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. 

Schedule a hands-on or distant Reiki session.

©2017 Marianne Streich, Reiki for Living, All Rights Reserved. For re-posting permission, contact Marianne.

 

Marianne is a Puget Sound-based Reiki teacher and practitioner located in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the author of Reiki, A Guide for the Practice of Levels I and II and a former editor, contributor, and columnist for Reiki News Magazine (2004-2010).

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.

 

Sound Reiki: Healing the Healer

As my Reiki practice has deepened and expanded, so has my own healing journey.

I believe that if I am to reach my fullest potential as a healer and be of greater service to those who come to me for healing, I must be deeply committed to healing myself.

Reiki has revealed to me again and again its power to heal and its infinite wisdom in bringing that healing about. The more I recognize its potential for healing others, the more fervently I want to claim greater healing for myself. For much of my life, my desire for healing was a vague and unfocused hope that some force “out there” would wave a magic wand and cure my ills. Reiki helped me to understand the nature of the healing process and my responsibility for it.

As the practice of Reiki began to transform my life, my hope for healing became a deep yearning, and I found the courage to do my part. I learned that for healing to take place I must claim it, accept it, and complete it. The following conditions facilitate the process for me:

  • Three ShipsA deep and sincere desire for and commitment to self-healing.
  • Clear intentions, firmly held.
  • A consistent meditation/prayer practice.
  • Regular Reiki self-treatment.
  • Regular exchange of treatments with other Reiki practitioners.
  • Requesting distant Reiki from other practitioners as needed.
  • A willingness to accept and do my part to complete healing.
  • An awareness that healing may show up in unexpected ways.

I believe that for the Universe to respond to my desire for healing, I must establish clear intentions. I ask for the healing of specific conditions that address physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual issues. In addition, each day as I meditate and give myself Reiki, I ask for “the healing of all that needs to be healed in me.” I don’t always know what needs to be healed, but I am declaring myself willing to accept whatever healing is needed. Reiki, in its infinite wisdom, reveals to me what I need to know so that I can cooperate in the process.

Healing happens incrementally, with each condition or issue surfacing at the perfect moment when I am strong enough to face it, willing to address it, and ready to fully cooperate in the healing. I have found that Reiki never forces healing; it simply waits patiently and gently facilitates healing when I am ready.

Sometimes healing takes place effortlessly. It may be the unconscious release of energy during a Reiki treatment that leaves me feeling unburdened, lighter, freer, and energized, even though I’m not aware of exactly what was released. Sometimes it shows up as wisdom in the remark of a friend, or unexpected support for a goal I’ve set, or synchronistic events that cause the pieces of a situation to click into place. Sometimes it happens through an awakening to a truth. For instance, when I asked to be healed of being judgmental, I came to realize that the energy underneath judgment is anger, and that letting go of anger frees me of my need to be judgmental.

At other times, healing shows up in the form of an event that seems so catastrophic it sucks the breath out of my lungs. At those times, Reiki helps me keep my equilibrium while I work through the circumstances surrounding the event. It allows me to see the opportunity for healing that is being offered. I am then more able to move through visceral reactions as I embrace healing.

Completing a healing may require that I change the thoughts, habits, and activities that create the kind of energy I would be free of. Becoming aware of thoughts of worry, fear, anger, self-doubt, judgment, or regret remind me that I am creating negative energy and draining the positive energy I would apply to bringing about positive outcomes. Awareness reminds me that I have a choice about the thoughts I entertain, the activities I engage in, and where I direct my energy.

Because of Reiki and a commitment to self-healing, I am healthier than I have ever been. I am free of several conditions that had plagued me most of my life. I know who I am, and I am at peace with myself. I find it easier to make peace with others and to live from a place of compassion. I am profoundly grateful for the continually unfolding process of healing through Reiki.

©2008, 2014, Marianne Streich, Reiki for Living. All rights reserved. An earlier version of this article appeared in the Winter 2008 issue of Reiki News Magazine. 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, a Way of Living

At its most simple, Reiki is a technique that quickly induces the relaxation response, a state that promotes healing and well-being. At its most profound, Reiki is a tool for spiritual transformation and a means for accomplishing physical, mental, and emotional healing on the deepest levels.

For me, Reiki is a way of living—living with the goal of being a healing presence in every thought, word, and deed. My efforts begin when my eyes open in the morning. I give myself Reiki before I rise. They continue in the morning quiet with meditation and prayer. I conclude this quiet time by sending distant Reiki to my students, clients, family, friends, others who have made specific requests, and to everything in, on, and of the planet. I ask for the healing of all that is ready to be healed.

Then I ask for the healing of all that needs to be
 healed in me. I ask that I may be a healing presence 
for all with whom I come in contact and for our 
world. I ask for the assistance of Reiki guides 
and healing angels in this, and for their help in specific ways for the things I wish to accomplish 
through the day. I treat myself with Reiki in the evening before falling asleep, and receive regular treatments from other Reiki practitioners.

Tea Garden

A Way of Living

When giving a Reiki treatment, I consciously set aside my own ego, release any judgment I may have about the recipient and all attachment to outcome. I give the best treatment I can, and, as Mrs. Takata said, “Leave the rest to God.” I teach each class with the intention of being a channel for Reiki, of allowing Spirit to “speak me, live me, be me.” I accept each student and respond to each from his or her own unique perspective. I mentor students and other practitioners by sharing information and making connections among them and with resources. I accept without judgment or jealousy the training, perspective, lineage and success of other Reiki practitioners, and gladly learn from others.

With joyful gratitude I accept the news that sending Reiki to someone in a hospital halfway across the country has averted a potentially dangerous surgery, and I cry with the client who, after months of chemotherapy and six months of weekly Reiki treatments, is told that her inoperable tumor is still growing. I take into my hand the badge of a new graduate of the police academy and with a sense of delight and privilege fulfill his request that I Reiki it. As I walk the path around a lake near my home, I send distant Reiki to a person I pass who seems to be in distress.

I put aside the flare of anger and send Reiki to the driver who cuts me off in traffic. I make eye contact and express thanks to the clerk who assists me in a store. I listen with attention, patience, and love to a friend in distress and refrain from responding with advice about what he “should” do, think, or feel. I refuse to participate in the downward spiral of gossip or judgment that sometimes creeps into everyday conversations.

When I’m writing I activate Reiki, asking for guidance in the arrangement of ideas and words that provide a clear expression of the thoughts I’m attempting to convey. I trust the Universe to meet all my needs and to provide all the resources I need. I put my trust in the Universe when I feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of misery in the world, redirecting my focus on what is mine to do—on first healing myself and on sending distant Reiki for the healing of suffering.

I accept with joy each opportunity to be of service, and I say no with love to those things that are not mine to do. I feel gratitude for life in all of its beauty, its joys, its awesome wonder, its opportunities, and yes, its suffering. When I fall short in my intention to be a healing presence, as I do everyday, I refrain from judging myself, but simply take notice and know I can choose differently next time. I give thanks for Reiki.

Note: An earlier version of this article appeared in the Winter 2007 issue of Reiki News Magazine. Of all the articles I have written about Reiki over the years, this has brought the greatest response from readers.

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 other Reiki Masters have called “one of the best Reiki books out there.” See her current class schedule. To make an appointment for a hands-on or distant Reiki session, click here.

 

© 2007, 2014 Marianne Streich, Reiki for Living. All rights reserved. For re-posting permission, contact Marianne.