Reiki & Pain: One Woman’s Story

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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10 thoughts on “Reiki & Pain: One Woman’s Story”

  1. I have reiki 2, and since being attuned my health is much worse with pain in hands & feet, I was getting really hot feet and getting itchy. It does not make sense.

    1. Leanne, I am sorry you are having so much pain and distress. Have you discussed the situation with your Reiki master?

      Do you know that there are no standards for Reiki training or practice? People use the term Reiki for a wide range of practices. This article will tell you more about that

      The use of the word attunement rather than the traditional word initiation makes me wonder if you were trained by someone with a hybrid practice. If the teacher (or you) are in any way forcing your system rather than inviting it to restore balance, that might explain your experience.

      I suggest you read the article about self practice, and try a simple hands-on First degree daily self practice for a few weeks. See if that makes a difference. Here’s the link

  2. I’m so happy to read this, Sheri. These are wonderful results, especially just a week after your First degree class finished.

    Reiki treatment is balancing, and people have different results, but pain relief is one that is very common, both from self-treatment and for people receiving Reiki treatment from a friend or a professional.

    Although I always stress that we have only preliminary research on the benefits of Reiki practice, pain relief has shown up in a number of small medical studies done with people experiencing various kinds of pain.

  3. Guess what! A miracle happened due to my Reiki practice only a week after I started to practice — my chronic pains in my hips are almost gone!!!!!!!! It was never anything I even considered could happen but there it was: i was walking to the subway one morning and after a block I realized there was no pain!!

    I still have sciatic and lower back distress but so much less than usual that it’s amazing. I can get out of bed in the morning like a normal person without having to do the exercises and stretches that allowed me to straighten up.

    I can now schedule the dance classes I’ve been wanting to take.

  4. Linda Rappaport

    I am so excited to read this story. I have had chronic pain for almost a year and gone through all the treatments you mentioned. I have started to find some relief
    with guided meditation, which helps me handle the pain in a different way. It’s not gone, but it’s manageable. I have also started doing some reike self-treatment and look forward to making it a regular part of my morning routine also.

  5. I believe Reiki can help pain even if the client has had it for years. My client with quadriplegia of 10 years had a 50% reduction of burning neuropathy pain in her hands after a month of Reiki sessions. The treatments made life much more livable and she reduced the amt of her narcotic pain medications. Later she saw an osteopath for cranial work and body manipulation, which also helped and within the year went of all pain medications! A miracle story for her.

  6. Wow, great story. Made me think. Is there a parallel with emotional pain?

    I want Reiki to take my emotional pain away. I want it to make my heart peaceful and clear. It can be disappointing when this doesn’t happen. But is there a gem lying in the rough? Reiki can help us see where the pain comes from, when it comes, why it comes. We can then choose to manage our emotions differently, to choose differently, to live differently.

    Isn’t this ultimately more empowering? Isn’t this something like moving beyond praying to God with a shopping list, and listening to God as a co-author of our lives? We were not meant to be children all our lives.

  7. I have just read your article on your chronic pain, and it made me cry for you, you
    See, I also have suffered chronic pain, as a result of 2 clubbed feet which was made
    Much worse by many wrong treatments, so all my life I have been in and out of
    Hospital, about 4 years ago I went into hospital for 3weeks, for Pain Rehab to learn
    How to cope and manage my pain, It is not a cure, but my whole perception towards
    My life and pain has changed,so I understand what you go through, as I am disabled.
    I am a Yoga Teacher and Therapist for the Disabled, I have found that yoga and
    Meditation, together with my pain management is so helpful, I’m so happy that Reiki
    Has helped you, I know that it is a wonderful way of life, I pray you have No Pain,

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