Article by Carrie Anderson
This is a brief introduction into the practice of full body meditation and how to pair it to a self-Reiki treatment. A full body scan meditation can last thirty to forty-five minutes, or you can shorten it depending on your schedule. This kind of meditation allows you to “see” your body and to connect to it. Using a full body scan prior and post a self-Reiki session also allows you to gain a better understanding of where you might require Reiki energy and how your body responds to self treatment. Additionally, when practiced on a regular basis you can gain the ability to really sense when your body is in need. This meditation allows you to gain a deep connection and awareness that can later transform into becoming aware of any bodily issues much sooner than if you had not practiced this meditation on a regular basis.
A full body scan meditation is similar to other meditation practices, in that, you are trying to quiet your mind, not focus on outside stimuli, and for bringing about a sense of calmness and clarity. How it differs from other meditation practices is that instead of trying to quiet the mind and not focus on inner thoughts, you will focus on your body and the sensations that arise.
To begin, find a comfortable position to lie down in, preferably in a location that is quiet and without bright lights or too many outside distractions. Close your eyes and focus on the space between your eyes, or your third eye chakra. Take a few deep, calm cleansing breaths.
Beginning at the top of your head (or the bottom of your feet, which ever feels right to you), slowly visualize each part of your body and with your third eye, travel there. For instance, starting at your crown, you would visualize the crown of your head. With your mind and your mind’s eye, focus entirely on the crown. What sensations do you feel? Hot, cold, tingling, buzzing, peace, calmness….countless other ways to choose the words for how this part of your body feels. Then travel down to your forehead. Again, your entire awareness is now on your forehead. Examine this area with your mind and third eye. Feel the sensations. Eyebrows, then eyelids, ears, cheeks, nose, lips, back of the head, the neck. You want to use this meditation to examine each portion of your body, individually. Not the entire head at once, but main features each get a stop and visit from your mind and your mind’s eye. Imagine it as though you are taking inventory and need to account for each piece that makes the whole.
Continue down to your shoulders, your chest, upper back, right upper arm, right lower arm, wrist, thumb and each individual finger. Now to the left side. Moving to your lower back, hips, right thigh, right calf, ankle, big toe, the toes individually, then the top of the foot and the sole. Once you have completed the body scan, it’s time to do it in reverse. If you started with your crown, then now, you will begin with your feet. Once the reverse body scan is down, then take time to feel the entire body. Feel how all of the different parts are affecting the whole and how the sensations interact and react.
There shouldn’t be a rush or a time constraint to the full body scan. Take the time that you need to find a comfortable pace. Different parts of your body might require more time spent focusing on the sensations. Maybe some days this practice is quicker than others. There will be other days where the calming effect of this full scan body meditation feels like a special treat and you will revel in the feeling and want to stay for a while, and that’s just as perfect.
Once you’ve completed the entire full body scan, then move onto your self-Reiki treatment. If you’re familiar with the Byosen scanning – this is a more intimate scan that focuses on the pieces and then the whole. The full body scan might give you a deeper insight into where you might have energy blockages or which organs and the corresponding chakras. See if you can relate what you experience during the full body scan to the sensations you feel during your self-Reiki treatment.
After your self-Reiki treatment, if you have time and feel drawn to do another body scan, then do so. I often do a much quicker and shortened version by spending less time at each spot and moving on to the whole body at once. I like to compare the before and after self-Reiki sessions.
I’ve been practicing full body scans for a very long time. I am now able to tell when I might be getting sick days earlier than I had before I practiced this meditation. This really helps in being able to be proactive in seeking appropriate treatments.
Before your next self-Reiki session try doing a full body scan meditation. See if it’s a new tool for your self care routine. If you are intrigued by the full body scan there are many resources online and books dedicated to the subject.
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Carrie Anderson has her Bachelor’s in Anthropology with a Minor in Women’s Studies. She is a Reiki Master with additional training in Grief Reiki, NOW Reiki, Crystal Reiki, Reiki Space Clearing, and Animal Reiki. Her focus is on Distance Reiki. She also has certifications in Teen Guided Meditation, Chakra Cleansing, Meditation Guide, Manifestation Practitioner, Energy Healing with Color and Art, Reflexology and Acupressure. Additionally, she is a Yoga Instructor with a focus on Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Children’s Yoga, and Yoga Nidra. Carrie is a co-author with Mellisa Dormoy for the book, “Easy Mindfulness for Today’s Teens”. She is an active member of the Natural Healer Society and may be reached at email@example.com