587-581-5081 Marikarhall@icloud.com
Healing the Divide: From Complacency to Embodied Action

Healing the Divide: From Complacency to Embodied Action

I am a firm believer that re-establishing the connection between spirit and our conscious, unconscious and bodies is the greatest work we can do and with these truly incredible times we are living in where we are being asked to rewrite the story of humanity centered on our connection with spirit. As I have mentioned in previous posts in Shamanism we believe that we are constantly dreaming our worlds into being. This is an incredibly empowering and scary concept that has truly been seen in our covid lockdown. How quickly have we changed our lives for something we can’t even see. Collectively we believe that it is worthwhile to protect the lives of those most vulnerable and have been willing to transform our lives for it. Now that this has been proven others are demanding this same respect and protection for black, indigenous and other people of colour. Are we willing to transform our lives even further and instead of governments telling us what to do, can we the people transform our governments ( who after all are supposed to be in place to support the collective voice of the people)

As an empathic, white, straight, cis-gendered, able-bodied, educated, middle class Canadian woman who practices indigenous healing, I am deeply aware and grateful for the immense privilege I have in this life time. Not all of my life times have been like this, I have been slave and slave master, warrior and witch. The list goes on how long I don’t know some privileged and very brutal. In watching the Black lives matter movement roll out in front of me, I have deeply felt all the emotions rolling around in the world, the rage, grief, anger, sadness, powerlessness, despair, hope, fear, frustration,… dragged up from the depths of my own ancestoral lineage and my past lives that my spirit and bones still remember. I have had the privilege to be brought to my knees by them and am blessed with the time and space and knowledge of how to process them.

 

My beliefs have all been challenged this week and no doubt yours have been too. It has been hard to witness my complacency and apathy in the systems that keep this world separated and segregated. Acknowledging that I am indeed apart of this collective dream. I can see the very real consequences of having the structures of our reality built on the backs of others and the degradation and exploitation of the earth and its people. The thought of dismantling it all seems so momentous and the huge changes that need to happen are rattling to the nervous system.

But one truth I do know and feel at this time is that we are triggered when there is something that needs to be cleared and right now we are all being given the chance to do some incredible healing work. We each carry in our bodies and DNA the stories and traumas of our ancestors as well as of our past lives and these get passed down to each generation creating our realities. In order to make true change we must address our own traumas and the traumas of the world. Just as our DNA is marked by these stories, so are the systems we live under. The rules that govern us were created out of slavery, rape, pillaging, war, fear, hate but also out of love, inspiration, creativity and hope. We as a species have come through so much and together can create a new way forward.

I would like to begin by acknowledging all the voices that have been raised to share their stories and stand up against a system that does not see or treat everyone as equals. It takes immense courage and a real ability to step beyond the traumatized places within us to create change. It is truly the first step in healing.

So I have been asking myself how can I help dream a new world into being both in spiritual practice and lived action. A world that recognizes each person’s sovereignty, unique wounding and perspective, while remembering we are spiritual beings having a human experience that we have chosen.

I begin at home by educating myself and having the uncomfortable discussions with my friends and family.

I continue to learn about and work at transforming the trauma that I carry and my friends, family and patients carry.

I am working on practicing Deep listening and honouring each humans unique experience, while remembering that they are spirit and perfect, whole and complete.

I will be offering special sliding scale sessions for those who do not have the financial means but wish to do the powerful work of transforming trauma.

I will donate 5% of my revenues to regenerative projects that are actively working to create resilient, flourishing and equitable systems that respond to the needs of society while respecting the integrity of nature.

 

I offer my humble gratitude to all the voices that have been raised to share their stories and stand up against a system that does not see or treat everyone as equals. It takes immense courage and a real ability to step beyond the traumatized places within us to create change. If your are interested in doing this work here are some of the people I have found most helpful and transformative:

Resmaa Menakam

Rachel Rickett’s Spiritual activism course

Thema Bryant-Davis, PhD Being an antiracist practitioner

Jose Stevens PhD, Slavery, A closer Look

The Ritual as justice School

Light Watkins

D’orjay The Singing Shaman

Janaya Future Khan

Tracy Stanlee

Through all of this be gentle with yourself. Our egos love a good opportunity to make us feel guilt, shame and fear. They are our biggest slave owner and doing the work to recognize this and transform it is crucial to being able to make meaningful action in the world.

