Thankfully, the focus on overall wellbeing is becoming a norm, and we steadily see the involvement of complementary therapies alongside mainstream medical treatments. With awareness about Integrated medicine, we all empower ourselves to feel wellness physically, mentally, and emotionally. For example, a person undergoing cancer treatment might be emotionally unwell. And, practices such as Reiki can uplift the person’s hope and courage and make them better prepared for the treatment and life itself.
We asked Reiki specialist Anna Smith a few questions about the complementary therapy of Reiki and its benefits. With her knowledge of this holistic modality and her experience as a Master Practitioner, she explains the basics and the benefits you would need to know.
Our questions and Anna’s answers for you
What is Reiki?
Reiki is holistic support and, as such, is always aligned with your well-being. It is a gentle healing system that directs spiritually guided energy to bring balance and harmony in all areas of being.
How does Reiki help?
Reiki practitioners are trained to use focused energy to initiate the flow of loving, nutritive energy for your benefit that has been known to relax and renew. It generates a positive healing environment for the body, influences mood, improves coping skills, imparts a stronger sense of self emotionally and mentally, and brings peace and restoration spiritually. Reiki energy can do no harm as it is universal light energy and is always given for the client’s highest good.
What are some of the possible conditions that Reiki can help treat or manage?
- People with chronic diseases: In the case of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, etc., several difficulties occur physically. This may include mobility issues, pain due to illness, and pain and discomfort due to the treatment. With Reiki, it is possible to reduce such physical discomforts in patients.
- People with trauma: The benefits of Reiki for people with trauma is healing on many levels – physically, mentally and emotionally. Because the three are intertwined within us, caring for the whole being is necessary to heal from trauma.
- Mental health: Reiki also helps ease anxiety, stress, depression, and many other psychological issues that are very common for people to experience in our society today.
I tell people that Reiki is a tool in their self-care toolbox and that it assists in the self-healing we should all feel empowered to explore.
To be concise, Reiki helps people,
- deeply relax
- to destress
- improve focus and concentration
- improve sleep
- unblock energy blockades
- alleviate pain
- bring balance in physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health
Does modern medicine recognise Reiki?
The medical benefits have been recognised in such settings as Johns Hopkins and the Cleveland Clinic, and Reiki is widely used in Hospice Care and Palliative Care.
In the medical setting, Reiki creates relaxation for patients preoperatively and during treatments. Further, it reduces healing time following procedures. In Hospice Care, it provides peace and relaxation to patients in their care setting, and its use in Palliative Care helps ease symptoms, such as pain.
How long does a session last?
The amount of time a session takes varies by the practitioner, but it is reasonable to expect it to take from one to two hours from start to finish.
How do I prepare myself for a Reiki session?
To prepare for a session, make sure you find a practitioner that seems like a good fit. Any practitioner can give Reiki, but as with any relationship, you must feel comfortable and compatible with your practitioner. Wear clothes you think you would be comfortable in on a table. Try not to overthink or worry about your session, have an open mind and heart and embrace the time you spend in your session as you will be safe and cared for during this time.
What can one expect during a session?
Your practitioner will make you comfortable on a treatment table, fully clothed, in a peaceful environment. If you are not comfortable on a table, you can request your session take place in a chair. Besides, you should always make sure you are comfortable and able to relax, so your practitioner will adjust to your needs or physical limitations.
There is no manipulation or massage, but a gentle laying on of hands lightly on or above secure areas of your body. If you are not ok with a gentle touch, let your practitioner know before you start, as they will simply hold their hands above you.
Also, I find it important to tell your practitioner if you have experienced trauma. In such a case, if closing your eyes or physical touch in certain areas like your head or shoulders makes you anxious, allow your practitioner to understand this, so they do nothing to make you uncomfortable. This is your time, and in this space, your only purpose is to relax and be open to the positive energy you will receive.
How does a practitioner conduct the session?
I encourage my clients to state their intention before I begin the session. The power of intention is incredible, and that moment of tuning into what your needs are can be very cathartic and relieving.
During the session, the practitioner will begin by touching the shoulders, then the head, then down the body, ending at the feet. There is a protocol for areas a practitioner will visit. But there is no hard and fast rule to how Reiki is delivered.
Commonly, we will go to areas of the body that hurt physically or a chakra that seems blocked or overactive. This could be because of input by the client or a feeling the practitioner has. The main chakras, such as the crown and solar plexus, are visited, along with other areas of the body such as the knees and belly. Reiki goes where needed most, so no worries if you don’t feel your practitioner touch an area that hurts. Much time goes into grounding the client at the end as well as smoothing their aura.
What happens in our mind and body while undergoing treatment?
Some people experience the feeling of vibrating, floating, tingling, warmth. And some have visual experiences where they see animals and other positive, peaceful things. And many simply get very sleepy and relaxed, sometimes so relaxed they fall asleep. So it is a unique experience for each client, but typically clients feel very relaxed and cared for.
When clients achieve their intention and have a chance to become balanced and rested, they may find that their choices and reactions to the world around them are calmer and more grounded. They also have an improved ability to handle the stress in their lives. This brings a sense of empowerment and peace.
What would be the typical frequency of follow up sessions if required?
Self-care requires maintenance. It should not happen only when you have completely burnt yourself out. Rather true self-care is continual, regular. Many clients come back every four to six weeks, as you would for a massage. However, some who have greater needs emotionally or physically come more regularly. Thus, it varies with clients and their needs.
Are there any contraindications? Can one attend Reiki while under other medications or other therapies?
There are no contraindications or conflicts with medications or other forms of care, like therapies.
Is it suitable for children?
Reiki is suitable and very successful with children. The modality is a success with animals as well, as they are naturally more open to energy.
Are there any side effects? And, will there be any downtime after the session?
There are no negative side effects from Reiki. The downtime afterwards simply requires some rest, drinking water and eating.
Can you share experiences/patient stories?
I have a client who has cancer. It has metastasised quickly. And she is in tremendous pain, especially in her legs, making it almost impossible to sleep or do much physically. When we finished our first session, she said she had no pain in her legs. She felt relieved and relaxed and used that time without pain to go home and get some very needed sleep. Reiki has provided a respite from the pain, and she is comforted and able to relax during those times.
I had another client who has complex trauma from early childhood, and due to this, suffers from hypervigilance. She is always prepared to be harmed, and because of that, has not experienced much rest. After our session, she was so sleepy and relaxed she claimed she couldn’t remember the last time she rested like that. She was able to drop her defences and allow her body and mind to rest, which is healing in itself as she gained the knowledge that rest exists and she is capable of it.
And, here goes my own experience:
After several failed attempts to alleviate chronic body pain, I turned to Reiki to relieve the physical pain. To my surprise, I discovered, Reiki offered so much more! I was delighted to feel a positive shift in my body pain and a sense of emotional empowerment during my first Reiki class at Energy Connection. When the emotional and spiritual imbalances tied to my pain began to heal, the physical symptoms also started disappearing. This personal revelation, and the feelings of peace and balance created within, connected me deeply to the experience of Reiki. The emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual transformation inspired me to learn Reiki and become a teacher and practitioner. Thus, a larger purpose was born, and I am committed to giving the same sense of hope to others who may feel helpless in their own pain.
The therapy form makes you calmer and stronger, thus preparing you to face your life with renewed vigour. Be it a chronic condition, a traumatic incident, or stress; Reiki helps you shift your focus from the problems and empower you to do the things that YOU prioritise. End of the day, peace and satisfaction matter more, and Reiki seems to help you feel them both.
Edited by love4wellness | Images: canva.com