I’ve been asked a number of times how can Reiki help with grief. That’s a great question. I had been studying and receiving Reiki long before the deaths of my loved ones. So when they died, one of the first things I did each time was to call my Reiki Teacher and Mentor for a session. Anyone who knows me has heard me say that Reiki helped me get through the grief associated with both of their deaths. Here is my take on why.
WHAT IS REIKI?
As a quick refresher, Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. Reiki is given by the “laying of hands” that has been practised for thousands of years. In fact, the basis for modern-day Reiki may have started in Tibet more than 2,500 years ago. The word Reiki comes from two Japanese words – Rei and Ki. The word “Rei” means higher knowledge or spiritual consciousness. The word “Ki” means life energy. This is the same meaning as in Chi (Chinese), Prana (Sanskrit) and Ti/Ki (Hawaiian). Life energy plays an important role in everything we do. Reiki harnesses that life energy to promote healing, relaxation and a sense of calm.
RESPONSES TO GRIEF
In researching Reiki back in 2007, everything I read said Reiki focused on “health and spiritual well-being” and promoted “stress reduction and relaxation”. Maintaining “health and spiritual well-being” when you are grieving can be a top priority. Once grief hits everything seems to go out of whack. Our minds can’t compute fast enough anymore. We feel like we are in a fog. Our bodies also go through a difficult time. Sometimes we feel completely disassociated from them. Just like our hearts, they too may begin to feel broken and battered. I am sure if you have ever grieved, you may have experienced symptoms like:
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Feelings of heaviness
- Rollercoaster of emotions
- Aches, pains, and other stress-related ailments.
Since the above list shows that grief affects us physically, it’s important to understand what is happening and why. A body needs the energy to be healthy. Energy from food, energy from exercise and energy from being outside in nature. Grief, however, is an energy-depleting emotion. If you aren’t replacing and/or balancing the energy your body loses when grieving, you begin to feel awful. If you don’t do anything to replenish the energy being removed from your body, over time you feel worse and worse. For example, after the death of my former finance, my heart physically ached inside my body. It felt like it was going to explode out of my chest. It felt like I was having a heart attack. Maybe in some way – figuratively not literally – I was. My stomach felt like I had swallowed a block of concrete. I had zip, nada, no energy. A person’s body, mind and soul can only take this for so long before any number of unhealthy things start to happen. It’s not unusual to get sick when you are grieving. It’s not unusual to have some sort of accident when you are grieving. These two outcomes can almost have worse consequences than if we just emotionally felt our grief from the beginning.
BENEFITS OF REIKI
As humans, we are made up of energy. When the energy paths of the body are blocked or disturbed, the result can be illness, weakness, and pain. Reiki balances and strengthens the flow of energy within the body, which may decrease pain, ease muscle tension, improve sleep, and generally enhance the body’s ability to heal itself. Energy flows through a Reiki practitioner’s hands to the recipient. Reiki activates or enhances a person’s natural healing processes. Reiki provides us with physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits by balancing our energy. Some of the benefits of Reiki include:
- Promotes relaxation
- Improves sleep
- Reduces stress and tension
- Helps with pain management
- Reduces anxiety
- Soothes digestion
- Improves circulation
- Enhances healing
It’s not a coincidence that the symptoms associated with grieving and the benefits of Reiki almost match each other one-for-one. Reiki energy knows right where to go to balance and heal. The more I started receiving Reiki (and eventually once I learned how to practice Reiki on myself) the more I realized that I was actually taking better care of my body. As soon as I started Reiki after my loved ones died, my heart stopped feeling like it was going to explode. The brick in my stomach eventually went away. Being physically balanced and more relaxed helped me to find a sense of calm even though I was grieving. It helped me to think more clearly. It helped to sleep better so I wasn’t walking around the house and work like a zombie. Reiki didn’t magically take the sadness associated with my grief away, but it did make it physically easier for me to deal with grief’s ups and downs. Having a sense of calm and balance gave me the courage and stamina I needed to tackle my journey through grief.
So consider trying Reiki. Don’t wait until you are grieving to receive its benefits. If you haven’t tried it and are grieving, find a Reiki Practitioner in your area. Reiki will help you to stay well both physically and spiritually which is something we especially need after suffering any loss.