The practice of Reiki, which originated in Japan, is catching on in the Western world. It is a holistic modality of healing meant to stimulate the body’s own innate healing ability. You may have heard it described as “acupuncture without needles”. Well, yes and no. There are basic similarities and Reiki can be wonderful for people who are needle-phobic, yet there are differences as well.
The name Reiki comes from the Japanese pictograms ‘Rei’, which can translate to “Universe” and ‘Ki’, meaning “energy”. In short, Universal Energy. It is a spiritual — but not religious — practice that promotes balance.
In short, the body cannot cope with stress and pain and heal from stress and pain simultaneously. The sympathetic nervous system, which copes with stress, is the usual dominant system in the waking human body. The parasympathetic nervous system is the system responsible for healing. However, if our stress level, sleep patterns and digestion are not in tune with our body, or if we swallow grief from loss or trauma without giving ourselves an opportunity to express and heal, the parasympathetic nervous system can be over-ridden and not be able to heal our bodies. Reiki can ease the transition from the sympathetic system dominance to the parasympathetic system dominance, thereby stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities.
In a typical Japanese Technique — also sometimes called “Medical Reiki” — session, a practitioner will use their hands with a light touch (or no-touch) to stimulate the movement of energy within a client’s body, as well as add or decrease energy where needed.
Some of the common problems that can be soothed or even eliminated by Reiki include:
- chronic pain disorders
- sports injuries
- gastrointestinal issues
- symptoms of illness such as the common cold and bronchitis
Reiki can also:
- lessen recovery times after surgery
- help expectant mothers cope with the mental and physical challenges of pregnancy, labor and post-partum times
- ease the transition of patients in hospice care at the end of life
- allow for monitoring the energy, needs (hunger, thirst, etc.) and pain/stress levels of non-communicative patients, such as those suffering from extreme dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or psychosis. (in these cases I am hired by the family of the patient and report to the family.)
- compliment anti-psychotic medications in cases of severe mental illness such as paranoid schizophrenia, decreasing both the side effects of the medicines and the symptoms of the illnesses themselves.
- allow healthy processing of grief following loss or trauma
My skill set, clientele and case load include all of the situations listed above, but my particular skill is helping clients heal emotional wounds. Since trauma can manifest in our bodies physically as disease and pain, one of my specialties is to work with victims of abuse, grief, trauma (intergenerational, societal, religious, and physical), molestation and rape to process and heal from these tragedies on mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and energetic levels.