It’s been three years since Chelsea Adams, 14, has been keeping a unique kids’ pastime in her bedroom. Instead of wasting her time playing video games or scrolling Facebook and Instagram, this teenager lies down with her eyes closed, her hands over her head, then her stomach, and finally on her lower body parts. Chelsea has been practicing Reiki, a healing technique that’s a century-old – but is not a known ritual for teens like her. She learned this from her therapist and now friend, Alisha.
Chelsea says that every time she does the ritual, she feels rejuvenated and relaxed even for just 30 minutes. “It’s like all the bad vibes just go away, and there’s nothing left in my mind but clarity,” she adds.
It was Chelsea’s mom, Lauren, who brought her to Alisha, a Reiki master and a life coach who serves most of the parents in the Manhattan area. Lauren was the client first, as she wanted to learn some strategies to handle her stressed from her hectic consulting business. Life at home became more chaotic when Chelsea hit 13. She and her mom had more and more fights. So Lauren’s decided to tag her along one day and asked for Alisha’s help with Chelsea. She thought that if it worked for her, why not for her teen?
Chelsea’s Reiki Journey
Reiki is a 100-year-old healing technique that originated from Japan, through Japanese master Mikao Usui. Usui created this powerful technique to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and encourage inner healing. It is done by laying hands on the body to transmit ‘life force energy.’ It has been found to be really effective for individuals who have just undergone a devastating divorce or breakup, stress from work, grief over a loved one’s death, or anything that has caused someone depression or sadness.
“The act of laying hands on the human or animal body to comfort and relieve pain is as old as instinct itself. Human touch conveys warmth, serenity and healing. It also conveys caring and love.” – Anjuli Sherin, LMFT
Lauren has been visiting Alisha for about six months before she decided that perhaps Chelsea might benefit from it too. “Chelsea is one of the teenagers in New York who have too much on their plates in terms of school, extra-curricular activities, and the natural progression of teenagers growing up in urbanized cities. I felt that Reiki would be a great grounding place for her,” recalls Lauren.
On the other hand, Chelsea noted that before practicing Reiki herself, she would panic and cry over a low grade, even though it was only for a short quiz. She hated failing, plus she was so pressured with her gymnastics class because she had to catch up with her fellow gymnasts and she wasn’t doing well on that. After a year of practicing Reiki, she realized she didn’t experience the panic attacks anymore, nor did she feel stressed over her gymnastics classes. She has gotten used to centering herself before starting anything.
She places her hands just slightly above her neck, and quickly she feels the release and comfort. She says she can’t explain the feeling, but since then she has always been doing these Reiki routines.
Mechanics Of Reiki
The truth is, not everyone accepts Reiki as a practice, especially the purists. It is because it is focused on the belief that every human being has innate energy that can be stimulated for healing purposes.
So how is it done?
During a session, the client either lies or sits down to allow the Reiki healer to lightly lay her hands on the client’s head, arms, and lower body. The healer then tries to balance her client’s inner energy or ‘life force,’ as each of us has a life force. The healer uses this force and attempts to let it flow from her hands to the client’s body.
Avis Attaway, LMFT, explains, “Through the laying-on of hands to transmit this healing energy from Source, this energy passes through my own body and into the person receiving it. Because it originates with Source, or God or the Higher Intelligence, it first must pass through the Reiki practitioner before it passes into the person needing it. Guided by this Intelligence, it flows to where it is needed, and it is always used to create a healing effect, therefore it can never be misused.”
Some individuals who have tried Reiki swear by its effectiveness in quelling anxiety, stress, and depression. In some hospitals in New York and other areas in the United States, Reiki is being used as an adjunct for cancer and other chronic illnesses.
Chelsea recalls being nervous when she first went with her mom to see Alisha. However, it was more like a heavenly experience for her after. She felt relaxed and peaceful, “as if the peace growing inside of me.”
Today, Chelsea practices Reiki and visits Alisha once in two months to learn something new from her – meditation and mindfulness mostly. She has ten more friends from school visiting Alisha and reaping awesome benefits like her. Their moms couldn’t be much thankful and relieved.
“Reiki relaxes, it heals, it helps the recipient to focus quietly in a positive manner during the session, it encompasses sanctuary, it provides safe, lightweight, therapeutic touch to those whom other means of touch might cause discomfort. It does not interfere with the use of any other therapies or medications. It does not contradict any spiritual practices of the individual, no matter what the faith.” – Gail-Elaine Tinker, LPC