I wanted to share a story with you about an experience I had when my daughter was very young, maybe 3 or 4. But, it starts with me and my studies in non-western healing methods. I had recently received my certification in massage and one of my instructors recommended that I consider becoming a Reiki practitioner. That was before you could instantly look up anything on the internet and be flooded with useful – and not so useful – information. So I had to look around, speak to a number of people, and attend a few Reiki healing circles to get a sense of what it was and whether I was interested.
I decided it would be a good tool to add to my healing toolbox and I took both the first and second degree training over the course of about two months. I was both fascinated and skeptical about my experience and then the experience of my clients. Did it really make a difference? Was it just a placebo effect? Did it matter if people walked away feeling better? How could I tell?
We live in a culture that relies heavily on material proof rather than intuitive understanding; Reiki and other energy medicine practices are a lot to take on trust and too often scoffed at. While I don’t know for what energy medicine is, I do know that I have seen its effects on myself and on others. I have seen and experienced physical, emotional, and mental changes — some are momentary, some longer lasting, and some have been permanent – improving the lives of those who experience it.
I also know that medical science is not necessarily any more effective, on certain issues, than energy medicine. It is another (and important) set of knowledge and skills that changes as our technology changes. Before we could see bacteria through microscopes we would have been laughed out of the room to say that illness was caused by tiny invisible creatures living inside of us. And, I also know that science takes a long, long time to shift to a new belief. For example, are you aware that it took 10 years and many, many reproducible studies to shift medical understanding away from ulcers being caused by stress and toward being caused by … yes … bacteria.
So now, the story of how I became more certain about Reiki being effective and ‘real’. After receiving my certification and practicing for a while, I joined a team of practitioners who would respond to a healing request, all you needed to do was make a phone call and then the rest of the phone tree went into effect. Reiki level 1 is hands-on healing. Reiki level 2 includes distance healing – meaning that if you are in Montana and your practitioner is in New Zealand, you can still receive that Reiki treatment.
I was sitting in my rocking chair in my living room, it was early in the evening and I was listening to my daughter struggle, once again, to breath through an asthma attack. She was asleep, and coughing> I had already used the protocol of medicines that were available to me, as her parent. Usually her breathing would have eased by then, this time the medicines weren’t working. I needed to step away for a few moments and gather myself to decide whether to take her to the emergency room, again.
I decided that before waking her and bundling her into the car, I would try the healing request team> I made the phone call asking for Reiki to be sent to her by anyone who was available. Within 20 minutes she had stopped coughing entirely. She slept peacefully and easily through the night.
I cannot begin to explain to you what a blessing that was. When she was older, she joined a class of Reiki for Kids and became a level 1 practitioner herself. For a few years she would help her classmates who tumbled on the playground or became upset in the classroom.
I believe it’s important to approach energy medicine – and western medicine – with healthy doses of curiosity and skepticism. To be open to seeing what does work and what doesn’t work. To remember that what might be effective today may not be effective later on – and vice versa.
I’m grateful for my skills in energy medicine and for the relief and growth that I can offer my clients. I am also always ready to refer them on to someone who can be of more help than I can in the moment. I am also grateful for western medical technology – their skills and treatments have kept me and my loved ones alive and have given relief to those who were passing.
We always have more to learn – and as we open to knowledge, both old and now, the ripples flow out into possibility.