Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Healing Power of Wellness Activities

Residents of Isabella are enjoying a new Wellness session designed especially for them by Ray Centeno, Isabella’s Assistant Controller who is also a Reiki Master Candidate and a Certified Meditation Instructor.

During the weekly session, Ray employs a variety of customized modalities which are aimed at engaging the senses so that the whole person – body, mind and spirit- experiences relaxation and peace.

As participants gather in a semi-circle, the room is filled with soothing ambient music.  The first activity is Hara Breathing.  Ray guides the group into following their breath down the center of the body to the tummy. This technique, also called “Belly Breathing”, can effectively lower blood pressure.

Physical relaxation movements follow. Ray guides the group in slow movements of the neck, chin, shoulders, arms and legs from side to side. The objective is to produce comfortable muscular stretches.

During the Mantra-intonations segment, residents easily repeat the vowel sounds Kay-eee, Om, Er and many others.  Ray explains the awakening effect these sounds have on the thymus and pituitary glands. The enlivened glands, in turn, generate relaxation and wellness throughout the body.

With eyes closed participants are invited to use their imaginations during meditation. “ Imagine the word PEACE floating in the air before you.  Imagine PEACE traveling to all parts of your body.  Become the word PEACE.”

During a segment of Chi-gong (an ancient Chinese system of body movement and relaxation), in an exercise called the Swimming Dragon, participants are asked to visualize that they are swimming in the sea while they serenely extend  arm strokes into the imagined peaceful waters.

Rebecca Hernandez, Finance Cashier and also a Reiki Master Candidate, sometimes assists Ray. She offers the residents Reiki energy healing movements.

The session concludes with Ray and Rebecca inviting participants to join them as they perform gentle choreography designed to stimulate wellness movements.

One resident’s response reflects the smiling group. “I feel very good, very relaxed.”

Why does Ray Centeno conduct meditation for Isabella residents?

“I recognize that the Creator has given me certain abilities. It is clear to me I must share these abilities with humanity. During sessions, I am often moved to tears when I see the residents smiling and attempting to emulate our movements; they are joyful and happy.  Life doesn’t get any better than this.”

By: Angela Menghraj

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