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Virtual Healing Sessions for Challenging Times: the Effectiveness of Online Acupressure

Virtual Healing Sessions for Challenging Times: the Effectiveness of Online Acupressure

I have been doing healing sessions with several people remotely during the pandemic, to help stabilize the mood, alleviate fear and anxiety, restore motivation and enthusiasm, and improve sleep and general energy levels. I’ve also been working with patients dealing with serious autoimmune conditions that needs constant attention, especially during “flares.” Inflammatory symptoms, pain, migraine and digestive problems are some of the most common “flare” symptoms.

While in-person acupuncture sessions are my preferred way of working with patients, I have found that online remote sessions, usually based on guided acupressure and mindfulness practices, can prove just as effective.

I began my career in healing as a Reiki energy practitioner, using mindfulness practices such as meditation and body-energy channeling. I was also a massage therapist for several years. It was several years after practicing the more subtle energetic healing arts that I began studying and practicing acupuncture. Therefore working in a more subtle, nontraditional way isn’t new to me. The challenges posed by the pandemic and its restrictions actually reminded me of several skills and powerful ways of healing I’d forgotten.

People have different personalities: different energetic vibration. Some respond best to touch therapy, others to botanicals like herbs and essential oils. Still other people respond best to subtle energy work, oftentimes without physical contact.

During the pandemic several people approached me requesting virtual healing sessions. I had to be convinced. Thankfully the sessions proved to be surprisingly effective and powerful. One of the people who convinced me was a longtime patient I hadn’t seen in years. He was now living across the country from me, yet insisted I was the only practitioner he trusted to help him with his autoimmune difficulties.

This patient, Brick, is someone who is highly body-attuned. He actually does best with the least amount of physical contact. He responds very quickly and effectively to subtle energy work. His extreme sensitivity, brought on by his autoimmunity, has allowed him to be able to work with his own internal energy very effectively. What he needed from me was direction and guidance. This is what I have provided through our weekly on-line virtual healing sessions.

I’m not only a healer for Brick, but also a mentor and teacher, teaching him how to move and adjust energy within his own body. We’ve also been exploring how to better assess the energy imbalances that cause his severe symptoms of pain, inflammation, sleep disturbance, digestive issues, anxiety and depression.

During our work together, I have taught Brick how to identify and work with the acupuncture points. We’ve developed several acupressure protocols he now uses for various symptoms when they arise. Brick has even gone so far as to say suggest I should market some of the protocols to the public based on how reliably effective they are in treating his symptoms, especially his severe migraines. Maybe I will put them into a book at a later date. But for now, we are making them up organically as we go.

Brick and I have developed good rapport. I’m able to intuit and “feel-into” his energy body to assess where he needs adjustment. We then develop an organic acupressure protocol during our virtual sessions to correct his imbalances. More often than not this has a quick restorative effect that brings relief. He will often start the session in intense pain, fatigue or inflammation and end the session looking and feeling good.

Brick uses the protocols we’ve created to self-treat his symptoms and autoimmune flares, some of which can be quite intense. For example, when his body goes into purging mode, creating intense diarrhea, we’ve created protocols to correct this. When he is unable to sleep, there are protocols we’ve developed for this. When he feels a migraine is about to come on, he has protocols to prevent them. Brick has a multitude of symptoms, therefore he has developed a rather large book of protocols we’ve created together in our virtual healing sessions.

Classical Chinese medicine, especially the ancient medical textbooks classified healers. There were those who were traditional medical doctors, relying on symptoms and standard diagnostic techniques, like palpation, tongue and pulse diagnosis. There were those could diagnose through a person’s complexion, body odor, voice quality. Then there were those who’d developed intuitive, and even psychic capacity to look and feel into a person and know what is wrong. I myself use all of these diagnostic methods, depending on the person I am working with.

I was taught, by my distinguished Chinese medicine teacher that it is helpful to be somewhat of a shape-shifter as a healer. There are many different types of people that respond to different types of healing and healers. Understanding this allows us to honor who and where a person is living within their health, illness and life. It is not our job as healers to indoctrinate our patients into a particular mindset, but to work within the patient’s own mindset and context: to speak and work with them in their own language and reality. This demands that we learn how to enter into the reality of the patient and work at the energetic or vibratory level in which they live.

For example, people who are more emotionally-focused I tend to do a lot of talking with: processing, as a method of feedback, to teach them to transform and circulate their emotional energy. This is the way in which we approach our healing relationship. There are acupuncture channels and points that are especially attuned to this level of being. They are the acupuncture channels that resonate most closely with the body’s blood circulation. These are often the channels and points I focus on with these types of patients.

Then there are other patients more attuned to their physical bodies, possessing a more dense, “earthy” vibratory frequency. With these people we often speak in the language of physicality and touch. We communicate and work with the tangible when addressing symptoms and conditions. We usually don’t use much emotional language, nor do we talk in terms of energy. We talk and work with physicality: the body, the muscles: things we can feel and see. With these people I use very different acupuncture channels and points: those that deal with the more surface energy of the body that flow through the muscles, sinews and joints.

For my patients like Brick who are highly attuned to the subtle energy changes in their bodies, physical intervention like acupuncture is often not the best way to work. We can speak in the language of energy and temperature: “wind” and “damp,” “heat” and “cold.” We can look into an acupuncture point or area of the body and see images and retrieve messages that help dissipate blockages or give insight into the nature of the symptom. This is a meditative way of working, much like Qi Gong or Reiki energy healing practices. We also focus on the moving energy of the body, directing it so as it dissipate blocks and clear inflammation. We do this through visualization and subtle means of energy circulation.

Each person is different. It is important to work within the vibratory field that a person lives and communicates. For example, a more physical, hands-on session that works best on some people will often make the symptoms of people like Brick worse. He requires very subtle, psychic intervention. For a person who lives within the emotional vibratory level, a session where we don’t talk, exchange and share feedback will often feel incomplete and therefore less effective.

I’ve come to see that some people actually do better therapeutically with virtual sessions. They allow for more self-healing cultivation and psychic intervention. Brick for example is highly motivated to learn to treat himself, since his autoimmune flares require constant attention. He and I don’t engage much at the emotional level, since this doesn’t seem to have much positive effect on his symptoms. We do best when we focus on moving the subtle energy through his body through guided acupressure and mindfulness practices.

Whereas another virtual patient, Susan does best when we focus our online sessions on emotional feedback exchange. We go into areas of the body, physicalizing or creating a bridge between the psycho and the somatic, applying guided acupuncture touch with meditation insight into an area which we discuss in emotional language. Susan is most interested in learning what her body is trying to teach her. She wants to create a deeper relationship with herself. This is also a method of self-healing that we are exploring together, albeit with a very different focus than that which I take with Brick.

Nicholas Sieben, MS, L.Ac.

Nicholas is a healer who uses acupuncture and reiki to help awaken and heal. His mission is to promote greater freedom of body, mind and spirit through compassionate self-awareness. Through the use of ancient medical practices and the spiritual philosophies of Taoism and Buddhism, Nicholas helps illuminate the path to healing. He is a student of the renown Taoist priest and Chinese Medical Master Jeffrey Yuen. He completed his acupuncture studies under Mr. Yuen at the Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences, and received a B.A. from Brandeis University in Sociology and Philosophy. He has a practice in New York City.

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