Saturday, 10 November 2018

Reiki for Those Affected by the Grenfell Tower Fire

Having experienced the benefit of Reiki treatment for the trauma of the sudden death of my father, I  took 1st and 2nd degree Reiki classes so that I could offer similar benefit to other people, mostly beyond my immediate circle of family and friends. One of the things I learned from this experience is that more preparation is needed than just learning 1st and 2nd degree Reiki.  As a result, I have been involved over many years with various organisations exploring support and good standards for Reiki practitioners wishing to treat the public, including offering educational courses.

I was therefore delighted to hear that Reiki master Georgina Hood had referred to found some of this work and education useful when setting up a project to give Reiki treatments to people affected by the Grenfell Fire tragedy.  Members of The Reiki Association will have read about it in the Summer edition of Touch magazine and there was also a wonderful Reiki Association webinar recently where Georgina talked about the project.

She told us how a member of the Early Years Service at the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea saw people being given Reiki and other complementary therapies in the street after the fire.  She realised that a private comfortable space would be more suitable and that the treatments should be given by professional and properly qualified practitioners.  She put out an email asking for practitioners and as someone working with children in Kensington, Georgina saw it and phoned to offer her help.  As a result, she became involved in setting up sessions of Reiki and other therapies to offer comfort and support to people traumatised by the terrible events of that night.  Several of the local authority staff had learned Reiki themselves, which meant Reiki was easily accepted and funding was made available for all the resources they needed: a treatment couch, rugs, pictures and other things needed to make the treatment spaces a 'home from home'.

Initially the treatments were offered at Clare Gardens Family Centre, but later in the year expanded to 2 other places, including a local GP surgery.  They began offering treatments in August 2017 and were soon giving up to 5 treatments per day, 5 days a week, paid for by Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council.

People were initially referred for 5 sessions, the 1st being mostly taken up with the initial consultation.  Some people asked to have more treatments, which they often had to wait for as the practitioners were booked a month ahead.  Several people had many more sessions that the initial 5.  The practitioners are paid for their time and Georgina is still giving 5 treatments a day, 3 days a week.  A curious local GP was due to receive a treatment himself the day after the webinar.

The feedback from those receiving Reiki treatments has been positive.  One comment was that they were 'all talked out' and Reiki offered a different kind of comfort that did not require any further words.   Generally, they found their emotional wellbeing improved and so did their energy levels.

I am excited and impressed with this project, supported by the local authority and community, that is making a difference in people's lives.  I hope many more similar projects will follow and that more practitioners will prepare themselves for when the time comes.

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