[Image]Article from Health & Living Magazine, March 03

Reiki has been recommended by the WHO to become part of medical and hospital services worldwide. It has been proven to do as little as increasing oxygen in the blood, and as much as saving people’s lives. This is no longer in the realm of complementary therapy, but a proven healing art. STEPHANIE MAHON reports.

Angela & StephanieI was watching TV as per usual one night last year, slobbing on the couch, when my flatmate came home and told me about a meeting she had just been to, about something called Reiki. I had a vague idea what it was about, but had my doubts as to how someone laying their hands on you could make any difference.

But the course being offered wasn’t just Reiki sessions, it was to learn how to perform Reiki on yourself and offer it to other people. I was intrigued, so I did some research, and found out that people claim Reiki cures just about anything. Reported benefits include increased energy levels, stress reduction and boosting the immune system. Patients with everything from asthma to acne, arthritis to cancer, depression to low self-esteem have all benefited from Reiki. I have suffered from migraines all my life and frequent bouts of insomnia, so I decided to sign up after reading numerous testimonials from headache-free, well-slept Reiki enthusiasts.

The course was over a Saturday and Sunday in the Mount Herbert Hotel in Dublin, and hosted by Reiki Teacher Angela Gorman, who started out as a nurse and has travelled all over the world learning about holistic healing and stress management. The group was a funny mixture of young and old from all walks of life. We began with a group chat and found out about each other, how we had heard about Reiki and why we were there.

Angela then began to explain the practice of Reiki. Reiki is hands-on healing, which is both powerful and gentle. The practitioner places their hands on you in different positions and lets the ‘ki’ flow out of the palms of their hands and into you. Angela described ‘ki’ as the universal life energy, which flows through us when we are willing to receive it. Some brows were raised as the day went on, and many questions were asked. What religion was this ‘healing’ associated with? Do I have to believe in it for it to work? Can anyone do it?

Angela explained that Reiki is not tied to any religion and is practiced by people of all faiths all over the world. She said that Reiki works on animals, unconscious patients and babies, all of who have no consciousness of it, and that it works on a subconscious level, so belief was not required.

With some of these concerns and doubts dealt with, the group learnt about the endocrine system and how it relates to the seven chakras, and what they represent. As the biological factors that explain Reiki became clearer, realisation dawned on many faces, mine included.

Reiki, along with acupuncture, has been recommended by the WHO to become part of medical and hospital services worldwide. It has been proven to do as little as increasing oxygen in the blood, and as much as saving peoples’ lives. Reported benefits include increased energy levels, stress reduction and boosting the immune system. Patients with everything from asthma to acne, arthritis to cancer, depression to low self-esteem have all benefited from Reiki. This is no longer in the realm of complementary therapy, but a proven healing art.

After lunch we learned the hand positions for Reiki when performing it yourself and offering it to other people. We all had our chakras ‘realigned’ by Angela, so that the energy would flow through us, and then we got to practice on each other. A Reiki treatment is extremely relaxing. It is non-invasive with no need for removal of any clothes, only jewellery, which conducts energy and can interfere with the treatment.

People experience different things when receiving Reiki, but the most common sensation is a feeling of great heat from the practitioner’s hands. Many people also feel coolness and tingling. Most are extremely relaxed by the end of the session. Angela pointed out that when you give Reiki you are not giving the person your own energy but channeling the universal energy that surrounds everything.

 More surprising to me than the feeling of heat from another student during my Reiki session, was the heat that came from my own hands when I performed Reiki on them. It is the most extraordinary feeling. I went home that night and slept properly for the first time in months. Angela did explain that Reiki works in different ways for each individual. It can sometimes seem to make things worse before they get better, which is a sign that it is working. Although everyone had a different tale to tell, everybody seemed impressed with the power of Reiki, even after just one day.

For the rest of the course we practiced Reiki on each other and learned more about how to offer Reiki to other people. I practiced every day for a few weeks and offered it to both my flatmates and my family. They all said it was very relaxing, and I even helped to ease my flatmate’s headache.

I also practiced Reiki on myself. I did it while watching TV, on the bus, in work, before bed: anytime and any place I could. I have only had two bad night’s sleep since doing the course, which is unbelievable, and my migraines have completely disappeared. I cannot describe what a relief this is.

Apart from these results, I find that since learning Reiki I have started to choose a healthier way of life. Subtly, I have been changing the way I treat myself and people around me. I have started to exercise regularly, eat better and I have given up smoking. It is only looking back that I see these changes. I used to be, perversely, a little proud of my sedentary lifestyle, but now can’t see why I would do that to myself. I have also become a lot more content and relaxed, and, I hope, nicer to be with. Because of this I can’t wait to go back and do my Reiki 2 course in March, and plan to go on to the Advanced Practitioner Level eventually. If you need healing or relief from any ailment, or just want to change your life, you should consider going for a Reiki treatment or learning how to do it yourself.

Angela Gorman / Reiki Teacher
Angela Gorman