What is Reiki?
Reiki (pronounced Ray-Key) focuses on the universal life energy force which is all around us (it is not a religion) and today is primarily used as a healing treatment, delivered through a trained practitioner channeling the energy and one of the main complementary therapies alongside others including acupuncture and reflexology . Unlike acupuncture and a number of other therapies, Reiki is not a diagnostic treatment which relies on learned and static facts, instead it is intuitive and the practitioner is the link (or conduit) channeling the Reiki energy to where the body requires it for mental and physical healing, chakra imbalance and instilling calm, peace and relaxation.
Whether you wish to use Reiki as a ‘Feng Shui’ for your body – re-balancing the chakras, an opportunity for relaxation and stillness, to help heal and ease pain or emotional upset or a mixture of them all I would say give it a try. However, please do not attend a session expecting a ‘miracle cure’ as your body will let the Reiki practitioner know what it requires.
Reiki is a beautiful therapy which instills peace and harmony in mind and body. I would suggest that you ensure the Reiki practitioner you choose is one who enables you to feel comfortable and able to relax.
What can Reiki do?
Reiki has a whole body approach, clearing blockages in the energy flow and balancing the body’s energy right down to cellular level and promotes a sense of wellbeing and calmness of mind and body. The energy eases the emotions and unblocks any negativity. The deep relaxation and practitioner’s actions help relieve anxiety, and the stresses and worries of daily life, and this in turn aids restful sleep. Reiki has been used as a healing therapy for depression, anxiety and insomnia; also physical conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ME, back pain and sciatica, arthritis and rheumatism to name a few. It has often been said that the state of deep mind and body relaxation enables the mind to be at peace and able focus on oneself; giving clarity of thought and time to unravel problems and concerns regarding issues in daily life.
There are many more benefits to Reiki but it must be said that Reiki (as with all complementary therapies – and some traditional ones) are not guaranteed and should never be seen as an alternative to conventional medicine and visiting the GP. The number of sessions varies although generally 3 or 4 sessions is required with a lot of clients choosing to continue with top-up’ sessions when needed.
What happens during a Reiki session?
It’s best to wear loose fitting clothes without belts as you’ll be more comfortable whilst lying (fully clothed) on the treatment couch. Before starting the session you’ll be asked as few questions regarding any health conditions and medication. If you have a pacemaker or diabetes it is wise to consult your GP as the energy levels can affect these conditions. Once settled on the couch you’ll be asked to close your eyes and listen to the background relaxation music and the practitioner’s voice. Do not worry when he or she does not speak for a while. The practitioner will quietly alert you when they are about to gently lay their hand on you as they work though a series of positions (from head to toe) based on your needs at that time. Some practitioners do not touch the body at all as they channel the energy but hold their hands above the area for as long as required (usually a few minutes but can be longer). It is a very peaceful, relaxing process and do not be surprised if you doze off for a few moments, alternatively, you might feel emotional (even shed a few tears) as a blockage is released. Do not worry, it is all perfectly normal. At the end of the session the practitioner will gently bring you back from your deep relaxation and discuss with you what was experienced. It is usual to drink still water following a session to aid grounding.
Will I feel anything?
Each person is individual and will experience different things; however, the most usual feelings are of: warmth, tingly or ‘fizzy’ sensations in the area the practitioner is treating, an overall feeling of relaxation, weightlessness which may result in falling asleep. Coloured lights or swirls are also experienced and some may find themselves emotional for short times. It is all part of the energy unblocking and re-balancing. Some experience no sensations at all except for feeling relaxed.
What about after the treatment?
As everyone’s experience to each treatment is different you may feel very relaxed and calm and even sleepy or alternatively, feel energised. It is advisable to drink water following a session and for the next few days as part of the grounding process. Occasionally, as part of the body’s reactions to the healing processes you may experience a headache or cold-like symptoms which are short-lived. Be patient as it can take a few days for the full effects of the Reiki treatment to take place. You should contact your Reiki practitioner if you are concerned about anything experienced – he or she won’t mind!
Interestingly, one does not have to be a ‘believer’ of Reiki for it to work – I was a definite skeptic before my first session following a life changing accident. A good friend is a Reiki Master practitioner and the sessions with her helped me deal with the physical aspects of pain management (in conjunction with traditional medication) and also the emotional aspects by using Reiki’s deep relaxation and feeling of tranquility to restore peace of mind. These results led me to investigate further and train as a Reiki practitioner. Today, I also use Reiki as part of a holistic treatment in conjunction with Talking Therapy (including strands of CBT and NLP) to empower individuals to take the steps towards a better future for themselves; be it banishing stress, anxiety, panic attacks, OCD and phobias or managing pain and long term conditions.
About the Author
Author: Linda Ludgate
Reiki Practitioner, CBT and Talking Therapy Practitioner
(Silver) Member of International Alliance of Holistic Therapists
(Silver) Member of International Association of Neuro Linguistic Programming and Coaching