Fifteen years ago, we were living in Arizona with 4 small kids. My husband was gone a lot for work and we had no family around for support. I was struggling to stay emotionally balanced trying to manage my little ones and many days were spent living below the baseline of happiness! If you have watched the movie, “Inside Out”, you could say that sadness was at the helm a lot in command central. J One day, my friend, Julie, called and said she had been trained in a technique called Reiki and she needed to practice. She offered me a session and I cautiously accepted. I had never heard of reiki or any form of energy work.
When I went for my first session, I had no idea what she was doing or what was going on! All I could tell you was that an hour later, I felt like a new person! It felt like someone had hit a reset button on my mind and heart and I felt like I could face the world again. It was amazing! I felt lighter, more at peace, and more connected to my body, mind and soul. This experience began my appreciation and love for the gift of Reiki.
Fifteen years later, I teach Reiki classes and have private clients. It is thrilling to me to share the same experience with others, that my friend Julie gave to me all those years ago. Clients leave feeling lighter, more peaceful, having hope, a greater connection to God, and a renewed energy to take life on. It is such a privilege to be involved in this work.
Over the years I have had several people ask me questions about Reiki. There are many misconceptions about this particular modality and so I would love to share my thoughts on my most commonly asked questions about Reiki.
WHAT IS REIKI?
Reiki is one of the most ancient healing methods known to mankind. The tradition of Reiki originated in Tibet and was referred to in 2500 year old writings in Sanskrit, the ancient Indian Language. It was re-discovered in the nineteenth century by a Japanese monk named Dr. Mikao Usui. He was searching for a method of healing and this technique came to him after much fasting and prayer. His technique for natural healing is practiced worldwide today.
WHAT DOES REIKI MEAN?
The Japanese word “rei-ki” consists of two syllables: “rei” which describes the universal aspect of this energy and “ki” which means the fundamental life energy or spirit flowing in all living things. This universal, life force energy is given to us at birth. Different cultures call it different things: The Chinese call this energy ‘chi’, in Sanskrit it is called ‘mana’. Christians would call it the ‘light of Christ.’
WHAT DOES A REIKI SESSION DO?
The reiki method balances the energy in your body. Reiki is a natural and simple healing method, which allows you to absorb more life force energy. This natural healing energy flows in a powerful and concentrated form through the hands of the Reiki giver. The hands direct the healing energy into the body of the receiver. The Reiki giver is used as a conduit of the universal life energy.
WHERE DOES THE ENERGY COME FROM?
When Benjamin Franklin flew a kite one stormy night in June of 1752, he was trying to determine if lightening was an electrical current in nature. By using a metal key on the kite string, he was able to attract the lightening. The lightening was powerful and could be dangerous. This led him to develop the lightning rod which saved many people and buildings by directing the lightening down into the earth. In this experiment, Benjamin Franklin did not discover or create lightning, he simply found a way to direct it. The lightening already existed as a powerful force in the universe.
It is much the same with the technique of Reiki. Dr. Usui did not ‘create’ any new energy. He was simply shown through inspiration how to direct the energy that was already there for us in abundance. Energy is all around us and sustains every living thing. Every tree, rock, animal and creation of God holds this energy. We know very well how it feels to be overflowing with energy! It is quite a contrast to a day when we don’t have any energy at all! We would all love to have as much energy as a 2 year old!!! We rely on our energy to get us through each day.
WHY DO WE NEED MORE ENERGY?
In our daily living we experience stress, challenges physically and emotionally, work and interactions with other people. These events and our emotional response to them affect our energy. Sometimes we allow these things to take or deplete our energy. When we are unable to make up for our energy consumption for a prolonged period, we may become physically or emotionally ill. If our supply of life force energy is very low and depleted, we suffer from physical, emotional and mental exhaustion, and tend to be much more irritable, bad-tempered, and depressed than usual.
When receiving Reiki, we are receiving vibrational frequencies which the body needs. When the body has all the energy it needs, the body will re-balance and align itself, allowing dis-ease to dissipate and health to be restored.
