A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to get my Reiki I certification through my work. I thought I would share my thoughts on the process with you, my lovely readers.
A little background on Reiki, according to the International Center for Reiki Training, “Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive…Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.” Essentially, a practitioner channels energy into chakras and other important energy centers of the body to assist with healing and relaxation.
Full disclosure, I was incredibly skeptical of Reiki when I first heard about it. I thought that as a stress relieving technique it had some validity, but the healing of physical ailments was purely due to the placebo effect. My earliest experiences with Reiki, as mentioned in my post on Paganism and the New Age Movement, were completely bogus. The practitioner just kind of made me sit and waved her hands over me in a haphazard manner. In retrospect I don’t think my previous experience was with an actual, certified Reiki practitioner. But it left a bias about energy work and energy healing in general that I carried for several years.
So why did I end up getting my certification? As part of my New Year’s resolutions, I promised myself that I would start pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Also it has long been my ambition to be a jack of all trades, like a hippy Ron Swanson. So as my meditation practice has been helping me expand my perception of energy (and because my work offers Reiki certification at a ridiculously huge discount), I decided to give Reiki a try.
The training was held over the course of a Saturday at the university where I work. The morning was spent learning the history of Reiki. Then, we had a ritual in which the new practitioners were integrated with Reiki energy. After a lunch break, we were taught how to administer a Reiki session on ourselves and others. We also received information on the energy integration process, which took twenty one days, and what to do during that time. The entire training took about six hours.
Overall the class itself could have been more comprehensive. The instructor was excellent, but I think she could have packed a ton more information and resources on the practice into the day. I do appreciate that she caught on pretty quickly to my Pagan-ness and tailored my instruction to my spiritual practice. I plan to reach out to her in the future to get my Reiki II certification.
There is a lot more to the practice than I previously thought, and I am so glad that I decided to learn how to administer Reiki. During my initial integration ceremony, a ton of events, feelings, and thoughts came up. I had no idea how much experiences from my past surrounding the expectations of friends and family have been holding me back in life. I am grateful that I was able to let those things go as I received this energy. Learning the actual methodology around practicing Reiki was super easy (essentially if you know the chakras you already have a leg up when it comes to learning Reiki). I left that class feeling revved up and enthusiastic about my new practice. Then came the twenty one day energy alignment. Oi. That was a bitch, especially the first week. I couldn’t concentrate or stay grounded. Like I needed to take a sick day to fully recover. The process had me reaching for my tarot cards and reaching out to friends and family. Eventually it calmed down and I was able to properly ground, but whoa that took a while. I did not feel the need to practice Reiki every day as my instructors advised during this time. It was just way too intense. But a session every couple of days was beneficial to me during this time.
Right now and into the foreseeable future, Reiki is a weekly component of my self care. Do I think that Reiki is the end all of end all for personal healing, no. But I do see how it is a valuable healing modality for overall wellness.
© Ariadne Woods