The beauty of Reiki healing
We live in a world where many people are chronically stressed, anxious, depressed, worried, fearful and angry. Our nervous systems are constantly in fight and flight (stress response). Many of us simply don’t know anymore how to relax, how to make time for themselves, how to surrender to the present moment as it is. The COVID-19 crisis has only made this worse.
The need for balance and harmony in our life
Creating a space of balance and harmony within our lives can be challenging, but it is of utmost importance to do this in order to keep ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually balanced and well. We have to give our nervous system the chance to switch from fight and flight (stress response) to rest and digest (relaxation response). For many of us it is difficult to do this on our own. This is why more and more people are intuitively seeking out complementary modalities in order to nurture their souls. Reiki is a gentle yet powerful relaxation technique; a relaxation technique that can be practiced everywhere as it doesn’t require any equipment; a relaxation technique that is safe to use in all medical conditions and during all medical treatments.
My journey with Reiki
More than 20 years ago, I was fortunate to come across the system of Reiki and it changed my life path forever. I was on a skiing trip and we all got a nasty tummy bug. One of the members of our group whose name I have forgotten after all this time recovered after only two days and subsequently offered Reiki treatments to all of us. I didn’t know what Reiki was, but was curious, as I had always been, to experience this holistic form of healing which I had heard many amazing things about already. The Reiki treatment was an amazing experience and I felt better within hours after receiving it and prompted me, upon my return from the trip, to find myself a Reiki teacher. Once I had practiced Reiki for a while on myself and on family and friends, I realised that what I really wanted to do was to offer this beautiful relaxation technique and energy healing to as many people as possible. And this is how I got to where I am today.
What is Reiki?
I know I’ve discussed this in previous blog posts. The word Reiki can be broken down into two parts, the first one, “rei” translates as spiritual/life force, and the “ki” represents energy. Although various cultures use different terms for this energy, such as chi or prana, Western culture sometimes struggles for a word to define it and the concept can be difficult to grasp. However, quite simply, it is the life energy of everything that surrounds us. The sun and moon both radiate energy, as well as the stars in the night sky. We know the tree is alive and thriving when its leaves are blooming and it bears us fruit. We know the relaxing benefits of sitting in nature and absorbing the earth’s grounding energy. All of us have the innate ability to tap into this beautiful and loving energy. Despite that, the stressors of life frequently shadow that capacity. Worries and fears take over which impedes the natural flow of energy through the subtle energy systems of the body. There are a plethora of scientific research articles that attest to the detriments of stress, which can lead to significant illnesses due to high blood pressure and a lowered immune system response. Reiki helps to return the body’s flow of energy to its intended state of harmony and creates a state of peacefulness and calming.
What does a Reiki practitioner do?
The Reiki practitioner is trained to connect to this loving and compassionate energy and facilitates the energy to flow through them to the recipient. The practitioner only needs to set the intention that the energy goes to wherever it might be needed, whether that be on a physical, emotional or spiritual level. The recipient also sets an intention to be open and receptive to the flow of energy. Because the energy has a unique intelligence and is unlimited, it knows exactly where to go to achieve a return to balance and wholeness. This is traditionally done through a series of hand positions that are gently placed either on the body or slightly above it. The Reiki practitioner does not manipulate the energy, but merely facilitates the healing process of the client. During a Reiki session the client often experiences deep relaxation and feels more balanced, refreshed and may express a deep sense of inner peace.
What are the benefits of learning Reiki?
One of the greatest benefits of learning Reiki is the self-care aspect. A daily self-Reiki practice helps to keep practitioners well-grounded and balanced. Setting aside time each day to care for the self allows us to decrease stress and worry and generate feelings of wholeness and well-being. We can then increase the compassion we give to ourselves and are better able to share that with others. Additionally, this practice may help us to let go of attachments, judgments, expectations and fears that no longer serve us well. This, in turn, leads us to be better practitioners for those we share Reiki with. My Reiki practice has allowed me to overcome an intense fear of public speaking, which was so paralyzing that I could barely say my name when asked to introduce myself in a group setting. I am now able to confidently speak at presentations on Reiki and integrative health at conferences and meetings. It has also helped me to be a better caregiver for my husband as he was dying from cancer and to be by his side when it happened, holding him, and making sure that he felt safe in his process of letting go of this life. Reiki helped me to learn new things and to put my focus where it was mostly needed during any given moment. Of course, these changes did not happen in one day, it took years of dedicated self-practice and learning self-compassion. Reiki is a journey that we undertake both to facilitate personal development and personal growth but also for the support and healing of our fellow human beings.
Reiki in healthcare institutions
An abundance of health care institutions are now recognizing the many benefits of Reiki and are offering it as part of patient services. Not only does it help patients to relax, but it also has the potential to relieve pain, anxiety and fear. When a patient is peaceful and free of stress, the body’s natural healing process may be more easily facilitated. Frequently patients fall asleep within the first few minutes of a Reiki session and report a feeling of deep relaxation and peace. Reiki often provides comfort and tranquility for end-of-life transitions.
Additionally, Reiki is an excellent tool for nurses and health care workers to use to avoid burnout.
Who can learn Reiki?
Reiki is a very simple practice that anyone can learn. I teach Reiki in five levels: Reiki level one and Reiki level two which focus on Reiki for oneself and Reiki for others but not yet for the general public, Reiki Practitioner which is only for those who want to work with the general public and open their own Reiki practice or join an already existing one, the Reiki Master, and the Reiki Teacher. During a class the student receives a series of attunements, which help to clear and balance the energy fields and help us to remember the connection that we have to the universe and with our true being as well as with the Reiki lineage, with all the Reiki practitioners who have gone before us. In Japan, this was not a quick process and much time was spent before moving from one level to the next; and even though sometimes Reiki training is done a lot quicker in the West with some teachers, we all urge our students not to go too fast from one level to the next but to instead take time to realise the changes that are occurring with each step further on this journey.
The gift of Reiki
In short, Reiki is a beautiful gift and can help one to achieve a state of peacefulness that so many of us so desperately need. I feel humbled and grateful for the practice and encourage everyone I know to give it a try and book yourself in for a Reiki session. You won’t be disappointed and who knows, you might even want to learn the practice of Reiki for yourself and begin to share the beautiful gift with others!