There are countless reasons one might want to learn Reiki. Not the least of which involves helping to bring healing, balance and harmony to those who need it. Though many of us hesitate to place ourselves at the top of the list of those in need, the benefits of using Reiki for self-care can’t be overstated.
Before I even finished my first Reiki class, I intuitively knew that I was on a path toward profound transformation. Little did I know that Reiki would permeate all the details of my life, making positive adjustments every day. The following are five reasons self-care using Reiki has improved my life.
1. Mindful awareness. Living in the present moment with a sense of openness, curiosity and willingness to be with what is constitutes mindful awareness. In the days following my Reiki I attunement, everything around me seemed more pronounced. The sky was a brighter hue of blue and the eye-contact with others (including my dog) seemed to imbue genuine, deep soul connections.
Every moment stood on its own as a separate and meaningful experience. Reciting the Reiki precepts every morning as recommended by the founder of Reiki certainly encourages this way of being too. Quite simply, life literally exists as it happens when I live less inside my head and more awake to experience life in the moment.
2. Self-awareness. Being self-aware means having a clear perception of your personality- including your strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. I had always viewed myself as self-aware, especially in contrast to a few notable people from my professional life. In reality, many of my thoughts and behavior patterns had created real barriers to developing and maintaining healthy attitudes toward others, myself, my relationships and work. I even realized that I was trying to live versions of myself that had been created in the minds of other people; instead of loving, accepting and being my authentic self.
Incorporating Reiki into my daily life has helped to cultivate increased awareness of and appreciation for my personality, my emotions and my behaviors- the things that make me myself. Because I am aware of who I truly am, I don’t have to accept someone else’s rendition of me. I have embraced this as a permanent part of my Reiki journey, as it has helped me find greater freedom to be the real me and to make the meaningful changes I want to make in my life.
3. Inner peace and stress management. I have to say that most of my life has been lived in the state opposite of inner peace; my mom began worrying my stress levels would cause a stroke when I was a teenager. My conditioned tendency had been to live in a perpetual state of mind-racing, tense shoulders, clenched jaws and re-running past incidents in my head like my sister’s daily viewing of Sixteen Candles when we were kids. Left to my own devices, I could probably spend almost all of my time dwelling on what someone else did or said, or worse yet, painstakingly reliving something I said and wondering how it was perceived.
One of the first things I learned with my Reiki self-treatments was the calming effects, both cumulatively from daily treatments and from spur-of-the-moment treatment during a stressful experience. The sense of empowerment I get by choosing to live in a way that creates inner peace is immeasurable- I use Reiki to help me remain aware of life and free of the negative mind clutter and emotional turbulence that used to keep me in a state of constant anxious negativity.
4. Healing and balance. One of my favorite things about Reiki is that its benefits extend to the whole person, offering healing at the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. I’ve certainly witnessed some of this in providing Reiki to others. But I’ve also watched my own healing unfold as a result of keeping up my self-treatment regimen. For years, I have suffered from chronic fever blisters- usually when my stress levels were high, during times of significant hormonal shifts, or when I suffered cold or flu. Since I started using Reiki, I have only had a couple very minor and short-lived outbreaks.
That is not to say that I do not get sick; Reiki doesn’t guard us from all illness and we still need to visit our doctor or nurse practitioner for care needs. But, I’ve been sick less because of my self-treatment regimen and also because of the balance and boundaries Reiki has helped me to establish in my life. Whether sore muscles, headaches, or high stress levels, Reiki is a part of my every day. And, of course, I also like to supplement this with the occasional treatment by another practitioner.
5. Better healer. I always had visions of being a hands-on healer growing up, especially when we talked about Jesus’ laying on of hands in church. As time passed, I became less fixated on those images in my mind until I learned about Reiki. Still it wasn’t until after I became attuned to Reiki that I fully realized Reiki isn’t about me as a healer, or about any practitioner as a healer. One of the first lessons learned in a Reiki class is that of the practitioner as channel, that we are not individually the source of Reiki healing. Self-Reiki treatments gave me the space to be alone with and experience profound waves of healing from a source so loving and gentle, its origin could not be human.
Indeed, my self-treatments are where I really honed my feel for energy blocks and movement. And this regimen also allowed me to experiment with adding different techniques into my treatments, like breathing and meditation exercises, different hand positions, or even incorporating crystals into my Reiki sessions. The variation of experiences and the confidence I built through consistent and dedicated practice, I believe, has helped me to grow as a Reiki practitioner more than any other practice.
Reiki has been a transformational force in my life in so many ways, far more ways than I have stated here. I’m so grateful to my Reiki teachers for leading me to this path, where I can walk feeling centered and whole. The growth and healing I have enjoyed by bringing Reiki into all aspects of my life has been amazing.
Photo courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net