A gentle touch by a family member could sometimes be the single, most critical thing that could help you get through tough times. True enough, there are proven psychological benefits of a healing touch across various individuals. One kind of touch therapy is Reiki, which has been defined by the International Association of Reiki Professionals as a subtle way of energy healing through spiritually-led life force.
“The belief that one can focus their energy (or the energy of God, universe, etc.) to help you and your energy is the root of these practices. They have a variety of names; Reiki, Quantum Touch, Healing Touch, Laying of Hands, Intercessory Prayer are but a few. This exchange of energy occurs through physically touching, or being in physical proximity to the person, or by directing your intention to positively affect someone over long distances – depending on the method used.” – Duane Bowers, LPC
Essential Things You Need To Know About Reiki
One good way to start a Reiki discussion is to clarify first what it is not. In the first place, it has to be clear from the get-go that practitioners of Reiki in any way do not have affiliations with a particular religious organization. Instead, it is an ancient form of healing that traces its roots from Japan through a healing system created by Usui Mikao back in the 1900s.
But now if you think that this could be just high-sounding and impractical, you have got to understand that Reiki is also not superstitious. Hospitals increasingly offer it, which means that it is scientific and backed up by actual research.
Reiki works by stimulating the body’s energy to get it to move more freely. Practitioners channel to their patients what they call the “universal life energy” which is believed to provide strength, balance, and peace to both the body and mind. After experiencing Reiki treatments, patients are reported to feel lighter, with better mental clarity and decisiveness, improved well-being, and more profound spirituality. Reiki is a process of cleansing. Through the transfer of energies, the new and positive ones rejuvenate and replace the old and stagnant energy in your body. In the process, it also connects patients with nature and the discovery of the self.
Types Of Health Concerns Addressed By Reiki
- Depression and Anxiety – In one study among nurses on duty who come down with burnout syndrome because of fatigue from long working hours, Reiki treatment resulted in significant relaxation effects. In another study, heart surgery patients who received Reiki during their surgeries showed the complete elimination of the typical postoperative depression that hits patients. Still, in one study, Reiki treatments brought about reductions in anxiety and depression, pain relief, better sleep quality, lower stress levels, and general improvements in their well-being.
“There’s a lot of anxiety in our fast-paced world,” says Kathy Morelli, LPC, “and people are looking for something besides Xanax to help them.” She continues, “This is especially true for those who are already dealing with an addiction since some of the most common anti-anxiety drugs (benzodiazepines) are habit-forming.”
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – As Reiki works to regenerate your body and soul, it also brings back your lost confidence and eases your obsession to make all things in your life right immediately. It calms you down, teaches you to take your time and to slow down, and allows you to rebuild your missing pieces one step at a time.
- Nervous System Disorders – Deep down in your nerves, Reiki also functions to improve the coordination between your brain’s neurons and the receptors of external stimulus in your body. Because of this, your nervous functioning achieves a state of balance; this produces an overall positive effect not only on your psychological but also physical health. Your heart rate normalizes, blood pressure stabilizes, and respiration improves.
- Bipolar Disorder and Mood Swings – Because Reiki focuses on calming and relaxation, it also results in the reduction of mood swings and the regulation of the intensity of these moods. Previously hard-to-control shifts in emotions take hold more naturally after Reiki sessions because energy variations become evened out. There is more positive energy flowing in now, and this would translate into increased strength of the physical and psychological aspects of the patient.
- Suicidal Tendencies – There have also been reported incidents of patients on the verge of self-harm and suicide who give in to the urge of trying out Reiki treatments. After their sessions, they showed signs of a positive disposition, lighter thinking, happier aura, and improved enthusiasm. The relaxation produced by Reiki allowed people to take a pause and see things from a brighter perspective, thereby assisting them in satisfactorily processing their emotions and pains.
Perhaps one of the fascinating and beautiful facts about Reiki is that at the end of the day, it is not the Reiki practitioners—though they are the ones who channel the energy—who cure patients. Instead, it works with the patients healing themselves. Patients receiving Reiki energies can control the powers that they receive, and they get to decide how to use it in their lives. This self-empowering characteristic of Reiki is fundamental especially for patients who struggle with psychological issues of loss of control on their circumstances.
With all of these fantastic benefits that Reiki has to offer, it is beneficial that the medical community has started to embrace it and integrate it into the therapy programs that they provide. Hopefully, in the future, more and more people, societies, and countries would get to appreciate Reiki’s amazing psychological benefits because it might just be the key to improving and even saving more lives.
“If you have life challenges, Reiki is such a necessity! Reiki has helped me through some very major life challenges without the need for antidepressant medication and with the ability to continue my work. In fact, my Reiki practice grew immensely through a period of ten difficult years. Reiki also helped those ten years to be some of the best years of my life.” – Karen Harrison, LPC, LMFT