reiki hands illustrationHow exciting to see an article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal about reiki. While not all the folks consulted in the article were convinced of its effectiveness, the very fact that it is being discussed as a complementary therapy in traditional medicine circles is yet another example of the greater openness to possibility our culture seems to be shifting to.

For those not familiar with it, Reiki is a specific type of healing energy that is transmitted through the palms of an attuned practitioner to the recipient. This is either done via direct touch, or by hovering the hands over the body. From scientific studies that have been done, the energy seems to work at a vibrational level to promote healing.

Attunements are commonly the method by which the reiki energy is awakened so one can become a practioner, acting as a shortcut of sorts to the direct access of energy. Those attuned to the first level will be able to transmit the reiki energy primarily for effect on the physical level, further attunements and guidance allow the practictioner to guide the energy toward emotional healing as well as healing over distances of time and space.

My curiosity in Reiki was sparked about eight years ago when I first heard a mention of it. I had never experienced it firsthand, and wasn’t really sure exactly what it was, but the idea of energy healing intrigued me. Despite this interest, I was unsure enough that it would be a few years before I received my first treatment. In many ways you can say the reiki finally sought me out, tired of watching me sit on the sidelines. During the summer of 2009 I had need to seek the help of a therapist, who as it turns out, happened to also be a Reiki Master. While it still took me a few appointments to express my interest in Reiki to the therapist, once I did, we began supplementing traditional treatment with short, but powerful Reiki sessions.

My first Reiki experience was what I had imagined acupuncture might be like (having since had an acupuncture treatment, I can say my expectations were a bit off). While I lay on the treatment table, the therapist using the hovering technique, I experienced a feeling of energy moving through me, although strangely getting “clogged” at my knees. Subsequent treatments seemed to work out the energy ‘knot’ in my knees, with openness extending further down my legs each time. But the overall experience for each of these sessions was distinctively characterized by a flowing of energy sensation. It was a unique feeling and unlike anything I had experienced before.

While I hadn’t particularly noticed any specific effects of the treatments outside the sessions initially, there was no denying something was happening. Once the blockages were cleared the treatments continued, with one particular session standing out for the pulsating effect I felt just above  the bridge of my nose. From my journal entry right after that session: “Had a really cool Reiki session tonight – felt the energy moving through me stronger than ever and my third eye chakra was really activated. Kinda felt like a gentle vibration sensation in a way — but very strong, very noticeable.”

I continued with a few more treatments, slowly beginning to notice the influence of the treatments, which at the time seemed rather subtle, but became more obvious after the therapist moved out of state and the sessions ended. Six months would pass where I half-heartedly looked to find a new Reiki practitioner. And then one day a flyer appeared at the yoga studio where I both practiced and taught. It was for a free reiki information session, a preview for an upcoming Reiki level 1 attunement workshop. Having felt the absence of the Reiki treatments in the preceding months, this seemed like a serendipitous calling.

But I went on to attend that workshop receiving my first attunement, followed six months later by a level 2 attunement, and today continue to explore the possibility and gift of being a conduit for this incredible healing energy.