Most people can conceive of how a consistent Reiki practice leads to increased peace of mind and spiritual wellbeing, but many still struggle with the idea that Reiki can contribute to physical healing as well. For those of us from strongly scientific backgrounds, it is difficult to comprehend how an energy healing method could exert tangible effects on a person’s physical state. I, too, was skeptical, until I began to research the effects of relaxation techniques on human physiology. As it turns out, these effects can be quite substantial. Although Reiki has been steadily growing in popularity recently as a proported method of achieving natural physical healing, many remain unconvinced of its effects on the body. The following sections will explain a few of the ways in which a consistent Reiki practice could lead to improved physical health.
In general, the tangible health benefits of a Reiki treatment seem to stem directly from its ability to induce a state of deep relaxation in the recipient, and include the following:
It should come as no surprise that increased relaxation resulting from a consistent Reiki practice can lead to improvements in mood, including decreased anxiety, decreased sadness, or increased motivation. Over time, clients may begin to experience increases in energy levels as a result of being more relaxed. As a result they may subsequently start to make better wellness choices, including eating healthier and exercising more. Additionally, some clients may benefit from decreased financial stress due to the ability to manage some minor medical issues without expensive medications. Clients may also perceive an increase in their overall quality of life in many areas, as a direct result of their improved mood.
In general, people who are more relaxed tend to sleep better at night. Healthy sleep hygiene, which includes receiving an appropriate amount of sleep each evening, plays a factor in the maintenance of several bodily systems. For example, during sleep your immune system releases protective proteins called cytokines which help combat infection. Additionally, sleep is a critical time for the regulation of the production of cortisol, the stress hormone that, in inappropriately high or low levels, can lead to chronic inflammation, frequent infections, autoimmune diseases, or allergies. It is also important to note that elevations of evening cortisol levels , occurring in cases of chronic sleep loss, often leads to insulin resistance, which is a risk factor for obesity and diabetes. Collagen production also occurs during sleep and helps to repair and strengthen damaged skin cells. Another important regulatory process that takes place during certain stages of sleep is the release of human growth hormone (HGH) by the pituitary gland, which is thought to contribute to a healthy metabolism and the repair and maintenance of muscle tissue.
Better Pain Control:
The relaxation induced by a Reiki session can assist in controlling pain in a number of ways. First, muscle tension is likely to be reduced, which can decrease the occurrence of painful muscle spasms and physical discomfort. Relaxation also tends to decrease the production of cortisol, which has among its functions the stimulation of inflammation throughout the body, which can lead to pain particularly in the joints. Additionally, it has been shown that lowered stress levels has been linked to a reduction in perceived pain and pain modulation. With regular practice, this could potentially translate into a reduced reliance on pharmacological therapies for chronic pain patients.
Fewer drug interactions and side effects:
A consistent Reiki practice may reduce the need or desire for pharmacological management of minor or less severe (non-life threatening) medical conditions, such as minor pain or low-level anxiety or stress, or even borderline hypertension. This in turn could make a broader range of pharmacological options available for chronic or severe conditions, due to a reduction in potential drug-drug interactions. Having more options available for treatment often assists the client and their doctor in being able to select the most optimal medications for control of their chronic health conditions. Additionally, reliance on fewer medications for relief from minor symptoms has the added benefit of decreasing the likelihood of experiencing unpleasant side effects from any particular medication.
Increased compliance with other medical regimens:
Another potentially beneficial effect of Reiki is an increase in the willpower to stick with and be consistent with a wellness regimen. As one begins to see tangible results in terms of their health, however small, there may be greater motivation to continue along the wellness path. As a result, patients may begin to feel greater satisfaction with the healthcare plan, often as a result of increased personal involvement in the design of the treatment plan. This in turn can create a positive feedback loop. The client feels good about the results from their healthcare treatment plan, so they decide to adhere to it more consistently, which enables the treatment plan to work better, which produces more positive results, and so on.
These are just a few of the potential health benefits that may be associated with a regular Reiki practice. With consistency, the Reiki recipient can learn to develop habits that keep them in this health-sustaining state of relaxation for longer periods of time.
How has Reiki contributed to an improvement in your health, wellbeing, or quality of life? Feel free to share your story in the comments below.