Reiki Healing Mother’s Dementia, and More

Reiki healingReiki is a practice, not a fix. The mind tends toward been-there-done-that parking, but life continues, change comes, and we either grow or we suffer.

Daily practice helps us stay present with what’s happening now, available for growth and relationship, responsive to the needs of the moment, not parked in ideas of what should be.

Recently Libba Lyons told us how her new Reiki practice is helping her and her mother. Then things changed. Here’s her update.

Reiki Healing Mother’s Dementia, and So Much More
by Libba Lyons

Offering Reiki to my mother has been a learning experience.

Everything was going so well. She felt such benefit from my Reiki treatments. Her pain disappeared, her distress was relieved, we had moments of lucid communication. I was calmer, and happier with myself.

Then last week she absolutely refused treatment.

She was angry at one of the nurses about something. I sensed she felt I was discounting her concerns by offering Reiki treatment instead of allowing her to vent as she wanted to.

The following week, she wanted Reiki treatment again, and responded well to it.

What I understand a little better now is there are times when offering Reiki treatment needs to wait. It is not always easy for me to understand what she wants, but if she is in the mood to talk — however difficult it is to understand — I need to listen and not attempt to calm or distract her by practicing Reiki.

My teacher taught us that we cannot give a Reiki treatment to anyone who doesn’t want it, and I have learned how true that is.


Not getting the response you want when you talk about Reiki? We can change that. Look at these Communicating Reiki articles or my Mainstreaming Reiki audio series.

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8 thoughts on “Reiki Healing Mother’s Dementia, and More”

  1. Julia Fitzgerald

    I recently started offering Reiki at an infusion center where people are getting chemotherapy. Just this week I had the experience of a patient saying that she would like to try Reiki, but then when I started to put my hands near her, she said, “You don’t need to do that. It’s just nice to have company. ” I was playing music, which she enjoyed, and we just talked for an hour! I was fine with that. Our conversation was deep, psychological and spiritual. At times I felt energy moving in my body. She asked about me, and gave me some advice, which has been comforting to me. She thanked me for the conversation at the end. I don’t know who was helping who, or if we are all always helping eachother. But I think good things definitely happened in that hour.

  2. Kathy Falconio

    As a Reiki volunteer at a cancer center for the past 5 years, I have been offering Reiki once a week to anyone at the center who requests it — to the patients, their family members and/or the nurses. It was only a few months ago, though, that I learned the same lesson. I’ve found that if someone is very emotional and only wants to talk and does not want their usual Reiki treatment, they are helped tremendously by my being present for them and listening to them vent. As I am doing so, I can feel the Reiki flow anyway, even though my hands may not be touching that person. At that moment in time, one’s compassion and love for the other person are all that is needed in order to bring about healing.

  3. I am glad that you used this post to clarify what Reiki is and what it is not. I never expected it to cure my mother of the effects of aging or of Alzheimer’s dementia. What I have hoped for was to ease and heal the effects of her persistent anxiety.

    I do see small changes in her outlook and greater calm. But she is a strong-willed individual, and she will most certainly follow her own path. I cannot change that. What I can do is empower myself to show her love and support through healing Reiki practice on myself and on her.

  4. Thank you for sharing, Karla Jo. It’s always tough when a family member has a medical emergency, and wonderful to know that our Reiki practice can support all of us going through it.

    Whenever I speak to nurses about Reiki practice, I emphasize self-practice is the foundation. Nurses and doctors are trained to intervene, so unless we explain it to them, they will not recognize that Reiki is a practice. We can truly reform health care if we empower heath care staff in self-care.

    Similarly, your daily hands-on self-practice and offering treatment to others as is possible is a critical part of preparing for your training as a Reiki master. I also encourage Reiki practitioners to take their time and become professionals who are paid for offering Reiki treatment before becoming masters.

    There is a great advantage in learning to manage the business aspects before becoming a master, and there is no need to be a Reiki master before offering treatment professionally.

  5. Karla Jo Grimmett

    I practice Reiki daily with my physical therapy patients and co-workers. What I love most about Reiki is the practice doesn’t interfere with the lesson to be learned going through an experience. Nor does it cover up the need for more traditional medical attention. Case in point. 2 weeks ago my family was on vacation. The day we were to leave my daughter became violently ill. We went to an urgent care facility and were promptly directed to a hospital. The whole time I was sending Reiki to my daughter, my husband, myself and staff. The messages my daughter’s body were sending were vital to her outcome. As it turned out she had to have an emergency appendectomy. From the time we arrived at the hospital till the time we left was 6 hours. We were on the road home 5 hours after that. At breakfast the next morning my daughter shared how she knew I was sending Reiki (a lot of love and prayer too!) and that it helped her calm down and ride the waves of pain until she knew what was wrong. To her it was the difference between out right panic and a sense of wellbeing. The nurses in the recovery room also were interested in learning more about this technique as a compliment to traditional care. This Fall I’ll continue to train and become a certified Master so I can teach this wonderful practice to my fellow healthcare providers. Thank you for all your research. It helps light the path!

  6. If there is an instance where I learned the meaning of “hito ni shinsetsu ni” (be kind/compassionate to others), it looked a lot like this. Sometimes simply being available is more compassionate and powerful than offering what you think is right/helpful, even with the best of intentions.

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