Saturday, 4 March 2017

"Kindly and gently place the hands"*

When those we love are ill or in trouble we can feel helpless and upset.  Whether it’s a temporary illness like the flu, an accidental injury like a cut hand or a more chronic illness like arthritis, there’s a natural human desire to offer kindness.   When friends suffer serious illness like cancer or a bereavement, we often yearn to help, but don't know the right words to give comfort.  When children are ill or injured it can be particularly heart-rending.  What can we do?

Those of us fortunate enough to have learned Reiki can 'kindly and gently apply our hands' and offer this wonderful healing of life energy.  No words are needed to give and receive comfort.   

In the Reiki story we learn that, after discovering that he could heal himself, founder Mikao Usui was presented with the opportunity to give help young woman suffering with a tooth abscess.  Kindly and gently placing his hands on her face he found that the healing energy that filled those hands was
also beneficial for others, as her pain quickly eased.  So began the healing art of Reiki treatments for other people.    

Shortly after this he was able to treat his friend the abbot of the monastery where he had been studying.  The abbot had arthritis and this time the healing took longer, but was still effective.  Thus Dr Usui learned the difference between treating acute and chronic conditions.

In a similar way my first experiences of how Reiki works was with friends.  The first people I treated were those in the same Reiki class as me.  We met up every Sunday for several months to practice with each other, sharing experiences and reminding each other of the hand positions.  This was my first experience of Reiki community.

I also began to offer Reiki to my family, some of whom were not interested in receiving treatment.  This was disappointing, but a good lesson in the need to respect people's individual choices and not be pushy about what I think is best for them!  Other family members were more open to offer of treatment and I have a particularly vivid memory of the first time I treated my mother.

I didn't have a treatment couch yet, so treated her sitting on her bed.  It wasn't very comfortable, but I was keen to share my new skill with her.  She had a surprising experience because she hadn't told me about her back ache, but felt sensations in her body, after which the pain was gone.  Of course I was delighted that the Reiki treatment helped her feel better.

Simply giving kind attention and placing hands gently where it hurts can bring comfort, but Reiki healing does more than this as we connect that person to an infinite source of life energy through us.  The treatment ritual is also a way of accepting what is, of acknowledging this person in whatever state of being they are in at this moment.  This is a wonderful message to offer, especially if a relationship is strained, as can happen in families. It is also a comfort for us to see the person we care about relax as their suffering eases and possibly drifting off into a healing sleep.

So it is a comfort to me that I have Reiki in my hands so I can place them kindly and gently on family and friends to ease their pain.

*I believe these are words Hawayo Takata used about giving Reiki treatment