Reiki is an ancient Japanese holistic, “hands on healing” form of alternative medicine. Reiki is performed by the “laying on hands” and is rooted in the ideology that an unseen life force energy flows through us. For example, when one’s "life force energy" is low, they are more likely to experience stress, or sickness. However, if one’s “life force energy” is high, the individual is more inclined to be healthy and happy. Reiki re-establishes a normal energy flow throughout the system, which can enhance and increase the body’s innate healing ability.
Over the years, Reiki has become increasingly popular and now is being offered in hospitals, hospice and other private practice settings. Patients that receive Reiki treatment have reported relief from several health ailments. In particular, research has shown that Reiki can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. For example, in a study performed by Shore (2004), he examined the long-term effects of Reiki on patients experiencing psychological depression and self-perceived stress. Following the six weeks of treatment and up to a year afterwards, Shore found that the individuals who had received Reiki demonstrated both immediate and long-term improvements in depression and stress.
Furthermore, Reiki can be beneficial for women during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. Diana Young is a Reiki practitioner who owns her own practice and shares
“Reiki treatment is also helpful for post-partum recovery. Women’s bodies undergo tremendous change to support the new life growing inside them; it takes a while for the body’s organs and processes to return to a normal non-pregnancy state. Healing is still occurring inside a mother’s body after her baby is born, even after an easy or uncomplicated birth. Reiki treatment can help new mothers maintain well-being and emotional balance during those first weeks of adjustment. This is especially important for the percentage of women who may experience post-partum depression.
For those women who had a difficult labor, or a cesarean birth, Reiki treatment can help facilitate healing on physical and emotional levels. Clinical studies of Reiki treatment are demonstrating benefits for reducing anxiety and pain levels. Women recovering from surgery or birth trauma can benefit from this additional source of compassionate, palliative support. The medications used to relieve post-surgical pain often have unpleasant side effects, and the discomfort from the incision can make it difficult for women to hold or breastfeed their babies. Reiki treatment supports the physical healing process, enabling women to get back on their feet sooner.”
Shore, A.G. (2004). Long term effects of energetic healing on symptoms of psychological depression and self-perceived stress. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 10(3):42-48.
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