By Robin Beaudoin
Millions of people around the world and more than 800 hospitals across the country now incorporate holistic healing methods, such as Reiki, to supplement modern medicine for a wide variety of ailments. For some, Reiki improves sleep, reduces nausea, and improves anxiety during pregnancy. Even animals love to receive Reiki. The question remains for the uninitiated, “What is this Reiki, and how does it work?” The origins of Reiki lie in Japan, and much of the tradition has been kept secret, therefore most Reiki we see today is a combination of Eastern (Usui) and Western technique. The Usui Memorial, dated 1927, reads, “What you can naturally realize through cultivation and training is called ‘Virtue,’ and it is called ‘Merit’ to spread a method of leadership and relief and practice it.”
Unlike modern medicine, which helps to heal the physical, Reiki is an energy-healing practice. The Japanese word Rei-ki roughly translates as “universal life energy” or “healing energy.” According to Shaun Sparacio, skilled Reiki practitioner at Delta Groove Yoga in Overton Square, “The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health describes Reiki as a complementary health approach in which practitioners place their hands lightly on or just above a person, with the goal of facilitating the person’s own healing response, and a return to a natural state of wholeness. Recipients of Reiki report feelings of relaxation, well-being, and a reduction of pain and stress. This practice has no religious affiliation, however, feeling a sense of your own inner spiritual connection is not uncommon.” It is also not uncommon for a Reiki practitioner to pray or meditate before a session.
This personal, compassionate care experience is similar to meditation, only someone else is guiding their positive energy through their hands to supplement your own peaceful
thoughts and to clarify the mind. Alma Corla, a certified Memphis-area Reiki Master, is qualified to certify other students to give Reiki. “Reiki works at the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels,” said Corla. “Very relaxing, Reiki releases blocks of energy so the healing energy can circulate more freely, and works at the root cause of the disease.”
My personal experience has been just that, a relaxed and increased circulation of healing energy. With three Reiki sessions, I had with three different practitioners in the past year, each of whom made me feel safe and cared for, my breathing focused and thoughts clear. Energy channeled through hands was evident, as heat could be felt from inches away. The following day, I experienced amplified symptoms of the issues and then healing over the following week. As someone who as TMJ, I had headaches, and skin issues flared up and then receded. Anxiety and stress left instantly and did not return for days. I also noticed a feeling of attunement, or self-awareness, as I was healing.
First-timers should know that Reiki has proven safe for almost 100 years (developed in 1922 by Mikao Usui), is not a replacement for a cure, but meant to complement treatment, and can be affordable. Expect to lie on a massage table (comfortable clothing is best), with or without a blanket, in a quiet space with the lights off. You may notice your breathing and body temperature, and feel an overwhelming sense of peace and tranquility. Who wouldn’t love a little more peace and tranquility?