So much love to you all

Marika

 

 

The Power of Distance Healing:

The Power of Distance Healing:

Prayers, intentions and healing energy have been sent out into the universe since humans began to form cosmologies of the world. Traditional practices performed by Shamans, Qi gong masters, Priests and Rabbis have always included connecting with the divine within all of us and asking for help to heal the sick, boost the crops, protect the people, etc. With the Scientific Revolution, there was a move away from this form of healing and a focus on the physical manipulation of the body and the planet. But in the last few decades a growing number of people have been recognizing the validity and importance of prayer, intention and energy healing in our lives. During this time of physical distancing there has never been a better time to begin practicing these powerful techniques.

 

What is Distance Healing?

Distance healing is a form of energy healing or prayer that is sent from one person to another person, place or people; like a mother sending loving thoughts to her children, a friend lighting a candle for the safe passage of a baby or a group of people gathering to send energy to a war zone, disaster area or dying individual and their family. The power of the healing is in the heart felt intention and focus of the person sending the energy and the connection that we all share through spirit, the divine, god, the collective unconscious,… With practice we can learn to sit with our prayers and intentions tap into the collective and focus that energy.

 

How Does it work?

Whether you are using Reiki, Shamanic Healing, quantum healing, Prayer or any other form of energy medicine they all tap into the same collective energy field that we all share. The universe is made up of energy, Daoists call in Qi, Yogis call it Prana, Hebrews call it Ruah and Quantum Physicists, well they call it energy. Much research has gone into If and how distance healing works, while most studies show that it does work none have been able to explain how it works from a Western scientific view point. A well designed 2008 study looking at 36 couples, 22 with one of the couple having a cancer diagnosis and 14 healthy couples, found that directed intentional healing thoughts made a significant difference in the activation of the Autonomic Nervous System, which is necessary to keep our bodies in balance and all of our unconscious bodily functions operating, and the more they sent the intentions the more strongly the Autonomic Nervous System responded.

One of the theories trying to explain distance healing proposed by Dr. Swanson in Synchronized Universe suggests that the molecular level of DNA to the biophoton field of the body, to the biohologram and to the torsion field, which is integral to the aura, connect each of us to the cosmos. According to Swanson’s SUM model, torsion field research findings and theory may provide a scientific basis to understanding how higher, non-material dimensions of consciousness can continue beyond the physical plane. The gist of this research and other research implies that healing energy doesn’t actually travel from one person to another but the intention, prayer, healing energy of the sender shifts the energy field of the receiver simultaneously in nonlocal space. This connects to the idea that we are all connected and are aspects of spirit. So when one aspect shifts another shifts at the same time.

From both a Daoist and Shamanic Perspective we are all an aspect of the Dao or Creator and our spirit comes directly from this aspect. When we are thrown out of balance whether from direct trauma to the physical body, an emotional response to life circumstances or an energetic trauma to the psyche the spirit will often flee the body leaving us feeling disconnected, anxious, fearful, and numb in body or mind. Energy healing works by connecting to the collective or the spirit realms and identifying the imbalance, clearing the body, mind and emotions of the imbalance and welcoming the spirit back into the body. As this is all done energetically there is no need to be in the physical presence of the receiver and in fact I find distance healing allows for the space to let go of the judgements and preconceived notions of the mind and flesh and create a greater opening to the healing forces of the universe.

 

Start sending Healing Energy

If you know someone who is struggling right now whether from pain, grief, anxiety or any other physical or emotional imbalance, here are some simple steps to get you started in sending them some healing energy. You can also use this technique on yourself.

