Allow to me to introduce to you the best kept secret in the U.S. – Reiki.
“A healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.” -Definition by Barefoot Wellness
I’ll be the first to tell you that I avoided reiki like the plague for months after it was first mentioned to me by my acupuncturist. My attitude? I wasn’t going to hand over my well-earned cash to have someone put their hands on me in order to “heal my energy”. Having a pre-med background, I couldn’t bring myself to buy into it.
I held onto my anti-reiki stance so strongly, that I needed an energetic smack to reset my beliefs and biases. While I was in Sedona Arizona, I had been given a Wisdom Card reading, pulling the cedar card. The message behind the card wasn’t particularly meaningful to me, but hindsight turned out to be 20/20.
When I got back home, I was giving my acupuncturist the low down on my trip. She insisted that now was the time to get a reiki treatment. Try it once, she had said. Something about my reaction must have been different, because she handed me the practitioner’s card: Cedar Circle Healing.
Well. Damn. All signs pointed to reiki.
I went to the first appointment with sweaty palms and a nasty case of word vomit. I was talking to the practitioner about various experiences I had while adding in little jibs that I wasn’t sure I bought into reiki. I was open to the experience, but had some serious doubts about it being effective.
Strange sensations came and went through the whole treatment. Unless she grew an extra set of arms, I could have sworn someone else was in the room, holding my ankles while she had both her hands on my shoulders. And why did the room get so bright? Did she open the blinds? I hadn’t heard her do so. I convinced myself that I had fallen asleep.
Experiences like these happened with almost every treatment.
But, the real value was in the life changes. I was able to meditate successfully for the first time. I had always struggled with shutting my mind off to all my to-do lists, you know, those things that I thought I should have been doing instead of meditating. I started feeling less tired and more motivated. The habits that weren’t all that good for me came to light. I was able, for the first time, to start thinking about what I wanted from my life, independent from what others wanted from me.
As such, reiki changed my life and set the course for the coming year.
I want you to have your own experience with reiki. So, let me take some of the mysticism out of it and give you the facts.
- Reiki is performed by an “attuned” practitioner who will gently place their hands on various sections of your body or hover just above. It can therefore be performed hands on, or touch free.
- You may be asked to lay on either your back or your belly.
- Additional tools may be used, such as crystals and singing bowls.
- Reiki focuses on healing your energy field by infusing it with reiki energy, a very pure form of energy. You could also call it “life force energy”.
- Reiki is most often an incredibly relaxing experience. Some people even fall asleep.
- You may also experience new and interesting sensations: feeling an extra set of healing hands that don’t belong to the practitioner, seeing all sorts of colors while your eyes are closed, and feeling heat or cold under the practitioner’s hands. These are just a few as the possibilities are endless.
- There can be a “detox” of sorts experienced after a treatment. This can be emotional or physical. Reiki energy continues to work outside of the treatment room and manifests in countless different ways, working with you to improve your life.
As for practitioner training, it’s a blended process. At its most traditional, it’s part classroom, part treatment instruction, and part attunement for each of the three levels of certification. Originally, it took years for an individual to reach the third level, often referred to as a master reiki practitioner. Now, and more so in the U.S., reiki training has been heavily modified. Some programs claim to train an individual to master level in one weekend. Others, entirely online.
Reiki has been studied, tested, and measured, but it’s beliefs and training are rooted in spirituality and personal growth. Reiki practitioners should be spending time to heal themselves spiritually, mentally, and physically before ever treating a client. In fact, the first certification (called an attunement) was intended purely for the purpose of healing the individual, not a client.
Which brings me to my next nugget: take the time to look at all of your options when choosing a reiki practitioner. You’ll want to take into account their years of experience, certification/attunement level, and how they were trained, but, most importantly, go to who resonates with you. Read their bio and talk with them. Choose the person that you’re drawn to. Our “gut feelings” are our best inner compass.
I’ll leave you with Mr. Einstein who elegantly stated, in a single sentence, the reason why reiki works:
“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it.”