The quote pretty much defines what Reiki – the healing touch is. It is a life force energy to improve one’s health and quality of life. It has a spiritual component in its healing. ‘Rei’ is the Japanese word for ‘Higher Power’ and ‘ki’ is the life force energy. In other words, Reiki is a ‘spiritually guided life force energy’.
Life force is a subtle energy that surrounds and flows through pathways viz. chakras, meridians, and nadis in all living beings. The life force nourishes all the cells in the body and supports their functioning.When your life force is low, you are likely to feel weak. You will be susceptible to illness. Strengthening your life force will help your body heal and remain healthy.
Thoughts and feelings can affect the life force. If you have negative thoughts or negative feelings about yourself, the flow of your life force becomes disrupted causing diminished functioning of your body organs. Your overall body balance (physical, mental and emotional), medically termed homoeostasis, is disturbed. You then become ill.
How does Reiki work?
Reiki treatment increases your supply of life force energy and helps you heal quickly. It promotes relaxation, makes you feel at peace, and reduces your stress. You start moving toward your unique physical, mental, and spiritual balance, and your body’s own healing mechanisms begin to function more effectively.
Reiki is administered by the hands, placed lightly on or near the body of the patient. The healing energy from the body and hands of the Reiki practitioner flows to the patient. The patient then experiences feelings of relaxation, mental clarity, pain relief, decreased anxiety, and a sense of well-being. Research has shown that this occurs because the activity of parasympathetic autonomic nervous system in the patient increases significantly.
That said, is Reiki really effective? What is it effective for?
Here are the health benefits of Reiki that have scientific evidence:
1. Helps in stress reduction and promotes relaxation
Stress reduction and relaxation are the best proved health benefits of Reiki. Actually, this Japanese energy healing therapy is designed to trigger your body’s relaxation response and reduce stress. Most ailments today are somehow linked to the stress factor, be it environmental stress, work stress, or emotional stress. In fact, most of the therapy’s health benefits are based on these factors. Stress can lead to irregular heart rhythms that could result in angina or stroke. Stress triggers gastrointestinal problems because common hormones such as leptin and ghrelin regulate the brain and stomach.
Eating disorders are a common consequence of stress, since you tend to overeat when you are stressed out, or you have an aversion to food. Mood disorders and many psychological problems arise because of stress. Stress can lead to sexual problems in men.
2. Reduces depression and anxiety by changing your mood
Changes in mood are very much associated with anxiety and depression. A number of studies have demonstrated overall mood benefits with Reiki. The benefits are specific to those with negative mood. The studies showed that once your mood improves, the improvements are accompanied by reduced anxiety. Not only does your anxiety reduce, you can also see significant decrease in depression, anger, and confusion. Your positive energy increases and the loss of vigour that comes with depression also improves.
3. Increases mobility in case of shoulder pain, wrist pain, lower back pain
An interesting study published in the journal Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine which compared the effectiveness of improving range of motion through physical therapy and Reiki, found that both showed the same effect in improving the range of motion (ROM) of the affected part. These results suggest that the beneficial effects of Reiki and on ROM may arise from alterations in local joint or muscle structures rather than the pain system.
4. Heals infections and inflammations
“A friend of mine went into the hospital for some reconstructive surgery due to breast cancer. After a couple of weeks, I saw her husband and inquired about her health. He was devastated and told me that she had developed a severe infection and had been running a fever of 104 degrees for several days and the doctors did not know where it was coming from. He said they believed her organs could begin to shutdown. I began to send Reiki to her immediately. Upon my arrival the next morning, she looked wonderful! I asked her how she was and she said it was amazing. She woke up that morning and her temperature was completely normal. She felt great! The doctors had no explanation for her healing.”
This may sound like a miracle, but one intriguing finding reported in the journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed a similar result with Reiki. An obese hypertensive patient was treated for Hepatitis C. The side effect of the treatment was anaemia and neutropenia (severe deficiency of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, leading to susceptibility to infection). Reiki therapy was administered to him to relieve anxiety and to enhance his sense of well-being. Incidentally, the doctors noted that his neutrophil count and hematocrit improved significantly, which in turn improved bone marrow function. So much so, that the patient was infection-free even after one year of treatment.
5. Improves indices of metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions, affects a substantial and increasing percentage of the world population. Physical activity is perhaps the best way you can improve the outcomes of metabolic syndrome, but Reiki too has shown to be equally effective.
6. Treats symptoms associated with cancers
Reiki, or for that matter, any mind-body therapy cannot cure cancer. But they can effectively treat associated symptoms of cancer such as depression, pain, and fatigue. For example, in a study published in the journal Integrative Cancer Therapy, researchers reported that treatment with Reiki for 5 consecutive days, followed by 1-week no treatment, then 2 additional Reiki sessions, in various cancer patients could significantly decrease tiredness, pain, and anxiety, and improve quality of life.
For the last 20 years practicing Reiki, Reiki has helped several clients to get relief from pains, migraine, sciatica, and arthritis,asthma, menopause, insomnia, depression, heart conditions, cancer and many more.
7. Enables emotional clarity and spiritual growth
Reiki not only heals you physically, it also heals you emotionally. One of the most endearing effects of Reiki is that it can enhance your capability to love, to empathize as it enables you to deeply connectwith people. It can strengthen your relationships. It can heal your personal relationships. Reiki brings about inner peace and harmony, the essential qualities of spiritual growth. It ‘cleans’ and clears your emotions.
Reiki is thus fast becoming an accepted presence in hospitals and clinics maybe because the healing approach is non-traumatic and easily integrated with conventional therapies.
Want to give it a try?
Email Manali at [email protected] to try your first free 30 minutes in-person or Skype Reiki session!