Ellen Severino came to practice at the JCC Reiki Clinic in New York City one evening. When she mentioned she offers Reiki treatment to the military, I asked her to share her experience. Please share this widely to help more veterans consider Reiki practice to heal trauma and to inspire more Reiki practitioners to offer Reiki treatment to veterans.
Reiki for veterans with PTSD, anxiety and insomnia
“It’s like my body doesn’t remember how to sleep.”
That’s what Michael, a soldier dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, said when he came for a Reiki treatment at the military base where I volunteer. Reiki treatment was new to Michael, but trauma and insomnia weren’t. He was willing to give Reiki a try.
Lying on his back on the treatment table, Michael seemed tense, his fingers clasped tightly across his abdomen. I placed my hands lightly on the crown of his head. A few minutes later, he exhaled loudly. Soon his breath began to slow and his hands moved to his sides. A few more minutes and he was snoring.
When the Reiki treatment ended, Michael sat up and said, “What just happened? I don’t remember the last time I felt this good!”
Since then Michael has come for more Reiki treatment and has referred several of his friends, all veterans who suffer from insomnia and other trauma symptoms. After Reiki treatment, all reported sleeping better and feeling less anxious.
Reiki practice eases veterans’ overwhelm
Laura, a Navy Veteran, came to see me because, as she put it, she had too much on her plate. She had heard the word Reiki, but was unfamiliar with the practice or its benefits.
A few minutes into our session, Laura’s face tensed and she bit her lower lip for a moment, then relaxed. When the treatment ended, I encouraged her to take her time getting up.
She lingered a minute then said, “ I wasn’t expecting that. I think I put something down that I have been carrying a long time.”
The next time I saw Laura, she told me how much better she felt, that something had definitely shifted. “I’m able to see things differently,” she said.
Reiki healing for military hospital staff
Carla is a nurse who works at a veterans hospital. She describes her hectic and demanding job as walking a tight rope. Since having regular Reiki treatments she says, “I sleep so nice…I sleep like a baby.”
When I became a Reiki practitioner, I was preoccupied with achieving the best possible results from my treatments. I wondered if my Reiki hands would measure up.
My time with the military community has helped me appreciate what Reiki practice is really about.
My job is to place my hands and remain present, not to be vested in a particular outcome. I have witnessed time and again that healing occurs in many ways, big and small, but is always a blessing. And that includes helping to provide a good night’s sleep.
How Does Reiki Help lays out the physiologic basis for the benefits veterans suffering from trauma experience with Reiki treatment.
Are you a Reiki practitioner who’d like to start a Reiki program in your local VA? In my Reiki and Medicine Intensive, I share invaluable information, perspective and strategies for interfacing with conventional medicine that are drawn from my 30+ years as a Reiki professional, content that is not available elsewhere.
The benefits the veterans experienced — being able to sleep, feeling less anxious and overwhelmed, the gentle shift in perspective — are actually simple, yet profound spiritual benefits. If you are confused about what spirituality is or how Reiki helps, the Mainstreaming Reiki: What Is Spirituality? audio recording will help.
Have you offered Reiki to veterans or anyone with PTSD? Please share your experience in the comment section.
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