  1. Begin by finding a quiet space
  2. Take some deep breaths in, focusing on your heart beat
  3. Picture the person, place, or people you wish to send energy to
  4. Ask spirit if it is ok for you to send energy to them and what kind of energy they need
  5. Take a minute and really listen. It may come as a feeling, word, image, knowing
  6. Begin to cultivate the energy they need in your own heart and imagine it filling their heart and flowing out through their body
  7. Spend as much time as you can focus on this. Could be 2 mins or 10 all is good.
  8. Keep sending and build up those distance healing muscles.

Please let me know how this goes for you in the comments below and share it with anyone you know who may benefit from this practice.

If you are interested in receiving your own healing please check out my offerings

Many Blessings,

Marika

Covid-19: Opportunity in the Challenge

Covid-19: Opportunity in the Challenge

Wow, what a time we are living in!! I have to remind myself daily that this is the world we have dreamed and it is truly amazing to see how people are coming together, how the pollution of the world is down, how we are being asked to move more slowly in such a fast paced world. I really and truly see it as a gift we are being offered and not one to take lightly. Below you will find some information on covid-19 that perhaps you have not come across and some resources to help you through this and all the other challenges life has in store for us.
 
All life is connected, in fact our bodies are literally made up of bacteria and viruses. They help us break down our food and bolster our immune systems and challenge us to evolve physically, mentally and spiritually. Viruses are especially fascinating as they require a host cell to replicate and so parts of our DNA are actually virus DNA. 
 
We can not escape this truth nor can we escape interacting with these microorganisms. It is a part of being human. But many of us view these tiny beings we share the planet with as something to be eradicated. I think however it is more about harmony than war. Our bodies are innately clever and built to decide which organisms are friend and which are foe. Our greatest defence against organisms that threaten our lives is in our immune systems and part of the immune system is built up of good microorganisms. 
 
In traditional Chinese medicine pathogens are broken down into wind, cold, hot or toxins often with accompanying dampness. In order to expel the pathogens we need strong wei Qi and Zheng Qi (immunity) which are built out of kidney and and stomach fluids. If we are stressed, depleted, or weak than we won’t have enough Qi to defend our bodies and the sicker we will become. 
 
So how can you boost your immune system firstly through diet, eating warm wet foods- porridge, soup, broth, stew, avoiding cold, damp building foods like candy, ice cream, dairy, processed foods. We can also take supplements, herbs and at home practices that have been shown to improve our immune systems. 
Vitamin A,C&D
Zinc
Astragalus
Chaga and reishi mushrooms
Moxabustion
Acupressure
Qi gong 
 
Finally we need to release the fear, anxiety and stress as it is one of the primary things that weakens our immune system. Here are a few suggestions
deep breaths, 
time in nature. 
warm baths, 
exercise, 
talking with loved ones, 
rescue remedy,
Acupuncture, 
Meditation ( sign up for my newsletter to download my tree of life meditation) 
All of this goes far beyond just the virus, the incredible amounts of change that are being asked of us are unsettling to our instinctive centre. Residing just below our root chakra, our instinctive centre remembers all of our early childhood, ancestoral and past life traumas. Whenever anything is unsettling to it, whether it be childhood trauma, an ancestor who died of the spanish influenza or our own death many life times ago from another epidemic, our body remembers and the fear rises up, even if we rationally know the fear is not justified by the circumstances our bodies don’t know that and we are sent into a fight, flight or freeze response. The best ways to manage this are with breath, bringing awareness into your body and your environment to remember you aren’t in immediate threat, smudging yourself with tobacco, palo santo or sage and getting shamanic healing to clear the fear and realign the body, mind and spirit. 
 
