Remote therapies: The advantages of online wellness
Holistic therapies, coaching and bodywork are great for reducing stress but, suddenly, when a lot of people are feeling anxious and in need of help, many wellness services that were provided in person are now limited, or only available online.
If you need support, should you wait until things are back to normal for face-to-face support? Or should you just go for it?
You will probably have questions:
- Does energy healing work long-distance?
- What about massage? Can that work online?
- So coaching might work, but does it feel impersonal on screen?
- Can I do a class? How would that work?
- What if my house is a mess or the dog starts barking?
- I’m a bit rubbish with technology. What if I end up getting in a muddle?
Here, I can answer these questions based on personal and professional experience.
Energy healing absolutely works long-distance. It’s the same as a blessing or a prayer that you might send. Whether there is a couple of inches between the therapist’s hands and their client or a couple of miles, it makes no difference.
Energy follows intention. It goes where it needs to go no matter where we are physically. I have clients on the other side of the world who can feel me working on them at the same time as I can feel their energy beneath my hands.
How does it work? You would need to ask a quantum physicist that question. But any experienced practitioner of energy work will be able to demonstrate distant healing that is effective, for example, Reiki, Sekhem, Theta Healing, Spiritual Healing, and many other modalities.
I actually had an ‘online massage’ during lockdown. Over a video link, the therapist assessed my posture as usual, then put me through some positions with breathing and stretches that released the tension in my muscles. It wasn’t quite the same as having physical manipulation but it definitely worked.
Coaching is mainly conversational, so it works really well via video chat. A large percentage of communication is body language, but facial expressions usually tell a story in themselves. In my experience, it’s enough to be able to see the client from the shoulders up. Some people find it a little more tiring working on screen because the brain is searching for other sensory cues that aren’t there (such as smell). However, it mostly feels like a normal face-to-face conversation.
The success of classes and training depends on what equipment and space the therapist has at their end. Not every form of holistic training is suitable to be done online. For instance, if you were to learn Indian Head Massage you really have to massage someone’s head! But other types of class can work. For instance, I recently started learning Tai Chi via Zoom with a teacher on the other side of the world.
With regards to the space where you do your session, as long as you have somewhere where you can relax at home to have some quiet, that’s what’s important. We really don’t mind if you have a pile of laundry in the corner. Pets and children will interrupt from time to time. That’s just how life is - we can work with it.
And the tech stuff is your therapist’s problem to solve. They should provide you with a link, either for Zoom, Microsoft Teams, a telehealth platform such as Cliniko, or something similar. If they don’t have those set up, you might be working over Skype and they will send you their ID so you can connect. If you do get in a muddle, with so many options to choose from, there is usually a way to work out a plan B.
So, let’s now take a look at the pros and cons.
What are the advantages of online wellness?
- No travel to your session - saves you time, money, energy and stress.
- No getting changed - if you’re going for a holistic treatment on the way home from the office, you might need to bring comfortable clothes. At home, you are probably in your comfy clothes already.
- No travel after your session - would you rather have a cup of tea and flop on the sofa, or battle your way through traffic?
What are the disadvantages of online wellness?
- If you have a busy household, or you live somewhere noisy, it might be difficult to find peace and quiet for an hour.
- Sometimes the Internet goes wrong, but less often than traffic or train timetables, so on balance, I think this one is still a positive.
- Some types of treatment require physical contact e.g. acupuncture or reflexology.
So, if you are going for something psychological, such as coaching, or purely energetic like Reiki, you will most likely be able to get a lot out of an online session with none of the hassle of getting from A to B.
What can you do from home to get even more out of your treatment?
First, pick your timing. Don’t have too many appointments too close together. Once a week is usually plenty. Maybe twice if you have two therapies that are completely different e.g. counselling then a form of healing. You need to give your mind, body and energy time to adjust to each session.
It makes no sense to have a lovely relaxing session at the start of a stressful day. You won’t be able to fully absorb the energy or process the learning. Do your running around then have your session at a time when you can rest afterwards.
Second, some therapists might give you a bit of homework, like meditation, breathing exercises, a daily walk, journaling, or exercises that work the chakras and meridians e.g. yoga or Tai Chi. Sometimes it’s as simple as drinking more water or eating more fresh fruit.
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