Developing Intuition

How do you learn intuition?  A pneumatherapist bases his/her work on a vast array of knowledge and skill, however, my journey of spiritual healing training is teaching me how such knowledge is almost futile if not backed up by well-developed intuition.

I am no expert on the subject of intuition. So many scholars and experts have written about this matter.  What I will attempt to do here is merely share some personal reflections on how I am developing my own intuition and how I am integrating it into my practice as I journey along my pneumatherapist training.

Working without intuition

My early stages of learning the practice of meridian massage therapy focused on learning the techniques of such treatment: how to use my hands and my body weight when delivering such therapy, the sequence of the massage and getting acquainted with working with different types of bodies.  Looking back on the first few massages I delivered, I notice how mechanical I was in doing them. My mind was preoccupied with ensuring I do not skip any body part, wondering if the pressure of my touch was too strong or too soft and pondering what the person receiving the treatment was possibly thinking and feeling about what I was doing.

Was I working with intuition there? I think not! I was merely doing a job and my feeling afterwards was one of physical and mental tiredness (though still happy!) People who volunteered to practice on them were always polite at the end of the treatment and said kind words to me.  But something inside told me that somehow the therapy was not complete. Was that my intuition talking to me?!

Introducing intuition

Now that I have gained some more practice in meridian massage therapy, I believe I am in a better position to pin point more the differences between my early practice and the more recent one.  The more familiar I become with the therapy itself, the more confident I feel and the more I can let go and trust my self.  Once again, should I say trust my intuition?!

The more I get “out of my head” the more I get into the present moment and the more I can sense what is going on there and then with the energies of the person I am working with.  The result of this is that the treatment itself is flowing, rather than mechanical.  Whilst still very attentive to the body, especially when focusing on specific meridians and particular marma points, the focus goes beyond the body to a deeper connection with the Self of the other person.  What I feel afterwards is peace, calmness and energy, rather than a sense of incompleteness and tiredness.  Clients also report a variety of positive feelings:  energized, calm, serene, peaceful, insightful, liberated, and others.

Does this mean that I am using my intuition more? Perhaps!

There are other instances where I am learning to let my intuition guide me.  For instance, when deciding which meridians to work on.  After applying all the diagnostic tools to assess which meridians and chakras need healing and consulting with my teachers, the ultimate decision is taken when I silence the chatterbox in my head (which has a habit of working overtime), connecting with my Self, turning to the Divine to ask for guidance and allowing the answer to resonate in my heart.  For me, this is the meaning of intuition.

How am I nurturing my intuition?

However, all of this does not come spontaneously.  While we all have intuition, I believe that this is something we need to hone into and develop.  The following are some things that have been helping me develop further my intuition.

  1. Meditation – daily meditation helps me to silence the chatterbox in my head, free myself from self-doubt and the anxiety and shift from the mind to the heart.  That is the place from where I can listen to the inner voice.
  2. Prayer – healing is not about making magic but about connecting with the Divine and asking with humility that the person receives the healing that she/he is seeking. Channeling that energy for me is only possible through prayer.
  3. Awakening the observer – When faced with any situation – big or small – which may require some sort of action on my part, I step out of myself, become my own observer and ask the question: “what would a wise woman do in such a situation?” I find that taking the observer position allows me to drop my ego and respond truthfully and authentically.
  4. Becoming more sensitive to Energy – this work is a constant reminder that we are Energy and that healing occurs when one is open to allow Prana to cleanse and energise the heart, body and soul. Thus, increasing my awareness and sensitivity to Prana lies at the core of pneumatherapy.  This helps me be more connected with the people I encounter, thus more in touch with their needs for healing.
  5. Increasing my self-awareness – I cannot connect with others if I am not connected with myself first. Thus, the ongoing journey of self-awareness persists.  Stopping to listen to my heart, my thoughts and the different sensations in my body, allows me to be more present to myself and more genuine in how I respond to myself and to others.  Living truthfully, i.e., aligned to what I feel, means trusting myself and allowing the voice inside guide me.
  6. Knowledge – a pneumatherapist cannot work without sound knowledge. Reading, studying, reflecting, conversing with and observing my teachers work, are all factors which further enhance and back up my endeavor to develop my intuition in healing others.

The further along I travel along this journey of mine and the more people I encounter who come for healing at Siem Reap Spiritual Energy Centre, the more I come to realise the immense responsibility of this work.  Accessing the soul energies of others comes with a lot of ethical responsibility. Unless I am truly simplistic, compassionate and humble in my approach, then I risk damaging my self and consequently those who come for healing. To never cease in my quest for developing my intuition is a must. Without it I know that I cannot do pneumatherapy.  I trust that I will continue to grow spiritually, to learn more and more how to listen with my hands, feel with my mind and speak with my heart.

