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What is Reiki and How Can it Help Relieve Chronic Pain Related to Trauma?

Reiki (pronounced ray-key) has Japanease origins and when translated means “universal life energy.” Reiki is a very specific form of energy healing, in which hands are placed just off the body and at times lightly touching the body. During a Reiki session—which can last anywhere from half an hour to nearly two hours, depending on where you go—you sit on a massage table, fully clothed and covered with a sheet and/or blankets, and a practitioner’s hands hovers over and at times lightly rests his or her hands on various parts of your body where energy is said to flow the most.

The reiki hand positions are designed to cover three main areas: your major organs, your major chakras, and your major meridians (energy pathways). These areas can be found all over the body, so Reiki practitioners may touch or hover above your head, extremities, midsection, and feet. Reiki is safe—as long as it’s used as a complementary treatment, not an alternative one--it should never be used as a replacement treatment for any medically diagnosed illness only in conjunction with.


It is also important to note that Reiki is not a religion but it does provide a means for spiritual growth. No matter what your religious background, you’ll find that the principles are relevant and don’t conflict with your religious practice. In fact, Reiki should enhance your personal religious connection through meditation and clarity experienced during the session.

Reiki helps to aid relaxation, assist in the body's natural healing processes, and develop emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. It is also said to induce deep relaxation, help people cope with difficulties, relieve emotional stress, and improve overall well-being. Reiki can aid in resolving emotional and psychological trauma by allowing healing energy to flow freely. The result is reduced pain and tension, as well as feelings of relaxation and rejuvenation. Reiki can be so relaxing that people often take naps during the session and report feelings of decreased discomfort with reduced tension. Reik naps are the best-I've experienced it myself!

As a Licensed Professional Counselor who specializes in trauma healing, within my clinical practice, I began to see firsthand the correlation between a client’s trauma and chronic pain. When using the EMDR technique (see previous blog post) to process a traumatic experience client’s are asked to recall the memory and do a body scan where they identify where they experience any pain or discomfort in their body related to the experience.

Researcher Bassel Van dor Kolk, MD and author of “The Body Keeps the Score”, has confirmed this, stating that traumatic memories are not only stored within one’s subconscious mind but that our memories are also stored within our body. When we experience a significant event-at least one if not all of-our five senses safeguards the memory for either positive recall or as a protective factor for avoiding similar events. This is why you can be triggered into a vivid memory when you smell certain foods around the holidays, or why when you hear a certain song you can recall a particular moment, and the same is true for seeing, tasting, or touching certain things which can instantly “bring you back” or trigger you to recall previously experienced life events.

When someone has a traumatic event that continues to be intrusive and bothersome, they generally experience tension in their body as well. Whether it is a tightened stomach, ongoing headaches, clenched jaw, shoulder pain, etc unprocessed trauma will manifest itself physically at varying degrees of intensity and discomfort. As mentioned previously, emotional trauma often manifests itself physically and I have found being able to help clients shift the energy in their body through my Reiki work helps to improve their emotional well being.

Reiki is a good treatment for anyone wanting to feel more grounded, to remove energy blockages and reduce stress. So, when you are ready, you can book your first session under the Services and Booking tab. I’m looking forward to working with you on your healing journey!


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