Over the next few months, I’ll be putting together a Beginners Series of articles for people new to Reiki (or who want to learn more about it). In this article, I’ll talk about what Reiki is, how it’s different from other kinds of integrative therapies, and what problems it can help you with (including 4 tell-tale signs you could use a Reiki session).
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a hands-on healing technique from Japan and means “transcendent life force” or “spiritual energy.” The practice of Reiki guides this “Ki,” or energy, that surrounds and permeates every living thing. In Chinese, it’s referred to as “Chi” or “Qi”—acupuncture and martial arts are examples of other disciplines that work with this life force energy that is in each one of us.
Reiki enhances wellness by helping your body balance itself, and enables you to take an active role in your health.
How is it different from other integrative therapies?
One of the major ways Reiki differs from other healing modalities, is that the practitioner isn’t directing the energy, or making decisions about what your body needs. The practitioner cultivates and works with Ki, acting as a channel for your body to take in what it needs to balance itself.
What can Reiki help me with?
Here are 4 tell-tale signs you could use a Reiki session:
1. Balance: You’re feeling out of balance in your life or with your health. For example, maybe you’re feeling too emotional, crying for no reason, or alternately, maybe you don’t feel in touch with your emotions, you feel flat or unmoved when good or bad things happen.
2. Intuition: Your intution is off and you don’t know what to do. For example, maybe you feel too swayed by others’ opinions, or when you try to make a decision you feel like your fears are interfering with your decision-making process.
3. Stress: You’re feeling really stressed and find it hard to switch off even during down-time or when it’s time to go to sleep.
4. Major-Life Change: You’re in the middle of a major life change, be it a health challenge, a recent break up, moving to a new place, or changing jobs, and you feel stuck or have trouble moving forward.
Reiki helps balance and shift your energy, and this shift allows you to get in touch with yourself in a deep, profound way. As a Reiki practitioner, I don’t heal people. Rather, the Reiki session enhances your access to yourself, and the healing unfolds from this inner connectedness.
Have a question about Reiki? Send it my way and I’ll answer it in the series. You can also read more about Reiki here and here’s a past article about what I learned about Reiki from my 95-year-old grandfather (he’s very wise!)
You can book here if you’re ready to experience Reiki for yourself.
Have something you want to change or work through, and you’re not sure if Reiki can help? Let me know and we can discuss it. I’m here to help!
Good question, right?
I had a new client tell me that the effects of hypnosis wear off. He was very matter-of-fact about it but it surprised me.
It surprised me mostly because I added hypnosis to my practice because I’ve found it so effective at helping people (including me!) make lasting positive changes. In fact, I told him I wouldn’t use it in my practice if it didn’t.
But he does bring up a good point.
Every now and then I’ll see a client who felt the effects of hypnosis work for a while, but then after a few months or so, it didn’t. For example, one client quit smoking for 6 months but then went back to it.
There’s a very good reason for this: secondary gain.
Secondary gain is a medical term that means a person has a hidden reason (often unconscious) for holding onto a negative behavior or condition.
An example: I had a client who came to me to quit smoking. She became a nonsmoker for 6 months and then went back to it. She thought the reason she started smoking again was because it was a way for her to relax, socialize with friends, and manage her stress. We did a hypnosis technique and she was surprised to realize smoking connected her to her mother who had passed away. Her mother had been a chain smoker for most her life and when my client smoked, she felt connected to her mother.
A good reason to smoke, right? (Though probably not something her mother would want for her daughter.)
Using hypnosis, the client came up with new ways to feel connected to her mom without needing to smoke. Happy ending: she’s been a nonsmoker going on 2 1/2 years.
Think of some behavior or condition you want to change. Come up with a list of 10 reasons to keep doing the negative behavior or staying in the negative condition. This will help you consciously think about possible secondary gains.
Need more guidance to find out what might be going on unconsciously? Book an appointment.
Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn’t possess,
acts but doesn’t expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever. –Tao Te Ching
This past weekend I resat the Shinpiden Reiki class with my Reiki Teacher, Frans Stiene, who was in town from Australia. It’s been a couple years since I last saw him–Frans is often referred to as “the Reiki teacher’s teacher” and I couldn’t agree more. It was great to get renewed inspiration and delve deeper into the teachings of the system of Reiki.
Frans mentioned the quote above and it prompted me to think about expectations in general, and expectations of healing in particular. I’ve realized over the years that when it comes to my clients’ healing, as well as my own, the fewer expectations the better the results.
After all, what is healing? It reminds me of one of the patients I worked with at the hospital. She was explaining to another woman what she noticed from her Reiki sessions and told her that while she felt much more relaxed in her daily life, her knee pain didn’t really go away. It’s funny how we can dismiss feeling much more relaxed when we’re focused on that knee. And yes, I would love the knee pain to go away, and often that happens, but maybe your physical issue doesn’t entirely go away but you feel more peaceful in your daily life.
Another client was using hypnosis to help her with relationship issues (e.g. finding Mr. Right, trying to force a relationship into something that it’s not, etc.). We used techniques to help her soften expectations and tap into her intuition to create healthier new patterns. It’s like the idea of gripping a pen tightly in your hand, versus letting it rest gently in your open palm. It feels different just thinking about it, doesn’t it?
The photo above is of my favorite secret beach on the Big Island of Hawaii. Watching the waves roll in and out is a good metaphor, reminding me to let go of my expectations.MORE…
Dusk on the River
I’ve seen a lot of clients recently wanting to find more positive ways to deal with their anger.
In my recent Reiki I class we discussed the Reiki precepts. The first one is: “Do not bear anger, for anger is illusion.”
This precept reminds me of a story by Pema Chödrön, “Dusk on the River,” and offers an interesting perspective on anger.
A man is enjoying himself on a river at dusk.
He’s in a small boat. And suddenly he sees another boat coming down the river towards him.
It seems so nice that someone else is enjoying the river on a nice summer evening.
Then he suddenly realizes the boat is coming towards him faster and faster.
He begins to get angry and upset and shouts, “Hey, hey! Watch out! For heaven’s sake, turn aside. Don’t hit me!”
But the boat just comes faster and faster, right towards him. By this time he is standing in the boat, screaming and shaking his fists. MORE…