Health is not simply a matter of calories counted, nutrients ingested, pounds lifted or miles moved, so this week we’re going to focus on how you can use your mind to tap into the spirit and heal the body. Take the natural healing practice of Reiki, for example.
The name itself comes from “Rei,” which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power,” and “Ki,” which means “life force energy.” Thus, Reiki is “spiritually guided life force energy.” Deep!
Now, we know what you’re thinking: what the hell is this New Agey crap the Weekly’s trying to foist on me? Well, you’ll just have to read on and trust us.
You’ve surely heard of meditation, acupuncture and yoga—and more and more conventional Western doctors are beginning to understand and even advocate these alternative practices as part of a general health program. Research has shown a link between increased stress levels and higher incidence of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and many other illnesses, both minor and serious. Reiki, specifically, is a focused laying-on of the hands, or a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation, with the added benefit of healing. It’s based on the idea that an unseen necessary “life force energy” flows through us, like blood or water. If it’s low, we are more likely to get sick or feel stress; if it’s high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
Reiki heals by flowing through problematic parts of your energy field and charging them with positive energy, causing the negative energy to break apart and fall away. A practitioner must receive specific training, or “attunement,” from a Reiki Master through a series of classes. (They are trained not to pass on their own energy, but rather to tap into the universal supply. Too bad that doesn’t work for automobiles.)
Clients can experience Reiki via two methods. In Reiki I (Hands-On), the client lays on a massage table while the practitioner places his or her hands in strategic positions on the client’s fully-clothed body. Recipients often experience a soothing warmth or coolness and often fall asleep, awakening to feel serene, secure and significantly less stressed out. Sessions generally last one hour.
In Reiki II (Absent Healing), a practitioner essentially sends energy through the air (with the recipient’s permission and the aid of a photograph that shows the recipient’s eyes). We know, it sounds kooky, but you’d be surprised at how many people testify to the effectiveness—there are many stories of Reiki aiding in the miraculous healing of cancer, infection, hearing loss, burns, and so much more. Respectable practitioners recommend that Reiki be used in conjunction with a licensed health care provider, of course, so don’t go off on some Reiki bender and enlist a hack. And believe me, I once thought all of this was a bunch of hooey until a Master made my migraine go away in 20 minutes. Trippy? Yes. But the worst that can come from it all is that you get that much needed relaxation for an hour—the best possible outcomes are limitless.
For more info, check out www.reiki.org or the USUI Reiki Center at www.usuireikicenter.org.