Remember all challenges are opportunities, For the first time in years you can hear the birds singing in Wuhan, there is no smog in the skies of major cities like LA, people are coming together online to support those less fortunate in need. We are truly at a time of writing a new dream for humanity. I personally am incredibly excited about this opportunity! In Shamanism, there is a practice of dreaming our worlds into being, most shamanic cultures believe that everything we believe comes true and so each moment we have a chance to dream a new and better world into being. Through practices like mindfulness this is what we are doing, we are becoming aware of our surroundings, our actions and our reactions and learning to change them, creating a new reality for ourselves. What better time to try and do this then when we are asked to change our lives and are given the time and space to rest, reflect and dream. 
I hope you take this time to dive deep, walk in nature, move slowly, enjoy time with your loved ones and really imagine what a better world would be like.
 
To help you I have recorded a tree of life mediation which is part of my morning routine and is excellent at releasing fear, worry, anxiety and stress, grounding oneself and realigning body, mind and spirit with all that is. You can get your free copy when you sign up for my email newsletter.
 
I am also offering sliding scale distance shamanic healings. A powerful way to reset our systems, clear our fears and begin to dream again. $30-60/session
I will be available for a limited number of acupuncture and shamanic acupuncture sessions for those in need. 
I am also available by email if you have any questions or concerns.
 
Many Blessings
Marika Reid Hall RAc HDP BA
 
Postpartum Healing: A Holistic Approach

Postpartum Healing: A Holistic Approach

It is believed in Chinese Medicine that proper healing in the postpartum period can lead to a graceful menopause, greater health overall and even recovery from previous illness and chronic dis-ease. The body, mind and spirit go through tremendous changes in pregnancy and these changes don’t stop once baby is in the outer world. We must grieve our lives from before, we must learn to communicate and support a whole new human who is utterly dependent on us, we must find a new rhythm and our bodies must find a new normal. This takes time, lots of patience and support from our greater village and can lead to amazing, almost magical transformation in our bodies, beliefs and perceptions.

While most put lots of emphasis on the birth plan and what the nursery will look like, not many think about those tender weeks, months and first year of recovery and transformation, love and grief, confusion and joy. It truly takes a village to support a new family in this period of time and I encourage all my clients to sit down and make a plan in advance. Asking friends and family to help cook food, do chores, run errands and give a family space to find their new groove. 

In many traditional practices including traditional Chinese medicine, the mother and baby were left from one moon cycle up to 6 weeks to recover and build their bond. Family and friends would bring food, clean, keep mom and baby warm and away from cold, wind and the outer world, in order to protect the new family from illness, over exertion and emotional overwhelm. In some cases the mother was not even allowed to bath. Her only job was to eat, rest and learn the language of her new baby. In our modern world we know it is good to bath on occasion and getting some gentle exercise is very important to help in both physical healing and mental wellbeing. But the general principles behind these practice are still important to keep both moms and babies healthy, encourage recovery and bonding and lead to long term health outcomes.

In this article I am going to go through some of the key elements to work with postpartum that I have learned in my studies, practice and life. 

Building up the blood and yin

“Qi is the commander of blood and blood is the mother of qi”

It takes Yin, Qi and Blood to make a child. Yin the material form of all life gives rise to the anatomy of the body; its organs, tissues, muscle, skin…. Qi the energetic form of all life gives rise to the physiology of the body; digesting food, breathing, thinking, moving,… Blood, a yin substance connects the mother and baby, nourishing the fetus in the womb and then turning into breastmilk after the baby is born. Labour requires an extraordinary amount of qi to birth our babies and with the birth mothers lose some blood and with it more qi. Thus it is essential to build up the yin and blood to restore mama to her full strength and to make the milk that baby requires.

The best way to build up yin and blood is through the food and drink that we consume. Bone broths, liver, red meat and red fruits and vegetables are the best for building the blood. Whole grains, nuts, seeds and spices help build up the milk. Warmly cooked and neutral foods are easiest to digest. Here are a list of foods that are great to give a new mama. 

Bone broths (my favourite recipe)

Red Meats and Liver to replace Iron

Beets and Red fruits esp. Chinese red dates aka jujubes, goji berries, raspberries, strawberries and cherries to build the blood

Oats, Barley, Peas, Legumes, walnuts, almonds, sunflower, flax, pumpkin and hemp seeds to nourish the milk

Fennel, anise, dill, coriander, caraway and cardamom to aid digest and increase breast milk.

