Reiki treatment is balancing to your entire system. That’s important, because imbalance and suffering occur on any and all levels—body, mind, and spirit—and conventional medicine alone doesn’t help equally in all those areas.
When asked how Reiki treatment helped people heal, Hawayo Takata* famously said, “Remove the cause and you will remove the effect.” The underlying cause of illness—such as an immune weakness that leaves one vulnerable to infection—is always some type of imbalance. While that imbalance might be too subtle to appear as pathology on your doctor’s tests, it can still be addressed by Reiki practice.
Reiki is balancing
Reiki treatment restores balance to the whole system by optimizing the system’s own self-healing mechanisms. Although there is much that we do not know about precisely how this happens (the mechanism of action), research data suggest that Reiki treatment increases parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) tone.
You may be more familiar with the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and its fight-or-flight stress response. The rest-and-digest function of the PNS is how the body balances the stress response—at least that’s what happens when the body is healthy and resilient.
The problem is that the farther you get from your health and wellness—from a balanced state—the less able your body is to self-correct. Your body can get lost when it passes a stress threshold; it “forgets” how to flip that internal switch that shifts SNS to PNS dominance.
The stress response escalates, sometimes to the point of collapse. But collapse doesn’t necessarily restore balance. Your body can be exhausted and still stressed, like a toddler awake long past her bedtime, unable to fall asleep without parental soothing.
That’s where Reiki treatment comes in handy (sorry, couldn’t resist)—for both toddlers and parents, and those times when we have to parent ourselves.
Reminding the body of what it knows best
Reiki treatment reminds your body of what it already knows, its own self-healing competence. And although more research is needed, the results of a program evaluation from hospital out-patient Reiki classes suggest that’s just as true for self-treatment as for treatment received from others.
Having a basic understanding of the mechanics—or even a plausible model—helps people appreciate how practical Reiki treatment is. It helps to demystify Reiki practice, and make it more accessible.
And accessible it is. If you are Reiki-trained, your practice is waiting for you right at the end of your arm, any time of the day or night. Many find Reiki self practice to be as much of an uplift during an afternoon slump as a cup or coffee, without the crash. And because balance means different things at different times, practicing self Reiki if you awaken during the night can lull you right back to restorative sleep.
If you are not yet Reiki-trained, but would like to self practice, Reiki Classes: What’s Right for You will help you take the next step. There are no standards for Reiki practice and wide variation among Reiki professionals, and that article will help you be an informed consumer. If you want more detail, my book REIKI: A Comprehensive Guide has an entire chapter devoted to each level of practice. I offer in-person Reiki classes in New York City and teach small group, live, interactive Reiki Self Care in a videoconference format.
So why aren’t you practicing Reiki self-treatment?
*Hawayo Takata learned Reiki practice in Japan and brought the practice to Hawaii in 1937 with her Reiki master, Chujiro Hayashi, who was a direct student of the founder of the Reiki lineage, Mikao Usui.
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