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Summer 2012 (1) Practice of Bodywork Class Wiki

Page history last edited by Student 7 years, 9 months ago

The Practice of Bodywork


By Tyler Cluff

Biofield therapy consists of Reiki, Qigong, meditation and therapeutic touch as techniques in which the hands, body, and mind are used to direct human energy for healing purposes.  


Therapeutic Touch or TT  



Defining Therapeutic Touch:  

      Therapeutic touch is which the hands are used to transfer energy for healing reasons.  It is also the belief that life-force energy is a fundamental force found in all living entities and that this energy flows outside the body (Doherty, Wright, Aveyard, Sykes, 2006).  Therapeutic touch involves usually four steps that usually last up to a half hour (American Cancer Society, 2011).  In the first step, called centering, the therapist clears their mind and makes an effort to communicate with the patients energy field.  The therapist then places their hands palms down a few inches away from the patients body and moves over the patient from head to toe.  In the third step, after making several passes over a patients body the therapist releases harmful energy from the patient by flicking their hands into the air past the patients toes (American Cancer Society, 2011).  Once this is completed, the therapist then transfers their positive energy into the patient.  


Therapeutic touch can help with:

  • anxiety
  • enhancing relaxation
  • reducing pain 


The American Cancer Society recognizes TT as an alternative medicine to healing.  They state that TT is promoted by some to improve conditions such as pain, fever, swelling, infections, wounds, ulcers, thyroid problems, colic, burns, nausea, premenstrual syndrome, diarrhea, and headaches (American Cancer Society, 2011).  Studies have also shown that therapeutic touch has treated such diseases as Alzheimer's, AIDS, asthma, strokes, and cancer.  




Defining Meditation:

   According to the American Cancer Society meditation is a mind-body process that uses concentration or reflection to relax the body and calm the mind (American Cancer Society, 2008).  Some cancer treatment centers are known for using meditation to help treat their cancer patients along with standard medical care.  There are many types of meditation including tai chi, qigong, walking, and the Japanese martial art aikido.  Meditation is usually done in a quiet place, sitting with your eyes closed while keeping your mind clear of any thoughts and concentrating on your breathing.  The end result if done properly is to get a sense of separating oneself mentally from the outside world by suspending the usual stream of consciousness (American Cancer Society, 2008).

   The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) gives some key points regarding meditation.  They include that meditation usually has four elements in common ( NCCAM, 2010). They suggest that meditation can even affect the autonomic nervous system by reducing activity in the sympathetic nervous system.  This would reduce the heart rate, decrease blood pressure, and decrease the respiratory rate (NCCAM, 2010).

These include:

  •      a quiet location
  •      a specific, comfortable posture
  •      a focus of attention
  •      an open attitude 


Meditation can help with:

  •      chronic pain
  •      insomnia
  •      improving the quality of life in cancer patients
  •      reducing stress, blood pressure, cholesterol, and anxiety 


There have been reports of meditation could cause or worsen symptoms of individuals who have psychiatric problems, but this has not been fully researched (NCCAM, 2010).    



Reiki Therapy

Defining Reiki Therapy:

     According to the American Cancer Society Reiki Therapy is based on the belief that spiritual energy can be channeled through a Reiki therapist to heal the patient's spirit (American Cancer Society, 2012).  The meaning of Reiki in Japanese translates to universal life energy.  Reiki therapy involves a practitioner placing their hands in a dozen different positions on or above the patient's clothed body.  The hands are held in place for a few minutes and are used as a conduit for universal life energy, and balancing the energy within and around the body (American Cancer Society, 2012).  Reiki therapy can last up to an hour.


Reiki Therapy can help with:

  • Relaxation
  • decrease stress
  • reduce anxiety
  • increase a persons general sense of well-being


Banner Heart Hospital recognized integrative therapies including Reiki therapy.  Banner Health offers it as a free service to patients and their families for free.  These sessions last approximately 15 to 20 minutes and are done by volunteers. 





Here is a video of Dr. Norman Rosenthal speaking about positive benefits transcendental meditation on post traumatic stress disorder soldiers.  In the video he describes how TM has helped soldiers overcome PTSD.  



This video has a younger female describing the benefits of meditation and a basic introduction on how to meditate.



