Woman with white skin and light brown, straight, medium lengthed hair, laying face up on a massage table with a white sheet covered her chest is receiving craniosacral therapy by a female therapist with white skin, wearing a deep blue t-shirt and resting her hands under the client's base of skull. The back of the therapist is seen and not the front.

Demystifying Reiki for the Western Mind

Reiki translates to “Universal Life Energy,” and to the Western-minded person, this can sound, shall I say quite, “woo woo.”

We, Westerners, are brought up to believe that the body is a machine with individual parts to be “fixed” and that our minds, emotions, energy, and Spirit play no part in the health of our physical being.

What we were told to believe is an old and outdated system.

Modern science is showing that we are microcosms of a macrocosmic universe and that each part of the whole has a direct effect on the health of the overall system. Another way of saying this is that our body, mind, and spirit are interconnected and the health of one affects the health of the others.

Another aspect of modern science that is shifting is that scientists once believed that our bodies were dense forms of matter and our genetics and DNA pre-determined our future health. Now modern science is discovering that our bodies are in fact 99.99% energy and what we think, how we expend our energy and even what foods we consume, etc have a direct effect on our state of health.

So where does Reiki come into this picture?

I want you to take a moment and think of energy. There are few people who have the ability to see energy, yet for the majority of us, energy is something that we cannot see but can feel. The following is an example of this:

Have you ever walked into a room and no one was saying a word but you sensed great tension so dense that it could be cut with a knife? If you answered yes, you sensed energy in the form of tension.

On the flip side, think of a place you love to be. How does that place make you feel when you think about it? I would hope that it would be a place that would bring you great comfort, joy, ease, and the like. The energy in this scenario is, in a nutshell, feel-good energy and is conducive to healing.

Now go back to the example of tense energy. Take a moment and really feel the tension. Now sit with how YOU feel in that energy. Unless you have an unusual disposition and enjoy this energy, I would gather that it doesn’t feel positive or enjoyable to be emersed in it. You may feel the tension building up in your shoulders and neck, you may feel an innate desire to run and get the hell out of there, you may feel short of breath and the like. Let’s just say that, the energy of tension is _not_ conducive to healing.

Now let’s leave that dense, tense energy behind and let’s go back to the place you love to be. Take a moment and really BE there in your mind’s eye. Once you feel like you’re in that place, tune into your body and take note of how it feels. I gather you may feel a sense of ease, joy, or pleasure. You may find your shoulders dropping away from your ears while your breath deepens. You may feel that the weight of the world dropped off your shoulders and a lightness overcomes you as a result. As stated before, this energy is conducive to healing.

The science behind the energy of healing:

When we feel tense our bodies are operating in the sympathetic nervous system or fight and flight mode. When the sympathetic nervous system kicks in, our bodies are challenged to function efficiently, our minds may race and it may be hard to take in deep breaths, to name a few of the symptoms.

When we feel relaxed, our bodies are operating in the parasympathetic nervous system or rest and digest mode (or rest and repair mode). When the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, we can feel rested, our digestion functions with ease or our thoughts can be more optimistic, to name a few. When our bodies are operating in this mode, we are able to tap into the body’s innate ability to self-heal.

Reiki (i.e. Universal Life Energy) is in the frequency of healing energy.

When you receive this form of treatment (either when you give it to yourself or receive it from a practitioner), it is a gentle laying on of hands, either directly on your body or resting just above in your auric energy field. The energy of Reiki is then transmitted through the hands and creates an environment that is conducive to healing. Scientifically stated, the energy field that is created within and around you makes it conducive for your body to go from a state of fight and flight to rest and digest and your body systems are now supported to kick in its own self-healing mechanism.

All of this shared, this is not to knock Western medicine or to say that Reiki is a cure-all. For example, Western medicine is wonderful to be able to detect any tearing or significant issues within our bodies, and if heaven forbid one is ever in a car accident, Western medicine is the way to go to heal from such a trauma.

Reiki is a wonderful adjunct to healing any major trauma be it physical, mental or emotional. Reiki can also be beneficial in long-term self-care and prevention, and can aid in the following:

-help reduce stress and anxiety
-promote a sense of deep relaxation
-increase ones’ sense of well-being
-ease muscle tension
-help improve the quality of sleep
-enhance the body’s ability to heal itself
-refresh the spirit
-balance the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual aspects of oneself
-be supportive during times of acute injury by enhancing the healing of the injury

Want to experience Reiki for yourself? Ask me to incorporate it in your next session or schedule a Reiki session for your next visit.

Photo by Andrew Stamm

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