Questions #18 and #19

It’s been an intense 48 hours with very little sleep, as I’ve been helping a dear friend who was in the hospital. All is looking up now, and she’s home (!), so my heart feels less worried and hurried. And as you can see, I had no time to blog (or mental agility), so I’m doing another two-for-one special for CoAnQuMo!

Question #18: What’s something you do for yourself to regroup, renew, and re-balance?

Ah yes, a good self-care question! I have a lot of self-care activities in my tool box, but the hardest part for me is letting go as I am trying to renew and re-balance. Do you know what I mean? Have you ever gone to a spa or gotten a massage and weren’t able to fully let your guard down or transcend your worries or problem-solving thought patterns?


First, here are some activities I engage in that I consciously choose to do when I need to regroup and relax:

  • I get a massage or other bodywork
  • I go to a Spa (I love Olympus Spa)
  • I get out into nature (either by doing urban nature ventures or actually getting out of town and into nature-nature)
  • I dance (sporadically and intuitively in my house)
  • I give myself self-Reiki treatments
  • I have a stay-cation day in which I go out to eat and tour a neighborhood that is new or newer to me in my very own city
  • I create art and write
  • I read
  • I take walks
  • I jump on my trampoline
  • I take baths
  • I garden
  • I listen to music

When doing any of these activities for self-care and renewal, I have to find a way to turn down my thought-wheel a bit so I can actually enjoy and receive the full benefits of my relaxation intentions. Over the years I have found that the more physical my activity is, the less my mind takes over. So dancing, walking, running, gardening, and jumping on my trampoline allow me to let go of my worries for a bit more so I get some reprieve.


And somehow after moving my body through the universe, I find that my mind has not only calmed, but I have boosted my mood and solved some problems without my having to think too much about them at all. Go figure! (There is actually some lovely science to back this up! Check out Brain Rules and Spark for more on this.)


Question #19: Do you channel your own energy when you give Reiki or is it something else? And do you get exhausted after giving a session?

This is a great question and once I am asked often, particularly by clients who worry I might be depleting my own energy when I give Reiki.  So the quick answer is no, I don’t channel my own energy and I am most often not tired after giving a session.

IMG_20130125_124106Giving Reiki is like turning on a garden hose.  The flow only goes one way: from the chi out in the world (or universal life force energy) through the top of my head, into my heart chakra, down my arms and out my hands to my client. There’s no “back-flow” of energy and I am not using my own energy (intentionally, anyway) to do the healing.

Now any type of bodywork can get tricky in terms of picking up other people’s energy or transference/counter-transference. We are human beings and we just exchange energy naturally. So on a basic human level, I could in fact get tired after a session because I am struggling with energetic boundaries. But when it comes to straight up Reiki, there’s one flow of energy, it’s not mine, and I get a little Reiki boost, too, because the energy is also flowing through me!


Thanks for your questions! Now I turn the questions back on YOU: how do you rejuvenate and re-balance? And whether you give Reiki or not, how do you deal with energy exchange with other people? I’d love to learn about your experiences!

with an om and a trampoline bounce,



About Courtney Putnam

I first came to healing work through art and writing. Creating collage art and poetry in particular allowed me to deeply understand the benefit of self-expression in the healing process. But, I also began to see the benefit of bodywork (manual work in the form of massage and energywork in the form of Reiki) as keys to unlocking the emotional stresses we hold in our bodies. I became a Reiki practitioner in 2002, received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2003, received my massage license in the spring of 2006, and became a Reiki Master in 2010. In my practice I bring together these three areas -- the body, the mind, and the spirit (or energy body) -- so others may experience profound and positive change in their lives.
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