Reiki and Self-Healing ~ Becky Holtzman
The Japanese word Reiki describes both the concept of Universal Life Energy (Rei = Universal, Ki = Life Energy), and the practice of Reiki itself. It is a hands-on healing technique that encourages the body’s healing process by promoting balance and relaxation at the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels.
After being initiated or “attuned” in a Reiki I class, the heart of Reiki is a commitment to regular self-practice. A full self-treatment takes about 40 minutes, with hands placed on the head, throat, chest, ribs, belly and pelvis. Reiki passes through the hands and into the body. Since each person is unique, and every day is slightly different, the variety of experiences is wide. In my 4½ years of self-practice, I have noticed physical sensations (warmth, tingling, pulsing), and emotional shifts both profound and subtle. I am still surprised at the quiet power of Reiki.
By practicing on ourselves every day, we learn through direct experience how Reiki works for us, as an individual. You might think of it as you would a martial art, yoga, or meditation: the more you do it, the more familiar and confident you become with the process. For me, self-Reiki is a way of continually building a body-memory for relaxation and restoration. When I place my hands over my eyes, at the sides of my head, or at my heart, my entire being immediately understands the invitation to drop into Reiki.
What I always feel after a self-treatment is better, even if I was feeling perfectly fine before. I’ve also noticed that I have an easier time choosing my yeses, noes, or maybes in decisions both important and minor. If I feel uncertain, cranky, or upset, I give myself a few minutes of Reiki. When I am happily surprised, or delighted, I’ve noticed that I spontaneously place my hand at my chest and feel Reiki start to flow. Like the Tao, as described in Lao-Tzu’s Tao te Ching, Reiki “is always present within you. You can use it any way you want.”
Reiki never goes away. Once you’ve got it, you can always return to it. Even if you haven’t practiced for years, when you place your hands on yourself and invite Reiki to flow, it will. It might feel erratic at first—think of a how a rarely used faucet spits and chugs when it’s finally turned on—but patience and practice will strengthen that flow. Invite Reiki to teach you. Notice what happens, and how you feel.
There is so much that is out of our control in the world, but with self-Reiki we are always able to comfort ourselves, support our own ability to heal, and listen for our deepest truths. That self-care will naturally spill out into the rest of our lives, to the benefit of everything we care about: partners, kids, pets, gardens, work, and our communities, both local and global. When we make time to care for ourselves, things shift, perhaps subtly, sometimes notably. Either way, everything around that initial shift moves a bit, too. A process has begun.