When you live with chronic pain, even small improvements are significant. Guestblogger Sophia Wong shares her story:
Practicing Reiki First Degree Transformed my Relationship to Chronic Pain
By Sophia Isako Yinchee Wong
As soon as I wake up, I check on my pain.
Usually, I start my day without too much trouble; my steps are somewhat labored, but I can walk to work. Sometimes the pain goes on holiday for a few weeks, allowing me to enjoy a brisk run. Once I even managed to run a 5K race in Central Park at a moderate pace.
Sometimes, however, pain screams so piercingly that I cannot hear much else, and my life shrinks to the circumference of my bedroom. I fumble for the phone, call in sick to work, and wait for the waves of pain to abate.
I wish I could tell you that Reiki treatment chased pain away forever. That was my fervent hope after I received my first Reiki treatment, falling asleep blissfully on the table and awaking with a deep sense of relaxation. However, pain soon returned with its usual unpredictability.
Disappointed, I thought, “Okay, perhaps Reiki is like all the other treatments I’ve tried: orthotics, cortisone shots, physical therapy, deep tissue massages, hot baths, yoga asanas, acupuncture, essential oils, resting, and reading books about pain. Each of these treatments makes the pain subside for a while, but then it returns. They provide temporary relief, but nothing deeper than that.”
Reiki practice increases awareness
After three months of daily Reiki self-treatment, however, my approach to managing pain has changed subtly. I’ve become more sensitive to conditions that can trigger pain episodes. Observing my body’s response to Reiki treatment has taught me that I need to slow down, to rest more, and to keep my plans flexible from hour to hour.
Because I start each day quietly experiencing how my Reiki treatment calms my nerves, I can now detect when I am getting tired or stressed, just soon enough that I can choose not to put in that extra hour at the office. Sometimes I ask a friend to meet me at my home for dinner, so I don’t have to travel forty minutes to meet her at our favorite restaurant.
Learning to offer myself Reiki has also encouraged me to speak up for myself and to tell others that I need to sit silently (sometimes at their homes or in public places) to give myself a short Reiki treatment whenever I feel the need for healing.
Practicing Reiki has reduced but not eliminated my chronic pain. It has also brought me an unexpected benefit: a new pathway for managing the pain whenever it arises. I am very grateful for this inner shift that enables me to live more peacefully with chronic pain.
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