Keeping the body warm aka mother roasting

All that qi and blood that gets used in labour can leave one feeling chilled and more vulnerable to invading pathogens like wind and cold. Thus it is essential to keep both mom and babe (who can’t regulate their temperature yet) nice and warm. There are several ways to do this. 

  • Wrap mom and babe in warm clothes and blankets
  • keep windows closed, especially if there is a cold wind.
  • Feed mom warm teas and foods
  • Moxa!! An amazing medicine in my tool kit. Moxabustion is made of Chinese Mugwort, one of the only ways to increase qi and Yang (heat) from an external source. I give all of my postpartum clients a moxa stick to use three days after birth (six weeks after a cesarean) The stick is lit and held over the womb space and slowly moved over the abdomen in circles, spirals or figure eights until the skin becomes slightly red and warm. This feeds the qi, warms the body, moves the blood to prevent stagnation and clotting and generally feels amazing!
  • Get a full Mother Roasting treatment! For more info

Of course you do not want them to get to hot either, so in summer do be mindful of the ambient temperature of your rooms. 

Reducing pain and inflammation 

The body’s natural response to going through the hard work of labour, the stretching and sometimes tearing of tissues, the hours of squatting and pushing is to send fluid and immune cells to these tissues to repair them. This insurgence causes inflammation which causes pain. In order to reduce the pain we want to reduce the inflammation by helping the healing of tissues. Good nutrition as mentioned above is key to repairing the skin and building new vessels and cells, especially helpful is bone broth and collagen. Other helpful nutrients are vitamin A, C and zinc which are crucial to building new collagen and blood vessels, Rutin and grape seed extract are antioxidants that help vitamin c enter the cells and prevent scar tissue formation. Also taking natural anti-inflammatories like bromelain or turmeric can reduce inflammation, pain and speed healing. 

One of my favourite and safest ways to speed healing, reduce inflammation and pain is with acupuncture. Acupuncture works by stimulating neurotransmitters that modulate pain, release tight muscles and helps the body find the optimum path to healing. Ideally, having acupuncture in your home three days after your delivery is best to promote healing and well being. But it can be done at any time even months after delivery to help heal scar tissue and residual aches and pains.

Homeopathics are gentle yet potent medicines that hold the vibration of the plants, animals and minerals they are made from and help the body find its return to health by itself much like acupuncture. For pain and inflammation: arnica Montana 200c, calendula officinalis 200c, staphysagria 200c and hypericum perforatum 200c are taken one tablet at a time up to every half hour.

Keeping the emotions balanced

In TCM, Our emotional well-being is controlled by the liver who is responsible for the smooth flow of all our mental, emotional and physical energy, as well as bodily fluids. So if we get stuck in a mental or emotional rut or don’t move enough our qi becomes stagnated causing the liver to become upset and stagnate further. As we know post birth there has been lots of qi and blood lost and the change in our hormones, sleep schedules and need to rest can lead to further qi stagnation and emotional imbalance. 

Acupuncture excels in balancing the emotions. In fact, in Chinese medicine each emotions is associated with a different organ. Long term emotional imbalance can injure the organs as can injury to organs lead to emotional imbalance but lucky it is quite easy to help the qi move smoothly and find the correct path again, relieving anxiety, depression, worry, sadness, fear, shock, anger and over stimulation.

Some other ways to help process and balance your emotion are:

Support groups- We are never alone in our experiences, though we are each unique we also share so much especially in the world of birth and parenting. We were all born and were parented and many will go on to birth and parent themselves. Finding others who have gone through birth and parenthood or are going through it helps us to remember we are not alone and allows us to express our feelings and thoughts and hear from others perhaps gleaning some nuggets of wisdom, tools or compassion for ourselves and others.

Counselling- seeking out a trained counsellor who has experience in working with birth and parenting and can offer tools and insights can be a real game changer. I am especially fond of somatic and mindfulness based approaches.

