REIKI: Healing Energy

Suzette Standring
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When Christine McDonald of Falmouth performs Reiki, a hands-on energy treatment, her entire being feels flooded with heat. “There have been times when I’ve gotten so hot I’ve had to break the connection with the client. I felt like I was going to melt.”

Reiki is a healing discipline of ancient Japanese origin, and often clients sense warmth, wellbeing, and balance. Years ago, in San Francisco, I hurt my knee in a bicycling accident, and Reiki reduced the pain and sped up the healing process.

The Reiki practitioner does not direct the energy. Rather, the receiver draws energy from the practitioner’s hands, which are placed on the body at certain points, or held above the body. For some, it’s hard to grasp a therapy that promotes healing by neither massage nor body manipulation. Often the spiritual intention behind Reiki causes skepticism.

Yet today Reiki is mainstream because it promotes relaxation, mental calm, and the quieting of a racing mind. Most hospitals – South Shore Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess, Dana Farber Cancer Institute – feature Reiki as part of their Integrative Medical Therapies. For example, Dr. Mehmet Oz has worked with Julie Motz, a Reiki trained healer, to balance patient energy during cardiothoracic surgeries at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. Motz reports that none of the eleven surgery and heart transplant patients experienced post-operative depression or organ rejection. Lisa Oz, Dr. Oz’s wife, is a Reiki master, meaning she has completed three levels of energy training allowing her to teach and to practice.

Human touch is powerful. During troubled times, it is instinctive to take one’s hand, to hug, or to hold another close. The intention of caring brings comfort.

Using the power of touch, Reiki harnesses universal energy to increase the life force within an individual. Sometimes the problem is physical, like a broken shoulder, or it can be emotional, like grief or fear. Reiki soothes a person’s physical, mental, psychological, spiritual, and emotional dimensions. Self-healing is accelerated by a relaxed mind and body. However, the spiritual discipline is not religion-based.

“If you take the spiritual part out of it, it’s universal energy. It permeates everything and works without us. Tapping into it is for your wellbeing,” said McDonald, a Reiki master who is a holistic coach and professional writer (

Anyone can learn Reiki and practice treatments on themselves and others. As a Reiki workshop teacher at companies and community centers, McDonald encourages self-empowerment.

I myself went that route years ago. After successful treatments, I studied Reiki, and now it’s gratifying when my daughter or granddaughters say, “I’m not feeling good. Can you do Reiki on me?” In 20 minutes, a headache vanishes, or a tummy ache is gone, or a worry or fear comes pouring out, and all is better.

Being a Reiki channel is like being a pipe that shares universal energy with the receiver. Keeping the pipe clear of ego or scrambled energy creates a strong conduit. McDonald said it best, “The divine message is, ‘It ain’t about me.’ I just get out of the way and let it happen.”

The Patriot Ledger (MA) , 3/21/2015