Friday, 7 February 2020

The Joy of Working as a Reiki Practitioner

This month it is 31 years since I learned Reiki and I have been thinking about how wonderful it is to be able to work as a Reiki practitioner.  Compared to many other jobs it has a lot of advantages!

Flexibility – as my own boss I can choose when and how much to work.  Although I am committed to seeing clients regularly, I find I am able to balance their needs with my own so that I can care for my own health too.  As a diabetic not on medication, it is important for me to be able to eat at specific times.  Being my own boss gives me the flexibility to make this possible.  Having heard how some NHS staff are expected to work without even proper breaks for meals I am very grateful to have this ability to Kate Jones giving a Reiki treatmentchoose my own timetable.

Necessity to receive Reiki treatments – I love receiving Reiki treatment, so it feels like a real benefit that those who are giving treatments to others regularly are expected to receive Reiki treatments.  I give myself Reiki treatment most days (an enjoyable way to prepare for work!). By self-treating I help to maintain my own health and well-being, so that people who come to me for Reiki meet a calm and happy practitioner who is in the best health possible.  I also find it both enjoyable and beneficial to receive Reiki from someone else on a regular basis to further support my well-being.  When I was less experienced about Reiki this was also a good way to learn more about how it works and what treatment can offer.

Mindfulness practice – I have noticed that giving Reiki treatment is a form of mindfulness.  As I treat, I pay attention to the sensations in my hands and body.  I also watch signs from the person I am treating such as sighs, twitches and facial expressions.  These things help me to maintain my attention in the present moment.  What wonderful work that requires mindfulness practice for an hour at a time!  It isn’t necessarily easy, but I find that reiki energy fosters a meditative mental state in practitioners as well as the person receiving healing.  As a result, I often feel calmer and more centred myself at the end of the treatment as well as having helped the person being treated to achieve deeper relaxation.

In service to others – there is something deeply satisfying about helping another person who is in some sort of distress to feel more peaceful.  The Dalai Lama points out that being in service to others is a way to achieve joy in our own lives.  Giving Reiki treatments is one way we can help to relieve suffering and improve the quality of people’s lives.

Simplicity – attending a webinar aimed at nutritionists recently which included a lot of technical information I felt grateful that I do not have to remember so much detail to give Reiki treatments.  With no diagnosis involved in Reiki, I don’t have to work things out and risk making mistakes.  I find that anything I need to know comes to me intuitively and I am grateful for the grace and ease of this way of working.

There are challenges too of course, such as deciding what to charge, being comfortable giving treatment and knowing how to maintain appropriate boundaries, but I value these as part of the personal and spiritual growth this kind of work offers.

I am grateful to be able to work as a Reiki practitioner and I hope more people will enjoy this way of making a living.

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Wishing you Good Health in 2020

January is often a time when I reflect on the state of my health.  After all the temptations of Christmas I   For many years I would spend the next months trying to get back into balance.  I also assumed that the lack of energy, aches and pains were all signs of ageing and not to do with general poor health.  However receiving a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes made me pay more attention to my health and how I was maintaining it or otherwise through my lifestyle choices.  I am grateful for my Reiki practice which has, I believe, helped me to achieve much better health and to discover that energy levels can improve and pain be a thing of the past, as well as feeling happier.
usually find that my waistline has expanded and my energy is low.

I find that the daily Reiki self-treatment is a time in which I can pay attention to the subtle messages my body is giving me.  I have learned that my body has great wisdom if I am willing to listen, but it often speaks quietly at first.  As my mind becomes calm thanks to Reiki, I become more aware of the voice of my intuition.  Listening to this wisdom has enabled me to make better choices.  Reiki has also helped me to want to make those choices.

A good example is that when I first learned Reiki about 30 years ago, I used to smoke.  I had unsuccessfully tried giving up a few times.  As I gave myself Reiki treatments and received them from others, I began to be aware of the way smoking was affecting my lungs.  I also began to have the feeling that I didn’t want to do that to my body any more.  It was then easy to let go of the habit and I stopped smoking for good.

I have also learned how important sleep is to good health.  I now find that I really notice the difference when my quality or quantity of sleep is less.  Reiki is helpful to get to sleep if my mind is busy and I have had reports from several students who suffered from insomnia that a Reiki treatment at the end of the day helps them sleep peacefully through the night!

One of the other things I have learned about achieving and maintaining better health is that it takes consistency.  Once again my Reiki practice helped: through having something in life that I practice most days (my self-treatment), it was easier to introduce other healthy habits, such as walking every day for 30 minutes (as recommended by Reiki Grand Master Hawayo Takata).

Receiving Reiki also enables me to be less stressful, another key to good health.  I still find Reiki’s ability to calm my mind and bring me into a meditative state – including when giving treatments – quite amazing.

So in wishing you good health in the coming year I wish you good sleep, less stress and a growing ability to listen to and act on your body’s wisdom so that your life can be more joyful.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Reiki Principles at Christmas

Dr Usui, founder Reiki, offered us some principles to assist living a happy, healthy life.  I find them especially useful at Christmas!

