How can reiki nourish your soul?
Reiki is non-invasive modality based on the idea of a practitioner intentionally channelling universal energy to support their patient’s physical and emotional healing. The practitioner focuses energy through their hands, placing them on or just above the person being treated. Unlike some energy modalities in which the practitioner endeavours to actively intervene with blockages in a person’s energy, Reiki is intended to encourage and stimulate a person’s innate powers of self-healing, and help them re-establish their own internal control over their energy balance.
The word ‘reiki’ itself is usually translated as ‘universal life energy’. Although it is sometimes described as a ‘spiritual’ practice, it is not directly associated with any particular religion. The type of reiki healing that is most often practised today was developed by Mikao Usui, a Japanese spiritual teacher, in the 1920s, although some scholars argue that other schools of reiki also existed in Japan at the time.
This modality was brought to the West in the 1930s by Hawaiian-born Hawayo Takata, who underwent reiki treatment in Japan and was inspired to master the healing art herself. Together with her mentor, Chujiro Hawashi, she established the first Reiki clinic outside Japan on the island of Kauai.
Benefits of reiki
One of the major benefits of reiki is that it may support pain relief and improvements to psychological wellbeing without the potential side effects of more invasive or pharmaceutical-based treatments. In addition to anecdotal reports of reiki benefits, there is evidence to suggest Reiki may improve heart rate variability in people who have suffered from acute coronary problems such as heart attack.
Research suggests reiki may provide significant relief from various symptoms associated with cancer, ranging from pain and distress to anxiety and sleep problems. There is also evidence to suggest reiki may help alleviate fatigue and improve quality of life in people suffering from cancer. Reiki has been studied as possibly improving mood in people experiencing high levels of depression and anxiety, and although initial results are promising, more research is recommended.
Reiki is reported to possibly reduce pain and decrease the use of painkillers by women who have given birth by caesarean section. The results of one study suggest that reiki may reduce work-related stress and burnout experienced by people working in the mental-health sector. There is also evidence to suggest that reiki may be more effective than placebo in stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system and supporting the body’s natural healing abilities.
Reiki also aids in calming the person and encouraging a more peaceful state of mind. This, in turn, can help boost their thinking, memory, and learning capabilities. When the person is brought to a more relaxed state, their entire being body and mind is able to function fully, bringing everything to full circle.
It is not an invasive or harmful treatment and can be used on patients of all ages.
Reiki may assist in relieving symptoms related to:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME)
- Colds and flu
- Confidence and self-esteem
- Detoxing and cleansing
- Energy and vitality
- Fatigue, burnout and exhaustion
- Headaches and migraines
- Heart conditions and heart attack
- Insomnia and sleep disorders
- Memory and cognitive function
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Pain relief
- Scars, burns and wound healing
- Sexual dysfunction and impotence
- Skin, hair and nail issues
- Sore throat and coughs
- Stress and tension
What to expect at a reiki session
Although reiki is considered to be a type of energy healing, it is not normally associated with religious or spiritual practices. Some reiki healers do include spiritual elements as part of the treatment they offer, so please ask your practitioner about this if the issue of spirituality is a concern for you.
During your reiki therapy, you will usually lie down on a padded treatment table, or you may remain seated if that is more comfortable for you, and you will not need to remove any clothing. Your practitioner may provide a guided relaxation or meditation exercise before commencing the treatment itself.
The reiki practitioner will hold their hands at specific locations on or slightly above your body, depending on what you’re more comfortable with. You may feel warmth or a tingling sensation in response to where their hands are, but people often experience the treatment in different ways. You might feel deeply relaxed or possibly even fall asleep. A treatment session often lasts for about 45-60 minutes, but the intuitive nature of the modality means it will be customised by the practitioner to suit your specific needs.
Although reiki is not associated with any adverse effects, it is not intended as a replacement for traditional Western medicine, and you should never discontinue any prescribed medical treatment while undergoing reiki treatment.
As with any exercise or wellness program, please consult your medical professional before commencing reiki. If you have an injury or other health issue, or any concerns at all, also speak to your reiki practitioner, who will be happy to address these and explore the option of tailoring the session to your individual requirements.