In this video Sundue Thomas a professional massage therapist describes Reiki therapy.  She describes Reiki massage targets the seven energy centers to help balance out the universal life force energy, and it is performed by a Reiki master who is highly trained in channeling the energy. Understand how a Reiki massage can help overall well-being with advice from a licensed massage therapist in this free video on massage.


Here is a video of Sophia Zoe giving a brief introduction on how Therapeutic Touch is being done to a woman who is tired and has a liver disorder.  At the end of the video the woman explains how she feels relaxed and could feel the energy flow down her legs and out the soles of her feet.  





Peer Reviewed Articles:


Doherty, D., Wright, S., Aveyard, B., Sykes, M. (2006). Therapeutic touch and dementia care: an ongoing journey. Nursing Older People, 18(11), 27-30.

 Abstract:  A study was done regarding the affects of therapeutic touch on patients with dementia.  The goal was to examine the effectiveness of TT as a therapeutic intervention for individuals with dementia.  In the end of the study the results showed that in the beginning the staff had different views on the effectiveness of TT.  The patients that did participate in the study did improve from the well-being of therapeutic touch (Doherty, Wright, Aveyard, Sykes, 2006).

therapeutic touch and dementia care.pdf



Garret, C. (2001). Transcendal meditation, reiki, and yoga: suffering, ritual and self-transformation. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 16(3), 329-342

Abstract:  One author, Dr. Catherine Garrett wrote an article discussing how she tried to experience three types of meditation including transcendental meditation, Reiki, andYoga to see if they were a hype or if they truly possessed the power to enhance the inner well-being.  The physical consequences of TM were a surprise: when I meditated, I could feel my habitual gut pain dissipate (Garrett, 2001).  In the end, Dr. Garrett stated that these rituals have helped her discover new ways of well-being. 

Transcendal Meditation, Reiki and Yoga.pdf


Assefi, N., Bogart, A., Goldberg, J., Buchwald, D. (2008). Reiki for the treatment of fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 14(9), 1115-1122.

Abstract:  Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine published an article in 2008 regarding the effects of Reiki therapy on fibromyalgia patients.  Over a three month study regarding 100 patients with fibromyalgia, neither Reiki or touch had any effect on pain.  Neither Reiki or touch improved the symptoms of fibromyalgia (Assefi, Bogart, Goldberg, Buchwald, 2008).  Reiki therapy can benefit many people with disorders or conditions but if a person is diagnosed with fibromyalgia they should seek medical advice before starting Reiki therapy.

reiki for the treatment of fibromyalgia.pdf


Schreiner, I., Malcolm, J. (2008). The Benefits of mindfulness meditation: changes in emotional states of depression, anxiety, and stress. Behaviour Change, 25(3), 156-168.

Abstract:  The Australian Academic Press published in 2008 the benefits of meditation after doing a ten week study on participants that participated in mindfulness meditation.  They concluded that the participants with severe emotional difficulties at the time of commencing the meditation course demonstrated the most notable improvement over time and the results suggested that mindfulness training is beneficial in reducing the symptoms of subclinical depression, anxiety, and can substantially reduce stress (Schreiner & Malcolm, 2008). 

The Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation.pdf





Therapeutic Touch

By Bela Scheiber and Carla Selby - Prometheus Books - (2000) - 311 pages

This book gives a brief history on therapeutic touch and discusses the ethics, personalities, battles and central experiments.



Stages of Meditation

By The Dalai Lama - Snow Lion Publications - (2003) - 210 pages

The Dalai Lama explains the principles of meditation in a practice-oriented format especially suited to Westerners.  Topics included are: the nature of mind, how to develop compassion and loving-kindness, calm abiding, wisdom, and how to establish a union of calm abiding and special insight.



 Your Reiki Treatment: How to get the most out of it

By Bronwen and Frans Steine - John Hunt Publishing - (2007) - 161 pages

This is the first title to look at Reiki from the client's perspective.  Learn how to prepare for your treatment, what to expect during it, and how to continue furthering your personal growth after the treatment is finished.



















