My Perceptions on Reiki – Margaret O’Connor

Hi I’m Margaret and I would like to talk to you about Reiki and what it means to me. Reiki has helped me to relax, to become more self aware and to take a different perspective on life and other people. Reiki has also introduced me to a whole new field of reading and learning. The great masters of Tai Chi and Yoga always say that the most difficult person to master is yourself. It is interesting to reflect on why this might be so and it can make for uncomfortable but useful thought.

I used to think that people with ten long fingers were lazy wasters. What ever happened to that wonderful old work ethic of “never put off until tomorrow what you can do to day”? Well, when my to-days started running into tomorrow, it was time to take stock and find a way to relax. A famous person once said “it’s never too late to start again; it’s never too late to change”. How and ever, kicking half a century of old habits wasn’t that easy. So I started to learn Tai Chi and Yoga. Then I discovered Reiki, which is a far more efficient way to become a new woman, or at least an improved version of the old one.

So, what is this Reiki? It is a natural method of healing — a way of transferring healing energy by laying on of hands. It is a holistic therapy and works on all levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. The word itself is Japanese and literally means universal life force energy i.e. the energy that lives in all creation, that is inherent to all living beings and that nourishes them and keeps them alive. We all have this healing energy within our bodies but over time it can be depleted by age, stress, illness and the concerns of daily life. Reiki allows us to access our own healing power by reawakening this dormant source of energy. It allows us to become active in our own health care.

There are two ways to access Reiki; you can have a treatment from a qualified practitioner or you can learn the DIY method. With option one: You go for a Reiki treatment in your comfortable clothes and you stay in them. It is a non invasive therapy. A typical Reiki healing session lasts for about an hour. Usually the client lies on a treatment table and the practitioner places their hands on or above various parts of the body. Most practitioners will cover all the main organs, glands and joints and any areas that need particular attention. During this time you may feel heat, coolness or a tingling sensation or just an overall feeling of relaxation. The Reiki energy has a wisdom of its own and goes to where it is most needed. In modern parlance it is custom built or tailor made to suit each individual. It acknowledges our diversity and uniqueness. Reiki has something for everyone.

As an alternate to having Reiki treatments you can go to a weekend workshop; learn the DIY method in 2 days, have some fun and meet new people. At this weekend you learn all about Reiki and get an attunement from a Reiki teacher, which allows you to channel the reiki for yourself. This attunement reinforces the connection we already have to energy that is already there.

Needless to remark, if you have been living with the old you for a while, it may take some time to change. Many of us have baggage from our past – long standing illnesses and injuries, emotional hurts, demons from childhood: maybe even voices in our heads. Reiki will assist in healing any physical illness or injuries you may have. With a chronic illness it usually takes a number of weekly treatments to shift a problem so it is worth considering the DIY reiki course. With an acute problem an improvement can come very quickly. If there are old emotional wounds Reiki will help to shift you to a new place — a more peaceful and relaxed one and all this can be done in the comfort of your own home or work place.

So why choose Reiki over all the other complementary therapies on offer. The beauty of Reiki lies in its simplicity. It is not academically challenging. It is simple to use and can be learnt in one weekend which is just as well as life is already too short. You don’t need any special equipment or flowing robes to do Reiki or even the “vision thing”. In the words of the famous Nike add “just do it.” Reiki is independent of all religions, dogma and political ideology.

Why are so many people now looking at complementary medicine? In recent times many of us have come to realise that modern medicine does not have all the answers to our problems. With super bugs and antibiotic-resistant infections, the limitations and sometimes dangers of modern medicine are beginning to manifest themselves. I have a friend who describes the treatment used for one modern disease as the excavator, strimmer and weed killer approach to healing. Now, I agree that this is a very harsh judgement but unfortunately one can’t argue with that assessment. Looked at another way — what can modern medicine do for the common cold? Now, I have no desire to knock it. If I have a heart attack or an accident please call a modern ambulance and find a high tech hospital, fast. But, maybe there are ways that one can avoid the state of stress and mental distraction that often causes heart attacks and contributes to accidents.

More and more people are now looking to complementary medicine as an alternative or additional route to wellbeing. Many of these complementary medicines have been around for a long time – it is western medicine that is the newcomer to healing. Most complementary medicines take a holistic approach to health. Most of its practitioners have no desire to displace allopathic. They realise that there is a place for and a need for both. An ever increasing number of doctors have also come to realise the limitations of allopathic medicine. Many of these complementary medicines are now used in hospitals. Reiki is now widely used by the medical profession and by other health practitioners such as Physiotherapists.

At a minimum it helps to relax patients. It has also been proven to accelerate healing with reduced pain, to reduce recovery time from surgery, to alleviate the side effects of drugs and other medical treatments, like chemotherapy. Not only will Reiki help with illness, it will seek out the underlying cause and heal that too. Reiki has been recommended by the WHO to become part of medical and hospital services worldwide.

As mentioned earlier Reiki is helpful in the treatment of both acute and chronic illnesses. It can also improve the mental attitude that may have contributed to them in the first place. Giving a smoker a new lung is only a temporary solution to the problem if he continues to smoke. The underlying reason for the addiction to nicotine has to be addressed. Many physical illnesses have their roots in emotional or psychological problems. Some would say that there are also spiritual aspects to illness and recovery. Hence the benefits of all holistic therapies which have long recognised that people are more than skin and bone. More and more the power of the mind and emotions over the body is being recognised. It is often said that you are what you eat. Put another way you are what you think.

So what are we thinking? Where is the mind focused — on our worries, tomorrows work, last weeks bills? Quantum physics tells us that our energy goes to where the mind is focused. Now I know Reiki won’t pay the bills but worrying never paid them either. However, a new, refocused you will cope better with life and do more living in the present thus achieving more, with less stress. For those of you who don’t need to be a new you; who are fortunate enough to have no physical or emotional challenges — well lucky you. But Reiki can still play a part in your life. It simply brings out the best in you, it helps amplify innate abilities, balances the spirit and helps to keep your immune system in order by improving circulation and boosting energy levels. At the very least Reiki promotes a feeling of well being and a deep sense of relaxation. The daily use of Reiki brings about an inner peace and harmony so that disease and illness will not be able to develop. The whole world won’t change when you learn reiki but you can. By changing your attitude and responses to others you can influence many situations for the better.

    – Margaret O’Connor 2004