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Jackie Gaston is a healer and teacher based in Austin, TX. I recently asked Jackie about her work, and its connection to creating balance and well-being in all areas of our lives.

CL: For people who are wondering why they are “stuck” in certain emotional or mental patterns, is there any physical explanation for that? If so, what can be done about that?
 
JG: This is a good question in that it seems to start with the assumption that there is a division between the mental, the emotional and the physical.  This is a view that has been held in western thought since Descartes hypothezied that thought equals being.  William Blake said that the body is the soul as perceived by the senses and I feel this is more accurate.  The question also addresses a state that we all experience from time to time.  The feeling of being “stuck” seems to be an unavoidable part of the human experience. I think it is more useful to look at this state in terms of what it may be telling us rather than as something that we need to do something about.  Why are we feeling stuck?  What is going on in  life that is allowing this feeling to be present at this time?  After these factors are identified, we can begin to take action to either change or accept them.  Doing this usually results in an awareness of the choices we are making and a feeling of more control in life.  Stuckness can’t stay around when we feel we are in control.
 
CL: What are some of the more powerful modalities that can assist people in attaining a greater sense of well-being?
 
JG: Sometimes old conditions set up shop in the body and are little bit slow to leave.  A simplified example is a period of time after a sore foot has healed when you still find yourself limping from time to time out of habit.  The cells in your body that reproduced during the time of the injury reproduced exact replicas of themselves.  The replicas contained the information that the foot was sore and limping took the pressure off of it.  Nerve patterns transferred this information to the brain and back to the muscles that moved the foot establishing patterns that told the muscles how to behave.  It takes a little while for all of those cells to get the message that the limping is no longer useful. Energy work can help repattern these kinds of messages.  My preferred modalities for this are craniosacral therapy and Reiki combined with specific massage movements for each part of the body. I also like acupuncture and chiropractic care.
 
CL: Explain what a typical Reiki or energy work session involves. What are some of the positive results?

 
JG: A Reiki session is done with the client fully clothed and looks like a ‘laying on of hands’ for lack of a better description.  I prefer to use my massage table for this but I have been known to work on people on their sofas, easy chairs or beds, folding chairs or whatever happens to be around.  The intent is to send energy to any place that needs it and/or clear energy blockages that may be causing problems.  The first result is usually a deep relaxation.  Some people can feel the energy moving through them while others report not really feeling anything.  I have never heard of anyone having a negative reaction to Reiki. However, I have known of people who were disappointed because they expected some big emotional or physical release.  While this can and sometimes does happen, it can be a much more subtle modality and the experience is different for each person.
 
CL: Do you recommend having ongoing energy work done in order to help with chronic conditions, or can some conditions be resolved in one session?
 
JG: Yes and yes.  There are some conditions that can be and are resolved in one session while others, especially chronic ones, benefit from ongoing sessions.
 
CL: What motivated you to become a healer and choose these modalities for your work?
 
JG: I have never had a job in which I did not feel that I was helping others.  In fact, the only criteria that I have ever had for work is that it allowed me to help others.  I have worked for a major insurance company, taught special education classes, worked with blind people and with developmentally handicapped people and worked for the Texas Rehabilitation Commission before becoming a body/energy worker so I guess the progression was logical.  I first began hearing about Reiki in the early 90s when I was working the first aid crew at a music festival. I asked questions about it but nobody really wanted to tell me very much.  Then, in 1996, a friend of mine left this time/space reality via running her car into a tree.  I traveled from San Angelo to Kerrville to her memorial service and she decided to accompany me home.  She literally pestered me into taking my first Reiki classes.   (I could go on and on about how weird this all seemed in San Angelo, TX but I’ll spare you that discourse.)  I had a craniosacral session in 1998 and felt my jaw unlock while the practitioner’s hand was under my sacrum.  I just had to find out how to do that.  Since then, I just have not been able to stop exploring different modalities.  I feel that I could spend the rest of my life studying ways that the body manifests the spirit and the ways in which it can be addressed.
 
CL: Are types of energy work ever combined to create some new form of healing?
 
JG: Certainly.  I seldom use just one modality.  Sometimes I don’t even have a name for what happens in a session.  Each person has different needs and responds to different combinations of modalities.
 
CL: People have ideas about what kinds of therapies they need to help with certain physical issues. Do you ever counsel against using certain methodologies?
 
JG: This is a fairly common occurrence.  A lot of times people think they want a deep tissue massage and it is often not what their body will accept, especially if they don’t get bodywork on a regular basis.  They have just heard the term a lot and think is sounds exotic or something.  I won’t do deep work or use much pressure at all on recent injuries.  There are other contraindications for bodywork such as illness, fever, and etc. But almost anyone can have energy work at anytime.

CL: In the greater mind-body-spirit-heart connection, how does your work to influence all of these areas of life?

JG: My intent is to help the client integrate the mental/emotional experience with the physical one and to set things up so that he/she is open to healing themselves.  Yeah, I said ‘healing themselves’ because I can only facilitate the healing by creating and holding the space for it to happen.

CL: What are you reading?

JG: Just finished Eat, Pray, Love, a book I did not expect to like based on reviews that I had read but I had heard so much about it that I gave in and read it.  Loved it.  I am also reading Marriage of the Spirit by Leslie Temple-Thurston and an autobiography of Judy Collins.  I am forever picking up the Abraham-Hicks books and reading a page or two.  I keep some of those cds in my car and usually listen to one while I drive around.  I am studying the work of Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer as well.

For more information on Jackie’s work and range of services, please visit www.jackiegaston.com.

August 2017
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