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Lesson 6: Reiki for Self-healing
Now that you’ve learned the basic structure of proper hand placement, you can practice using your hands as channels by which to pass your healing energy into areas of focus. Don’t forget to consult the diagram and familiarize yourself with the different chakras, and what parts of the mind they are connected to.
Remember that part of the ease and accessibility of learning and practicing Reiki is that with Divine guidance, the healing energies go where they are required. Unlike what it takes to be a doctor or physician, complex anatomy lessons and a deep understanding of the human body are not necessary to be successful healers. It’s as simple as using your hands to channel energy into the body of another. Your knowledge is simply focused on the method – Reiki will take care of the healing.
Process and Practice
Once you have successfully completed your first-degree initiation, you are ready to work with and utilize the life force of the universe as a healing tool. The process that you’ll use to actually invoke the healing power of Reiki is quite simple: you can either do an area-specific self-treatment, or you can use a full body treatment on yourself. The actual treatment itself consists of the different hand placements on different areas of your body. The key is how you position your hands on your body, how long you leave them there, your form, and how readily your mind is connected to your energy to accept the healing.
First we’ll go over area-specific treatment points. Any area-specific treatment should be followed by a full-body treatment, but sometimes life does not allow us the appropriate amount of time to do everything we wish to fit in the day. Whenever you can follow an isolated area treatment with a full-body one, you should definitely do so. If you are pressed for time and can’t perform the full-body, it is sufficient to just stick to the area that needs attention.
For an area-specific Reiki treatment, you would place your hands on the physical area of your body that is in pain, or over the chakra that is most closely associated with your emotional or spiritual pain, in the designated hand positions outlined in Lesson 5. For example, if you feel a stomach ache, you would use the hand position that is designated to the area above the naval or below it, with your fingers pointed inward at each other, and gently press down on your body. Your “form” should be one of calm and peace, keeping your eyes closed, and removing any tension from your body. To achieve this, breathe deeply and evenly as you close your eyes, and clear your mind of stress and worry. Concentrate on each breath if you must.
Ideally, you would hold this position for five minutes at least. However, one of the key concepts of Reiki is to trust yourself and listen to your intuition. If you feel the ache is healed after three minutes, you can stop your treatment. If you feel that the five minutes was not enough, feel free to hold the position until you are feeling good about the area of treatment. Many of these successful treatments will depend on your mood and your emotions; don’t ignore what your body is telling you.
Here is another example. Say you experience a particularly terrible heartbreak. Having our hearts broken is a part of life, and many of us will experience this at some point during our time here on Earth. If you were using Reiki as a self-treatment to soothe your aching heart, your feelings of sadness and betrayal, or your anger over the ended relationship, it would make sense to use a healing hand position that covers the heart (after all, it’s just been damaged!). However, keep in mind that it is not technically our physical heart that has been broken; it is our spirit. It is the emotional symbolism of the love contained in our hearts that we perceive to be hurt. There are three chakras that regulate the types of emotions we experience: the Throat Chakra, the Heart Chakra, and the Solar Plexus Chakra. You may, to increase the flow of energy and to reassure yourself that you’re hitting all the crucial areas, want to treat all three chakras as they correlate to your hurting emotional state. This is an especially beneficial move and preemptive strike against future illness if your sadness leads to stomach problems, throat aches, and lethargy. By tackling all areas that the problem could affect, you are summoning the Reiki energy to be more present in your body, and you will feel better about spending more meaningful time to heal your wounds. This is why Reiki is such a useful tool – it can work to heal not just the problem, but also the root of the problem.
As with any skill one must acquire, the process of Reiki self-healing will take time as well as practice. Don’t be angry with yourself if it does not work perfectly or as well as you would like the first few times you try it. It is, without doubt, an art to master. This is why there is the existence of Reiki Masters – they have practiced for years to channel the divine energy our life force, and know intuitively what must be done to send it into the bodies of others, for it to dwell in the places that need healing the most. The more knowledge you acquire, and the more practice you have under your belt, the more successful you will become at Reiki healing. Don’t be discouraged; everyone must start somewhere, and as long as you don’t give up, you will never have to worry about another ounce of wasted energy.
It’s also best to practice on yourself to get the hang of the hand positions, when and where to use them, and to gauge when the feeling of healing is rightfully taking place. Once you have an innate, natural feel for it, it will be much smoother and easier when you begin to perform Reiki healing on others who need it.
When To Use Reiki to Self-Heal
There are a handful of situations where using Reiki to heal yourself will be not only helpful, but also necessary, especially if you feel you just need more than other resources can offer you in the way of healing. There should be just as much of a focus on the necessity of using Reiki healing when experiencing physical pain as if you had emotional pain. If you’re under the impression that Reiki will not heal you without the presence of any physical aches or pains, this is not true! Reiki’s intended use is to heal your entire being, not just your physical body or emotional spirit. The key is balance. Both can, and should, be treated.
Reiki is useful and beneficial in any situation where you need or want to do something to help you or to make you feel better. For example, if you’ve been trying to make a change in your thoughts or behaviors through counseling, or are using cognitive behavioral therapy to do it, Reiki can help you ease into this change by calming down the natural urge of humans to stay the way we are by resisting change. Reiki will also be able to keep you more attuned to your purpose, will allow you to take in suggestion and be more thoughtful about what advice you take, and will increase your will power to stay the course. This all happens because our energy levels are becoming more balanced, and through this action, we are more stable.
