What do you know about Rei­ki? This is the first in what will be an inter­mit­tent series of posts in the ‘What Do You Know About…?” cat­e­go­ry. In ear­ly May I had my first Rei­ki ses­sion. A col­league from my pre­vi­ous job is a Rei­ki Prac­ti­tion­er and gave me a free ses­sion as a Christ­mas present. Com­ing off the stress of that job and leav­ing it with some dra­ma, I want­ed to try some­thing new to unwind my mind and body. 

So, What do I know about Rei­ki? Very lit­tle. My first expo­sure to Rei­ki was from an Israeli nurse who was car­ing for my hus­band while he was in an induced coma in 1999. She felt that her no-touch Rei­ki could do him no harm and could pos­si­bly help him. I took that snip­pet of knowl­edge and gen­tly held my hands over his body will­ing him to get well. He recov­ered, and then he recov­ered some more! And now, 13 years lat­er, he is so far beyond what any­one expect­ed as to be called ‘a mir­a­cle’ by all who know what he’s been through.

The sec­ond time I thought about Rei­ki was when I start­ed work­ing at a new Montes­sori school four years ago — the begin­ning of the job that caused me so much stress. I have writ­ten about that expe­ri­ence in numer­ous oth­er posts! I now ful­ly realise that the facil­i­ty was con­stant­ly in tur­moil and as a result so were the babies in our care. Due to the large num­ber of babies and staff I could nev­er quite put my fin­ger pre­cise­ly on the prob­lem so I just had to do my best with each child when they were in my care. Have I men­tioned that the place was over­sub­scribed as a Fam­i­ly Daycare? 

One day I was told by the owner’s moth­er – our ‘Montessori advi­sor and expert’ – “Helen, put Peter to sleep today”. Peter was her own grand­son for whose care this facil­i­ty had osten­si­bly been opened. Peter had so many prob­lems. His scream­ing for what­ev­er he want­ed was the biggest chal­lenge; his moth­er (the school’s untrained direc­tor with no knowl­edge of Montes­sori or ear­ly child­hood care) reg­u­lar­ly came angri­ly rac­ing through the facil­i­ty from her office to res­cue him from what she per­ceived to be his ‘mistreatment by staff’.

I recall the day ‘I put Peter to sleep’ so very vivid­ly. Unlike the oth­er babies this was also Peter’s home – his bed­room was also every­one else’s nap room. Peter wasn’t a child you could hold or rock to sleep instead, unlike the oth­er Montes­sori babies who laid on mats on the floor, he was placed in his cot (on his back to avoid SIDS) and there he lay, mes­mer­ized and tun­ing out. What skills could I use to soothe him to sleep? I chose my very min­i­mal Rei­ki knowl­edge, tun­ing in to being calm and gen­tly pass­ing my hands over his body from head to toe, try­ing to will the stress­es from his body so that he could calm­ly go to sleep. It took me 45 min­utes! I can’t tell you how long he slept for.

So back to my own first Rei­ki ses­sion. Mary was very calm in her treat­ment; she uses the hands-on method. I ini­tial­ly felt my mind was rac­ing hith­er and yon yet I knew I had to calm my own thoughts to reap any ben­e­fits. Once I found my focal point and had a peace­ful pic­ture in my mind I relaxed more.

It was inter­est­ing to note in Mary’s feed back after the ses­sion that she picked up on two places on my body that felt ‘warm’. They were the sites of my two most recent injuries! I found Mary to be very intu­itive. We dis­cussed one or two chil­dren who had been in my class and who were now in her care and I was so glad to know that she instinc­tive­ly knew how to calm them when they were stressed.

With time to reflect on what I got out of my Rei­ki ses­sion, I feel more pos­i­tive about my work with babies and young chil­dren most­ly because Mary like­wise has good instincts about babies and toddlers…birds and ani­mals too. I don’t meet many peo­ple who know what I’m talk­ing about and even few­er who work in the same way.

In research­ing Rei­ki the fol­low­ing morn­ing I under­stood the places where I have par­al­lel beliefs and the places where I need to improve my own life and behav­iour. I already know what I need to improve to give myself a bet­ter qual­i­ty of life, I just need to find the right avenue for feel­ing more suc­cess­ful and purposeful.

I’m sure there are many ver­sions of Rei­ki and many dif­fer­ent prac­ti­tion­ers but I would rec­om­mend that you at least try it. I tru­ly feel that it could be ben­e­fi­cial to your life.