Placenta pills are made from your placenta. The placenta is cleaned and dehydrated and then powdered and encapsulated, some also make a tincture or eat their placenta whole. The placenta is full of minerals, especially iron and hormones from pregnancy and labour. Some women find that consuming their placenta helps balance the hormones and emotions after they drop on the third day postpartum. Others find they are too sensitive to it and can’t take it. When looking for someone to encapsulate your placenta always make sure they have training in blood borne infections and proper clean technique.

Rescue remedy is a combination of five flower essences created by Dr Bach. Like homeopathics they contain the vibrational imprint of the flowers and are especially good at balancing emotions, releasing grief and trauma, reducing anxiety and fear and reconnecting the spirit withe the body. Four drops can be taken at a time as often as needed.

References

https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/news/20040708/supplement-speeds-wound-healing#1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3839002/

Medical Disclaimer

Information in this post and on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. The information is a result of practice experience and research by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem.

Acupuncture for Birth: Pre-birth vs induction

Acupuncture for Birth: Pre-birth vs induction

In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is said that there are three factors that are needed to start labour; a) activity (yang) Replace growth (yin) b) qi must move freely and move blood c) the uterus must open. I would add a fouth, the baby’s spirit must be ready.

After all Babies come in their own time. But there are so many factors that can make us feel like they aren’t coming at the right time, our nervousness about labour, our desire to meet our babies, our sore achy bodies, medical practitioners talking about big babies and the risks of going overdue, family and friends saying “are you still pregnant, when is that baby coming, wow you look huge”

So how do we help these three factors come together and promote a healthy natural start to labour? Prebirth Acupuncture (aka cervical ripening Acupuncture). Prebirth Acupuncture begins at 36-37 weeks gestation and continues each week until labour begins. In each treatment we discuss how the birthing person is feeling, addressing their concerns, hopes, fears, dreams and desires and based on this a unique combination of points is developed with the help of some special points that move qi and blood, ripen the cervix, relax the tendons and strengthen the body. This time spent each week allows mom to prepare herself, her body and her baby. I am a big advocate of talking to your body and baby and this is a great time to do it. Fears are released, anxiety dissolves, worries disappear, resilience and strength are built and trust in our power and knowledge is developed. All of these things help make stronger mamas and babies and promote more effective labour and birth. It strongly helps mitigate the need to medical interventions and if an induction is required it can make it that much more effective.

Sometimes Inductions happen and hopefully it is for an important reason. Acupuncture is one tool amongst many that can be used for induction or help medical inductions be more effective and prevent further interventions. However, if baby isn’t ready or the three factors that start labour aren’t completed then acupuncture or any other natural induction method will not work. In those cases, only medical interventions will get that baby out, so that mom and baby are both healthy and safe.

Studies show that those women who receive pre birth acupuncture had a shortened labour(1), improved cervical ripening(2,3), a 35% reduction in medical inductions (43%. For first baby), 31% reduction in epidurals and 32% reduction in emergency c-sections(4). While the 2013 Cochrane review of acupuncture for labour induction only found some evidence of cervical maturation in those who received acupuncture(5).

Book Now at Mothering Touch or call 587-581-5081

References:

1 Kubista E Kucera H. 1974. Geburtshilfe Perinatol; 178 224-9

2 Rabl M, Ahner R, Bitschnau M, Zeisler H, Husslein P.  2001. Acupuncture for cervical ripening and induction of labour at term – a randomised controlled trail. Wien Klin Wochenschr; 113 (23-24): 942-6

3 ​Tempfer C, Zeisler H, Mayerhofe Kr, Barrada M Husslein P. 1998. Influence of acupuncture on duration of labour Gynecol Obstet Invest; 46:22-5

4 Betts D, Lennox S. 2006. Acupuncture for prebirth treatment: An observational study of its use in midwifery practice. Medical acupuncture May; 17(3):17-20

5 Smith Ca. Crowther CA. Grant SJ. 2013. Acupuncture for induction of labour. Cochrane Database System Review.

 

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