On working with physical touch and becoming a pneumatherapist

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If I had to identify the one factor that drew me to embark on the journey of becoming a pneumatherapist it would be the spiritual connection inherent in the work. Whilst mentally preparing myself to start this training course, I was excited to discover how I would incorporate spirituality in the healing, and its impact on me. But I also knew that one of the methods employed by pneumatherapists to achieve such outcome was through working with bodies and physical touch. I must admit, I was not particularly excited about this aspect of the job! I knew it was there, but I consciously pushed it aside, hoping that it would somehow take care of itself.

However, being a firm believer that self-awareness is one of the keys towards self-development, I simply could not ignore this issue without giving it its due reflection. I hoped that it would lead to some insight.


What did I discover about myself?

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Where do my hang-ups about physical touch come from? I guess it all boils down to my relationship with my body. I was brought up in a culture where nudity is considered bad, or should I dare say sinful! Going to the beach at the age of 3, I was made to wear a two-piece swimming costume, covering both my buttocks and chest. As if there was anything to cover on that tiny body! I still recall vividly my first ever blue-and-white bikini and my protest at why I had to put on the ‘bra’ when my brother could go bare-chested. My dad’s response was, “cause girls need to cover their chest”. That was one of the earliest messages I recall receiving about bodies and nudity. And such message continued to be re-affirmed throughout my entire childhood and adolescence, not only by close family but also by society at large. During my early teenage, a religious movement I belonged to, prohibited all its girl-members from wearing trousers and imposed wearing a dress (yes a dress!!!) as our swimming costume! What does that teach a teenager who is at the crux of experiencing her sexuality about her own body image and that of others? Put all of this within a context of media bombardment of perfect bodies.

So yes, although many years have passed since then, the after-effects of such messages persist. My current body image is not exactly one that I am proud of. Although I believe that I’ve come a long way from that timid, extremely self-conscious teenager, I can honestly say that I do not burst with confidence when it comes to the way I perceive my body.
So what does this have to do with becoming a pneumatherapist?

Here lies my dilemma: how am going to feel comfortable in the presence of others’ naked bodies if I am not comfortable with my own body? How am I going to touch another person’s naked body for healing if I have my own doubts about others’ touching me? Worse still, how will all my hang-ups effect the healing of the people I work with at the clinic? The answers to all my questions came from the practice itself.

In the few weeks of my training, I have practiced giving massage healing to a number of people. I have therefore, seen, met and touched various bodies, and the feeling I am left with is one of awe and deep gratitude. All my nervousness, insecurity, doubt, that I had prior to starting this work, somehow drifted away, practically with the first massage that I gave. Of course, the thorough training, preparation and support by Adele, my trainer, contributed immensely to this. However, I believe there were other factors which came into play. I will try and identify them.

People’s trust in me as a healer at the time, is something which makes me very humble. It takes away the focus from my ego and places it where it should be. Seeing how people are ready to make themselves vulnerable because of their belief in the healing of the massage, not only deepens my respect for them but is a big realisation and a constant reminder that what is happening at the moment is not at all about the body, but about the spiritual connection taking place between myself, the person receiving the massage and all the spiritual beings present with us at that moment.

And this brings me to another point – that the body is merely a vehicle that is transporting the soul. Just like other vehicles, it may be brand new, latest model, or have some wear and tear on it. But nonetheless, it’s just a vehicle doing a job, which once on the road, starts experiencing its depreciating value. Never having been one to be impressed by nice, sexy cars, perhaps makes it easier for me to use this analogy. To my surprise, I have discovered – quite early on in my experience of massage healing – that it really is not about the body. The body is simply there to give us an indication of where the healing in the spirit of that person is needed. Touching the physical body is our way of making contact with the soul. In this way, the body almost becomes irrelevant – I nearly do not see it anymore. Instead, I am in awe of the spiritual connection that takes place during that time.

So back to how am I to physically touch others given all my hang-ups about bodies? Easy! Massage healing is not about the physical body. The physical body is nothing more than a map, guiding us to direct Prana energy wherever it is needed the most. All this work is also teaching me to be more respectful of my own body and to challenge my warped perception of my body image. Who knows? Perhaps by the time I am a pneumatherapist I would have overcome my hang-ups!!

So if I had to go back to the original motivation of why I wanted to become a pneumatherapist, i.e., to work spiritually with people and not to work with physical bodies, I should worry no more. Working with bodies is indeed a beautiful, humbling and enriching way of working spiritually.

Understanding Svadhisthana Chakra

A few weeks into my trainee programme for Pneumatherapy at the Wayist Spiritual Healing Retreat Centre in Siem Reap, a woman visited the Centre for a Know Your Karma session.

For ease of reference, I shall refer to this person as Kate. Kate, a 40 year-old single woman, presented to the Centre in a calm, gentle manner. Slightly withdrawn at first, she stated that she was feeling stuck in her life and was searching for “more”, though could not verbalise at the time what this more was.

An initial chakra reading revealed that Muladhara and Manipura Chakras were weak, and the rest of the Chakras were fine, except for Svadhisthana, which was completely blocked. Continue reading “Understanding Svadhisthana Chakra”