I’m often asked, “What is Reiki?” This week I was asked much more than usual so, I thought I’d share an article I wrote for the January, 2015 edition of Your Health Magazine.
Why You Should Try Reiki.
You’ve probably heard about it by now, but still may not know what it is or why you should give it a try. Reiki is a Japanese healing treatment that is generally conducted through a light touch. However, if you prefer or if you have an injury that cannot tolerate a light touch, your practitioner also can provide a partially or completely non-touch treatment. Reiki treatments are performed with the client fully-clothed, usually lying comfortably on a massage table or seated in a chair.
Reiki treatments help to gently bring the body back into balance - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually - and here are three reasons why you should give it a try.
1. It helps calm the stress response in your body.
Although some stress is actually good for us, I think we all know by now that whatever we can do to lower the stress we feel is important for our overall health and wellbeing. It is no longer surprising news that many major diseases are caused by stress. Your stress response or “fight, flight, freeze response” causes actual physiological changes in your body which can cause serious health consequences, over time if we are chronically stressed.
Although it’s unlikely you can eliminate all the stressors in your life, Reiki treatment is one way you can change your response and your relationship to those stressors. It gently induces a state of deep relaxation calming your body’s stress response.
My clients frequently report feeling much calmer in stressful situations than they did prior to beginning their Reiki treatments. They also report that they recover faster if they become “stressed.”
2. It supports your body’s natural healing ability.
When your sympathetic nervous system - your “fight, flight, freeze” response is calmed and your body’s parasympathetic nervous system re-engages. Simply put, your body goes back into “rest and digest” or healing mode. In this way, Reiki treatment supports your body’s ability to self-heal.
Preliminary research data indicate that regular Reiki treatment eases pain, boosts the immune system, improves blood pressure and variable heart rate, in addition to reducing stress (or more likely, because it reduces stress). I hope because it is becoming much more popular that there will be increased funding for additional studies.
3. It is gentle & safe for everyone.
There are no known contraindications to receiving Reiki treatment. It is appropriate for anyone of any age with any condition. It is not a religion or a religious practice. It is not a substitute for medical treatment and Reiki practitioners do not provide diagnoses. Reiki is a complementary treatment or integrative practice that works well with all other conventional medical treatments or other holistic therapies. Additionally, it often enhances the efficacy of these other treatments and therapies. Many hospitals and hospices in the U.S. now have programs that incorporate Reiki treatment for not only patients, but their families and also for staff members.
My clients say they notice a difference in how they feel with just one treatment, however, I recommend most people begin with a series of regular weekly treatments to sustain any noticeable relaxation and consistent stress-relieving benefits. The more you have at the beginning the better and faster it seems to work and the longer it seems to then last between treatments.
I suspect I'll have future posts with more on Reiki questions that I'm frequently asked including what are absent (or distance) treatments? For now, I hope this article gives you a sense of why Reiki treatment is becoming so popular and why you might want to consider giving it a try.
Wishing you love & wellness,