Rather than be stressed out you can get the stress out with Reiki.
The expression, “I’m going to lay my hands on you,” has quite a different connotation when Thea Annya Nathan, a Reiki Master, says it—as opposed to when it’s used as a verbal warning during conflict with another person.
I had heard from friends that the use of life-force energy streaming through the practitioner’s hands during a Reiki session had the potential to reap similar benefits to that of REM. Yes, that’s right: a good night’s sleep in one hour. They had my attention, yet I was skeptical.
Upon learning about this, I decided I had nothing to lose and would book a few sessions with Nathan. The stage was set: ultra soothing music, calming scents, and an eye pillow. Within 10 minutes or less, I fell into a deep, relaxing sleep. And I would soon learn that it would happen with every occurrence.
Me, relaxed? Um. Deeply? Nooooo, couldn’t be!
Me—the one who needs to book a 90-minute massage in order to receive an hour massage, due to requiring 30 minutes to relax and unwind?
But it never failed—again and again, Nathan would gently nudge me at the end of each session, whispering, “Take your time getting up.”
Quite amazingly, she had pulled me out of state of blissful peace. I was shocked that 50 minutes had passed by. I’d always glance at the clock, then look back at her. Then I’d glance back at the clock agin, then down at my phone’s clock just to make sure. Even more fascinating? There was no heating pad in sight nor any electrical device, yet her hands were blazing above my skin. It was hot—like a portable heater. I was utterly amazed. And I felt like a million bucks.
But what is the point of it, you ask? What does it actually do? OK, now for the fun part.
Reiki Could Be Your Body’s Most Worthwhile Mechanic
Much like servicing your car, your body requires energetic tune-ups and alignments for optimal performance. Think of Reiki as a body tune-up, restoring things back into alignment. It’s a hands-on healing technique that results in deep, deep relaxation. It calms the nervous system by covering it with a loving energy. Nathan, founder of The Reiki Training Institute, Malibu, Calif., says, “The body cannot heal if it is stressed. When we are stressed, whatever is out of alignment cannot heal. Reiki brings in nourishing life-force energy which helps to calm and deeply unwind and it is, within that state, that your body may naturally start to heal itself.”
‘Reiki’ is a Japanese word meaning “universal life force energy” and ‘ki’ being directly translated is “energy.” A number of healing modalities use the human hands, yet Reiki is one that can bring about benefits without even touching. It’s about heat rather than manipulation of the body (as you’ll find with various forms of massage and fascial therapy, like Rolfing).
You keep your clothes on the entire time. It is a light-to-no-touch technique utilizing loving life-force energy. It is often felt by its receivers to have a warm-to-hot sensation, and it is claimed that the experience is simply universal energy being transmitted through the practitioner’s hands. The hands are hovering about an inch or less over the body, starting at the head and going through a sequential order, finally ending at the feet for grounding.
So What Kinds of ‘Loving’ Shifts Should One Expect?
“If you’re open for change”, Nathan says, “Reiki sessions often bring in a high frequency of loving energy, so whatever does not match that frequency usually leaves. Radical or simple changes can occur.”
Reiki masters say that there can be shifts in recognizing draining and toxic relationships, no longer craving coffee, alcohol or certain foods, an increased sense of awareness, and a desire to live more consciously and healthily. When deep relaxation is experienced within the body, one is still, present and often remember truths they had forgotten. So the energy effects of Reiki can serve as a serious catalyst for change.
Commonly reported effects from Reiki are as follows:
- Chakra/energy field balancing
- Deeper, restful sleep
- Reduced pain
- Releasing toxins
- Shedding old behavior patterns
- Deeper, fuller breathing
- Increased awareness
With any healing modality, the skill of the practitioner does play a part, but the majority of the benefits rest within the receiver; the key word here being receiver. How much one is ready, willing and able to receive will determine one’s results.
Sleep Is Not For the Weak, and Neither Is Reiki!
“Sleep is for the weak,” or “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” are ridiculous generational statements being promulgated throughout our society’s modern workhorse mentality. It is far from the truth. A car needs gas and a human body needs sleep. Period.
Journeying into REM sleep is required for rejuvenation and function. Research has found that few of us are getting to this level in our nightly slumber. This state brings about cellular healing, releasing of old patterns and the restoration of balance.
Nathan has a specific message for the over-worked & sleep-deprived people saying, “Most people are in overdrive today and not fully rejuvenating [their bodies] even while sleeping. After a Reiki session, many immediately feel the benefits of [what is] similar to a deep, deep sleep.”
She also suggests getting a series of at least four one-hour sessions over the course of a month or so. First-timers are encouraged to shop around and ask questions like: “How long have you been practicing?” “Why did you get into Reiki?” and “What can I expect from a session with you?” These questions and answers can provide a great deal of information about the practitioner, their experience level, as well as their integrity and intention behind offering the service. Nathan says to be wary of anyone making outrageous or unrealistic claims.
Personally, the next time someone says to me, “I’m going to lay my hands on you,” my response will undoubtedly be, “I wish a Reiki master would.”