Understanding Reiki can be hard for someone who is used to Western medicine. We are a tangible society, meaning we understand healing when it comes to us from an outside source – like a doctor giving us a pill or an acupuncturist inserting a needle into our skin. The pill and the needle are physical objects, so our Western brains can understand that something is physically being done to us. “I felt bad, then I added this thing to my body and now I feel better.” Making the mental leap to understanding how our bodies could heal themselves, without a physical object being added, seems difficult, doesn’t it?
However, creatures all over the world are healing themselves all the time, without pills or needles – some probably in your backyard, right now. Wild animals do not have the advantage of a human taking them to a veterinarian, yet they survive injuries and recover. Let’s examine the behaviors of one of these animals, a cheetah.
Let’s pretend a cheetah is chasing a baby gazelle for prey, but the mother gazelle bucks the cheetah in the leg with its horn. The cheetah now has a gash in its leg and muscle damage. What does the injured cheetah do? Does it give up and just die? Does it immediately begin chasing prey again? No, of course not. The injured cheetah finds a shady, quiet spot and lays down to rest. It licks its wound while its body begins a series of functions meant to heal the injury.
First, the cheetah’s autonomic nervous system takes over from the central nervous system, which begins the healing process. Its digestive, urinary and exocrine systems all slow down (caused by the parasympathetic nervous system slowing down visceral organ function). This allows the body’s other systems to concentrate and fully engage in healing. The autonomic nervous system slows the heart rate, which decreases blood loss. The endocrine system cranks into high gear, stimulating the thymus gland, which in turn stimulates the immune system. Pain-relief hormones, T-cells and white blood cells are released into the blood stream. The injured cheetah’s brain and body work together for one single purpose – healing. The cheetah is not thinking about food, water or hunting, nor does it need to; those systems are shut down.
As humans, do we ever get a chance to shut down? When we are sick or injured, are we allowing our bodies and minds the opportunity to quiet and heal itself? Do we close out other stimuli, like work and family, to focus on getting better?
No, of course not. We still have to work, we still have children or pets to care for, we have very busy lives. We constantly have stimuli in our faces demanding our attention, so what are the odds that we would shut all of that out in order to heal ourselves? Zero. There is a solution, however. A Reiki session can be a shortened respite that quiets the mind and body and allows healing to begin. All of the functions listed above can begin to take place and can continue after the session is over, without the client needing to completely lock themselves away.
Are you in need of some quiet healing time but don’t have the opportunity to go lie under a tree and lick your wounds for a few days? I can help.
In the next segment of our cheetah example, we will discuss healing frequencies and vibrations. Please stay tuned.