Women are under so much pressure these days. Take Sandra Delgado, a lawyer whose high-stress job sent her on a desperate search for anything to help relieve the tension.
It was the healing power of human touch that saved her, she said. Now she can’t imagine living without Reiki.
Reiki (pronounced RAY-key) is a form of energy healing that uses life force energy to support the body’s natural healing process. Although spiritual in nature, it’s unaffiliated with any religious practice. Its roots lie in ancient Japanese energy healing practices that have recently resurged in popularity.
Reiki has many different uses, but one in particular can provide a lifeline for women on the edge of burnout: It relieves stress, eases tension and helps re-energize the body.
“We live in an electronic environment with no touching,” Delgado says. “Reiki takes us back to the basics of humanity.”
At least 1.2 million U.S. adults have tried Reiki, which is “now viewed by many as an effective, accepted alternative practice in mainstream America,” says the Washington Post. In fact, it’s become one of the top three complementary inpatient therapies in U.S. hospitals.
Of the nation’s top 25 hospital facilities, 60 percent have formal Reiki programs. Most have added them in response to patient demand—and at least two-thirds agree that Reiki is highly beneficial for their patients.
What makes Reiki so beneficial?
For one thing, it’s a natural and holistic form of healing that operates on a mental and emotional as well as physical level—which is crucial, since they’re all so tightly interwoven.
A certified Reiki practitioner understands that “everyone has the ability to connect with their own healing energy and use it to strengthen energy in themselves and help others,” says the International Association of Reiki Practitioners. “When the energy becomes weak or blocked it could lead to symptoms of physical or emotional imbalance.”
Reiki practitioners help clear blockages and bolster the body’s life force energy so healing can occur naturally.
How can Reiki help me?
Researchers have found Reiki effective at treating many different conditions, from high blood pressure to chronic pain. It’s particularly helpful for those who suffer from anxiety, fatigue, and depression. Studies show it can reduce anxiety levels by 17 percent or more, promote “significant relaxation” and generate long-term improvements in depression, stress and hopelessness.
In clinical settings, nurses and physicians attest that Reiki:
- Makes patients more relaxed, calm and cooperative
- Relieves stress
- Accelerates healing
- Boosts the immune system
- Diminishes the need for pain medication
- Improves sleep and appetite
- Reduces nausea and fatigue from chemotherapy
What does a Reiki practitioner do?
During a Reiki treatment, a Reiki practitioner channels healing life force energy through their hands and into the patient’s body.
For example, Dr. Krista moves through a series of specific Reiki hand positions—holding each for three to 10 minutes, depending on the needs of her clients—that focus specifically on:
- Head and shoulders
- Other areas as needed
Reiki typically involves light touch, but you can request a hands-off session. Dr. Krista will simply hold her hands slightly above your body.
How long does a Reiki session last?
A Reiki session can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. First, Dr. Krista will sit down with you to explain what will happen during the session, discuss any particular health issues you’re experiencing, and ask what you hope to achieve through energy healing.
The rest of the time, you get to simply relax while she gets to work.
What should I wear for my treatment?
Unlike massage therapy, Reiki doesn’t require you to remove any clothing—but you can take off your shoes for comfort. Although it can be performed while you’re sitting in a chair, most people receive treatment while lying down. Loose, comfortable clothing is recommended.
What does a Reiki treatment feel like?
People can experience a variety of sensations during Reiki. Some feel warmth or tingling, while others feel no direct physical sensation at all. Most find their treatments pleasant and relaxing. Tension, fear and anxiety often melt away, leaving behind a state of balance and peace.
Many people report feeling sleepy and yawning repeatedly “as incoming Reiki energies soothe and calm pent-up emotional tension and stress,” says the International Association of Reiki Professionals. Others describe a “wonderful glowing radiance” surrounding them. People usually leave feeling invigorated, with a more positive outlook.
You may experience any of the following sensations during your Reiki treatment:
- Heat or coolness
- Vibrational buzzing
- Electrical sparks
If you don’t feel anything, don’t worry. Reiki works whether you feel it or not.
Can I combine Reiki with other treatments?
Because it’s gentle and non-invasive, Reiki doesn’t interfere with prescription drugs or other medical treatments. Rather, it supports them by strengthening the body’s ability to heal itself. This stimulates deeper, faster and more complete healing from chronic stress and disease.
“Because Reiki facilitates the body’s creative ability to heal itself, dramatic healing shifts can occur when Reiki is part of a medical treatment plan,” say authors Libby Barnett and Maggie Babb. Reiki makes a wonderful supplement to medical treatment—but it’s not a substitute.
How can I get a Reiki treatment?
Call Heart Spring Health to schedule your Reiki treatment today! Or, if you still have questions about it, you can request a complementary 15-minute consultation with Dr. Krista. She would love to share more with you about this natural, holistic and ancient form of healing.
Dr. Krista Weikel-Delaplane, ND is a naturopathic physician at Portland’s Heart Spring Health. A certified Reiki practitioner, she helps patients relieve stress and promote deep healing through energy work. In addition to Reiki treatments, she offers comprehensive naturopathic family medicine care and prescribes natural medicines in an office that’s safe and inclusive for the LGBTQ community.
[Photo by rythmuswege via CC0 License]