REIKI ~Exploring Stress Reduction, Healing~

Story by Norah Dykema

More than 15 years ago, I experienced the power of Reiki through my own spontaneous healing. A young German woman quietly treated my old painful wound, allowing for a complete recovery over the course of three days. I had no idea what was happening as she simply held my elbow and closed her eyes for a few minutes. There really was no other explanation for the healing because the pain had been nagging for six years.

What is Reiki? Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and causes us to be in good health or prone to illness. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

The word Reiki is made up of two Japanese words: Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power,” and Ki which is “life force energy.” So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.” It is also referred to as “energy medicine.”

How does Reiki heal? The Ki flows through pathways called chakras, meridians and nadis. Ki also flows around our bodies in an energy field called an aura. It is Ki that animates our body’s organs and tissues as it flows through them. Ki nourishes the organs and cells of the body and supports them in their vital functions. When the flow of Ki is disrupted, the result is diminished functioning within one or more of the organs and tissues of the physical body. It is the disruption in the flow of Ki that is the main cause of illness.

A treatment is administered on a massage table with the client fully clothed and typically lasts for one hour. Some Reiki practitioners, however, don’t like to watch the clock and prefer to let the client’s body tell them when a shift of energy has occurred bringing about more balance and an undisrupted flow of Ki.

When this happens, the treatment has been effective and the client experiences a higher level of wellness. Sometimes, chronic or more severe health problems require additional Reiki sessions to achieve a desired outcome.

Reiki is given with a practitioner’s hands placed near or lightly touching various parts of the body. The practitioner sets an intention with the recipient that they are to be healed. The Reiki energy has its own intelligence and knows where to go. In Reiki training, practitioners are taught a number of hand positions to use on various parts of the body, including the head, shoulders, abdomen, legs, and feet.

Reiki practitioners across America had cause for celebration on Jan, 6, 2010, when Dr. Mehmet Oz revealed his “Ultimate Alternative Medicine Secrets for 2010.” Dr. Oz, a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon, has for several years incorporated Reiki into his surgical and treatment procedures, through the assistance of Reiki Master Pamela Miles.

Dr. Oz ranked Reiki #1. He said, “Reiki is one of my favorites, we’ve been using it for years in the Oz family, and we swear by it.” Oz’s wife, Lisa, is a Reiki master and regularly treats him and their children when they are not well.

So many patients have reported significant and even miraculous results that Reiki is now offered in over 70 hospitals in the United States as part of their standard clinical practices. The distinguished list includes Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital; the Integrative Therapies Program for Children with Cancer at Columbia University Medical Center; Duke University Medical Center; and the University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona.

The popularity of Reiki in hospitals has been largely driven by requests from patients and by nurses and doctors who have experienced its value. They report that Reiki decreases the amount of pain medication required, improves sleep and appetite, and accelerates the healing process. It has also been shown to reduce many of the unwanted side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.

The growing acceptance of Reiki is reflected in the fact that Reiki training is increasingly recognized as a form of continuing education for massage therapists, registered nurses, and occupational therapists. Reiki complements allopathic medical and therapeutic techniques and never causes harm.

Outside of hospitals, there are thousands of Reiki practitioners in the U.S. and many more around the world. There are several in Arkansas and at least one in Russellville! In my own experiences as a Reiki practitioner, I have found that Reiki accelerates healing from injury and surgery, promotes relaxation, reduces symptoms caused by stress, and minimizes or eliminates new and old pain. Reiki strengthens the immune system, assists in clearing emotional trauma, and takes away headaches very quickly. Reiki has eased the growing pains in my son’s legs, has improved my sister’s sciatica and tennis elbow pain. I am proud to say I almost never take any medication because I can manage my own pain.

When I give Reiki I work with therapeutic grade essential oils on my clients’ painful areas. Essential oils are amazing on their own and are used as a healing modality in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. One of my favorite oils is a blend of wintergreen, clove, helichrysum, and peppermint. I also love to use frankincense. It can be used for rheumatism, depression, bronchitis, and other ailments.

Many Americans want to be proactive about their wellness. Learning Reiki helps individuals take significantly more ownership over personal health and healing outcomes. I do Reiki on myself every day. Doing so has helped me take more responsibility in healing spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I am not against allopathic medicine; I just believe my healing is ultimately up to me and God.

Reiki is an amazingly simple technique to learn. The ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but is transferred to the student by the Reiki master in a process known as an “attunement.” This allows the student to tap into “life force energy” to improve one’s health and enhance the quality of life. A student can learn to utilize Reiki during a weekend class, while advanced skills require additional training. I plan to offer a Reiki I and II Attunement class in November.

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