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Transforming Emotions with Reiki

By Cheryl Fisher


Susan walked into my office, shoulders slumped, clothes disheveled and hair unkempt. She stumbled into a chair and, without removing her coat, proceeded to tell me how she had reached a new low in her depression.


“I am so desperate,” she pleaded. “I even read about alternative medicine that might help.” She looked up seeking approval.


“Offer her Reiki,” the voice in my head whispered.


“I will not!” I replied to my internal consultant.


I had just received my Reiki Level 2 training the previous weekend. What if I didn’t do it right? Even though my training as a Reiki practitioner had fully prepared me to offer the ancient energy, my ego refused to get out of the way, and I continued to ignore the increasingly irritating internal prodding.


“I read about something called Reiki. Do you know anything about it?” Susan asked.


I almost fell out of my chair as my client continued her inquisition regarding energy medicine. My internal voice squealed with delight. “Actually, I do know a bit about Reiki,” I finally said. “Would you like to experience Reiki with the brief time remaining?”


Susan’s eyes, now the size of saucers, took in my brief explanation about the energy healing. I had her relax and close her eyes while sitting in her chair. I told her I would offer her the subtle energy from across the room, keeping the intention for her greater good and healing.


I prepared myself, holding the intention of healing and compassion for my client and reciting the ancient symbols. Silently I offered her Reiki. We sat in this quiet contemplative space for 10 of the remaining 15 minutes of the session.


When the time was up, I asked Susan to take a final cleansing breath and then open her eyes and return to the room when she felt the experience was complete. She inhaled deeply, smiled and released what felt like a millennium of discomfort. Her eyes sparkled, wet with tears, and she stated, “That was our best session yet.”


I could feel my heart leap with joy, and I began to assess Susan’s emotional pain and safety. She stated that she felt as if an enormous psychic weight had been lifted off her chest and she could finally breathe. She indicated that she actually felt hungry … famished … and was going to go home and eat for the first time in days.


That became the first of many integrated therapy sessions in which I employed Reiki.


Here are a few articles for further information:

Anderson, J.G. & Taylor, A.G. (2012). Biofield therapies and cancer pain. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 16, 43-48. doi:10.188/12.CJON.43-48

Barnett, J., Shale, A., Elkins, G., Fisher, W. (2014). Complementary and alternative medicine for psychologists: An essential resource. Washington: DC. American Psychological Association.

Baldwin, A. L., Wager, C., & Schwartz, G. E. (2008). Reiki improves heart rate homeostasis in Laboratory rats. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 14, 417-422. doi:10.1089/acm.2007.0753

Curtin, R. (2015). Psychotherapeutic reiki: a holistic body-mind approach to psychotherapy.

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