In this edition of Coping, Jenny Lamothe tries out the complementary health practice of Reiki and learns what it is about
Editor’s note: This story was written before COVID-19 pandemic, so there was no physical distancing and masking at this point.
After reaching the former motel on Regent Street, I stepped into the basement. I am now lying on a bed.
No wait. That doesn’t sound good at all. Let me try again
I’m lying on a bed with a heating mat under me. I’m wrapped in a blanket, my head rests on a pillow, another one just behind my legs so that my back sinks into the mattress. I’m in a treatment room at Tree of Life North and I’m about to have my very first experience reiki.
It’s warm in the room. Soft music is playing in the background – what can only be called “Alexa‘Play Spa Mix’ – and I’m completely dressed. I think there is a well; I hear one, but that could be the spa mix.
I consider myself a pretty open-minded person, I’m the daughter of hippies; but like most of the rest of Generation X, I’m very good at eye rolling. I’m interested to hear what’s new, but I’m hoping for some evidence, some support, something that can suppress that Skeptics in me. And right now I’m a little skeptical.
But I vowed to open up to reiki, for the sake of the readers. Remember my sacrifice of lying comfortably for 45 minutes. I do it because I care.
Reiki is of Japanese origin, and the word “reiki“is a mixture of the Japanese word”kingI was told, “which means” universal life “, and” ki “which means” energy “. Reiki is not associated with any particular religion or religious practice. Reiki Practitioners aim to bring their clients back in touch with the body’s ability to heal itself by clearing the ki so that it can flow strongly and freely. Reiki Practitioners believe that imbalances in this flow of energy cause problems (diseases and the like) with the body, mind and spirit.
As Charmaine Kennedy, reiki Master and owner of Tree of Life North says: “Our bodies are in constant flight or battle. For most of us, our bodies don’t even remember what it feels like to be completely relaxed. What the reiki it helps to bring this body into a state of memory. “
I thought about this as I prepared for my treatment. How often do we just rest, except during illness or in the moments before bed? I remember spending hours as a kid just staring at the sky and watching the clouds, but now? Now, I can’t even watch an entire TV show without reaching for my cell phone at least once.
Maybe we are so far from this feeling that we can no longer find it when we need it most?
That’s my initial skepticism I found it interesting to note the beginnings of the research opposite to the assumption of reiki as complementary therapy. More and more studies show that patients’ own reports contain promising practical impressions, especially for a non-invasive technique without significant side effects.
For example, a study published in the Journal of Palliative Care and conducted in a Richmond Hill hospital showed “a significant decrease in the severity of pain, anxiety, depression, restlessness, and discomfort; clear increase in inner silence / peace; and convincing stories to increase comfort. The staff’s assessment was positive and encouraged the continuation of the program. ”They concluded that offering this to patients as a complementary therapy program is of value. A similar American study found this too, and Kennedy notes, “In the United States they have reiki Doctors in almost every hospital. ”
However, I can only speak with my experience.
I put the first part of the treatment on my back and the rest on my stomach. Kennedy told me to relax as much as possible, and she started with my head. As she moved around me and touched me gently but firmly – without rubbing – through the ceiling, a few thoughts occurred to me:
- Why do I sometimes feel her hands and then nothing? Why do they feel very hot in some places and not in others?
- Why is it touching my hip, but I feel a sensation up to my knee?
- I am no longer relaxed. You’re awful at it, Jenny! Get loose! (Inner screaming is not a helpful technique in this case, just for information.)
- I have to pee. I am now thinking of the fountain again. Is it in the room? Is it the music? Is that the only thing I can think of? Yes. Firmly yes.
After my treatment, we talked about my experience for a few minutes. It turned out that her hands never stopped touching me, and they were always the same temperature. Kennedy said I felt them differently depending on the problem areas in my body and mind.
Surprisingly, before I mentioned my hip-to-knee thoughts, she asked me if I had hip pain and sciatica issues. Why yes, and apparently now I’m a person who says, “Oh, my sciatica is playing out.”
I made no comment on my bladder, but for the polite wiggle on the treatment table when we finished. In addition, the fountain puzzle was never solved. A riddle for the ages, perhaps.
She also noticed tension in my solar plexus and asked if I wanted to make any tough decisions. (Yes, yes, thanks for asking.)
Kennedy noted that most people won’t find all of the benefits of treatment the first time. She recommended (and offers discounts for) three treatments to see benefit. She also recommended consulting your doctor to make sure you trust them and are comfortable.
But I can tell you that I left my treatment very thirsty, very fascinated and very relaxed. I felt calm and like I had just awakened from a good rest. I trusted Kennedy almost immediately and really enjoyed her company and warmth.
So if you have difficulty finding the place of rest and relaxation that so often escapes us, maybe for years, reiki could be an interesting way to find your way back. What that means for your health, your body and your faith reiki, is up to you.
I don’t think it healed what was hurting me, but I found it relaxing.
If you look for more information reiki, try the Canadian Reiki Association or the International Association of Reiki Professionals.