Plant Stories – Milkweed

Milkweed Pods
Milkweed Pods – 📷 mendingroots

Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) was named for Asklepios, the Greek god of medicine, who apprenticed with “the wounded healer” Chiron. He carried a serpent entwined staff and became such a powerful healer that he could raise the dead. For this perceived abomination, Zeus struck him down with a thunderbolt.

Asklepios (Asclepias) and Serpent Staff
Asklepios (Asclepias) and Serpent Staff – 📷 Zwiebackesser

Beloved of monarchs, common milkweed provides support to pollinators through all life stages. Monarchs lay their eggs in the leaves, which are the only food the caterpillars can process. Later the flower nectar provides the butterflies with nourishment.

Monarch on Milkweed Pod
Monarch on Milkweed Pod – 📷 MyTravelCurator

The bitter, milky latex excreted by milkweed deters nibblers and quickly heals injuries to the plant. It has been used ancestrally as a topical treatment for warts, ringworm and other skin ailments.

Bee on Milkweed Blossom
Bee 🐝 on Milkweed Blossom – 📷 tlindsayg

As a tea, Milkweed’s root (pleurisy) is a traditional remedy for respiratory complaints, such as asthma, bronchitis, pleurisy and tuberculosis. It has also been chewed to help with diarrhea and dysentery.

When prepared properly, the young shoots can be eaten and the fibers can be utilized for stuffing; however it’s important to preserve a healthy milkweed population to support the monarchs. Don’t forget to make a wish on the fluff-fueled seeds as you see them fly by. ✨

Open Milkweed Pod

Open Milkweed Pod – 📷 mendingroots

Sources

http://cms.herbalgram.org/heg/volume10/08August/MilkweedandMonarchs.html?t=1375735267&ts=1378236572&signature=2c3d513d885ce0549e845e623fbf4faa&ts=1567975005&signature=975d282a6fe3a83d313bd9244649dd06

https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_asve2.pdf

https://articles.mercola.com/herbs-spices/milkweed.aspx

http://www.flowersociety.org/Milkweed-Plant-Study.htm#folklore

http://wildblessings.com/plants/milkweed/

https://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/Asklepios.html

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What is Reiki and How Can It Help Me?

Helena Nelson Reed
Inspirational Artwork by Helena Nelson Reed 

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a form of hands-on energy healing, which promotes health and spiritual/emotional well-being by encouraging the release of negative energy from the body.  “Reiki does not attack disease.  Rather, Reiki supports our natural ability to heal by encouraging balance” (Miles 8).  The word Reiki can be broken down to Rei – universal and ki – energy or life force.  This force exists everywhere and passes through the practitioner to the client to facilitate healing.

What can it do for me?

The benefits of Reiki vary from person to person.  Most commonly, the recipient experiences a near immediate decrease in stress, anxiety and pain.  After the treatment, clients report improvement in sleep, digestion, chronic pain, motivation and outlook.  These improvements can be maintained and increased through subsequent sessions and self-treatment.  Reiki is safe and beneficial for everyone, whether they want to maintain a healthy state or return to one.  Reiki healing acts as an amazing complement to western medicine techniques/treatments.  Ongoing sessions can help alleviate side effects from medications or invasive treatments.  Reiki can also be used to enhance other holistic treatments, such as acupuncture or massage.

My first appointment

Every Reiki practitioner is different; however you can generally expect to arrive several minutes early to fill out an intake form.  This document can include general inquiries, such as contact information and intentions/goals for the session and/or more detailed requests, including health history and current medications.  Overall, the intake form functions as a communication tool – it gathers information to help the practitioner understand the client’s needs/wishes and provides information to the client about what to expect.  The intake form also contains a disclaimer to be sure the client understands that Reiki does not take the place of medical care.  Next, the practitioner will engage the client in a brief consultation to further discuss intentions and expectations.  The treatment will usually take place with the client lying on their back on a comfortable Reiki bed or massage table.  Some practitioners will have the client roll to face down during the session.  Any position can be accommodated to facilitate comfort and safety.  For example, a client will lie on their side during pregnancy.  The healing itself, can also vary, but usually involves a series of hand positions on or just above the body.  The treatment can be customized to each individual’s needs.  A Reiki session is a safe space and anything discussed is completely confidential.  Let your practitioner know at any time during the session if you are uncomfortable in any way.  The session will often leave you in a state of deep relaxation.  Take your time getting up from the table and making your way home or to your next destination.

Can I learn Reiki?

Absolutely! All living things are innately capable of healing themselves and others. Reiki is commonly passed from teacher to student through a Reiki attunement.  This experience is customized by the teacher/tradition, but involves some formalized channeling of Reiki energy, which promotes a deep connection to the force.  Reiki attunements are usually divided into sections (Reiki I, II and Master), which can be received over time or all at once.  Students who have received a Reiki I attunement are able to support self-healing on a daily basis.  Mending Roots Reiki  currently offers Reiki I  & II classes/attunments (http://www.mendingroots.com).  Animals can also benefit from Reiki treatments.  The Animal Reiki Alliance (http://www.animalreikialliance.com) offers both services and courses in animal Reiki and communication.

Summary

Reiki healing is an excellent way to foster physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and even community balance and well-being.  It is an individual experience that is safe and beneficial for all.  For further information, contact Jess @ Mending Roots Reiki & Herbal: jess@mendingroots.com.  To book an appointment click below:

schedule

Sources

Miles, Pamela. Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide. New York: Penguin, 2008. Print.

Conroy, CT & JA. Radical Reiki – Radical Life. Worldwide: Self, 2007. Digital.