Sound Reiki: Notice Regarding “evidence-based” Reiki book

Some of my students and Reiki colleagues have asked about my involvement with the publication of an “evidence-based” history of Reiki, which includes reprints of articles I have written for Reiki News Magazine. I would like it known that I am not involved in any way with this book. My first knowledge of it was the mass email that went out recently. I do not endorse its contents, beyond my own words, and will not receive compensation in any form from its sale.

Articles I have written about the history of Reiki can be downloaded free here.

©2015, Marianne Streich, Reiki for Living. All rights reserved. Contact Marianne for re-posting permission.

Marianne is a Puget Sound-based Reiki teacher and practitioner. She is a former editor, contributor, and columnist for Reiki News Magazine (2004-2010) and the author of Reiki, A Guide for the Practice of Levels I and II, which has been called “one of the best Reiki books out there” by other Reiki Masters. See her current class schedule. To make an appointment for a hands-on or distant Reiki session, click here.

Sound Reiki: Choosing Compassion Helps to Keep Your Energy Clean

As a green Level I practitioner, I gave a treatment to a friend’s mother who was in a great deal of pain following hip replacement surgery. My own mother was in my mind as I began the treatment. I felt regret that I had not been able to alleviate her pain during her lifetime. A deep desire to take away the client’s pain filled me as I gently placed my hands on her hip.

A few moments later, a wave of nausea swept through my body. I stepped away from the treatment table, thinking the room was too warm and intending to turn down the heat. Instead, I fainted, crashing into a bookcase on my way to the floor. You can imagine the consternation of the client. For the next three hours, I sat in a reclining chair feeling almost comatose, as if I could not move. I continued to feel tired for a week afterwards. My friend’s mother felt great the day after the treatment—I had indeed taken away her pain!

Wallace FallsWhile this is an extreme case, unlikely to happen in the routine practice of Reiki, it illustrates a degree of identification with the client that made me vulnerable to taking on her energy. I learned several valuable lessons from this experience, one of which was the importance of coming to a treatment from a place of compassion, as opposed to empathizing or identifying with the client.

Empathy may be defined as “the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.” Experiencing the pain of another is different than having compassion for the pain of another.

If we find ourselves empathizing to the degree of experiencing or taking on the client’s (or anyone’s) pain or discomfort, it is wise to examine what may be underneath the empathy. Reflecting on the situation described above, I realized that I identified the client with my mother. I felt grief over the loss of my mother and guilt that I couldn’t “fix” things for her. I was attached to the outcome of removing the client’s pain. As a new, less than confident practitioner, I also had a need to prove that Reiki works.

Many factors can influence empathy or taking on the feelings of another: guilt for feeling well ourselves when another is ill; feeling responsible for the well being of the client; a belief that we know what is best for the client and what healing should take place for him/her. Empathy can also enmesh us in the client’s drama, making us more vulnerable to their energy. Awareness of the feelings, beliefs, and attitudes that may connect us to the client can assist in setting aside these factors prior to a treatment, reducing the probability of our taking on the client’s pain or other forms of their energy. Awareness can also serve as a reminder that we may need to make a renewed commitment to our own healing. (See the post, “Healing the Healer.”)

It should be noted that taking on someone else’s pain is different than feeling a client’s pain in a corresponding place in your own body as a message of how to proceed during a treatment. This kind of pain dissipates as the treatment progresses and does not remain in the body after the treatment. Taking on a client’s pain means that the pain remains in your body after the treatment, sometimes for several days to a week, and leaves you feeling tired and depleted.

Compassion, on the other hand, can be defined as being “moved by the suffering or distress of another and to have a desire to relieve it.” (But not identifying with, or projecting oneself into the other’s suffering.) Within the context of Reiki, I interpret compassion as holding the space of unconditional love for the client (or any person or situation) so that healing may take place.

Compassion is the willingness and the intention to BE the Light of Divine Love—to come from that place within that is our very essence and that is the most powerful healing force in the universe. At the same time, we also know that the client IS the Light of Divine Love, and we perceive them as Light. There is no ego involvement, no pity or condescension or judgment. Compassion does not “feel” the client’s pain or take it on, but simply acts as a bridge between the client and the Higher Power. It is Light interacting with Light in a beautiful dance to accomplish healing.

