I wrote this in 2004 for South Florida Hospital News. At the time, I was resident Reiki Master-Teacher and Practitioner at Broward Health Imperial Point. This was my second stint there. Previously there was an actual Wellness wing at this hospital and I seem to remember it being on the second floor.
It was great. Once those big hospital doors closed, the Wellness wing was sound-proofed and was one of the very first to utilize design objects with healing value, such as salt lamps.
When I returned to the same position in 2003 Healing Arts had been blended with physiotherapy and exercise. It was still an amazing avenue of mainstreaming Reiki and hypnotherapy, as I began those duties there as well.
South Florida Hospital News and Healthcare Report, the region’s only monthly healthcare newspaper, reaches more than 32,000 healthcare professionals monthly in Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Monroe and Martin counties.
Both Imperial Point and the newspaper wanted the article to highlight Reiki of course, as well as the spiritual component of wellness and health.
I found it again and reading through it’s still rather fresh. There’s even more interest now in CAM, both from science and the public. Reiki is enormously popular and being integrated into a wide variety of healthcare environments. The local hospital program ended unfortunately; all of Healing Arts not only Reiki. However, healing and integrative health are much in demand and this is a good thing!
Reiki: The Art of Spiritual Healing
Health care is changing. Well known medical surveys report that approximately 50% of Americans are using complementary or alternative therapies. Research has shown that these therapies can help lessen anxiety, reduce pain, boost the immune system, and accelerate healing. When patients choose these options, there is a greater sense of participation and empowerment, and patient satisfaction is often increased.
These therapies are grouped under the heading of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) 1. Complementary means that it’s used together with conventional health care. Alternative means that it’s used instead of conventional medicine.
CAM therapies can be divided into five major categories:
- Alternative Medical Systems, such as Homeopathy & Naturopathy, and Traditional Chinese Medicine & Ayurveda.
- Mind-Body Interventions, such as Meditation, Prayer, art, music and dance.
- Biologically based Therapies, such as herbs, foods, vitamins and supplements.
- Manipulative and Body-Based Methods, such as Chiropractic & Osteopathic manipulation, and Massage.
- Energy Therapies, divided into Biofield Therapies and Bioelectromagnetic-based Therapies:
- Biofield Therapies affect the energy fields surrounding and penetrating the body, such as Reiki.
- Bioelectromagnetic-based Therapies make use of electromagnetic fields such as pulsed, magnetic, alternating- or direct-current fields.
Reiki (RAY kee)
Reiki is a simple energy therapy that restores homeostasis to the body, equilibrium to the mind, and fulfillment to the soul. It’s applied with the hands according to the needs of the client, without pressure or manipulation. The recipient draws the needed healing energy without effort. There are no side-effects or contraindications associated with Reiki. It’s non-invasive and suitable to every age group and symptom.
Research is increasingly showing that when the body breaks down, the effects of emotions, attitudes, thoughts and relationships are to be taken seriously. Our bodies don’t operate as islands onto their own, separated from the rest of us, and are in fact sustained or made ill by a variety of factors. The thinking that because the body is physical only physical, mechanical and organic factors influence its health is being steadily debunked.
Even when dealing with the body alone, a similar idea is at play: Liver disease can’t be addressed only by concentrating on the liver, as that organ lives in a complex body, a complete system that intricately interacts with itself.
One reason CAM therapies are gaining respect in medical circles is because most of them have a holistic 2 approach, which has shown to be more effective in treating chronic conditions and lowering costs by addressing prevention.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Reiki is a word representing Universal Life Energy. Reiki is based on the belief that when spiritual energy is channeled through a Reiki practitioner, the patient’s spirit is healed, which in turn heals the physical body.
It’s helpful to know that healing traditions have existed since the dawn of humanity, predating the Western biomedical model. In these traditions, the ability to administer healing comes from knowledge and practices that are passed on from expert practitioner to student, who in turn becomes an expert practitioner. One of the core concepts of such teachings is that everything in the universe is made up of energy and this “life energy” flows all around us and is drawn in by the body nourishing the cells, organs, and glands.
This same energy also radiates from the body. Energy flow in the body is not an easily understood or accepted concept. Simply put, when one’s energy is depleted, imbalanced, or the flow is restricted, one is more susceptible to discomfort, further illness, and disease. When one’s energy is restored, free-flowing, or balanced, the body’s innate healing abilities are restored and activated.
Reiki is a low-risk intervention, which means it does no harm. By rebalancing the biofield, Reiki treatments address the whole person. A person receives Reiki healing on a treatment table, fully-clothed, with dim lighting and relaxing, inspiring music in the background for about 60 minutes. A minimum of 4 complete treatments is recommended before assessing clinical benefit.
Our bodies are like walking biographies, containing all the various experiences and influences of our lives. Healing energy goes to the most needed component of our make-up: Social, mental, emotional and physical, or a combination. Deep relaxation is experienced almost immediately and this in itself leads to the resolution or improvement of many conditions.
Reiki treatments are insightful, uplifting and profoundly comforting. The body truly appreciates the care and kindness it receives and responds favorably.
A unique feature of Reiki is that it can be easily applied to oneself, making it a resource of self-care. Anyone can learn this great art; the ability to tap into the universal “life energy” is not dependent on intellectual capacity, belief, or innate skill.
One important factor that needs emphasis is that Reiki is spiritual healing first, and as the spirit heals, there’s a ripple effect reaching other aspects of our existence.
This is possible because spirituality is the one overarching, inclusive component, unifying all aspects of our life and being by giving meaning and structure, and empowering us to live from a core of our deepest values.
People with a strong sense of spirituality are less in need of medical services, show resilient emotional health in the face of terminal illness, and have lower discomfort and loneliness. Such people cope better with life crises, have an expanded perspective and are able to interpret illness to produce spiritual growth.
Whether it’s receiving treatments for yourself, or learning Reiki as self-care and for your loved ones including pets, Reiki is a beautiful gift in its simplicity and profound, direct healing effect, as exemplified by the following 5 Reiki precepts. Please feel free to put these in action and be well!
Just for today, do not anger.
Just for today, do not worry.
Be honest in your work.
Be compassionate to yourself and others.
- As defined by National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a component of the National Institutes of Health. NCCAM is the Federal Government’s lead agency for scientific research on CAM. NCCAM is dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science, training CAM researchers, and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals.
- Dealing with the patient as a whole human being, it considers not only physical health but also the emotional, spiritual, social, and mental well-being of the person. In looking at the body it sees not only the parts, but the sum and seeks healing by considering the entire system, rather than simply ‘fixing’ a part.
© 2004 Pamir Kiciman
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