This article appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of Reiki News Magazine.
I told my sister, who is now a Reiki Master, that I was going to write an article about healing as a gift to those around you. I asked for her input, and she had this to share: “Healing yourself is the most loving thing you can do for those around you because you have the ability to be more compassionate, caring, and loving. We become our true higher selves and only want the best for our loved ones and friends, which starts with being the best person you can be.” I am in awe of her profound words.
Many people approach energy healing from the perspective of what it will do for themselves, and this is to be expected. After all, we are the ones who will go through the hard work of undergoing the post class cleanse, in which old emotions will resurface to be addressed and released. In some cases, we undergo a physical detox as well. Healing is a true hero's journey. However, what many people don’t realize is that we carry all of the negative experiences we have ever gone through and the accompanying emotions within us. We are victims to them, and we are constantly being triggered by them. Before healing, rather than living a peaceful, happy existence on Earth that is filled with love for ourselves and others, we are like a cocked gun, and anything that triggers us will cause a cascade of reactions that can end with us hurting both ourselves and others. Usually, it’s those that we love.
One of the the most dramatic examples of this can be seen in those with PTSD. PTSD is defined as “a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.” The four major symptoms of the syndrome include “reliving the event, avoiding situations that remind (the person) of the event, having more negative feelings and beliefs, and hyperarousal, or feeling ‘keyed up.” Those suffering from PTSD can experience “feelings of hopelessness, shame, despair, depression, anxiety, drinking or drug problems, physical symptoms or chronic pain, employment problems, and relationship problems, including divorce.”
One service member who sought Reiki treatment for her PTSD stated that she felt like she “put something down that (she) had been carrying for a long time” in the course of her treatment. Afterwards, she was able to “see things differently” (PTSD... 2007). While those with PTSD may illustrate the most extreme examples of trauma controlling our present reality, everyone has this to a degree. Anytime we experience trauma, it becomes lodged in our cellular memory. Until the energy that is associated with a traumatic event is removed, it will continue to control almost every aspect of your life, including your relationships. That is why healing yourself is the greatest gift that you can give. It is a gesture of love, not only for yourself but also for those around you. Undertaking the healing journey makes you the hero of your people.
I decided to read over client and student testimonials to see if there was an underlying theme to everyone’s healing experience. The words peace, love, empowerment, patience, acceptance, growth, courage, strength, transformation, happiness, calm, healing, balance, compassion, understanding, and passion emerged as a universal experience. Many also reported decreased anxiety, stress, and pain, as well as a deeper connection to others.
Rather than rely on anecdotal evidence, I thought clinical evidence to support the self-reporting of my students and clients would help illustrate a trend in the medical community towards the inclusion of Complementary Alternative Medicines or CAM. In a study conducted in 2004, patients being treated for mild depression and stress were followed after six weeks of Reiki treatment. Up to a year afterward, the group who received Reiki reported “long-term improvements in depression, stress, and hopelessness (Shore, 2004).” It seems that the results found in the microcosm of my community are reflected in the scientific community at large.
Healing has a ripple effect. When people heal on all levels, that creates a ripple effect that spreads throughout their family, community, and beyond. In my own experience, I can honestly say that my own healing journey has made me a better wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, healer, teacher, and human being. While I had to face some unpleasant truths about myself in the process, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to see where I was unconscious in each of my relationships. This has resulted in me working hard to “own my stuff.”
As a result, my relationships are more harmonious and my connection to those around me is far deeper. I know that I am able to be more present for others and show up for them in a way that I could never have before embarking on this path. Once I embarked on my own healing journey and those around me saw the positive transformation that I underwent as a result of Reiki, they were eager to learn the craft and embark on their own path to wellness. I have several friends that have taken Reiki, and my husband and sister now practice it. It has enriched both relationships beyond measure.
My husband’s transformation is nothing less than miraculous. After struggling with a mood and anxiety disorder for most of his life, learning Reiki enabled him to stop taking anxiety medication. Before Reiki, everyday stressors would trigger him to the point where he was unable to cope, resulting in him lashing out, often hurting the feelings of those he loved. Of course, this created resentment. It was a vicious cycle that left him feeling helpless, with deep sense of self-loathing and left me frustrated and hurt. Something had to change, so he decided to give Reiki a try.
After taking his first class, while he didn’t enjoy the physical detox, he noticed that his anxiety wasn’t being triggered quite so often. As he worked his way to the Master level, his reaction to stress changed completely. If he felt something triggering his anxiety, he would simply channel Reiki until he felt calm again. When at last he was able to give up his anxiety medication, I realized it had been several months since he had said anything to hurt anyone’s feelings. I felt such gratitude to Reiki, my husband, and our guides for leading him to give it a try. To put it succinctly, Reiki saved our marriage.
Perhaps the person who has most benefitted from our Reiki journeys is our 22 month old son. People often comment that my son, who has received Reiki since before he was born, is very calm. I know that is because we now exist in a state of calm, and his presence elsewhere always has a calming effect on people. Strangers come up to us in the grocery store just to say hello. While the emotional effects of Reiki on my son are clear, the most marked effects have been physical.
He recently had surgery to repair a genetic defect that he was born with. Prior to the surgery, we made arrangements for me to carry him to the OR and stay with him until he fell asleep so that he would be as calm as possible going into the surgery. Dressed in my scrubs, I carried him down the long corridor and into the operating room. The entire time, I was giving him Reiki. He was calm and smiling, and when they put the anesthesia mask on him, he calmly took a few breaths before falling asleep.
I kissed his forehead through my mask and headed to the waiting room, where I sent him distance Reiki. When the doctor came out, she said that the surgery went perfectly and that he was incredibly calm, calmer than most teenagers, and even many adults. As soon as he woke up in recovery, they came to get us. As soon as I had him in my arms, I started doing Reiki. He quickly became alert, was naming all of the characters on the wall from Finding Nemo, and was ready to go home less than two hours later. I have done Reiki on him throughout his recovery, and he is doing beautifully.
In the end, Reiki turned out to be a gesture of love for not only my immediate family but a whole circle of family and friends. I asked my sister what the most surprising thing about her healing journey has been, and she said the reaction of strangers to her in a store. They are kind and courteous, and they go out of their way to help her.
The reason for this is that as work our way through energy healing classes, we raise our vibration each time. The result is people literally getting good vibes from us, so of course, they want to engage with us and be around us. Kindness, compassion, a sense of peace, happiness, balance, understanding. This is the way it is supposed to be. This is the way that we become the change we wish to see in the world.
-Shore, A.G. (2004). Long term effects of energetic healing on symptoms of psychological depression and self-perceived stress. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 10(3):42-48.
-"PTSD: National Center for PTSD." What Is PTSD? - PTSD: National Center for PTSD. National Center for PTSD, 01 Jan. 2007. Web. 22 June 2017.