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Healing Reiki

by Joy Metcalfe

Strengthen Your Immune System and Combat Stress
with this Ancient Healing Technique

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We've all had this experience: a sudden tickling or soreness in the throat and a feeling of great tiredness, often combined with a sensation of heat or chills or both…and OH NO! You've got the flu. How did it happen? How did you get it--and who did you get it from? Was it that woman coughing next to you at the supermarket line? The child with the runny nose who petted your dog? And why are you sick and your wife/husband/child/friend isn't?

Ask any doctor or alternative health practitioner, and you may be surprised to discover that they will agree that you got ill because your immune system had become suppressed. Probe further and you may discover that they will also agree that chronic stress of any kind--be it environmental, emotional or physical--can affect the proper functioning of the immune system.

In fact, the negative effects of chronic stress on the immune system are now well documented. A July 2004 meta-analysis of 293 studies conducted over the past 30 years by psychologists Suzanne Segerstrom, Ph.D., and Gregory Miller, Ph.D. found the following three things to be true about stress:

1. Stress affects the immune system in powerful ways.

2. Short-term stressors can boost the immune system.

3. Chronic long-term stress suppresses the immune system.

These findings come as no surprise to me. During my almost 20 years in clinical practice as a Reiki master teacher and practitioner, I have been constantly shown that chronic stress weakens the immune system and thwarts its ability to respond effectively to pathogens. It has also been made patently clear to me that Reiki strengthens immune function by supporting the body, mind, and emotions in releasing stress.

I believe that this is because during a Reiki session, the client achieves a deep, profoundly restorative state of relaxation, which helps the natural intelligence of the body to release stress and restore healthy balance. This state of restorative relaxation experienced in a Reiki treatment not only helps the body to overcome an illness or disease, but it can help to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

Reiki (pronounced ray-key) means "universal life force energy" and is a gentle, non-invasive healing modality. Reiki assists the body in restoring the innate balance essential to maintaining its energy system and in supporting its ability to repair itself. It is a simple, yet extremely effective hands-on healing technique.

Anyone who has experienced the benefits of a Reiki healing session doesn't need a study to know that Reiki really works. But studies have been done. In fact, a study conducted in 1997 using electrodermal screening (a method for the detection of functional disorders and disease, through transdermal microelectric examination of the skin) showed that Reiki has "quantifiable benefits in the strengthening of the immune system". (Alternative Therapies, July 1997, Vol. 3, No. 4)

This study showed an improvement in spleen, immune, and nervous system function quantified by electrodermal screening. A reduction of pain, an increase in relaxation, and more mobility was reported in patients with chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and thyroid goiter.

Reiki healing is based on the premise that there is a Universal Life Force Energy that circulates throughout the universe and connects all living things. This force has innate healing powers that knows if the body is out of balance or damaged in some way. Reiki practitioners act as channels for this energy, enabling it to enter a person's body and to go straight to the cause of the disease. The energy works by restoring the body to a state of balance and when this balance is achieved, overall physical health is improved.

This understanding of the body as a system of energy is supported by science. Quantum physics--a theoretical framework that explains the nature and behavior of matter and energy on the atomic and sub-atomic levels--posits that everything in our universe is made up entirely of energy. Therefore our bodies, our emotions, and our thoughts are also entirely comprised of energy. When we keep that in mind it becomes easier to understand how the healing energy of Reiki works.

As stated earlier, the Reiki practitioner acts as a channel for the Universal Life Force Energy and directs it into the body to support a rebalancing of the body, the mind, and the emotions, as well as spiritual consciousness. These states are seen as different levels of the body/reality which, when working in harmony together, create the health and well being of each individual. The Reiki healing practice teaches that in order to maintain or attain a state of health and well-being a person must have all of these states working together in harmony and balance.

Since chronic stress tends to weaken the immune system it's no wonder that winter, with its shortened, colder and wetter days, is typically called "the cold and flu season." The bad weather tends to create a level of chronic stress that can suppress our immune system's ability to best fight against colds, flus, and other forms of infection. So the next time you decide to work on strengthening your immune system, consider getting a Reiki treatment. It can be an effective part of your program towards achieving optimum health and well-being.

Joy Metcalfe is a Reiki Master Teacher and Practitioner with a private practice in Sebastopol. For more information about Reiki training or private Reiki sessions, email Joy at joycmetcalfe@aol.com or visit her website at www.rainbowlotus.us.

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