My friend Shona introduced me to her friend Iona who is a Reiki healer and I’ve been wanting to do it for so long; we made it work and I got my first Reiki session done last Thursday.
What is reiki?:
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress and relaxation which also promotes healing. It involves the idea of ‘life force energy’ which basically means that the person performing the Reiki can feel if your energy is low or high.

As a yoga teacher and student of Ayurveda I am aware from personal experience that when your energy is low it generally means that you’re stressed and are more likely to get sick; if your energy is high, it’s the opposite and you have more of a happy, healthy life.
What are the origins of reiki?
Mikao Usui developed rekii in the early 1900s, deriving the term form the Japanese words rei meaning “universal” and ki which refers to the vital force energy tht flows through all living things (called prana in yoga and Ayurveda). Now, reiki is used all over the world, including hospitals and hospices, to complement other forms of health treatments.

What was my experience of reiki?
Fully clothed lying down on  a deliciously comfortable thick woollen rug I immediately surrendered and relaxed as I would when preparing for a deep meditation session. I felt that to be as open as possible and as relaxed as possible would allow the full benefits of Iona’s treatment to benefit me.

Iona’s light, non-invasive touch with her hands placed and held on a series of locations on the head and front of my torso was not intrusive or inappropriate, since there is no pressure because  she hold her hands just off the body. I experienced subtle pulsations where her hands went and   times I felt some warmth in her hands and in other moments some refreshing coolness. For me personally I recalled the soft warmth and touch of my Mother and Aunty – the two females who taught me much of what I know about the power of touch to soothe and calm oneself. It was while experiencing this sense of being held that I realised that reiki is a wonderfully passive experience and I just  let go and I let the reiki relax me. I experienced a delightful day dream I which Hindu deities danced and rallied for my attention and moments in which all I was aware of was a sense of deep tranquillity.

On arising from the treatment, with Iona, she told me to hydrate all night and to take rest. I will say, I did feel at ease and slept really well that night. The following day I was in a great mood and felt really good. I was inspired to review the Yoga Teacher Training Course I run with ideas arising by the minute – it was although having deeply relaxed my mind was free to bring forth new directions and new content ! The feeling lasted for more than 24 hours — I was really happy on Thursday night and all day Friday.

It was such a great experience and I do really believe in the power of spiritual healing.Do I recommend Reiki? 100%! I think it’s a great form of meditation, even if you don’t believe in it. It is almost like going to a Yoga class without the working out!

For those of you who are sceptics and need some more data to feel reassured this is an experience worth embracing here is a short description of How does reiki works  from a western perspective?

From a western perspective one wonders how does Reiki practice work? The honest answer – it seems – is that science does not yet know the mechanism of action. There are theories. One popular theory involves a phenomenon known as the “biofield.” The biofield is an electromagnetic field that permeates and surrounds every living being. In humans, this field extends 15 feet or more from the body, according to Ann L. Baldwin, PhD, a Reiki researcher and professor of physiology at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine.

The heart, for example, produces an electrical field — measured through an electrocardiogram, or ECG — to regulate heartbeats. The brain also produces an electrical field, though at a lower level than the heart. In fact, all of the body’s cells produce positive and negative electrical charges, which then create magnetic fields, per the aforementioned past literature review.

According to this theory, the interaction between two human magnetic fields may explain the effects of touch therapies like Reiki. It is thought that the biofield is the energetic force that guides bodily functions, and that Reiki energy influences the biofield. “[The biofield] is thought to cause dynamic changes in its vibrational qualities that alter physiological and psychological functions in living beings,” Dr. Baldwin says.

Quantum physics, the study of how the incredibly small particles that make up matter — electrons, neutrons, protons, and photons — behave, and attempts to explain the interactions of energy and physical matter.

Quantum physicists have found that these tiny particles of energy can be in more than one place at one time (both a wave and particle at the same time, depending upon how it is examined, per the University of Pittsburgh), and that thought or intention may change how the particles work.

In essence, the Reiki practitioner may be able to gather and direct biofield energy to the recipient through thoughts and intentions.