As I begin each treatment with gassho and reiji-ho, my intention is to choose compassion and to remain in that space throughout the treatment so that I might facilitate the highest possible outcome for the client. Such a treatment leaves me feeling relaxed, energized, and at peace.

©copyright 2009, 2014 Marianne Streich, Reiki for Living. All rights reserved. For re-posting permission, contact Marianne. An earlier version of this article, “Choosing Compassion,” appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Reiki News Magazine.

See Chapter 8, “Keeping Your Energy Clean” (pages 91-104), in my book, Reiki, A Guide for the Practice of Levels I & II

Marianne is a Puget Sound-based Reiki teacher and practitioner. She is a former editor, contributor, and columnist for Reiki News Magazine (2004-2010) and the author of Reiki, A Guide for the Practice of Levels I and II, which has been called “one of the best Reiki books out there” by other Reiki Masters. See her current class schedule. To make an appointment for a hands-on or distant Reiki session, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Sound Reiki: Why I Teach Levels I and II Together

My Level I and II classes cover important material that is not typically taught in I and II and often not taught at all.

Potential students sometimes ask why I teach Reiki I and II together. The answer is that I believe it is important to have the information in both before you begin treating others, and I believe it is important to begin treating others as soon after the class as possible. Otherwise much of the information you have learned goes cold. Some Reiki lineages teach that you should have level I and practice on yourself and friends/family before moving to level II. In my view, treating friends and family requires as much skill as treating a client for a fee. At times, it requires more skill, because it is more difficult to detach from the outcome with friends and family, which is essential if you are to be effective and prevent taking on another’s energy.

Hayashi and Takata (two of the founders of Reiki) both taught Levels I and II back-to-back at times. Hayashi taught the classes separately in Tokyo, but when he traveled throughout Japan to teach, he taught them back-to-back. Takata also taught them both ways. (It is documented that she taught all three levels—I, II, and Master—in one weekend on at least one occasion. This I definitely don’t recommend!)

My Level I and II classes cover much material that is not typically taught in I and II and often not taught at all. This includes material that I have learned from study with four Reiki Masters, research I have done myself about Reiki, information I have learned from editing Reiki News Magazine for six years, and material I have developed from my own experience of giving hundreds of hands-on sessions over 14 years.

The class is a rich experience. And it is intensive. Students come away with much valuable information (and a very good text with step-by-step illustrations and explanations) and have an opportunity to solidify what they’ve learned in a four-hour followup session that is included in the class fee. I also support and mentor students following the class.

©2014, Marianne Streich, Reiki for Living. All rights reserved. Contact Marianne for re-posting permission.

Marianne is a Puget Sound-based Reiki teacher and practitioner. She is a former editor, contributor, and columnist for Reiki News Magazine (2004-2010) and the author of Reiki, A Guide for the Practice of Levels I and II, which has been called “one of the best Reiki books out there” by other Reiki Masters. See her current class schedule. To make an appointment for a hands-on or distant Reiki session, click here.

Sound Reiki: Reiki Needed for Baby Boomers

Emotional distress within the baby boomer generation is reflected in a sharp rise of the suicide rate among this age group.

US deaths from suicide are now higher than deaths from automobile accidents, according to statistics released by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reported on in The New York Times (May 2, 2013). A surprisingly sharp rise occurred among the baby-boomer generation. Suicide in this age group (35-64) rose 30%, with rates among men far higher than among women and men in their 50’s at most risk.

A supportive community enhances emotional well-being.

Adults need community and caring touch for optimum emotional health.

The causes are complex and varied; however, we know that just as infants must have caring touch to thrive, adults also need caring touch for optimum emotional health. Touch can be limited for older adults who experience social isolation, have lost a spouse, face limiting health conditions, or live in nursing homes.

It goes without saying that Reiki is not a substitute for medical treatment for serious emotional illness; however, as Reiki practitioners, we witness daily that treatment raises the spirits and confers a greater sense of peace and well-being on our clients. We render a valuable service by reaching out to those who may be especially vulnerable to emotional distress.

Read the New York Times article.

