Reiki and the COVID/19 pandemic
No doubt, the past two years have been the most challenging and stressful that many of us will experience during their lifetime. Reiki is one of many holistic healing modalities that can help during these times of challenge, uncertainty and change. In this blog post, I would like to write about what Reiki is, what the benefits of Reiki are, how I have been able to offer Reiki healing to clients, old and new, throughout the pandemic, what distant Reiki is, and how Reiki can even be of help with symptoms of long COVID.
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a holistic healing modality. Reiki is a relaxation technique. Reiki can decrease and soften physical, emotional and mental pain and discomfort. Reiki promotes a calmer mind and reduces feelings of stress, anxiety and tension. Reiki promotes the release of health-affirming chemicals which bathe the cells in a sea of life force energy, promoting normal growth and development and the traditional Reiki hand positions are located over the major glands and organs of the body in order to influence them directly and support them with the secretion of the hormones that regulate all of our bodily functions. Reiki puts the body in the best condition to heal itself. Reiki is universal life force energy channelled through the hands of a practitioner; it is loving-kindness, compassion and care which enables healing. Reiki can be offered in a seated or lying position and does not require a special environment or equipment. Reiki practitioners place their hands lightly on or just above the physical body in a number of basic hand positions. Reiki sessions can last up to one hour and are so relaxing that many clients fall asleep.
What are the benefits of Reiki?
Some of the effects of Reiki are:
- To reduce Stress
- To reduce fear and anxiety
- To reduce tension
- To release and let go what no longer serves
- To reduce a feeling of powerlessness
- To induce the relaxation response
- To calm the mind
- To complement medical treatments and therapies
- To benefit chronic and acute medical conditions
- To boost the immune system
- To improve sleep
- To balance and harmonise body, mind and spirit.
Distant Reiki: experience Reiki healing from the comfort of your own home
As part of their training, all Reiki practitioners learn to use meditation techniques, their intention, and visualisation techniques in order to be able to give Reiki in situations where in-person sessions are not possible. We couldn’t have known how important this would become during the pandemic when, at least for some months, in-person sessions weren’t possible and our Reiki clinics had to remain closed and when, even as we were able to open again, clients would often simply be too afraid of infection to come in for an in-person healing. I have been working with distant Reiki with clients, both old and new ones, throughout the pandemic. I was sceptical at first thinking that clients wouldn’t have the same positive experience as during an in-person session, but when I look at the data I have collected over the months from 208 Reiki sessions (using the analogue 0 – 10 scale), I can see that in 200 cases clients reported having a calmer mind, being less worried, being less afraid and feeling an increase in their energy levels, 150 clients reported to have fallen asleep during the session. This to me is huge because it shows that distant Reiki does work and that it is a valuable alternative to in-person sessions. There are so many reasons why someone may not be able to come in for an in-person session: because they are sick, because they are a caregiver for a loved one with a terminal illness, because they have to look after their kids, because they are not living close to the Reiki practitioner and many more.
How does distant Reiki work?
I connect with the client on Zoom or their preferred video messenger before the session in order to find out about what brought them to me, their particular concerns, their intention for the session and to answer any questions they may have. Then we either disconnect the call and reconnect after the session or we stay online for the whole session, depending on what the client feels more comfortable with. During the distant Reiki healing, I work with special meditation and visualisation techniques, holding the client’s intention and my intention for the client’s highest good in my heart and mind.
Not only is it possible with distant Reiki healing to work with clients where in-person treatments aren’t possible due to COVID or due to any other complication that may not allow the recipient to leave their home – such as when caring for a loved one or young children -, but it also allows us to work globally which is huge and makes me very happy. For example, I am currently working with a client from Canada and a client from France.
How does Reiki help during COVID?
As discussed before, Reiki induces the relaxation response, helping the client to experience deep relaxation and inner peace, freedom from fear and worries, and in many cases a sense of deep okay-ness with the situation as it is. We all have been living under a huge amount of stress for the past two years. Our nervous systems have been in fight or flight mode constantly. And, during all this time, we haven’t been able to do what we would normally do during times of this level of overwhelm: reach out and be with our families, our friends, our acquaintances, our colleagues. Stress levels are higher than they have ever been before. And this is where Reiki comes in because it can relieve the stress and tension – first only for a little while but, if we have sessions on a regular basis, our nervous systems will learn the ability to relax and let go again. I most strongly believe that now is more than ever the time for us to embrace self-care; and I think Reiki healing is one of the most powerful tools we have. I honestly don’t know what I would do without the wonderful healer I have been going to for months now to help me stay grounded during these crazy times!
Can Reiki help with long COVID?
Long Covid is a term to describe the effects of Covid-19 that continue for weeks or months beyond the initial illness. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines long Covid as “usually 3 months from the onset of Covid-19 with symptoms that last for at least 2 months and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis.”. The symptoms of Long COVID are mainly fatigue, joint pain, and difficulty with memory and concentration.
Reiki healing can be beneficial for clients with Long COVID in three ways:
Firstly, Reiki boosts the immune system and promotes the body’s own ability to heal itself. Through an improved immune system and an improved ability to heal itself, the body can fight Long COVID better.
Secondly, the virus invaded our system and created a lot of “disturbance” in many different places in our systems. Reiki balances and creates harmony in body and mind. It helps the body to let go of what it needs to let go of and to call in what it needs for its health and well-being.
And, thirdly, we have gone through a lot of emotional ups and downs and heart-break. I often feel like we are living in a collective trauma. Reiki helps us to calm down, to profoundly relax, to let go of what no longer serves; it helps to create balance and to ground us; it helps to open our hearts in a way that allows feelings of sadness and sorrow to be processed.
I definitely encourage people who are experiencing symptoms of Long COVID to work with a Reiki practitioner to help them get through this time.