Reiki: Healing Energy
Energy Healing - Part 1
I’d often heard of Reiki in passing, but I confess until last week I didn’t know a great deal about it. A local yoga teacher I know, Mel, was advertising that she was offering it locally and upon reading the benefits, namely total relaxation for the nervous system, I decided to sign up. As you might have read from our other posts, I live with a lot of pain. It makes relaxing very hard. But it also makes me very tired so I’m constantly seeking that relaxation, even if it proves elusive at times.
Before my session, I deliberately didn’t read too much about it. I confess I am a bit of a Googler. And I didn’t want to have too many preconceptions, I wanted to have an open mind. When writing this review, let me do the same for you, I’ll tell you about my experience, and then I’ll tell you the official bit after!
Arriving at the Studio
I wore my comfiest clothes (has to be Buddha Pants - I should be on commission with them the amount I recommend them!) and made sure I’d had a good slug of water (not too much, as ever is the balance!). A personal preference but I always like to remove any make-up before having a treatment and give my skin a good moisture boost, I’m not entirely sure why I do this but I think for me, it’s something about being in my own skin that helps me relax?
The room looked just like those used for massage, with a comfy bed and a gorgeous smell of essential oils. The Reiki therapist Mel told me that this was a very gentle experience helping me to relax and unblock negative energy. I’ll admit I was a bit sceptical about whether I'd find it helpful for my chronic pain but I wanted to be open-minded. (Spoiler, I was so wrong!).
As I lay down to relax, I was wrapped up in a comfy blanket with the smell of the oils across my face. Mel began with gentle pressure on my head, it really felt nice! Very comforting. To me it felt a bit like progressive muscle relaxation or Yoga Nidra, she went down my body laying her hands on various parts of my body for a minute or two at a time, and I did start to feel very relaxed! It felt very warm, I’d almost describe it as a tingle.
About halfway through I could feel my back begin to throb, the familiar intensely irritating dull ache that’s my constant daily companion. I tried not to let this ruin the experience. Instead, I imagined my back as an expansive healing blue light and repeated the mantra from hypnosis, “my back is strong, my back is healthy.” And incredibly, the pain retreated. Whether I stopped noticing it, or whether it stopped hurting, who knows? Who cares?! It went away for a bit! I felt elated.
Once she had progressed down my whole body she gave me a gentle head massage and then told me to begin to bring my attention back to the room and stretch my body. I had a gentle rock with my knees in and started to open my eyes.
As I came to sit down, the Mel told me a bit about the energy she felt and gave me some advice about potential lifestyle changes.
When I’ve been for massages lately, I’ve really struggled to relax. On one occasion despite my vigorous insistence the therapist kept going over my lower back and I was in agony later that day. I think it’s impossible at the moment to fully relax with most hands-on treatments as there’s always the worry of how my body will react. But with Reiki, it was so gentle and comforting that I think I actually could just let go. When was the last time you spend 50 minutes at home just lying doing absolutely nothing? Not checking your phone? Not thinking about your to-do list? Not hearing the dog bark or your children wanting a snack? It felt like permission to relax. Permission to do nothing except lie down and let go.
What is Reiki?
So, this brings me to what really is Reiki?
The Centre for Reiki Training (so they really ought to know!) describes it as:
“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 is what causes us to be alive. 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 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."
A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing.”
Hope you found this interesting reading. If you have the opportunity I’d recommend giving it a try, I’m already booked for my second session and I’m fascinated to see whether my feelings and sensations differ this time. I'll do another post on this in a few weeks, looking at how my experiences vary week to week!
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