What it is…
Reiki is an ancient Japanese method of hands-on healing used to relieve stress, balance energy flows in the body and promote healing. Everything is energy: ourselves, animals, plants, the air, our planet and the universe. This is Universal Life Force Energy and it surrounds us, flowing through all living things.
It is believed by many ancient cultures that when the energy pathways in our bodies become obstructed, our life force energy is lowered and the quality of our health is impaired. Having a Reiki session done on you allows a practitioner to be a channel through which Universal Life Force Energy flows, helping to raise your own life force energy.
Reiki can heal on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels, therefore making it a truly unique healing experience. And although Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. There is no dogma to believe in or rituals to perform. It is a natural, safe and simple method of self-improvement and spiritual healing. Many miraculous results have been reported.
The Reiki technique is simple to learn, but the ability to use Reiki is achieved through a series of attunements given during a class by a Reiki Master. These attunements open the practitioner to open their own energy pathways, allowing them to become a conduit for an endless supply of Universal Life Force Energy which will flow through them, out of their hands, and into the recipient. Although a practitioner can direct the energy to certain areas of the body, it has been found that the recipient's body will actually take the energy and send it to where it is needed most within. For example, I could put my hands on your knees, but you may feel the energy moving in your neck. So there is never the worry that the recipient is not getting the energy in the right spot.
Who can benefit…
Everyone can benefit from Reiki, and Reiki always has a beneficial effect. It works in conjunction with other therapeutic techniques to help promote balance, healing, and enhance your quality of life.
Reiki sessions can be done on humans, animals, plants or any other "living" thing you can name. When working on humans, they often report many sensations: such as tremendous heat coming from the practitioners hands, even though the practitioner may not have her hands on them; visions such as colours, shapes, or scenic images; a feeling of vibrations; and especially a deep, secure, peaceful feeling.
The hands of a Reiki practitioner is the only physical tool needed for a session. There are a series of hand placements that many practitioners subscribe to, but I encourage my students to let their hands go to where they seem to be drawn. Sessions often last about 45 minutes to an hour, but really are dictated by the flow of energy. A practitioner will often realize the energy has slowed down and disappeared, or that it simply stops abruptly. Like any holisitic therapy, a practitioner needs to let the body guide them as to what it needs and when it's had enough.
When Reiki is done on animals, I have noticed many things. The first and foremost being that animals often do not want a practitioners hands directly on them, preferring instead that their hands be raised above their body by an inch or so, or even beamed at them from across the room. Also, animals will often move about underneath a practitioner's hands, positioning themselves where they want the energy directed, even though the body will send it to where it is needed most. Sessions with animals are often very short, the animal just getting up and leaving not long after you start, but then there are some animals who lay there and don't want you to stop. If they know the energy is flowing, they paste themselves to you.
Some animals are afraid of a practitioner, sensing there is something different about them. Joyce's horse, Dulce, is one such creature. If you offer to touch her while energy is flowing, her eyes get HUGE and she will fly across her stall and pin herself to the opposite wall. Dulce is just very sensitive to energy. She is also very healthy, and doesn't need the extra energy. She would do the same thing if homeopathic remedies were brought into the barn. At first notice Joyce had remedies in her hands, Dulce would get as far away from her as she could, clearly telling Joyce, "Not for me!" Yet a few years ago when Dulce and Joyce's beloved friend Nino died, Dulce not only was willing to take the homeopathic grief remedy from Joyce, she would actually come looking for it in her hands or pockets.
My good friend, Harry Swinedell, is another sensitive creature. When Harry was young, if we even thought about Reiki while we were petting him, he would run from the room, squealing all the way. Interestingly enough, Harry has always been a very healthy pig. He has only been sick twice in his 16 years of life; once as a piglet and then again about 4 or 5 years ago. We noticed that once Harry entered double digits by turning 10, he seemed to change a lot of his "rules." In his older years, he now relishes it when we send him energy, even though he doesn't seem to have any ailments other than some arthritis that is well under control. He will seek me out, plop his head on my lap or feet and just wait. He'll stand there as long as I stay in one place, and oftentimes he'll follow me when I get up. Harry Swinedell is now 16 1/2 years old.
Our oldest pig, Clover la Oink, turns 17 in a week. As a piglet he had severe grand mal seizures. They were so bad that one day he seized for 2 1/2 hours, something many humans don't even survive. The vets had no idea why and told us he wouldn't live out the month. Homeopathy cured his seizures soon after that prognosis was given, but when I received my 1st Degree Reiki, I naturally wanted to use it on Clover even though he'd been seizure free for nearly a year. I tried to use the standard hand placements on him indicated for someone suffering seizures, but quickly learned this was not to his liking. He would always walk away, turn around and back up to me so that my hands were on either side of his rump. Within the course of our sessions, he would move about every few minutes, backing up further into me so that my hands actually slid up his back. By the time we were done, usually in about 15 minutes, my hands would be resting at the base of his skull where his neck began. He never once let me put my hands on his head.
Animals giving back…
One incredible thing I have noticed is the ability of animals to give Reiki back to us during a session. Clover was the first to show me how it was done. I was giving him a session one day and was feeling pain in my elbow as I held my hands over him, stressing an already stressed tennis elbow. I tried to ignore my pain, focusing instead on being an open channel. As our session was drawing to an end (based on how my hands were just about at the base of Clover's skull) I suddenly felt the energy flowing through me, out my hands, into Clover and him purposefully turn it around and send it back up my arms! I was stunned, amazed, sure that I had imagined this. However a year or two later my husband had the same experience with Clover and for the same reason. Building a house can take a toll on elbows if you don't have an air-nailer. But if you have been through Reiki attunements and have an animal like Clover, they can help you treat yourself if you haven't taken the time to do so already.
Loddie Dah did the same thing. First she inserted herself into a conversation my sister-in-law Susie and I were having about Reiki when I first got my Mastership. She told Susie she should get Reiki because when she came home late at night from a long day at work (as a paramedic), she could put her hands on her pretty white blaze and give her Reiki, then she could turn it around and give it back. Loddie felt it would help Susie get past a long day's stressful work and assure a restful night's sleep. And they both did just that! Loddie is 16 years old, and lives in central New York.
Amelia also fell into the same category. My sister Maureen had this to say about Amelia's abilities to give back:
"Amelia was a Reiki power house. Anytime she sat on your lap she would give back 10 times as much reiki as she took. It was really neat to feel it run in both directions. She would get so warm that it was like she was sitting in front of a heat source. She always gave reiki with eyes closed and motor on full. I think she even purred when we pre-sedated her to help her cross over. It was a lot like her personality. She always gave back more than she took, unless you’re talkin’ creamies (little Half & Half coffee creamers) as Dad liked to say. She gladly took as much of that as she could and didn’t share or give back!" Amelia crossed over at 19 years old.
First Degree gives a practitioner the attunements needed so they can give treatments in person.
Second Degree attunes a practitioner so they can send Reiki over a distance, eliminating the need to have a recipient present.
Third Degree gives the Master attunement, allowing the practitioner to attune others during Reiki classes.
Classes are available locally to the Syracuse, NY area. Please contact Colleen for more info.
In-person or Distance sessions run 20 to 50 minutes and is determined by the recipient's body. The fee is $35 - $75 per session.
Fees as of February 2008.