Reiki Can Melt Away Stress


Are you stressed out, under pressure, wiped out? Often, people look for a way to relax, to ease the tensions of modern life and to recoup. Creating a stress-free zone in your life is more important than ever.

The medical community has recognized a link between stress and a person’s well being. Stress can be a factor in high blood pressure, muscle pain, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, reproductive disorders, skin problems and impaired immune function. In light of this, relaxation becomes not a luxury, but a necessary part of a personal wellness program.

Reiki is a natural healing method from Japan. The word “reiki” is actually made up of two Japanese words: rei- “the universal consciousness” and ki- “vital life force energy. Together, it means “spiritually guided life force energy.” During a reiki session, the practitioner acts as a bridge between the client and this universal source of life energy by quieting the mind and being open to this energy. It is then drawn by the client, through the practitioner and out his hands. One can imagine it as a stream of pure water pouring into a glass of muddy water. The clear water displaces the muddy water, eliminating impurities until the glass is full of clear water.

Though the mechanism through which reiki works has not been determined by Western science, the effects are tangible and can be measured. Research shows a decrease in a recipient’s systolic blood pressure, heart rate, stress hormones and muscle tension during and after a reiki session. This results in a lasting reduction of anxiety and an increase in relaxation and immune response.

We’ve all been to meetings where the tension is so high in the room you can feel it. Many people find it difficult to leave such an energetic encounter behind. It can alter the way we feel and how we perceive the world for the rest of the day. Such energy may dissipate over time, or people assimilate it into their energy field and hold it for a much longer time. This results in an “energetic block,” a heightened state of stress you carry with you. Reiki releases this block to help bring you back to your natural relaxed state.

For example, a recent client was going through a stressful time in her life. She was having trouble sleeping and her health was beginning to suffer. After the first 10 minutes of reiki, she fell into a deeply relaxed state, drifting in that space between sleep and wakefulness for the rest of the session. After it was over, she looked at me with a peaceful smile and said it felt as though she were suspended in warmth and light and as safe as being in her mother’s womb. She let go of a lot of baggage she was carrying around, providing her a sense of what was important in her life and what was not. Later I learned with her new perspective on life, she was able to sleep soundly for the first time in months.

What to expect

A typical complete reiki session with a professional practitioner lasts up to an hour, but its effects can last for days or weeks. Unlike massage and other body work, a reiki session is done while the recipient is fully clothed. The only thing a recipient needs to do is to rest and be open to the energy.

For those who want to practice reiki on themselves or on members of their family, a basic first-degree reiki class is all that’s needed to begin relieving stress on their own. Some make it a part of their routine by starting or ending their day with self-reiki. Others take a short 10-minute reiki break in the middle of a stressful day to bring some needed short-term relief.

After a hard day, it can be a wonderful gift to have someone at home place their hands on your tight shoulders and give you a little reiki. It helps bring a scattered life back into focus in a most calming and relaxing way for both of you.

Imagine yourself surrounded by warmth, light and compassion. That’s what a good reiki session feels like. Other than a long vacation in your favorite spot, I can think of no better way to relieve stress. Æ

Scott R. Way is a professional reiki master-teacher and reflexologist in Poughkeepsie. Comments are welcomed at 845-235-9329 or go to

‘Gassho’ method calms, clarifies

A basic technique reiki practitioners use is “gass-ho” — Japanese for “hands coming together.” Though it is not actually reiki, it is a meditation technique practitioners use to quiet their mind and focus their attention on their hands. Even those who have not tried meditation before can easily use it. Here’s how: Sit in a quiet place. Bring your hands together in a prayerful position in front of your heart.

Take a few long, slow deep breaths and exhale with the intention of releasing all tension and anxiety.

Now, focus your attention on your hands. Sense their temperature, texture the sensation of one hand softly pressing against the other. As you are doing this, if any other thoughts cross your mind simply acknowledge them, brush them away, and refocus your attention upon your hands.

After a minute or so, bring your focus to only your fingertips. Can you sense one fingerprint touching another? What do your fingertips feel? What sensations are you aware of? Now, focus all your attention on the place where one pair of fingertips meet.

Keep your mind focused upon this one point in space and time. Maintain this focus for up to 10 minutes.

Slowly bring your attention back to the room, take a deep breath, exhale and open your eyes.

At the end of this meditation, you should feel much more centered and in tune with yourself.

— Scott Way


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