In other words, Reiki treatment is balancing to the entire human system. This is important, because imbalance and suffering occur on any and all levels–body, mind, and spirit.
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 we get from our health and wellness, the less able the body is to self-correct. The 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. The 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 the 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 this is 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 the 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.
If you are not yet trained, but would like to practice, Reiki Classes: What’s Right for You will help you take the next step. My book REIKI: A Comprehensive Guide has an entire chapter devoted to each level of practice, and you can read about my classes here.
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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