The best times to use Reiki self-treatment is when you are stressed and need to relax, when you must release pain from an old emotional wound, when you seek to heal physical injuries or recover from a surgery, when you want to increase focus and the ability to problem solve, to combat confused or disoriented thoughts, to induce a calmed state, and as a supplemental tool to gradually heal chronic health problems. There will be a plethora of situations in which you can use Reiki as a self-treatment to fix what ails you. Spend as much time on yourself as is necessary. If this is something you are starting with, and you’ve just begun your practice of invoking Reiki, do not be discouraged. Trust your instinct and carry on, finding the best and most powerful way that works for you. Always listen to your mind and body, and do as many hand positions treatments and full-body treatments, as you deem necessary. If you are feeling unsettled, off-balance, or simply lost, you can always invoke the powers of Reiki to find your way.
I Thought Reiki Would Heal Me On Its Own!
Fear not, Reiki intuitively does heal you all by itself. There is no need to be an expert in any physical anatomy or physiological concepts of the body. However, the reason we use different hand positions is because they are the means of channeling, or transporting, the energy around to different areas of the body. Though we may not be able to touch specific organs or muscles underneath our skin, the body-to-body contact is what helps that energy go from place to place.
Put it this way. If you place your hands on the wrong spot of your body for the correlation of your actual pain, the Reiki energy is still flowing into you and through you, and it’s okay! It simply makes the path more direct to use the hand positions on specific parts of the body that need it. If you get it wrong, or don’t put your hands in the exact right spot, Reiki will still work. This is why it also helps to incorporate the full body treatment along with area specific treatments, because it truly targets all parts of the body.
There is no need to worry that you will not heal if your hand positions are not perfect. The point is to channel your naturally given energy that exists within you so that you can heal. It is already inside you, and as you practice your healing methods, the entire process will come together. Remember not to give up!
Forming Your Perfect Environment
There are many ways you can create a conducive, relaxing Reiki healing experience for yourself, though this would require thinking a little bit outside the box! It should be fun and pleasing to form your environment for healing around what you enjoy, so this optional activity is just that: optional. If it’s causing stress to create the perfect, most happy and visually appealing place to do your Reiki healing, just stick to a quiet room where you can focus. Nothing else is truly necessary.
But, if you’re into creating a good atmosphere for yourself (both an outside atmosphere and an inside one), then feel free to indulge yourself. It is standard to have a quiet room free of distractions in order to let the energy flowing through you open up and take its natural course. The reason a no-distractions space is ideal for your energy is because if there are no distractions, no noises or nothing to make you feel uneasy, then there is nothing else in your space that is demanding your energy. Even opening your eyes and focusing on an object in the room is demanding your attention. Therefore, with nothing to distract you, your energy is channeled only within your body, where it can do its job.
However, there are some additions you can make to your Reiki healing environment that will enhance the experience without becoming a distraction. One of the things you can do is pick a color themed room, or add a very simple painting to the wall. You may also add objects that create a general mood in the room. Use artwork and objects that create a relaxing, calm feeling as soon as you see them. You will not want to necessarily pick a busy, interesting, or even your favorite work of art or color to include in your room. You may want to stare at it, ponder it, and otherwise become distracted by it. Simply include aesthetics that you can acknowledge in the background, but not become focus on. Once you can create a calm, relaxing mood for the room this way, it is more likely that you will feel truly safe and grounded as you heal.
Another addition you can make to your room is scent. Now, this can be a little tricky, but possible. In order to freshen up the room and create a nice ambiance, you can light incense, a candle, or heat scented oil on an outlet. However, do not choose a scent that invokes a strong memory, or a specific time period in your life. This will distract you by sucking you back into the memory and out of the present moment. Scents of particular flowers that were present in your childhood backyard, grasses, or holiday-themed candles are most likely to do this, so it may be advisable to avoid these. Incense may be the best choice. If you prefer candles or oil, try to choose a mild scent such as clean linen, beach or summer night scents, or sandalwood. Choose a scent that is calming, but does not make you think of anything in particular.
Lastly, you may want to add music to your environment to enhance your experience. Music is often played during the first-degree initiation ceremony for channeling Reiki into prospective healers, and may also have been something you incorporated into your own self-attunement. It is best to use music without words, such as classical or ethereal sounds, as they make for less distraction. Some people are most soothed by the sound of light rain or thunderstorms, or birds chirping in the background Pick a sound or a musical CD that relaxes you, and play this as you perform your healing ritual. Remember, it’s all about keeping you at peace and in balance!
The common factor with these additions is that they all appeal to the senses: sight, hearing, and smell. Recall that Reiki functions to restore the balance and calm within us so that we are able to fully use our birth-given vitality for life, reaching our goals, being happy and able to function with good health. If your senses are being calmed from more than one angle, your overall state of balance will be more willing to restore it’s balance, and you will become a greater channel for the important energy you need for life. Find out what works best for you, and watch the benefits transform your life.