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Stress Management and Reiki: Restoring Balance through Energy Work

Jan 27, 2008
We live in a hectic world, where the affects of acute and chronic stress can have serious impacts on our health. Although conventional and alternative medicine offers many options for stress management, there is an ancient healing technique that works especially well: Reiki energy work.

What Is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese energy technique that produces a relaxation response to reduce the feelings of stress. Reiki practitioners are trained to tap into the Universal energy force and, by the laying on of hands, transmit healing energy to another person or animal. The premise of Reiki, which is a very spiritual stress management technique, is that it increases your life energy. Reiki is considered to be a holistic therapy because it addresses the mind, body and spirit.

While Reiki is spiritually based, it isn't associated with any specific religion. That's why there are no intellectual or spiritual requirements to give or receive Reiki. In other words, you don't need to have any particular beliefs about religion (or any beliefs at all) to either benefit from it or practice it.

Because Reiki is based on the principles of peace, harmony and balance, anyone can learn it. Although it's a simple technique, the process must be passed on from a Reiki master to her student during a process called "attunement."

What to Expect During a Reiki Treatment

During a Reiki treatment, you should be fully clothed and will usually lay flat on a massage-like table, although seated or standing positions can be used in a pinch. It's important to be comfortable and warm, so let your practitioner know if you need to adjust your position. (Simple things, like placing a pillow under your knees to relieve low back pressure or adding a lightweight blanket, can increase your comfort level.)

When the Reiki session begins, your practitioner may close her eyes and take a moment to gather her own energy before placing her hands on or near your body. As the treatment progresses, your practitioner will move her hands along your body, concentrating on areas that relate to your specific issues. When using Reiki for stress management, for example, your practitioner may spend extra time around tense neck and shoulder muscles. Although even a few minutes of Reiki can reduce stress, a typical full-length treatment can last anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes.

A full-length Reiki treatment should make you feel extremely relaxed and may even cause you to fall sleep. You should be able release the tension being held in your body as you reach a new level of peace.

Why You Should Choose Reiki for Relaxation

Reiki practitioners believe that negativity doesn't exist solely in the brain. Instead, they believe that negative thoughts and feelings are also stored in other areas of the body and in the body's surrounding energy field (known as the aura). When negative energy collects in and around the body, the flow of life force, or Ki, is restricted. This results in headaches, body pains, feelings of stress and, if left untreated, more serious physical illness.

The healing energy of Reiki is guided by a Higher Intelligence that intuitively understands how to release restrictions to the flow of Ki. This energy is able to work in harmony with the unconscious mind to dissolve negative thoughts and help remove them from the body and its aura. As these energy blocks are cleared, your Ki begins to flow unhindered, sending the healing life force to unhealthy bones, organs and tissues. With a consistent treatment plan, Reiki allows your body to heal itself and restore optimal balance and function.

Although people with serious health problems should consult their doctor before undergoing treatment, there are no known side effects associated with Reiki, which is proven to be a safe therapy for people in all stages of wellness or ill health.

Stress management is often a lifelong pursuit that requires an entire toolbox of traditional and alternative therapies for maximum relief. Consider incorporating Reiki treatments into your self-care regimen. The only thing you've got to lose is a little stress!
About the Author
Patty Harder is a Reiki master, ordained SHES minister and self-help guru. She is also the author of
Less-Stressed NOW! Your Complete Guide to Managing Stress, Beating the Blues, and Waking Up Happier Every Day. To learn more, visit

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