              After reading about meditation, Reiki therapy, and therapeutic touch I feel that each biofield therapy technique is beneficial to people.  Biofield therapies can help individuals by reducing stress, anxiety, pain, and improving overall health and well-being if practiced correctly.  Out off the three therapies discussed I feel mediation to be the most beneficial because it can be practiced at home by yourself and can be learned from watching and listening to others that practice it frequently.  Being able to relax and calm your mind and not have to worry about daily stress can be very comforting and rejuvenating.  I felt that therapeutic touch was the least beneficial therapy because the art of channeling negative energy out of a patient and replacing it with positive energy from the therapist sounds like a hoax.  There have been studies done showing that TT is beneficial, but having someone relax on a massage table and focus on nothing can also relieve stress and make a person feel more relaxed.  



              I have never really practiced biofield therapies myself because I never thought them to be that useful or beneficial for myself.  In the few times I have tried meditation while taking this class it has changed my point of view on the benefits of biofield therapy.  I have yet to attempt other therapies but I feel meditation is the most beneficial and helpful.  When I did attempt meditation I felt relaxed and less stressed after I was done with the session.  I can only imagine the benefits if I were to practice meditation more frequently and for longer durations. 





American Cancer Society (April 14, 2011). Therapeutic Touch. Retrieved from 



American Cancer Society (November 1, 2008). Meditation. Retrieved from



American Cancer Society (March 8, 2012). Reiki. Retrieved from



Assefi, N., Bogart, A., Goldberg, J., Buchwald, D. (2008). Reiki for the treatment of fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 14(9), 1115-1122.


Doherty, D., Wright, S., Aveyard, B., Sykes, M. (2006). Therapeutic touch and dementia care: an ongoing journey. Nursing Older People, 18(11), 27-30.


Garret, C. (2001). Transcendal meditation, reiki, and yoga: suffering, ritual and self-transformation. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 16(3), 329-342


National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (June, 2010). Meditation: An Introduction. Retrieved from http://nccam.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm





PRACTICE APPLICATION - (Elizabeth Bockman)

Summary  For my first transformational practice, I opted to try bodywork in the form of yoga. In the past, I have done yoga and I was hoping this would get me back into the practice. I had hoped that yoga would allow me to relieve some of the stress I've been feeling as an unemployed new graduate. Unfortunately, I think I selected the wrong time to get back into this practice. In the past, I have found that yoga not only helps me to clear my mind, but that it also helps to relieve tension in my body. Sore shoulders and an aching back are personal symptoms of stress and the yoga poses help me to rid my body of these unfortunate stress-effects. When trying yoga again this time, I found that, while the stress in my body found some relief, I was unable to fully clear my mind. Thoughts just kept flooding in! If it wasn't thoughts distracting me, it was the distraction of focusing on the pose or paying a little too much attention to the instructor's voice. I believe that my level of stress was a huge contributing factor in my less-than-successful re-introduction to yoga. I would suggest to others that they might consider meditation prior to yoga if their ultimate goal is to relieve mental stress and distraction. (Elizabeth Bockman)
Personal  I started my yoga practice by attending 50 minute classes with my mother. For me, this provided motivation to do the practice and provided me with social interaction immediately before and after practice. However, the social aspect may have been my downfall. Because my mother and I would often talk about the issues I am facing in my life, I went into each practice with my stress level raised. If you find this to be true for you, I would suggest that you practice yoga alone. The second half of my yoga transformational practice allowed me to practice on my own. When practicing on my own, I used my Wii Fit. Being able to practice yoga in your own home might be a motivator for some people, as it means that you can practice without having to leave home and face the stress that can sometimes be caused by driving. If you don't have a Wii Fit, there are also many yoga videos available that can help you begin your practice. Be sure to use a yoga mat for proper padding, as this will help you to avoid waking up sore the next day. (Elizabeth Bockman)
Professional  The "mind/body" connection that is made while practicing yoga can certainly spill into the professional world. When we are more relaxed, calm, and less stressed, we are more productive and more pleasant to be around. These positive benefits from yoga can also help to reduce ailments and promote physcial well-being. As such, the calming effects of yoga may help someone to get a job, receive a promotion, or take less trips to the doctor. When preventative healthcare includes the practice of yoga, individuals may find that the cost of healthcare is reduced as well. Who couldn't use a little more money, right? (Elizabeth Bockman)


Practice Summary Application: (Corina Noble)

