It’s nearly impossible to imagine a bride who, leading up to her wedding day, doesn’t feel some degree of stress, anxiety or simple exhaustion. It’s just a given. Of course, there are many ways to cope, from the unhealthy ones—stress eating, drinking too much—to the good-for-you options, which could include yoga, meditation and even journaling. Energy work—which includes craniosacral therapy, reiki, sound therapy, shamanic healing, acupuncture and crystal therapy—is another modality that, for many, can be a saving grace. (Meditation spaces are one source, alongside yoga studios and progressive spas around the country.)
The benefits to energy work are psychological, physical, emotional and spiritual, says The DEN Meditation founder Tal Rabinowitz. “Picture entering a room as if you were getting a massage, but you are fully dressed. You will lie on a table comfortably and depending on what energy work you are getting, with either a very light touch or a completely hands-off approach, your practitioner will transfer healing energy to you,” she says, describing the experience. “We are all made up of energy, so sometimes there are blocks or disturbances and/or disturbances can be corrected. Depending on your energy, many practitioners can sense other things going on with you either physically or emotionally, and are able to tackle those issues from a more holistic approach.”
The benefits include stress management, anxiety coping mechanisms and mental clarity. Anecdotally, physical injuries are said to heal at a quicker pace with energy work, pain can be reduced, and there may be an amped-up sense of calmness, relaxation and a clearing of old wounds. Of course, when it comes to energy there is an element of trust. “The more your mind is open the freer you are to receive all benefits,” says Rabinowitz, adding, “however, that doesn't mean you will not receive the benefits if you are not a believer. If the energy worker is good, you will still receive. Some people become believers only after experiencing it.”
The people who subscribe to this type of work of course represent a wide range, and there are many applications. But for brides-to-be, it can help refocus their own energy on what’s truly important about their big day, oftentimes in the midst of family drama, old wounds or previous trauma that they may be unaware of. It clears a path, so to speak, for you to walk down the aisle totally calm, collected and positive, ready to step into a new chapter free of the past. If nothing else, it gives you an hour to turn off your mind, stop thinking about the wedding, and just focus on feeling relaxed.
Most brides and grooms visit The DEN for anxiety and wanting to relax, says Rabinowitz. Emotional balancing is another desire—AKA helping to keep emotions in check and understand what is going on when tensions rise. “It usually leads them on a path and journey to deeper discovery.”
While you can find places that offer public classes, breathing exercises can be done on one’s own anywhere. In the absence of somewhere to practice, Rabinowitz says meditation is the best way to practice harnessing energy on one’s own. Her favorite exercise starts with thinking about what it is you are wanting out of this. "Do you have back pain? Do you have anxiety? If it is emotional, take a few deep breaths," she says. "Feel where the anxiety, anger or sadness is affecting your body. Do you feel it in your stomach? In your chest? Once you locate it, just as if it were localized physical pain, imagine a white or gold light shimmering around you. Keep breathing and feel that light and its rays. Feel the warmth. Then move that light to where you are feeling it, and exhale any darkness. Imagine black smoke coming out. Breathe in white light, breathe out darkness. If you can do this for at least 20 minutes, fantastic. If you have 10 then do it for that. When you are ready, wiggle your fingers and slowly come back. Picture yourself rooted to the ground and take some deep breaths. Roll your shoulders, rub your hands together and refocus yourself slowly. When you are ready, open up your eyes.”
Voilà! Get ready to say “I do!”