10 Japanese Wellness Practices to Heal Yourself Completely

One of the main reasons I moved to Japan was to deepen my understanding of Dr. Mikao Usui's (founder of Reiki) complete system of healing which is rooted in deeply caring for the body and gently disciplining the mind.

While in NYC, every time I was guided to teach a Reiki class, I felt this undeniable pull to learn more about Japanese culture at the same time. And every class, more so (until I moved here altogether!) Dr. Usui's system of healing merely includes Reiki but encourages the practitioner to understand their mind in all ways and continue to improve upon it.

A lot of people who receive Reiki, while they feel better afterwards, don't really know how to take the right actions to fundamentally better themselves after the session and so end up returning for more Reiki but with the same problems. Unfortunately the culture just doesn't support self-healing and so many of us have a hard time rising above the culture.

So I thought I needed to find out more about Dr. Usui's culture to get a better understanding of what it means to completely heal ourselves, and as Reiki Master Teacher further incorporate this understanding into classes and healing experiences.

I was guided to share these 10 Japanese wellness practices to heal yourself completely:

1. Eat well/ foods that are made with love and care. While the food here is delicious just about everywhere I go, the food I cook for myself feels the best in my body.

2. Resting and relaxing. A big part of the social culture includes visiting bath houses or onsens. These establishments pipe in bubbling hot mineral-infused spring water from deep within volcanic earth for people to basically melt away toxins from the body (and mind). The experience is incredible on many levels, but especially since it's considered normal to go to onsen whereas in the States going to the hot springs feels more like a luxury. And for many, bath time at home is a time to relax and wash the day away and to prepare for a good night's sleep.

3. Taking disciplined action. When I first arrived here I felt like an ogre; clumsy, taking up lots of space, saying things that didn't make any sense, and moving much slower than the people around me even though I was running myself ragged. I quickly began to understand that they've been undergoing a certain kind of (albeit strict) polishing or discipline that allowed them to move and think efficiently. When it's time to move and do, they move and do. When it's time to be still and quiet it's all understood intrinsically in the body.

4. Listening and thinking carefully before acting and speaking. I tend to be impulsive and reactive, I drop lots of things and do too much at once, like some kind of stormy force of nature. I quickly learned there's just not a lot of room for that here. So I've been undergoing a slow re-wielding process of catching myself even as I'm thinking thoughts that are completely unnecessary in the moment.

5. Assigning intention to all things. Daily activities, especially around the house when done with intention and care feel like they shape my mind in a major way when I'm out in the world. Slowly I began to find myself smiling while washing and cleaning, and then noticed how my movements in the world felt more graceful and elegant naturally without me needing to "try".

And finally here are some wellness practices I've picked up while living in Okinawa that have helped me to feel like I'm living heaven on earth:

6. Find ways to keep laughing.

7. Become "yasashi". In Japanese this word translates into "gentleness" or "kindness", but I've come to understand it here more as a verb for being a good person.

8. Every night let the earth cradle you to sleep. If you let her, she will.

9. Let the spirits sing you their songs (the ones that sing are the ones to listen to).

10. Mood is king! Somehow, give yourself flowers everyday. Even if it's picking a wild flower from outside and putting it in a cup on your nightstand. Flowers raise our vibration unconsciously and instantly.

Lots of love to you,

Olivea

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