Just for today do not worry   There can be lots of worries at Christmas: who to spend the Christmas holiday with, what presents to buy, what food to eat, if the weather will be OK for travelling.  All this at a time of year when what I feel most like doing is hibernating!  So how do I not worry about all these things?  I have found the solution is in my Reiki practice.  Treating myself or receiving treatment reduces the stressful feelings and in a more relaxed state of mind I am able to find creative solutions to the apparent problems more easily.  With a calm mind I can think of the perfect gift for my loved ones.  Self-treatment also helps me to tune into the needs of my body, helping to make food decisions.

Just for today do not anger – While it is often lovely to spend time with people at Christmas it can also be frustrating and irritating.   It can also be a time when we confront our history.  Each family has its own culture, with unspoken assumptions and rituals.  These Christmas rituals can be comforting but they can also be difficult when they do not fit with the person I have become.  My Reiki practice has helped me to become more conscious and aware of my responses and rather than behave according to unconscious programming I have a choice about how I respond.    So when someone makes a comment that angers me, I take a deep breath, give myself Reiki and look for the underlying causes of my pain.  More peaceful relationships are often the result!  

Honour your parents, teachers and elders Putting the needs of others first to show respect to elders is imbued in Japanese culture.  Takata saw that this was not a cultural understanding when she started teaching Westerners, so added this principle.  As I come together with older people in my family this principle reminds me to show them respect – and also to be deserving of the respect of those who are younger by respecting them too!

Earn your living honestly has been useful around the question of money.  Buying Christmas gifts, I have often gone into of debt because I wanted to buy more than my financial situation could really support.  I have realised that this was a kind of dishonesty – pretending to myself that I had more income than I had because I didn’t want to look bad in front of others.  However, some of the most appreciated gifts I have given were not the most expensive, but the ones that were the result of recognising the need of another and finding something that would address that.  

Show gratitude to every living thing is a particularly relevant principle at a time of growing consciousness about the effect we are having on our planet.  I spend a moment before eating the Christmas feast being grateful for the living things that provided the meal.   I am also grateful for the living things that surround me: the people who are important in my life.  

Thank you for being connected with me through Reiki.  I wish you a happy, healthy and peaceful time at Christmas and for the year to come.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Integrative health Convention

I was grateful for the invitation to accompany Feona Gray, founder of Connecting Reiki with Medicine, to attend the Integrative Health Convention in London last month.  This convention is an   
opportunity for doctors and other NHS professionals to meet with a variety of complementary health practitioners.

I share Feona’s vision that Reiki could play an important part in healthcare:  I would love to see Reiki as a choice for patients alongside conventional care in the NHS, which is struggling to cope with the rising need and diminishing funding and staffing.  Reiki has the potential to be part of the solution. However when Feona first explored bringing Reiki into St George’s she learned that there was a very negative view of it, in fact it was banned in many hospitals.  In many situations Reiki is not trusted as a complementary therapy, so practitioners are not welcome.

I found that this convention gave me hope that my dreams of this changing, so that Reiki gains the respect needed for it to become integrated, could come true.  I met doctors who are not only open to complementary therapies including Reiki, but positively see the benefit.  Margaret Coats, from the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council, commented to me at the end of the weekend that there had been a lot of talk about Reiki!

The keynote speaker was Dr Michael Dixon – a GP well known for his work in integrative health care.   He was one of the instigators of Social Prescribing, which may be one way that Reiki practitioners can receive referrals.  Dr Dixon noticed a 20% reduction in GP appointments once Social Prescribing was introduced in his area.  

He talked about conditions he and most GPs see frequently and often have nothing to offer to help: tiredness, back pain, IBS and stress.  11% of the population, he reported, are on medication for pain, depression stress or sleep problems. These are all things that complementary therapies, including Reiki, can help with.  He spoke strongly about the need for doctors to work together with complementary therapists.  He dismissed the assertion from some doctors that complementary therapies are not safe, giving the example that 2000 people die annually from anti-inflammatory drugs.  He also noted that GPs with an interest in complementary therapies prescribe 25% less antibiotics.  Given that 1 million people each year die from antibiotic resistant infections this is a significant difference.  Compered to this, complementary therapies are safe – and with no known contra indications of course Reiki is one of the safest – and will become even more so, he said, if doctors and complementary therapists communicate better with each other.  

What particularly excited me was his report that NHS England has recognised that “The future needs to be a future that empowers the patient”.  Taking responsibility for our own health and well being is a core value of Reiki practice, so fits perfectly with this approach.  I hope to see more professional Reiki practitioners, adequately prepared work alongside doctors and other health professionals, sharing the work of caring for those in our community who doctors struggle to help.  Connecting Reiki with Medicine’s project at St George’s Hospital, London is demonstrating how beneficial a professional team of Reiki practitioners can be, to patients and staff.  For this sort of project to be repeated around the country we need more practitioners who are willing to prepare for this work.

I would also like to see Social Prescribing include teaching people Reiki so that they can care for their health and have some useful tools to assist them towards a healthier and happier life.