The Powerful, Positive Benefits of Reiki

This article appeared in the March/April 2002 issue of Eastern Spirit.
Sometimes there comes a turning point in your life so sharp that you end up traveling a totally different road. For me, that turning point was an accident that brought Reiki, the Usui Method of Natural Healing, serendipitously and wondrously into my life. I was a struggling graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill, working three jobs to put myself through school. Being stressed out was a daily condition for me, and I fought hard to make ends meet while completing the requirements for my PhD.

When I decided to attend a poetry conference at my first alma matar, Wake Forest University, I had no idea my friend and I would end up in the emergency room rather than the poetry readings. We were the sixth car in a seven-car pile-up on a mean stretch of highway outside Winston, and my old, virtually indestructible Volvo was totaled. Luckily, we had on our seat belts or we would not have made it.

Once we left the ER, with whiplashes and bruises but nothing broken, the wife of my favorite professor offered us Reiki. At first I thought Reiki must be some new-fangled pain reliever, but she explained that it was energy, life force energy that would ease our pain, relax our muscles, and help us overcome the shock of the accident..

Reiki sounded pretty flaky to me at the time, but I was desperate. With hidden trepidation, I consented to have a ” treatment,” musing that such weirdness could only take place among creative poet-types. An animated wine and cheese reception took place in the next room while my friend and I had Reiki treatments on the couch in my professor’s study.
What did I feel? First, I was surprised at how hot the Reiki practitioner’s hands became. Then I began to feel very relaxed and even drifted off to sleep for a half-hour or so. When I awoke, I was amazed to be able to move around with no pain! In fact, I didn’t take another of my prescribed painkillers for the rest of the weekend!

When I got back to Chapel Hill (courtesy of Greyhound since what was left of my car was sitting in a junkyard somewhere) I told a friend about my experience with Reiki. She excitedly told me she was in the middle of taking a Reiki I class, and I knew the Universe was speaking to me. I decided to listen for a change.

That listening led me to take Reiki I in 1992, then later Reiki II, and finally, to spend quite some time on Reiki Mastership before completing it in 1994. I taught my first Reiki class that year and have had the pleasure since then of teaching classes in the U.S., Mexico, and Zimbabwe. This journey has taken me far, but I still return to the essential reasons I practice Reiki every day and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

Reiki is a way of life, or rather a way of living your life consciously and powerfully! I begin and end every day with Reiki and it has made tremendous improvements in my disposition, my energy level, and my overall outlook. In fact, after my first full Reiki treatment on myself back in 1992, I was hooked!

Through this decade of treating and teaching others and doing Reiki every day, I have seen Reiki heal scars, relieve pain from cancer, boost immunity for AIDS patients, heal sprains and muscle aches, reduce PMS, ease insomnia, alleviate depression, help migraines, cure neck and back pain, relieve TMJ, aid in weight loss, and much more. Above and beyond these specific applications of Reiki, most people report that it greatly reduces their stress level and provides them with a sense of well-being and calm.

You may doubt the wonderful benefits of Reiki. I certainly did before I had my accident. And doubt is a good thing if it moves us to obtain informed answers to our questions. Yet the kind of doubt that stops us from trying what may lead to a healthier, happier life is detrimental and sometimes even lethal.

I encourage you to find out more about Reiki. Many excellent books have been written on the topic. A few of my favorites include The Reiki Handbook by Larry Arnold and Sandy Nevius, Reiki: Universal Life Energy by Bodo J. Baginski and Shalila Sharamon, and Empowerment Through Reiki by Paula Horan.

Reading is not enough, however. When you decide to explore Reiki, I recommend that you seek out a Reiki Master certified in the Usui Method. There are many offshoots of this method that have not been around as long and have altered some of the original Reiki principles and teachings.

I also suggest that you study with an experience Usui Reiki Master who has ample teaching expertise, provides his or her own detailed manual with the class, and spaces the classes out appropriately. Reiki I involves about eleven class hours and can be followed a minimum of three months later with Reiki II, another class of eleven hours or more. The reason for the three-month interlude between the two classes is to allow you to work amply with the Reiki energy and to give your body time to adjust to a higher vibrational level.

Reiki Mastership is best studied over a longer period of time ranging from six months to two years. To cover the extensive material involved in Mastership, six months is really pushing it! For example, in my Mastership classes, students learn how to teach Reiki and pass on the energy in what are called “attunements,” to perform intuitive readings, to do past life regressions, to fashion their own Reiki biographies and manuals, to do Master level treatments, and much more. It would be impossible to learn and truly “master” this material in a just a few hours, so be wary of any Mastership class that is scheduled over a weekend or of any Reiki I and II classes that are being taught together in one weekend only.

Reiki is a way of living and a process of healing that when used regularly can bring great wonders and blessings into your life! To rush the process of learning Reiki is to miss out. I urge you to take your time and savor what Reiki, taught by a reputable Reiki Master, can teach you. You can read about Reiki and you can experience it in a treatment, but why not learn to do it yourself so you can improve your life and the lives of everyone and everything (plants and animals too) around you?!!