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All About Reiki Part 1: My Reiki Journey

by Sarah Fuller, Lic.Ac., M.Ac.

My first experience with Reiki was nothing short of life changing. At the time, I was working two jobs, both with Alzheimer’s patients--one as a caregiver, and one at a daycare center. It was incredibly stressful. I worked long nights that were physically and mentally exhausting. I was traveling back and forth between the South Shore and Western Mass on a regular basis. On top of that, I was getting ready to start acupuncture school. I was at a breaking point. Tired all the time, always worrying about work, crying at the drop of a hat because I just didn’t have the energy to hold back the tears. Something had to change. 

My aunt had suggested that I go for a Reiki session, after she had an amazing experience with it herself. My curiosity pulled me to make an appointment; I had heard of Reiki before, but didn’t know much about it. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I went in with an open mind, hopeful to get some relief from the emotional mess I was buried under. 

So there I was, lying on a massage table in a dimly lit room, relaxing music playing in the background. Before I could get my brain caught up in internal dialogue about what was going to happen, I felt warm hands on my forehead, and I drifted away. I don’t think I ever completely fell asleep during that session, but my body was more rested than if I had a full night’s sleep. Time and space seemed to disappear. Feeling safe and comforted, I was floating somewhere in the abyss of the Universe. After what seemed like an eternity (in a good way!), I was gently awoken, the session was over. It took me a moment to re-orient myself to reality after this not-quite-nap that was so deeply relaxing. 

I couldn’t believe how wonderful I felt. Light, happy, unburdened. My mind was clear, and free of worry. The weight I was carrying around had melted away. But as good as I felt, I knew that it wouldn’t last forever. In a few days I would be back to work, and the stress would come back with it...or so I thought. 

Going back to work was much different than I had envisioned it would be. Yes, I was feeling light and less stressed from the Reiki, but the perception of myself and the role I played at work had changed. From then on, it was much easier to do the things I had found to be so difficult before. I could more easily make the transition from one job to another, and from work to home. I no longer carried that baggage around with me everywhere I went. This one session had such a great impact on my life, that shortly afterwards I took the course to become a Level I Reiki Practitioner. The rest is history...

Put simply, Reiki is one modality of healing that works on the levels of body, mind, and spirit. It is an unseen, unmeasurable, healing force of the Universe. It is pure and powerful and its energy is all around us, all the time. As a Reiki practitioner I channel this energy so that it may be used wherever it is needed, for the highest and greatest good of whoever (or whatever) I am working on.

Here is a “run of the mill” list of some of Reiki’s benefits:

  • Reduction of stress and depression
  • Overall increased sense of well-being
  • Increased energy
  • Pain reduction
  • Increased immune function
  • Better quality sleep
  • Accelerated recovery of injury and illness
  • Assistance in breaking addictions and chronic, negative thinking patterns

I use Reiki all the time. I incorporate it into all of my acupuncture treatments. I practice on myself, on friends and family, on my pets, my plants, even my car! I used Reiki for support during my acupuncture board exams, to help my sister through a job interview she was nervous about, and to ease the transition of loved ones when they were dying.

I personally use Reiki every day:

  • To calm my nerves when I am feeling frustrated or angry
  • As a “pick-me-up” in the middle of the day when I feel like I need to take a nap
  • To help alleviate menstrual cramps and headaches
  • To stay clear, organized, and focused when I feel scattered, or have a “to-do” list that feels like it’s a mile long 

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”  I think this quote from Albert Einstein is a perfect example of what Reiki offers in any given situation. When we suffer, whether it is physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual, we often put a lot of focus on that suffering (whether we are aware of it or not). When our focus is on suffering we are not able to find (or create) a solution, and our body is not able to heal. Reiki allows the body to move into a state of complete and total relaxation, to make SPACE for healing to occur.

This space often shows itself as a shift in perspective. Whenever I find myself in a place of [enter negative emotion here], Reiki helps give me what I think of as a bird’s eye view of the situation; I am able to see the bigger picture of all that is going on. The emotion that I am wrapped up in loses its power over me and is replaced by peace and clarity. This may not seem like a big deal, but a shift in perspective during a time of stress, however big or small, can be life-changing. 

All of this can be boiled down to one word: CONNECTION. Reiki offers a connection to both ourselves and something that is greater than ourselves (God, Spirit, Creator, the Universe, or any other word that resonates with you). The words don’t matter, the result is always the same--gaining access to the clarity, trust, comfort, and wisdom that we have within us, but is not always available due to clouded emotions, ingrained thought patterns, trauma, or a number of other things. When we are connected to ourselves in this way, we are able to heal.

Over the years, Reiki has become a part of who I am. I use it all the time, wherever I am, for whatever is needed. It has taught me the most important thing about life is that we create the reality we live in. The external facts or circumstances may not be able to change, but by shifting our perception of any given situation, we can make every moment of our lives one of happiness, growth, and opportunity.