     The lessons I learned while doing this practice of bodywork made me start thinking most of all. I pursued a Zen class that combined Tai Chi and Yoga movements to promote a sense of inner calm and balance. I learned that I don’t breathe well most of the time. I hold my breath and the tension along with it. I always feared Yoga would be too difficult for me and found it really wasn’t that hard. I felt my body react to the movements and was able to see a slight calming effect from the practice. I believe my classes were too short to see a significant calming effect. I struggled with my perfectionism at first trying to get the move just right. I really needed more balance in my life and see that it has improved after this bodywork practice, both physically and mentally. I felt energized and focused after each session. I will need to work on my breathing and let myself be in the moment more.


     The personal uses for this practice seem to focus around achieving calmness and also balance. I see one use being for someone to relieve tension and aches from the long work day. Concentrating on the balance and breathing let you be within yourself for a little bit and can calm the mind bringing focus back to the current time. Physically I believe someone could use the movements to stretch before a true workout with weights or hard cardio sessions. It could be considered a warm up but also get you focused on getting the most out of your workout.


     The professional uses for this practice seem to focus more on the energy and mental clarity. The mild cardio achieved with the movements provides a rush of energy, without tension being added. This could be used to give you a boost throughout the day if one is tired or stressed. I can see athletes using this to boost their physical ability and concentration on the task along with flexibility. The administration in an office could use yoga to bring focus and clarity prior to a meeting or brainstorming session. I am sure the possibilities don’t stop there. (Corina Noble)


Tyler Cluff – Practice Summary on Bodywork

Intro:  When I chose to bodywork I thought is was about physical fitness and eating healthy.  I did not realize the practice of bodywork included yoga, meditation, therapeutic touch, and other mind and body healing techniques.  Once I did more research on bodywork practices I chose to practice meditation.  Let me just say, it did not come easy.


Personal:  My choice in practicing meditation was very simple.  I am not flexible so I was unable to participate in yoga and therapeutic touch requires a participant.  After watching videos online a reading a few articles about meditation I felt that this practice would be the most beneficial for myself.  When I first started I was unable to make my mind relax and concentrate on nothing.  My first attempt was a complete failure.  After a few more attempts I was able to relax and meditate.  It took practice and after I was done with each session I felt more relaxed and my mind was at ease. 


Professional:  When I am at work I did always have the time to sit down and meditate.  Being that I could get a call for an emergency at a moments notice I found that the best time for myself to meditate was right before bed.  I found that when I mediated before bed I slept better and felt more refreshed when I woke up the next morning. 


Summary:  After this experience learning about mediation I have come to use it on a more frequent basis.  Whenever I am stressed and have some time to myself I find that if I take about 30 minutes to myself I am able to meditate and allow myself to relax.  Though this process has not been easy and it has taken some time to learn, I am glad that I have learned the benefits of meditation through the practice of bodywork. 


Comments (4)

Student said

at 9:15 pm on Jul 15, 2012

I am not sure who's wiki this is but it has some great information. This is very well organized, I have not heard of Reiki therapy but its interesting. Looks great! (Holly Kovarik)

Student said

at 12:55 am on Jul 17, 2012

I think that this page is very interesting because bodywork can do so many wonderful things not just to the body, but the soul! I really liked all of the different aspects that bodywork has to offer and how you incorporated them into your wiki. I have never heard of Reiki therapy until reading your wiki! I would suggest would be to add an abstract to your websites and peer reviewed articles so that way they the readers know exactly what it is about. Other than that I think you did a great job on your wiki page! (Brittney Cox)

Student said

at 11:08 am on Jul 17, 2012

Holly and Brittney, thank you and I did not realize I did not have my name on this stating that it was my work. (Tyler Cluff)

Student said

at 9:58 pm on Jul 17, 2012

I did not know that so many benefits came from TT until reading this article. There is a lot of good information on this Wiki site and I really enjoyed all the relaxing pictures. The video on TM for treatment of PTSD was very informative, but I think the video ran just a little long. The other two were short and kept me engaged. The websites had good information an alternative treatments, I would maybe just add a little bit more variety on different websites. I am only critiquing little things because we have to, but I really thought you did a good job on your site and I liked the layout and how the information flowed throughout your site, good job! ( Ryan Gilbert)

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