Tag Archives: Stress Reduction

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What is Reiki?

What is Reiki?

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What is Reiki? Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It was re-discovered by Dr. Mikao Usui in the early 1900s. Mrs. Hawayo Tanaka brought Reiki from Japan to the West in 1938. Reiki is given by the “laying of hands” that has been practiced for thousands of years. In fact, the basis for modern-day Reiki may have started in Tibet more than 2,500 years ago.

The word Reiki comes from two Japanese words – Rei and Ki. The word “Rei” means higher knowledge or spiritual consciousness. The word “Ki” means life energy. This is the same meaning as in Chi (Chinese), Prana (Sanskrit) and Ti/Ki (Hawaiian). Life energy plays an important role in everything we do. Reiki harnesses that life energy to promote healing, relaxation and a sense of peace.

Everything is made up of energy – including us humans. When the energy paths of the body are blocked or disturbed, the result can be illness, weakness, and pain. Reiki balances and strengthens the flow of energy within the body, which may decrease pain, ease muscle tension, improve sleep, and generally enhance the body’s ability to heal itself. Energy flows through a Reiki practitioner’s hands to the recipient. Reiki activates or enhances a person’s natural healing processes.

Eastern medicine has utilized energy healing for many centuries. This includes cranial sacral therapy, kinesiology, Shiatsu as well as Reiki to name a few. In Japan, Reiki is a course of life that is followed until the end of one’s life. It is believed that Reiki heals physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. There are three Reiki levels or degrees. In Level 1, an individual learns how to heal themselves. In Level 2, they learn how to assist in the healing of others. In Level 3, they learn how to teach others. All three levels are required to become a Reiki Master. Some individuals choose to enhance their Reiki experience by moving through the various degrees while others just receive Reiki from a qualified practitioner and opt never to take classes. The good thing about Reiki is that you have that choice!

In the West, Reiki has been gaining traction over a number of years. Society has been fascinated with any scientific evidence that proves or disproves Reiki. New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Campus conducted one of the first studies ever performed to determine the effectiveness of Reiki treatments on the autonomic nervous system. Their results showed a lowered heart rate, respiration and blood pressure for individuals participating in the study. Today, many hospitals across the U.S. have brought in Reiki practices to help their patients to relax and heal. The Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian includes Reiki as part of their Integrative Therapies Program for children with cancer. The National Institute of Health (NIH) even recognizes Reiki as energy medicine.  This shows that Western society is becoming more open to the benefits of Reiki.

As for me, I knew absolutely nothing about Reiki ten years ago.

Amazing how things can change.

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Sending you love, comfort and peace!


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Reiki Brings Inner Peace!

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One of my most favorite quotes in the whole world is from the Peace Pilgrim, an American non-denominational spiritual teacher and peace activist. She said, “When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” I always found this to be so profound. How many people wonder why nothing is working in their lives but inside they are anything but peaceful? How many relationships fail because one or both of those involved never knew what it meant to be peaceful within themselves? It seems like finding and more importantly keeping a sense of inner peace is one of life’s greatest challenges.

In researching Reiki back in 2007, everything I read said Reiki focused on “health and spiritual well-being” and promoted “inner peace, stress reduction and relaxation”. Finding inner peace was a top priority of me. My job was anything but peaceful. I commuted over 20 miles one way to work. As a result, I worked long hours so I could miss rush hour traffic. The work environment was highly political, which added to the stress. Everyone walked around like they were walking on eggshells rather than tiptoeing through the tulips. At home, my relationship wasn’t very peaceful either. Sound familiar to any of you? ANYTHING that could help me decompress and relax – and more importantly find inner peace – was exactly what I was looking for.

The original Reiki ideals written in Japanese by Mikao Usui start out by saying Reiki is “the secret art of inviting happiness”. Somehow over the years these original words were lost here in the West, but I find it to be one of the most important purposes of Reiki – to help a recipient find happiness or inner peace. If we were to be honest, isn’t this the real purpose of life? To find happiness and achieve a peaceful state of mind? For me, Reiki did bring that sense of inner peace beginning with my very first Reiki session. I guess I wasn’t expecting it to be so calming and peaceful. Being told something and actually experiencing it are two very different things. Like when I took Lamaze classes, I was told they would help me relax in childbirth. Being very Type-A, I found Lamaze really didn’t relax me at all. I couldn’t visualize. Beaches. Nope. Lovely flower gardens. No way. My mind just continued to run like it was on the usual treadmill. Nursery ready. Check. Diapers bought. Check. Not surprisingly, I pretty much “flunked” my Lamaze classes. It’s a miracle I made it through the birth of my oldest daughter.

Twenty-five years or so later, finding inner peace and reducing stress really hadn’t happened enough for me. A person’s body, mind and soul can only take this for so long before any number of things start to happen. The more I started receiving Reiki (and eventually once I learned how to practice Reiki on myself) the more I realized that I could actually learn to quiet my mind and relax. Being relaxed and calm helped me to find my sense of inner peace. Finding inner peace, helped me to be happy. As a happier person, I was better prepared to navigate through a stressful job, difficult relationship and the suicides of two friends. Reiki didn’t take the pain away but it did make it easier to deal with life’s ups and downs. Having a sense of inner peace gave me the strength and courage I needed to tackle just about anything. I am thankful that I found Reiki, or maybe more realistically, that Reiki found me. I am still learning and definitely practicing, but the restored sense of inner peace it has brought to my life I wouldn’t trade for the world!

Consider Reiki to help you find your sense of inner peace.

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Sending you love, comfort and peace!

 


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