I have been receiving/practising Reiki for the past ten years, worked my way through levels one, two and three, finally progressing to Reiki Master in 2005.
I was first introduced to Reiki during a time when I suffering from a great amount of stress. I was fortunate that the company I worked for at the time had an excellent Occupational Health Department, which included alternative therapies. Our Human Resources Manager recognized that I was in trouble and arranged for me to have three, free Reiki sessions. These sessions were to change my life…
After just one session, the problem that had been stressing me so much just didn’t matter anymore. It was like a huge weight had just been lifted from my shoulders and I felt so much lighter and happier afterwards. I continued with the sessions and gradually changed from someone who was overweight, unhappy and never away from the doctor’s office, to the person I am today… healthy, calm and generally very happy in this life.
Like everyone else, I will always have my ups and downs because that’s what life is about after all… living and learning… but it’s how you learn to deal with the bumps in life’s road. Whatever is going to happen will happen anyway, whether you stress or not; stressing yourself out and making yourself ill will not change the outcome, so best to try to relax… go with the flow. Alternative therapies such as massage, Reiki, reflexology, etc, can help you to do this.
What is Reiki?
The practitioner who gave me those first Reiki sessions would comment that I was an ideal candidate to give Reiki. I thought I couldn’t do it because I would never be able to explain to people what it was that I was actually doing, however, the alternative therapies have progressed so much and have become so much more acceptable in society over recent years as a valid means of self-help and self-healing.
Reiki is a technique for stress reduction and relaxation that allows everyone to tap into an unlimited supply of life force energy to improve health and enhance the quality of life. I usually describe Reiki to people by asking them to imagine a white, angelic light, coming down through their head and spreading down their body to their toes; a powerful, intelligent energy, working its way throughout the body, making you feel relaxed and calm; washing away all the negativity and the stress.. the stress causing illness in our bodies.
The knowledge that an unseen energy flows through all living things and is connected directly to the quality of health has been part of the wisdom of many cultures since ancient times. The existence of this life force energy has been verified by recent scientific experiments and medical doctors are considering the role it plays in the functioning of the immune system and the healing process. It is not associated with any religion and is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use.
A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through you and surrounds you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit; it creates many beneficial effects including relaxation and feelings of peace, security and well-being. Many have reported miraculous results and I have witnessed this for myself many times, but the very least you can expect is to have a very pleasant hour of relaxation and stress reduction with long-term benefits.
A Typical Reiki Session
Although some practitioners will place their hands on the recipient, apart from the occasional gentle touch on the feet or shoulders towards the end of the session, I tend not to touch the client at all because I feel it allows them to go deeper into relaxation without any interruption. The client lies (fully clothed) on the massage table and my hands hover an inch or two above the body. People comment that they can feel the heat coming from my hands.
The practitioner generally starts at the head and works down towards the feet. There are general hand positions that the majority of practitioners follow, which cover the seven major chakras and the major organs. When working my way down through the chakras, I sometimes feel hot spots on the body, where there is some kind of illness or imbalance and I will work on these areas for a while until the heat has subsided.
Often people describe their experience by saying they felt as if they are floating during the session, or they were being enveloped by or wrapped in a warm, loving, nurturing light that flowed throughout their being. Often, if there is a physical problem, the client will feel that area of the body becoming quite hot as the energy targets that area. People usually become very ‘astral’ or disassociated from their bodies, during a session. Others say they felt nothing; they thought they were just lying there relaxing, but I know different… I hear the digestion start to gurgle, then the rapid eye movement and occasionally, the snoring!
They say that it’s equivalent to your body having eight hours’ sleep. For people who are able to let go, it is very common for them to sleep through the entire session. I am always quite pleased when this happens because it means that the person is opening up fully to the energy and it will be able to work on a very deep level; that this powerful, intelligent energy is working its way throughout the body.
Any healing (spiritual, mental or physical) which takes place is not caused by the practitioner, but by the divine, spiritual energy. There is no physical manipulation whatsoever during a traditional Reiki session and everything is done on a purely energetic level. The practitioner simply acts as a conduit for this energy and allows it to channel out his/her hands and into the client. The practitioner then ‘grounds’ the client back down to the planet. This is done by moving to the feet and channeling the energy into the soles of the feet. This works to open the chakras on the bottoms of the feet which connect us to the planet.
The Chakras of the Body
There are seven main energy centers (chakras) of the body which resonate with the seven rainbow colors. A Chakra is like a spiral of energy, each one relating to the others. Chakra (pronounced sha-kra) is the Sanskrit word for ‘ wheel ‘.
If you can imagine the main chakras/energy centers as a set of cogs/wheels, they are rather like the workings of a clock or an engine; each cog/wheel needs to move smoothly and at a similar speed for the clock/engine to work properly. Thus good health and well-being is achieved by a balance of all these energies (or the smooth running of the cogs/wheels).
Benefits of Reiki
Due to the nature of Reiki, it is quite difficult to say exactly what will be experienced during a session. This will depend on any number of things including, but not limited to, the practitioner, each individual client, the level to which that client is able to open up to the energies and what areas the energy itself is addressing.
The most immediate, broad spectrum results are a drastic reduction in stress and an extreme sense of relaxation, similar to what people usually feel after a massage, but it seems to be more profound and longer lasting. There is also an overall feeling of being more balanced, calm and centered. These results are almost always attained through just one session. The more profound results that Reiki can yield (i.e. the ‘healing’ of a specific ‘dis-ease’, release of habitual thought patterns or old emotional scars, etc) are rarely attained through a single session, but instead must be addressed in the same way that many of them were manifested… over time.
When we are born into this world, we love ourselves completely. Everyone oohs and ahhs over us. We’re hungry, we cry, we get fed. We need a clean diaper, we cry, we get changed. Our every need is met (for the majority of us) and life is wonderful. As we get older, we start to pick up on negative energies around us, negative behaviour and comments, which in turn, make us into the adults we become. Reiki is all about stripping away those negative memories and thought patterns and returning us to the state in which we were born… carefree, happy, loving life and loving ourselves.
In my own case, this happened over many sessions and once I was felt free of emotional baggage, healthy and centered, only then did I feel able to progress to becoming attuned and in the right frame of mind to be treating others.
So, if you’re feeling stressed, under the weather or just want to pamper yourself (why not?), then book yourself a session with a Reiki practitioner. At the very least, you will have a very pleasant hour of relaxation and stress reduction.
You will never regret the time you take to look after yourself.