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Lesson 10: The Ultradian Rhythm and How to Use It
The Ultradian Rhythm may be a concept you’ve never heard before; just like Reiki may have been an entirely new term to you in the beginning. Here we will discuss what the Ultradian Rhythm is, where it originated from, and how it is so important to the art of Reiki.
The Ultradian Rhythm
Researched for decades in the field of Biology, Spirituality, and Medicine are the natural cycles of the body. Some cycles include the renewal of our body cells, the timing of when we fall asleep and when we wake up, and the cycle of when we feel hungry and when we feel full. One of the most relevant body cycles to Reiki is that of the Ultradian Rhythm, which tells us when our body needs a break from the activities we are engaging in. This also tells us when we need a break from simply functioning through life in general!
The research shows that, every hour and a half to two hours (90 minutes to 120 minutes) our body craves a break. Either we have been standing up too long, reading a book for a while, or sitting at our desk at the computer working on a project. At some point, we all need a breather. This is because we are expending energy, that is used to power our muscles and our brains, which are working tirelessly through the day to help us accomplish our daily goals and just to keep us running smoothly. Though we have quite a big resource of energy to fuel our daily activities and thoughts, something we need to take the time to charge our batteries to have better access to that energy, or “refuel” ourselves throughout the day.
This break could come in the form of a nap, or simply a step outside for a breath of fresh air, but many times people do not allow themselves this break in the day, because we perceive that we don’t have the time for it. We are all busy, perhaps at work, working toward a deadline that is coming up, or otherwise distracted by the expectations put on us to complete our tasks. This is why we feel a break is unnecessary or even a burden: we have things that we need to get done, and a break isn’t going to help us do them.
What’s interesting about that is that taking a break actually will help us in the long run.
When our body is telling us something, or giving us a signal, it’s never without a reason. The body’s natural clock telling us to take a break does so because this is ultimately what is going to help us function better, and longer. When we have breaks during the day, many of us will smoke cigarettes, drink an energy drink or coffee, or find an alternative way to “gain power” or receive a boost. Instead, we should simply take the down time to rest and restore our bodies – after all, this is the purpose of a break. When we don’t listen to our bodies needs in times like this, stress actually increases. Our focus suffers, and we become overtired, making deep sleep at night more difficult and the rested feeling harder to achieve when we wake up.
Luckily, we can use Reiki healing to restore this balance.
Using Reiki to Restore The Ultradian Rhythm
The Ultradian Rhythm Technique is the name for the set of healing positions we will use to bring back the balance of our body’s natural rhythm, working and taking a breather. Make sure throughout the day that you are listening to your body and your mind giving you signals that you may need a break. Some red flags may be zoning out, daydreaming, feeling the need to sit down, feeling the need pull away from the screen, or feeling a general loss of energy. These are signs that you need to step out for a minute!
The hand position employed here goes over our eyes, though the technique is a little different in this situation. Here’s how.
First try to remove yourself, either mentally or physically, from the environment where you are working. Once you’ve found a moment to be at peace and take your break, gently cup your hands over your eyes. Instead of focusing solely on reaching a meditative state (like you might do for regular Reiki self healing), use this moment to be introspective. With your eyes closed, pay attention to your body and any areas where you may feel pains or aches. Seek out muscles that are tight, or areas of your body that simply feel tired and overworked.
Once you’ve pinpointed a spot, or a few spots, use the next steps to lay your hands on those areas. Use a more mindful approach when you are healing your Ultradian Rhythm cycle, and try to actually imagine in your head that these areas of your body are being touched by the energy of Reiki. Envision the healing process taking place in your mind. This act will direct the healing energy through a stronger channel, and your positive affirmations that you will be calmed will help make it happen. Only when you are feeling completely restored and reenergized should you stop and continue your activities. If you find that you are employing this technique correctly but do not have enough time to feel fully rejuvenated, you can always visit the approach later in your day or at your next break time. Life is busy and can get the best of us, so work on restoring this rhythm and your overall sense of spiritual grounding as much as you can. It is always best to incorporate a little bit of thoughtful Reiki into your day rather than none at all.
Taking a Second Look
Feel like you didn’t really find an aching pain in your body the first time you evaluated with your hands over your eyes? Open your eyes, shake it off, and try once again. Take it more slowly the second time around. Often it takes another shot to really figure out what needs attention within us.
If you cannot find one specific area needing relief during this time, simply assume the position of eyes gently covered, and relax your mind. Even this simple act will help you feel restored, and you can go back to work with a fresh outlook.
There is also another technique you can use to help restore your Ultradian Rhythm by indulging in a break now and then. This actually does not incorporate the hand over eyes position, or any other position discussed previously in this book. This new method is based off of research done on the Thymus, which is a major lymphocyte site in the body, transporting healthy white blood cells that heal the body. The Thymus is located on our chest, a few inches beneath the base of the neck and in the center of the chest.
If you feel around on your chest, it is in the same area as the small ridge/dent that’s made into you above the topmost part of your ribcage.
What you can do here if you do not have time to step out and take a full break where you would use your hand positions is to try this. This reaches into the method of “tapping,” where you use two fingers to tap on certain parts of your body. Use your index and pointer finger and tap this spot on your chest 20 – 30 times at a consistent pace. Not only does this direct energy straight to an important spot for the immune system, but it also will allow you to feel like you are paying attention to your body’s needs even though you’re busy. You are always welcome to hold your hand there the way you would during traditional Reiki healing. Try both methods when you’re crunched for time and see what works best for you.
Remember, it’s important to take some time out for a break no matter what, so you should always seek to do so whenever you have time, and make do with other methods when you don’t! Your body will thank you for it.