Using Reiki to Stay Stress-Free This Holiday Season
Stress has become an accepted condition of 21st century life. The holiday season is no exception. In fact, the lead up to the holidays can often increase stress for people with planning, hosting, seeing family and worrying where the money will come from to pay for it all. Interestingly enough, among the various ways that are available to deal with the problems of a modern Western lifestyle, is an ancient Eastern healing technique from Japan that was specifically designed for stress management called Reiki.
So What Is Reiki?
Reiki is an energy medicine protocol designed to trigger the body’s relaxation response and reduce and mange stress. Reiki literally translates into “universal life force energy”. It allows the practitioner to manipulate the flow of vital energy, restoring it to balance. It does this by similar methods of meditation and yoga by calming the nervous system, stimulating the alpha state and trigger relaxation.
Reiki practitioners are dedicated to 5 basic principals. When followed, this alone can bring more peace to one’s life.
How Is It Practiced?
The Reiki method is practiced with the client lying on their back fully clothed. The Reiki practitioner uses his or her hands, either holding them above or on key points throughout the body to stimulate the flow of energy. These points roughly correspond to the Chakra points of Aryuvedic medicine modalities, and the meridians of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
But Will It Really Work To Relieve My Stress And Anxiety?
New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Campus conducted one of the first studies ever performed to determine the effectiveness of Reiki treatments on the autonomic nervous system. This “blind, random study” included a Reiki treatment group, a “sham” treatment group and a “control” group. The testing began with all participants at “baseline” autonomic nervous systems levels. The results within the Reiki treatment group showed a lowering of these levels including heart rate, respiration and blood pressure. These positive results led the team to recommend further, larger studies to look at the biological effects of Reiki treatment. It’s interesting to note that Columbia/Presbyterian was one of the first hospitals to offer Reiki as part of their Integrative Medicine Program (CIMP). The now famous cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Mehmet Oz brought tremendous attention to Reiki when he invited Reiki practitioners to treat patients during open heart surgeries and heart transplant operations. Dr. Oz is often quoted as saying, "Reiki has become a sought-after healing art among patients and mainstream medical professionals."