You will, also, be interested in an article by Lisa Miles Jackson, R.N., C.H.H.C., C.Y.T., exploring vibrational medicine, including art.  She presented my “Infinite Surrender” mandala at a recent retreat and surveyed the participants regarding their experience.  All reported that the image enhanced their meditation and most described reduced pain, increased relaxation and a sense of connection.

The results are in! The Reiki Digest’s focus group analysis – Does art help the healing process?

Reiki: The Infinite Field (c) P.C. Turczyn 2011

By Beth Lowell, Managing Editor, The Reiki Digest

“Images of a five pointed star, then [it]changed to a six pointed star, then a swirl, then an angel, then a dancing ballerina…Such an interesting experience!”

“I really enjoyed the movement and vibration of the mandala. I usually close my eyes during a Reiki session so it was a bit of an effort to remind myself to focus on it occasionally. I can say that I enjoy the mandala in my space and that it definitely had a positive influence on my personal vibration, if not the actual session.”

“I am really enjoying using the mandala with my distant healing and will be sorry when this survey is over.”

“I love how there is movement in the mandala. It flows, waves and pulsates, sometimes you see more bits than others. It turns into a 3D image at times too….I love the centre blue dot.” 

On June 1, 2011, 24 focus group volunteers began practicing Reiki while looking at a mandala. Four groups of participants used the mandala for different types of treatments and meditation: self treatment, treatment of others, distant treatment and meditation.

Over a period of two months, they used it at least 5 times and recorded answers to a questionnaire. The results are in and it appears that art most definitely does have a positive effect on the healing practice!

Some participants felt hindered by the mandala as they were required to view it on a computer screen, or felt it was distracting and/or took them outward, rather than inward. One participant felt after trying it during meditation that it “did not apply” and chose not to continue in the program, either in meditation or in any of the other categories. One participant opted out due to an unexpected change in life circumstances.  

Most reported a calm and peaceful feeling although it took some participants a few trys before getting used to working with the mandala, and most experienced visual phenomena, such as colors blending together or changing, noting pulsations in the image, and even perceiving the image changing shape.

Here are the questions and a summary of comments. (You can also view the original survey.) 

What type of Reiki session did you do?
·         Self-treatment:                               36.5%
·         Hands-on treatment:                     23.8%
·         Distant healing:                              28.6%
·         Other:                                               11.1%
How long was the session?
                Average was 28 minutes
Was it different from your usual session?
·         Yes:                                                        68.3%
·         No:                                                         31.7%
How much of the time were you gazing at the mandala?
Respondents worked intuitively here, and while many looked at the mandala for only the first few minutes, others reported that they looked at it for up to 70% of the session. Many gazed at it off and on without recording hard and fast times.
Did it affect your perception of the Reiki vibration?
·         Yes:                                                        65.1%
·         No:                                                         34.9%
Did it affect your perceived ability to hold the Reiki vibration?
·         Yes:                                                        42.9%
·         No:                                                         57.1%
What was your response to the image?
Responses varied, with many respondents finding it to provide a calm and relaxing space. Others found the image distracting, and brought them outward, rather than inward. Many reported that with increased use, they noted a sense of Reiki flow in the painting, and most reported seeing vibrations in the image. The computer screen was a hindrance to a couple of participants. 
What was your response to the colors?
 Almost all of the participants felt that the colors were soothing, and that they seemed to blend together and pulsate in a pleasing way. Others could not be sure or had no reaction to the colors.           
Did you notice a sense of movement in the image?
·         Yes:                                                        88.9%
·         No:                                                         11.1%
Did the image appear to change over the course of your practice session?
·         Yes:                                                        77.8%
·         No:                                                         22.2%
Did you feel a response in your body?
·         Yes:                                                        60.3%
·         No:                                                         39.7%
If working with a client, did they have any comment regarding the mandala?
Not all clients had comments about the mandala, and many practitioners did not particularly point out the mandala as a source of focus. Of those who did respond, most found it to be a beautiful image. One client felt an energetic connection to the image.               

 Would you say the mandala supported or hampered your practice?
·         Supported:                                         63.5%
·         Hampered:                                         3.2%
·         Neither:                                               33.3%
Did you feel the mandala would provide a supportive atmosphere in your treatment room, even if you were not looking at it most of the time?
·         Yes:                                                        92.1%
·         No:                                                         6.3%
·         Did not answer:                                   1.6%
Do you have any comments to share?
Some of the comments have been excerpted at the begining of this article. You can read more here.
Overall results
Responses that indicated a positive response:                   69.8%
Responses that indicated a negative response:                  25.8%
Responses that indicated no affect:                                        4.4%

We are grateful to all of our participants for their enthusiastic response and wish them luck in each of the four drawings (one for each participant category) for an archival print of the mandala valued at $200.00.

Our thanks also go to artist PC Turczyn who started this whole thing way back in December of 2010.


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