HOW DOES A REIKI PRACTITIONER GIVE ENERGY TO SOMEONE?
The top of our head is our crown chakra. This chakra represents our connection to the divine, or God. Dr. Usui learned that by drawing in extra universal energy through the top of our head, or crown chakra, we could send that energy down through our arms, exiting the palms of our hands. As hands are held on or above the body of the receiver, energy is sent to them.
It is important to realize that the person giving the energy, is not the source of the energy. If you think of an extension cord, it does not transmit electricity by itself. If it is plugged into a power source, and then plugged into another object, it transfers the electricity through. When we give Reiki to another person, we are like that extension cord – we connect in to the universal energy and direct it to the receiver. As a result, no personal energy is drawn or drained from the giver. The giver is, in fact, also charged and strengthened.
WILL I TAKE ON THEIR ENERGY?
It is possible to give our energy away and to take on other people’s energy, but it is so important that we don’t do either! If you are empathic it is especially easy to do – you feel someone’s pain or problem and you want to take it for them. In the end, they feel better, and the one taking the negative energy feels worse! The first step in preparation to work on someone is to shield yourself from taking on their energy. I do that through prayer before I begin a session. I ask that ‘all negative energy be filtered through the atonement of Christ’. There are many other ways to create that shield. I would burn out so fast doing this work if I gave my energy to clients and in return, took their negative energy instead.
The power of the atonement is so important in our lives. We know that the Savior died not just for our sins, but for our sorrows and suffering as well. When we have heartache, disappointment or pain, giving it to the Savior is calling upon the power of the atonement in our lives. When we find negative emotion that my clients are holding on to, I encourage them to give that burden to the Savior. It is a sweet experience to witness!! Lives are blessed. Peace is restored. The unconditional love of the Savior fills their heart. The atonement becomes very real for them. If I chose, instead, to take their pain for them, they have no need of the Savior. When we take other people’s energy and pain for them, we stand between them and the Savior.
HOW DO YOU DO REIKI?
In a reiki session, we focus on clearing the energy in the chakras. Chakras are our energy centers, and serve as filters and producers of life-giving energy for us. Most widely recognized are what are commonly referred to as the Seven Major Chakras, though there are many, many more than just seven. The chakras are two-ended energy funnels that reside mostly along the spine. The spine being the center point, the chakra funnels out the front while also funneling out the back. The chakras act as lungs. Just as our lungs intake air, and then exhale what is not needed, the chakras are the body’s importer and exporter of energy. Because we are continually surrounded by energy, the chakras inhale and exhale this life force, converting it into usable life-sustaining energy for our entire living system.
In a typical Reiki session, when a client comes in I start at the crown chakra and check the energy there. There are many possibilities as to what the energy could be doing. It could be blocked. It could holding tension. There could be some negative emotion trapped there. Whatever I find, I will stay there sending energy into the crown chakra until I feel the energy is flowing smoothly and is balanced. Usually 5-7 minutes. The energy is intuitive and knows just what the body needs. I don’t need to know how to fix the problem – I just send the energy and the energy will balance it out. When the energy feels right, I move to the next chakra.
There is a principle at work here and that is the principle of light vs. dark. Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve observed: “Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Light dispels darkness. When light is present, darkness is vanquished and must depart.” The vibration of God’s universal energy is so high and filled with light. When we bring light into a chakra that is darkened by negative emotion or stress, the light (or energy) pushes the darkness out.
HOW DOES EMOTION AFFECT THE BODY’S ENERGY?
In the book Power Vs. Force by XXXXX, there is a fascinating chart that shows us the vibrational level of emotions. On a scale of 0-1,000, shame scores the lowest vibration at 20 while guilt only scores a 30. The emotion fear is measured at 100 and anger is at 150. Compare these numbers to a vibration of love, which is 500, and peace which scores a 600, and you can see how low the negative emotions score. I can understand this chart because I feel it in my life. If I am feeling guilty about something, my energy is very heavy and seems to weigh me down. But if I am filled with love and peace, my energy is light and uplifting.