©2013, 2014, Marianne Streich, Reiki for Living. All rights reserved. An earlier version of this article appeared in the May 2013 issue of The Reiki for Living News. Contact Marianne for re-posting permission.

Marianne is a Puget Sound-based Reiki teacher and practitioner. She is a former editor, contributor, and columnist for Reiki News Magazine (2004-2010) and the author of Reiki, A Guide for the Practice of Levels I and II, which has been called “one of the best Reiki books out there” by other Reiki Masters. See her current class schedule. To make an appointment for a hands-on or distant Reiki session, click here.

Sound Reiki: Healing Reactions Aid the Healing Process

The Reiki healing process takes many forms.

In addition to physical healing, the healing process may bring about realizations that can be deeply emotional for the client. It may awaken the client to the need for life-style changes. It may cause the client to embrace values long suppressed. It may result in significant changes in all areas of life as the client progresses on his or her healing journey.

Whatever its path, the healing process may be presaged by an event variously called, a Healing Reaction, Healing Catharsis, or a Healing Crisis. A Healing Reaction (the term I prefer) is the occurrence of physical symptoms following a Reiki treatment or attunement. Reactions can manifest as headache, nausea, cold or flu-like symptoms, gastrointestinal upset, mental or emotional upset, or a temporary intensification of the symptoms of a chronic condition or illness. A Healing Reaction indicates that the body is detoxifying in preparation for healing.

Symptoms are more likely to manifest if the client (or student):

  • DogwoodCanyon1has not received healing treatments previously.
  • suffers from a chronic condition, or a condition that has existed for more than three weeks.
  • experiences a chronic high level of stress.
  • suffers from post-traumatic stress.

Generally, healing reactions do not last more than a few days but can continue for a week or longer.

My personal experience with Healing Reactions
I experienced a weeklong reaction following my Master attunement. It manifested as extreme fatigue, feeling scattered mentally, and tumultuous emotions. The resulting healing was so profound that a friend remarked I was a “different person” after the Master training. I had gained confidence in my practice of Reiki, and I felt a calm certainty about my purpose and my path as a healer. A similar reaction occurred following my Karuna Reiki® training, bringing about an even deeper healing.

What Mrs. Takata said about Healing Reactions
Takata expected Healing Reactions and welcomed them. She herself experienced severe gastrointestinal upset during her initial weeks of treatment at Dr. Hayashi’s clinic.

Reactions were probably more frequent in Takata’s clients because fewer people had experienced energy work in her time and because she worked with many seriously ill clients. She remarked of one client that he was so ill she had had to give him three treatments before a healing reaction ensued. In one instance she treated a person incapacitated by untreatable epileptic seizures. The seizures became more frequent and more severe for a time after Reiki treatments began; however, Takata reported that the client was ultimately cured after months of receiving Reiki treatments at frequent intervals.*

What I tell clients about Healing Reactions:
Healing reactions occur infrequently in my practice of Reiki; however, I always make clients aware of the possibility. I include the following statement in a self-care handout I provide clients following their initial treatment:

Note: After a Reiki treatment you may experience symptoms such as headache, nausea, fatigue, or emotional upset. This is sometimes called a Healing Reaction and is usually an indication that the body is detoxifying itself in preparation for healing. It is also an indication that more Reiki is needed. Should a reaction occur, drink plenty of water, get lots of rest, and generally be kind to yourself. Such symptoms happen infrequently and typically dissipate within a few days. Please call me if you have questions or concerns.

Within 24 hours of an initial treatment, I followup with a call or email to the client. This gives the client an opportunity to express concerns and me the opportunity to address them.

*Reiki is not a substitute for medical or psychological treatment.

© 2007, 2014 Marianne Streich, Reiki for Living. All rights reserved. An earlier version of this article, “Healing Reactions” appeared in the Fall 2007 issue of Reiki News Magazine. For re-posting permission, contact Marianne.

Marianne is a Puget Sound-based Reiki teacher and practitioner. She is a former editor, contributor, and columnist for Reiki News Magazine (2004-2010) and the author of Reiki, A Guide for the Practice of Levels I and II, which has been called “one of the best Reiki books out there” by other Reiki Masters. See her current class schedule. To make an appointment for a hands-on or distant Reiki session, click here.