by Krystle Ash, RMT
(Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
You've probably heard that Reiki, a Japanese relaxation and healing technique, can be very helpful for people who suffer from anxiety.
Reiki can balance, calm and quiet the mind, if we are willing to work with it.
So how can Reiki help heal anxiety? Let's look deeper and shed some light on the ways this Japanese technique is helping people heal their anxiety all over the world.
1) Reiki reconnects you to your True Self.
Being bathed in the gentle, soothing radiance of a Reiki treatment is an experience like no other.
In the safe, protected space created by the Reiki Practitioner, we are invited to experience one of life's little miracles. Feeling the gentle radiance flow from their hands and through your system, feeling your mind become quiet and your worries dissolve in that space is truly special.
When we feel anxious or depressed, we feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of our problems and responsibilities. They loom larger and larger in our minds until the fear, unchecked, completely overwhelms us and we lose the ability to function normally until we are able to regain our center and healthy perspective.
Feeling yourself cradled and nourished by Spiritual Energy is a powerful yet subtle reminder that there is a life-giving Healing force that is always present for us, if we are willing to open to it.
No matter how overwhelming our issues seem, in that moment we are reassured and comforted by the most powerful force in the universe, Love.
In this space of peace, healing, and love we are reconnected with the light of our own spirit, our True Self.
2) Reiki allows you to slow down, breathe, and enter rest and digest mode.
Most of us are leading incredibly busy lives. Many people are juggling full time careers, families and relationships with little time left in the day for themselves. Our need for rest and relaxation goes unheeded until the mind and body throw up their arms in frustration and cry "NO MORE!" Often this manifests in the form of an acute anxiety attack, mental or emotional breakdown, or physical illness.
Human beings are not robots. Today, many of us are forced to exist in corporate environments that value profits over people without regard for the long-term effects on our physical and mental health. The result is that we are sicker, more tired, and more exhausted than ever before. Many people exist in a near constant state of fight or flight mode, which greatly contributes to anxiety.
Reiki helps because it is an effective and very relaxing form of self care. The benefits of clearing your mind and relaxing cannot be overstated. The body and mind have many sophisticated methods to heal and balance themselves, but they cannot function while we are in fight or flight mode. Receiving a reiki treatment signals to the brain that is is safe to shift into rest and digest mode, and recovery can begin.
3) Reiki releases blocked or pent up emotional energy that is contributing to our anxiety.
One of the surprising truths I have uncovered during my practice is centered around the true cause of anxiety attacks. Before I could effectively hold space for others as a Reiki Healer, I needed to work on balancing my own energy and resolving my own issues with anxiety. I discovered that for me, the source of uncontrollable anxiety was nearly always some emotional truth that I was refusing to accept or acknowledge.
When we ignore our emotions they don't go away. We might stuff that emotional energy deep within our body or aura, but it remains there until we deal with it. The painful message that emotional energy contains for us might be triggered by situations or people that remind us of the initial event that created the emotional reaction. If we are still unable to acknowledge or accept that emotional energy and the message it holds for us, we will shove it down further and it will begin crying louder and louder for our attention. I have come to understand that the sensation of repressed emotional truth screaming to be heard was nearly always what I was labeling "anxiety".
As I began to grow my practice and work with more people, I discovered that this truth was not limited to only me. Sometimes it was a job that was killing a person's spirit and sucking all of their energy that triggered the anxiety, sometimes it was an unhealthy relationship that the person did not want to let go of. Perhaps it was a fear of not being a good parent, or not being able to support one's self financially. Usually it was a combination of many different things, for human beings are complex by nature. For whatever reason, these fears and the emotional messages they carried were being suppressed until the momentum behind them became great enough that they could no longer be ignored, and a massive release of fear, stress and overwhelm manifested - an anxiety attack.
Practicing Reiki is an invaluable tool during this process, as the healing energy lifts these suppressed emotions to the light of our consciousness to be acknowledged, accepted and healed. We are held, comforted, nurtured during the session, and the emotional release that often follows the energetic release of a blockage is made much easier to navigate by the gentle Reiki energy.
4) Reiki provides gentle insight to the cause of our stress and triggers.
When we experience a Reiki healing session, we get to experience a small miracle. Many of us are unaware of the subtle energy that surrounds us and all things, and the way that energy can nourish or slowly destroy us, depending on it's qualities. There are places and people in our lives where we have sensed a deep and inexplicable sense of peace and comfort, like beautiful churches, old growth forests, the mountains or lakes. When we are in these places, surrounded by the beautiful, nurturing and pure energy they exude, we feel alive and reborn. Our cares drop away from us and we remember what and who we are, what we love and appreciate about our lives, and the simple things that fill our hearts with peace and tranquility.
Conversely there are places like crowded Hospital Emergency Rooms, office buildings with no fresh air or natural light, or dark, cramped basements that make us feel terrible. There are some people that drain our energy, or things we assume we "have" to do that leave us feeling confused and depleted as they may go against our true nature or cause us to compromise our morals or what we feel is truly right.
When we understand what balance feels like, we become much more adept at identifying imbalance. Armed with this new insight, we can make better, more loving choices about what we will do and who we will surround ourselves with. Situations, people and ways of behaving that no longer serve us can be recognized and steps can be taken to minimize their influence.
The healing received from a reiki treatment is not only limited to the time that you share with your practitioner. The divine energy will continue to work on your subconscious mind and your emotional and physical body for days afterwards, slowly and gently working to help provide clarity and shifts in perspective that can help you regain your peace of mind and personal power. This can help us to see our anxiety and our triggers in a new light, from a place of empowerment as opposed to feeling powerless.
5) Reiki provides the warmth and comfort of being held in a safe, non-sexual space.
Now more than ever, many of us are starving for human touch. In our increasingly tech-centric world, we conduct most of our conversations through text message, and our visits through video calls or skype. Our bodies are more sexualized than perhaps at any other point in history, and there is an epidemic of loneliness.
Feelings of isolation and loneliness only serve to increase the grip that anxiety can have on our minds and lives. If you feel like no one cares, it is incredibly hard to find the emotional strength and support needed to begin unraveling your triggers and the root causes of your emotional issues. Having a safe, non-sexual space to be held and to experience the warmth and compassion of another human being is a powerful healing balm to the spirit.
A Final Note on Anxiety, Acceptance and Peace.
One of the greatest lies we will ever buy is that life is supposed to feel good all of the time.
Sometimes there will be situations in our lives that make us feel uncomfortable or trigger our anxiety that we cannot avoid. If we can accept this, we can begin to understand that happiness is dependent on things going the way we want them to, while peace comes from within and can exist regardless of the external situation.
When we can acknowledge that a situation is not ideal, breathe through it, take necessary and appropriate action to return to a place of balance, and be honest with ourselves about the feelings that situation is causing to stir within us, we can begin to take control of our emotional state, regardless of what life is throwing at us.
Sometimes you will not feel okay. There are real experiences in life that cause painful or unpleasant feelings, and that will never change as long as we are alive. What we do have the power to change is the way we deal with these emotions. Instead of stuffing them inside of ourselves and refusing to acknowledge them until they threaten to break us down, we can look for the lesson. We can try to understand what within ourselves is reacting so strongly to the external situation, and what truth about our own selves and needs this holds for us.
The system of Reiki provides us as practitioners with tools to help ourselves and others to navigate these difficult emotions and shine the light of awareness and compassion onto them in a way that is truly unique and highly effective.
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