Reiki & Stress Relief
By Bud Howard, Reiki Master
The Basics of Reiki:
At birth, we bring into this life, a supply of Ki/chi energy to fuel the body’s natural healing capabilities. That universal life energy supply is used up during the course of daily life, and needs to be replenished. When we are unable to replenish that energy for a prolonged period, we may become physically or emotionally ill. Tension/stress not released is stored in the fibers of the body’s organs, muscles, and connective tissue. Over time, this stored tension becomes a toxic form of energy, blocking the flow of this energy through the body, as well as the body’s ability to absorb it, eventually causing any of the preventable diseases encountered in the Western World.
A Reiki treatment provides the recipient with a concentrated, powerful infusion/booster shot of this life force/Reiki energy, and balances its flow and absorption in the body. The practitioner providing the therapy acts as a channel, or conduit for the concentrated flow of this energy from the practitioner’s hands into the recipient’s body. The recipient, then, applies that energy however, and where ever it is needed. No personal energy is drawn from the practitioner. On the contrary, the practitioner is simultaneously recharged and strengthened.
Training to be a Reiki Channel/practitioner is conducted in three steps/attunements. The first degree (Level 1) gives the practitioner the tools for self healing. The second degree (Level 2) provides the tools to support others in their healing efforts. The third degree (Level 3) provides the tools as well as the strength of practice to teach others.
The Origins of Reiki:
This natural healing system is described in 2,500-year old Sanskrit writings. That places its practice at roughly 600 years BCE, in the India-Tibet area. That would be within 100 years or so of when Lao Tsu is said to have written or coordinated the writing of the Tao Te Ching. No one knows how old the practice actually is.
In the 19th century, a Japanese monk or college professor (depending on who you read), Dr. Mikao Usui, rediscovered the practice as a result of his personal 20-year quest to learn the basis for the practice of healing with the hands. Dr. Mikao is said to have brought the practice back to Japan, where he proceeded to teach and practice the technique for the remainder of his life. This “Usui system” of energy healing has since been passed down by Reiki Masters, and is now practiced on a world-wide basis.
Dr. Usui coined the Japanese phrase, Reiki, which describes this healing technique. Reiki is actually two words, or characters in kanji. The character, Rei, describes the cosmic, universal aspect of the energy in question, and the character, ki, represents the fundamental life force that flows naturally through all things.
How Reiki Effects Your Body:
The body has its own natural healing capabilities that are fueled by this universal life/Reiki energy. Reiki therapy replenishes the recipient’s Reiki energy supply, while removing blockages to the energy flow, and balancing its absorption by each and every cell of the body. During this process, the recipient moves into a deep state of relaxation, softening and relaxing every muscle, connective tissue, and organ in the body. That softening removes the blockages of energy flow and makes all fibers and cells in the body more absorbent to the Reiki energy and nutrients ingested and breathed.
The body enlarges its capacity to breath. The heart rate drops. More effective oxygen transfer results in a greater quantity of oxygen being delivered to the brain, as well as every other organ in the body. The body’s metabolism works just like every other combustion system. The more oxygen is delivered the more effective the process. Thinking becomes clearer. Insights into particular questions or problems occur more readily. The natural chemicals produced by the body become those associated with resisting infection and disease, as opposed to those that support the fight/flight scenario, such as the stress hormone, adrenaline.
The Benefits and/or Drawbacks of Reiki:
A normal Reiki treatment takes about an hour. In the face of a stressful event or situation, though, a level 1 practitioner can reduce the body’s production of the stress hormone, adrenaline, in just a few minutes, by placing the hands over the kidneys – that’s very near the adrenal gland that produces that hormone when conditions become stressful.
A level 1 practitioner, over time, becomes very aware of events/sensations occurring in their own body, and can, therefore, more quickly spot internal tension as it begins to occur in the face of a stressful situation. When that awareness occurs, releasing the tension is as easy and quick as a deep sigh with the hands placed over the heart, the sternum, or the kidneys.
Practitioners giving treatment experience the same rejuvenating recharge as is experienced by the recipient often leaving the treatment with the same feelings of peace and well-being.
Self healing is a crucial first step to becoming a channel for Reiki energy. Only when you have taken responsibility for your own health and well-being can you position yourself to assist others in their own healing processes. Self treatment reduces stress, relaxes you, and strengthens your power to resist illness. At a higher level, it also brings harmony and well-being into your life.
How Reiki Can Help You Manage Your Stress Level:
A Reiki self treatment early in the day enables you to begin your day with no tension stored in the body. At the end of the day, a quick self treatment enables you to spot tension stored in the body from the events of the day. You can then quickly release that tension. In most cases this insures a restful, continuous, night’s sleep.
During the day, as events occur, the self awareness a Reiki practice provides will enable you to spot tension as it begins – often times even before it begins - to build in the body. Releasing becomes an automatic reaction rather than something that takes time, focus, and a private spot.
Barring the above, a Reiki treatment provided by a practitioner releases all the tension/emotions/memories stored in the body, replenishes and balances the healing energy, and promotes clearer, more insightful thinking, reduces the heart rate, and strengthens the immune system.