Pathways to something more this year
By Michelle Heffernan
Our chronically stressed, Starbuck’s-filled bodies have become accustomed to standards of normal that are quite abnormal. Normal has become bigger, faster and more convenient. The quest for these things has put more than the earth in a treacherous state. Our bodies, too, have been overbuilt, filled with technology and exposed to toxins. In spite of this, life expectancy is on the rise. But what kind of life can be expected? Where does good health, vitality and zest for life fit in?
With these questions in mind, there is an increased curiosity about options for wellness of mind and body. The practice of Reiki is a great option to use on your path to wellness.
What is Reiki?
Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is a Japanese word, meaning universal life-force energy. Simply stated, a Reiki practitioner channels energy and passes it through their hands to a recipient. This enhances the recipient’s immune system and natural healing abilities on a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual level. This healing art works with the energy that flows through all that is alive and balances that energy for optimal health and harmony.
Benefits of Reiki
Mary Brown, Reiki Master and founder of Universal Pathways, includes a comprehensive list of the benefits of Reiki in her Reiki student’s handbook. Some of these include:
The session is done fully clothed on a Reiki table. The practitioner can gently place hands on or just above the body. The energies are generally subtle, but vary upon the situation. Clients may experience such things as tingling, deep relaxation or warming of the body.
• Natural healing processes are accelerated
• An effective method of relaxation and stress release
• Can be taught to anyone and used on anyone, even children
• Can be given to yourself
• Helps to empower one’s sense of influence over a health condition or crisis
• Beneficial before and after surgery
• Can be sent to a person, place or situation at a distance
• What does one experience during the Reiki treatment?
Healing and curing
One can have healing experiences and still not be cured of an illness or disease. Healing takes on emotional and spiritual qualities in well-being. Curing is the absence of physical symptoms. It is important to state that Reiki should not be used in place of medical treatments. It should compliment, not substitute.
Becoming a Reiki practitioner
A Reiki Master teaches those who wish to learn one or all three degrees of Reiki. The fundamentals and history of Reiki are shared and the students receive energy attunements that help them to channel healing energy to another. Teaching styles will vary among Reiki Masters.
The practitioners are not healers, but act as channels of healing energy.
Finding a practitioner
Most importantly, talk to the Reiki practitioner before scheduling the appointment. Ask questions about what to expect in the session and explain your situation and needs. You should feel a sense of comfort with the person who is going to work with you.
The energy hot topic
Energy work is becoming more recognized as larger numbers of people experience the benefits and search for options in healing the body, mind and spirit. Dr Mehmet Oz, renowned cardiovascular surgeon and author of the best-selling You, The Owner’s Manual, recently stated, “As we begin to realize how little we know about the body, we begin to realize that the next big frontier is energy medicine.” Dr. Oz was one of the first surgeons to include a Reiki practitioner at his Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center practice.
With the momentum of this new year and an invigorated desire to have something more, Reiki may be that new hope, that new partner in change on the path to better health, vitality, wisdom and peace of mind. l
Michelle Heffernan holds degrees in design and Creative Arts in Therapy, is a professional member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association, and is a Reiki II practitioner. Michelle is a consultant for Synergy Counseling Associates in Albany.
She can be contacted at healingARTS@nycap.rr.com.