Stress – we know it can adversely impact our health. These days, it’s virtually impossible to avoid stress – but it’s how we deal with it that counts. A wonderful antidote to our hectic lifestyle is Reiki. Whether you are a practitioner working on yourself, or a client receiving a treatment, Reiki is an effortless way to help yourself relax deeply.
What’s special about Reiki is its ability to bring about deep, regenerative relaxation. Sometimes a “good night’s rest” is not enough – our minds may continue to race even in our sleep. And our dreams can act out our underlying anxieties. Judith Orloff, MD (author, “The Power of Positive Energy”) says our minds can wear us out before we even get out of bed in the morning.
So how can we take ourselves off the treadmill of stress? One way is Reiki; research at the University of Texas Health Science Center has shown that Reiki can bring on the “physiological relaxation response” by decreasing anxiety and systolic blood pressure. This results in the liminal state of awareness – that dreamy mind state between sleep & wakefulness.
Reiki is a complementary therapy, a type of gentle healing touch. Its origins can be traced to Tibet, and it was re-discovered in Japan and brought to the West around Word War II. “Reiki” is a Japanese word that can be translated as “spiritually guided life force energy.” We all have energy flowing through us – various Eastern cultures call this life fore chi, ki, or prana. Western Science has begun to study this energy and its pathways, as in acupuncture and acupressure. When our energy flows freely, we are in a state of health. When it doesn’t, aches & pains and illness can result. Stressful thoughts and situations can through our energy off balance.
What can you expect during a Reiki session? The recipient rests fully clothed on a massage table, while the practitioner acts as a conduit for the universal life force energy. The practitioner lightly places hands on or above various areas of the body, including any areas of discomfort. The Reiki energy flows through the practitioner’s hands, and the receiver may sense heat, tingling, or coolness. A full treatment lasts about an hour, and gives you a chance to rest and let go. Reiki rebalances the energy flow and recharges your batteries – helping body, mind & spirit.
Reiki is not a substitute for medical care, but its benefits can include decreased anxiety, more restful sleep, enhanced immunity, decreased pain, and reduced side effects from medication. The National Institutes of Health is examining the beneficial effects of Reiki on heart disease, diabetes, cancer and fibromyalgia (please see www.nccam.nih.gov). Several hospitals are also adding Reiki to patient care.
So why not experience or re-experience Reiki for yourself? Don’t let stress get the better of you! Let Reiki recharge you, and watch your own ability to heal and relax emerge.