“The privilege of a lifetime is being who we are.”
Joseph Campbell – mythology professor, orator, and author of
The Power of Myth, The Hero with a Thousand Faces and The Masks of God
The word Reiki derives from the Japanese pronunciation of two Japanese characters: “Rei,” meaning universal or spiritual, and “Ki,” meaning energy or life force. Reiki refers to the energy that animates everything there is, and is harnessed by many different therapeutic practices including the Healing Touch, meditation, yoga, and various martial arts. The Chinese posited the existence of a vital energy, which they called Ch’i. An ancient Indian yogi tradition speaks of Prana, the breath of life, and Kundalini, the divine Shakti energy. Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical practice, refers to these same energies as the astral light. Many esoteric teachings, such as those of Rudolf Steiner, Austrian scientist, philosopher and founder of Waldorf education, as well as those of Native American medicine people describe the human energy fields in great detail. According to all these conceptions, this universal energy is the basic constituent and source of all life. The aim of Reiki therapy is to allow the energy life-force to flow without restriction through our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy fields by eliminating blocks. It is essentially a laying-on of hands healing system. The practitioner’s gentle and light touch replenishes the client’s energy fields, rebalancing their currents and chakras (spinning spheres of energetic activity), and facilitating the release of blocked energy.
The focus of CranioSacral therapy is the craniosacral system, which extends from the bones of the skull, face and mouth down to the sacrum and tailbone area. Its aim is to release any blocks or inertia in this vital environment. The emphasis in CranioSacral therapy is to help resolve the trapped forces that underlie and govern patterns of disease, injury and fragmentation of body, mind and spirit. Through subtle palpatory skills, the practitioner reads the story of the body, identifying the sites where physical, emotional, mental or spiritual issues are held. When injuries, stressors or traumas are overwhelming, they become locked in the body as sites of inertia. These sites of inertia affect the natural rhythmical movements of the dural membranes and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding and protecting the brain and the spinal cord as well as the slow oscillation of all the tissues of the body. The inherent fluctuation of the fluids in the dural environment creates a tide – an ebbing and flowing motion. This tidal rhythm – the Breath of Life – expresses and distributes the life force throughout our body. The intention of the treatment is to facilitate the expression of the Breath of Life and so enhance the body’s own self-healing and self-regulating capabilities. The practitioner assists the body to resolve patterns of disorder and injury thereby encouraging a revitalization of the tissues. Although most Western countries did not recognize cranial motion until relatively recently, this possibility was not new in other cultures. Various Asian systems of medicine such as acupuncture and Ayurveda have long appreciated the subtle movements caused by the flow of vital force or life energy throughout the body. This has also been traditionally taught in Russian physiology, in Italy as early as the 1900’s, in ancient Egyptian culture, in Peru and in India, cranial manipulation has been practiced for centuries.
In the West, the presence of these subtle rhythms in the body was acknowledged by osteopath Dr. William Sutherland one hundred years ago. Contrary to beliefs popular at the time, Dr. Sutherland realized that the cranial sutures were, in fact, designed to express small degrees of motion. He undertook many years of research and eventually concluded the motion is produced by the body’s inherent life force, the Breath of Life. In 1953 Sutherland established the Sutherland Cranial Teaching Foundation as a way of providing continuity for his teaching. From 1975 to 1983, osteopathic physician John E. Upledger and neurophysiologist and histologist Ernest W. Retzlaff worked at Michigan State University as clinical researchers and professors. Upledger developed his own treatment style and generated the term CranioSacral therapy; he founded the Upledger institute in 1987.
Who Can Benefit?
Our culture habitually denies the insidious and pervasiveness of sex-related issues. I first learned in my medical practice that abuse against women is epidemic, whether subtle or overt. I saw how abuse sets the stage for illness in our female bodies.
Christiane Northrup – M.D. and author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing
Physical Disease and Illness:
Reiki therapy treats physical dis-ease and chronic illnesses of all kinds, including headaches, migraines, chronic fatigue, endometriosis, thyroid conditions, chronic yeast infections, ovarian cysts, eczema, digestive disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and cancer, as well as those arising from accident or surgery. In particular, those whose health problems have not responded well to traditional Western medical treatment may find engaging in Reiki especially fruitful. Listening to the voice that speaks of the physical diseases source trauma opens the possibility of transformation in our emotional, mental and spiritual energy fields, such that the life force can flow without restriction, bringing healing at all levels.
Emotional and Psychological Strain and Distress:
Reiki treats depression, anxiety, insomnia, chronic fatigue and other stress-related illnesses including those arising from sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, childhood traumas, physical and emotional injuries, social and cultural programming, limiting belief systems, systemic discrimination, colonization, misinformation and indoctrination.
Because our mental energy field sometimes cuts off from painful experiences (often referred to as “dissociation” in other literature), the other energy fields warehouse the traumatic narrative until we are strong enough and have the resources to deal with it. In other words, our physical, emotional, and spiritual fields can release memories our minds have forgotten. Unfortunately, all energy fields, currents and chakras are affected when we store negative experiences. Reiki practitioners bring a healing energy charge to our bodies to remove these blocks and thereby facilitate the release and integration of forgotten memories and traumas. The energy fields enter into alignment and an optimal energy pulse and flow is reinstated.
Spiritual Malaises and Creative Blocks:
Reiki treats spiritual malaises, including creative blocks, depression, religious indoctrination, disconnection from core self and disconnection from others. Trauma can lay waste to our sense of life having meaning and can decimate our ability to listen to ourselves. By leading us home to our core selves, Reiki energy may allow us to experience peace, trust and openness to delight once more.
“If you think of the universe as a vast electrical sea in which you are immersed and from which you are formed, opening your creativity changes you from something bobbing in that sea to a more fully functioning, more conscious, more cooperative part of that ecosystem.”
Julia Cameron – author of The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity