Rashiah Elam is a Second degree Reiki practitioner and physician in New York City. She was in the first WRITE REIKI program.
One Doctor’s Reiki Difference
by Rashiah Elam
My first Reiki experience is now vague. But not my last one.
It was this morning. Like many physicians, I awaken in the dark. Unlike many, I set my timer for Reiki practice. This has been one of the few consistencies in my life since I began medical training 15 years ago.
I was new to motherhood and to doctorhood when I learned to practice Reiki. Balancing an active toddler with a rewarding, but demanding job left me feeling tired, stressed and haunted by a feeling of loss, as if something intangible was missing both at work and home. When a major job change and childcare challenges brought life to a boiling point, I remembered a dear friend and colleague had mentioned Reiki.
We were new physicians eagerly seeking ways to improve our patients’ lives and help them feel better, and frustrated by the limits of prescriptions and 15-minute visits. During one of our impassioned integrative medicine conversations, as we compared techniques with “evidence-based efficacy” and “improved patient outcomes,” she said Reiki was offered at our hospital. When I expressed interest, she directed me to a local Reiki master with a track record in medicine.
I signed up for First degree Reiki class, knowing if it were anything like previous integrative medicine trainings, I’d get a much needed reprieve from my day-to-day, and something to help me help patients.
All that was true, but Reiki was unlike anything I had experienced.
Reiki is a subtle practice, and at first so were the effects. Subtle, yet noticeable. The prevailing sense of clarity, synchronicity, and balance in the first weeks of self practice was unquestionable, and I found myself feeling better than I had in years.
While the effects of my practice were subtle, my immediate love for Reiki practice was anything but. I loved how I could place my hands and feel transported by a five minute self treatment at work, or stop anything I was doing and be refreshed by a momentary Reiki break.
The difference in me during and after Reiki practice was unmistakeable, and I wanted more. I continued to practice daily self Reiki, attend Reiki clinics and participate in various Reiki continuing education events.
It has now been two and a half years. Much has changed, personally and professionally, but my daily Reiki practice keeps life feeling more balanced. I offer Reiki treatment to friends, family, patients and colleagues whenever I can. The feedback is always different, and overwhelmingly positive.
I especially appreciate the Reiki difference at work. It’s hard for people to imagine what it’s like to be a doctor in the current system, with the high rates of dissatisfaction and burnout, and on-going negative interactions. I am aware of the glaring problems in healthcare, and often feel frustrated that so many patients fall through the cracks of our burdened, troubled system.
Reiki practice has helped change how I view my role in this environment. I am better able to offer support and seek solutions in even the bleakest situations. I remain hopeful that providing care in a more balanced, aware, and intentional manner can help heal our broken medical system.
After a few years of Reiki practice, I handle even the most challenging days at the hospital with more ease. A recent day started with a code blue for a hospital employee who became distressed when fired. Moments later, a patient overdosed, and was found unconscious in the waiting room, unresponsive to conventional treatment. A nurse asked for advice about a common — and minor — medical concern, then spiraled into sharing multiple recent tragic family events.
My day was not over. I took after-hours call, and spent the evening entertaining, bathing and feeding my four-year-old, while addressing the numerous concerns of a young woman convinced her abdominal pain was an obscure intestinal disease.
I did what I could, and was content. That is the Reiki difference, and perhaps the greatest gift my Reiki practice gives me. I ended the day as I do every day, with another Reiki self-treatment.
Four years later…
Pamela brought my attention to this article I wrote four years ago, and asked me to reflect on what those additional years of practice have added.
Many things have changed, yet one thing that endures is my daily self-practice.
Four years ago, it would have been hard to imagine how much my practice would expand and deepen. Today, as I approach seven years of daily practice, I’m still consistently reminded of the value Reiki practice adds to my life.
One of the most noticeable changes is a profound sense of presence and peace that becomes easier to access with practice.
Four years ago, I didn’t envision that several relatives — my husband, son and sister — would also choose to learn Reiki practice, or how this simple practice would become a foundation for a truly enriched, more harmonious family life.
While even 4 years ago, I saw the potential for Reiki practice and treatment to help, I’ve since gathered more experience-based evidence of how Reiki treatment actually does help. That has increased both my confidence and competence in offering treatment professionally.
6 thoughts on “Reiki Heals a Doctor’s Life”
Beautiful story Rashiah . Thank you.
Rashiah thank you so much for sharing this very moving story. It is so nice to see someone with a medical background taking the chance to try something that is not out of a medical book, but hopefully will be added in the future. Science isn’t everything, and I thank you for looking outside the box. Keep sharing your practice and hopefully other doctors will realize the benefits of Reiki.
Also, I have to say as a mom, my hat goes off to you. I thought my life was busy with two kids until I read your story. Reiki keeps that balance for me too, but I don’t have medical crisis exploding around me on a daily basis on top of it. Keep that Reiki balance going ! 🙂
Your story is powerfully moving. Thank you for sharing!
I love your story, Rashia.
Thank you Dr. Rashia for sharing your story!
Reiki to me has always been Very Special. I was trained in Reiki 1st and 2nd Degree by a wonderful teacher (who past away couple years ago, Mr. Duff Cady). Duff was a very kind and gently man who introduced me to Reiki by teaching me the first degrees. I learned about Reiki by pure accident/ “Godcidence”, I think I was guide to it…. One day I saw a Reiki book at Barnes and Nobles and my eyes were attracted to it, that was the starting point of reiki in my Life. I, later, was guided to do the Master Level and I completed. After that, I opened a practice to offer Reiki treatments, however, I did feel something was not quiet right with the practice, and eventually was not a success and I have to close it. Many years has passed, and I have to admit, I have not practice daily, I just had Reiki in the back of my mind (and heart). Life has been very rough lately and just, like a month ago, a coworker approached me and remind me of a Reiki Card I have given her and she was asking me about Reiki and commenting on how her brother who is practicing Reiki, is helping many people. After I have I asked God for Guidance in my life, I took my friend’s comment as an answer to my prayers. I started giving myself Reiki and sending Reiki to my families and friends (my sister just came out of surgery and I had given her 2 treatments and she has felt less pain after the treatments). One thing I remember is that after each treatment I have given to myself and others, the feelings of Peace and Joy are indescribable; I feel more centered and able to deal with daily difficulties. One difference I had notice now is that I think I was not ready for Reiki back when I started, I wanted to do “things” “my way” not the “Divine Way”. Now I just go with the Flow more easily and ask for Guidance and when I feel that the answer is there, then I do my part. One thing I know for SURE is that after a Reiki Treatment one feels extremely relaxed, joyful, centered and ready to deal with Life, whatever it brings!!!
One of my deepest desire is to help more and more people and the world by offering Reiki treatment to those who need it! I am asking for guidance on how and when if it is for me to do that in life. Answers are coming…..
Inma, you’ve made a very good point: “…after a Reiki Treatment one feels extremely relaxed, joyful, centered and ready to deal with Life, whatever it brings!!!”
That shift you note indicates spiritual healing, and that’s why it’s important for Reiki practitioners to remember Reiki is a spiritual practice, and to include that in their communication.
It’s also why daily self practice, reconnecting with the experience of joy, makes such a difference in people’s lives.