Perhaps you heard about it on TV, or a friend had a session, or you read about it in a magazine. For whatever reason, the word Reiki (pronounced ray-key) has made its way to you and you’re curious to know what it is.
But before I delve into what Reiki is, I wanted to start with science, specifically, energy.
Everything is made of a form of energy. This energy can neither be created nor destroyed, just modified into another form of energy. A table, for example, while seems like it’s solid and still, has molecules that are constantly moving, albeit very slowly.
And not surprisingly, emotions are made of energy.
Expressing our emotions
Sometimes we were “taught” to not feel certain emotions by parents, society, schooling, and religion. Some of us were told not to show anger – “don’t you dare raise your voice at me” – or that crying showed weakness – “crying is for girls”. And some, were not allowed to show emotions at all – “children are meant to be seen and not heard”.
As we grow up and these phrases reiterated, when an “undesired” emotion is felt, we automatically repress it. Think about how many times you may have felt like crying and started to “choke back the tears”. You could literally feel like there was a ball in your throat.
Or how you kept your opinions to yourself during an argument but could feel a burning sensation within your chest from the anger.
And if we aren’t allowed to express our emotions and give them an outlet, and if emotions are energy, and energy can’t be destroyed, where does it go?
Emotional energy that has nowhere to go
Unfortunately, this emotional energy doesn’t go anywhere. It stays within you. And more and more gets added into it, until finally, it HAS to go somewhere and it exhibits as something else.
Perhaps you’ve heard about chakras in a yoga class? Seven main ones within your body are aligned with your spine and correspond to nerve centres and organs within the body. In Sanskrit, Chakra translates to wheel and the wheels spin energy, pretty much like a water mill.
When they are open and able to spin properly, your body receives the energy it needs to make you feel vibrant.
However, if we continue to repress our emotions, memories, and thoughts, the wheels start to spin less effectively. And if we stick with the water mill analogy, it’s like having algae, mud, and debris, getting stuck in the mill and slowing it down. The water (or energy) isn’t flowing as well as it could be.
What does this have to do with Reiki?
Reiki originated in Japan by Master Mikao Usui. There’s a lot of history behind it, which I won’t go into, but you can read about it here from a fellow Reiki Master if you are interested.
Reiki is gentle and non-invasive, yet powerful. It’s a complementary energy-healing modality, one that I would compare to as a cousin of acupuncture (but without the needles).
With Reiki, a practitioner conduits universal energy to help push it through each of your chakras. It’s a boost that allows the chakras to spin better, which allows energy to flow through your body better. It’s like an organic solution that gives the extra push in a clogged pipe and allows the water to move freely through.
This is why you will often see a benefit of Reiki being increased energy. It can also help ease feelings of pain, both physical and emotional.
The benefits of Reiki
Other benefits of Reiki include feeling a sense of peace and calm, of overall wellbeing. Usually, after a Reiki session, I have a fantastic night’s sleep. Several clients mention this too (one was even surprised that she went to bed at 22:00 when she typically falls asleep at 03:00!).
What’s great is that Reiki is starting to gain traction, and research is being conducted into its benefits.
- In 2018, a study was conducted with patients who had herniated discs. It found that Reiki was an effective (and more time and cost-effective) method of relieving the pain.
- A 2021 published research found Reiki reduced the stress of caregivers.
- The results from a 2011 study with 40 university students with anxiety found that the students who had Reiki sessions felt an improvement in their overall mood, compared to those who didn’t.
With how science is starting to show the benefits of Reiki, and your friend who tried it mentions how great she felt after, it’s not surprising we’re starting to hear more and more about Reiki. And if you’re looking for a way to relax, definitely give Reiki a try.
Note: Reiki is NOT a replacement for modern medicine. It is a complementary treatment to be used alongside and does not replace a medical professional’s advice.