What is Reiki?
Reiki is a Japanese “hands-on technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is based on the concept that everything in the universe is made up of energy and this “life force energy” that flows all around us is drawn in by the body nourishing the cells, organs, and glands. This same energy also radiates from the body and is called the human energy field. When one’s energy is depleted, imbalanced, or the flow is restricted by stress and “holding”, injury, illness, etc., one is more susceptible to discomfort, further illness, and disease (as with restrictions of the circulatory and nervous systems). When one’s energy is restored, free-flowing, or balanced, one is more likely to feel relaxed and the body’s own innate healing abilities are “jump-started” and utilized for healing.
History of Reiki
According to research done as early as 1930 by Dr. Harold Burr from Yale, disease (imbalances) can be detected in the energy field before symptoms and can be altered by altering the vibrational frequency of the energy field. This was not well accepted at that time but is becoming more widely recognized.
With increasing frequency and confidence, we speak of Energy Medicine (also known as “energy work”) as if it was a new form of therapy for our patients’ ailments. Not so. Thousands of years ago ancient cultures understood intuitively what scientific research and practitioners world-wide are confirming today about the flow (or lack of flow) of energy in the body and, how the use of energy therapies can enhance the healing process. As well known medical surveys report approximately 50% of the American public using some form of complementary or alternative therapy, “energy work” is among the ten most frequently used. Research has shown that these therapies (often called “mind-body-spirit techniques”) can help decrease anxiety, diminish pain, strengthen the immune system, and accelerate healing, whether by simply inducing the “relaxation response” (and reversing the “stress response” and subsequent impacts on the body, illness, and disease) or, by more complex mechanisms. When patients choose these options, there is often a greater sense of participation in healing and restoration of health and, patient satisfaction is often increased in the process.
What does Reiki feel like?
Although Reiki is “hands-on”, unlike massage, it is administered through a softer touch rather than a deeper pressure. While the patient is seated or lying down and fully clothed, the practitioner’s hands are placed along energy centers and pathways on the head, neck, chest, abdomen, legs, and feet (similar to those used by acupuncturists). As energy is transferred to the body, the patient may feel warmth, coolness, gentle tingling, or just deep relaxation. One may see colors, shapes, or even images or memory fields from the past.
What are the benefits?
Research on various types of “energy work” has shown that, in addition to deep relaxation, there can be a reduction in muscle tension and pain, accelerated wound healing, removal of trapped emotions, organ balancing, dis-ease recovery and a greater sense of health and wellbeing. It is useful during illness, after injuries, pre and post-op, as well as for health promotion. The patient does not need to believe in the process but only needs to be receptive to experience benefits.
Reiki Healing During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is one of life’s most beautiful and spiritual experiences. However, the journey to motherhood can also be accompanied by a number of different stressors on the mind, body and soul. Reiki offers healing energy not only to mothers-to-be, but also to their unborn babies. Already widely used in hospitals as a vital care component, Reiki is increasingly accepted for its extraordinary benefits during pregnancy. Recent research from USA Connecticut’s Hartford Hospital determined that pregnant women who use Reiki on a regular basis experience a 94 percent reduction in stress and anxiety; a 78 percent reduction in pain; and an 80 percent reduction in morning sickness. Pregnant Reiki recipients also enjoy an 86 percent improvement in quality of sleep. While Reiki’s effects vary from recipient to recipient, most pregnant women who receive Reiki report feeling more relaxed, balanced and radiant after treatments. Reiki can also help you let go of any fears, anxieties or negative feelings you may be experiencing during your pregnancy. Even better? Your growing baby will also enjoy the soothing benefits of this complementary therapy which is passed from you to your unborn child during the session.