February 23, 2018
How Reiki Helps Us Reduce Stress
Do you believe in energetic magic?
Photo courtesy of Antonika Chanel/Unsplash
By English Taylor
writer for The Natural
Take a look at your palm. Most of us would see the inner surface of our hands. However, according to the teaching of Reiki, a Japanese healing technique, it’s a major source of cell energy, working to maintain emotional equilibrium in our body.
“When our energy is out of balance, we may feel this imbalance emotionally in the form of anxiety, stress, or depression,” explains Jennifer Brinn, a Reiki Master in San Francisco. “We may also feel physical effects like digestive issues or chronic tension. Biology teaches us that the atoms within the nuclei of our cells make up the energy of our bodies. When you look at your palm, you're really seeing millions of cells that have been condensed into a mass which form your hand. When our energy is out of balance, why not treat energy with energy?”
Treating energy with energy is exactly what Reiki aims to do. Put simply, Reiki is a stress-reduction and relaxation technique that promotes well-being and pain relief through energetic transfers. Meaning, as a healer, Brinn sends energy, also known as “ki,” to a client by placing her hands on or above their body. Over the course of a session, this energetic transfer works to remove blockages in the recipient’s body and promote the flow and balance of ki.
Brinn’s sessions begin by discussing a client’s emotional and physical issues. “I then give them a chance to settle on my healing table,” she says. “Clients remain fully clothed with shoes removed. I scan their body to tune into any energetic blocks, then guide them through a very brief meditation to help them relax. I begin the Reiki healing with my hands at the crown of the head, working down through the energy centers, also known as the chakras, and finally end at the feet.”
During this process, Brinn notes that most clients fall into deep relaxation—some even fall asleep. “At the end of the healing, I give them time to acclimate and we discuss what they felt and any of my findings,” she says. “Everyone leaves feeling renewed and restored to a balanced state that many have never felt before.”
Brinn believes anyone can benefit from Reiki. Her clientele includes cancer patients looking to ease symptoms, executives trying to reduce stress, busy mothers seeking balance, teenagers suffering from anxiety, and even athletes hoping to heal physical injuries.
“We spend so much of daily lives in ‘fight-or-flight mode,’” she says. “Reiki stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and transports us to ‘rest and relax’ mode, allowing time for our mind and body to reset and heal.”
A memorable client of Brinn’s once came in complaining of headaches she had been suffering from since falling and experiencing a concussion. “After Reiki, she said her headache was gone,” says Brinn. “She even emailed me three days later to tell me the headaches she had been experiencing for three months straight had vanished.” The International Center for Reiki Training’s website has dozens of similar positive testimonials.
While these anecdotal stories and phrases like “energy healing” may garner a few eye rolls, it’s worth keeping an open mind. Preliminary clinical research shows that Reiki may be useful for anxiety and pain management. Medical institutions like New York Presbyterian Hospital even offer Reiki as a complementary treatment to patients. Data from the hospital’s pilot program reveals that Reiki, along with other integrative solutions like meditation and yoga, can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, anxiety, and pain among radiation oncology patients.
Whether you’re already a Reiki devotee, curious to try it, or more doubtful, Brinn believes that Reiki’s efficacy isn’t dependent on your belief in it. “I’ve had even the biggest skeptics on my healing table. But when they leave my office, they have an easy smile of someone deeply relaxed,” she says. “Reiki speaks for itself.”
Articles from The Natural should not be considered medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please consult a medical professional.