therapist, is the most commonly accepted standard for a professional massage provider.  LMT and CMP are other standard titles associated with massage professionals. These individuals have gone through many hours of training in massage therapy, anatomy, physiology, ethics, and have had plenty of hands-on training in providing massage.

Traditionally, CMTs have been independent professionals who work from their homes, or rent space individually to provide healing bodywork to their clients.  But times have changed, and now the majority of massage professionals work at a spa or other massage establishment.

Most visible these days are the spas and “corporate” massage establishments.

Continue reading Spas, Corporate Massage, CMTs and the Body Café