The important thing to realize about our body’s connection to emotions is that any emotion that scores less than 200 on the chart will actually degenerate the body over time. Any emotion scoring 200 or above, will re-generate the body over time. So, if we hold onto anger, fear, guilt or shame, over time our body may get an illness or disease there. You have heard the expression that someone “worried themselves sick”! That is true and it can happen.
Elder Boyd K. Packer said, “I recently asked a doctor of family medicine how much of his time was devoted purely to correcting physical disorders. He has a large practice, and after thoughtfully considering he answered, “Not more then 20 percent. The rest of the time I seem to be working on problems that very much affect the physical well-being of my patients but do not originate in the body. These physical disorders,’ the doctor concluded, ‘are merely symptoms of some other kind of trouble.” There is another part of us, not so tangible, but quite real as our physical body. This intangible part of us is described as mind, emotion, intellect, temperament, and many other things. Very seldom is it described as spiritual. But there is a spirit in man; to ignore it is to ignore reality. There are spiritual disorders, too, and spiritual diseases that can cause intense suffering. The body and the spirit of man are bound together. Often, very often, when there are disorders, it is very difficult to tell which is which.” -“The Balm of Gilead,” Ensign, Nov. 1977
It is so important that we do not hold on to negative emotion. It does impact the body, mind and spirit when we do. Sometimes people come in for Reiki because of emotional issues. Sometimes they come in for physical issues. Sometimes they come in because they are carrying too much stress. No matter what the issue, I treat them the same way. Filling them with energy and light helps the problem.
IN THE WORDS OF A CLIENT (who is a Chiropractor):
“For 7 years I had been experiencing left knee and hip pain. Initially it was just after exercising. Eventually the left hip hurt nearly all of the time that I was on my feet. Being a Doctor who specializes in musculo-skeletal problems, I did everything I could on my own, and went to every specialist I could think of to try and resolve my problem. I eventually came to the conclusion that it must be coming from my foot; the shape of my foot was causing my knee and hip to misalign and this is why they hurt…. (or so I thought). I had some orthotics made. Then I made my own orthotics. By fine tuning my orthotics I was able to improve my pain by 90%. It was still there most of the time, mostly just as an annoyance. However, if I went without the orthotics, for even 5 minutes, my hip would start to burn with pain.
In the spring of 2012 I was introduced to Reiki. I was familiar with energy work, but it seemed too esoteric and immaterial to be really powerful. My view was quickly changed after just a few Reiki sessions when my 7 years of hip and knee pain where gone. In fact, the shift was so sudden that the day after one of my sessions I felt that my orthotic was actually bothering me. I took it out and have not used it since and have not had any pain.
There was a block in the energy flow to the left side of my body. This energy block was causing my left leg muscles to be overly tight. These tight muscles were causing my knee and hip to misalign when I moved and this was the cause of the pain. Reiki restored the normal energy flow to my leg, the muscles relaxed and normal movement patterns were able to happen. Normal motion = no more pain. I was amazed that an emotional issue could change the energy flow in my body and create what seemed like just a mechanical issue. Not only did Reiki help me physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. I am more at peace now thanks to Reiki. It is so relaxing. I think of Reiki like a massage of the body’s energy system. I have found Reiki to be one of the most effective things that a person can do for their overall wellness. There are physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits to Reiki. By balancing the body’s energy it really does affect everything else. Everything about us starts on the energetic level, and Reiki is a liberation of the body’s energy system so we can reach our full potential.”
The Savior Jesus Christ promises those who follow Him, “Your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.” D&C 88:67
I am so grateful for the gift of Reiki in my life! As well as doing Reiki for others, I can do Reiki for myself. It has helped me find emotional balance and peace. Sadness is rarely in charge these days! When it does come, I have tools to help guide myself back to joy. It has taught me to turn my burdens to the Savior. It has removed the darkness and restored truth and light to my Soul. I hope you will try this tool along your journey to wholeness! May God bless you to find happiness and peace.