We all make poor food choices at some point in our life. Food has evolved in our lives to be much more than nourishment for the body. You can be stress relief, used to celebrate, are used to calm anxious nerves. No matter what health condition you’re dealing with, understanding that there may be times you sabotage your own progress helps you to understand yourself. Self compassion is key on any healing journey.
Using Sugar to Calm Anxiety
Many of my patients struggling with their weight or diabetes isn’t it to snacking on sweets excessively and they’re feeling nervous. Furthermore, getting activities very likely occur during times of inside. The impulse to eat my feel nervous stamps from when you take engage the parasympathetic system. The parasympathetic system is a part of the nervous system that covers eating, slow heart rate, sexual activity, and 3digestive function. During times of anxiety, it is the sympathetic system. This is the system that governs me fight or flight. Many of us discover on accident that we can engage our parasympathetic system by eating. The act of chewing swallowing will stimulate the stomach to sin signals through the vagus nerve up to the brain that will help calm the system. Naturally, this is not good for the metabolism. Snacking to Lauren’s body levels will lead to weight gain and possibly diabetes.
If you are suffering from this, this is a good reason to consider starting meditation. You can engage your parasympathetic system with purposeful, slow deep breath.
Eating When Bored or Depressed
The digestive tract is a complex system that starts from the mouth and goes to the anus. They are layers of muscle and also a layer of nervous tissue. The nervous tissue of the gut actually contains more neurons then the grain itself. The gut produces and responses to the same neurotransmitters that circulate in the brain.
Engaging and overeating particular when they are depressed or often attempting to raise their serotonin levels. Serotonin is to feel good hormone and one of the building blocks to make serotonin is carbohydrates.
Relying on food to improve the mood can lead on unwanted weight gain, and disease such as diabetes.
Meditations that focus on the core are a good remedy for this. See my book 21 day meditation journey or sign up for my course to get started today
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Feeding Your Cravings
I often ask my patients as well as ask myself what food is being craved. There is so much media that tells us if we are craving a food particularly something that’s unhealthy we should eat it. Really, when you’re having a craving your body is telling you you are insufficient in some nutrient.
To the craving for sugar, or salt, find a stack that is just the opposite of what you were craving. If you’re wanting something sweet, try snacking on nuts. If you’re wanting something salty, try something like organic fruit. Snacking on nuts for wanting something sweet will help to stabilize your insulin levels and hopefully stop the for something sweet. And you are craving salt, you like clean water, so in addition to drinking water eating a piece of fruit will get water into your body naturally.
Using the power of observation to connect to yourself.
Observation is a tool frequently used in meditation mindfulness to help focus the brain. When we take our attention to one specific object and not only helps to eliminate distracting thoughts, but we can also learn something about ourselves.
Recently I have deepened my studies in the practice of meditation. Learning that observations are powerful tool I’ve also started bringing this into my medical practice. I have offered patients prompts they can use to observe their mind and body.
I have been pleasantly surprised at how the power of observation is helped my patients to understand themselves and has allowed me to help them more effectively. Here are three ways in which observation can be used in your own healing journey.
The clinical encounter medicine can serve multiple purposes. Sometimes there’s a simple question that needs to be answered. Sometimes there is an emotional connection that will be made. Many times there is a transaction of information in which the patient must share. Data gathering, which often takes place in the form of history taking is extremely important.
Physicians and patients struggle with the exchange of information during the clinical exchange. Physicians are trained to think scientifically and to read patients like a book. Patients experience their symptoms in a linear fashion that is often noted to coincide with life events. Physicians become easily frustrated when patients share details that are often on the surface irrelevant to why they’ve come in.
When I’m working with a patient that’s having trouble relaying information, I will ask them to make observations about what their experiencing. This isn’t to be judgmental and it is definitely not to lay blame. But with a few gentle prompts, patients can start to make observations about their symptoms that are very helpful.
Dealing with addictive habits or self sabotage
Primary care physicians often act as health coaches. It is not unusual to offer more coaching advice rather than diagnosis. This can include inspirations to achieve a healthier lifestyle such as through nutrition or healthy movement.
Addictions and self-sabotaging behavior a much more common than most people realize. Patients often have a real struggle coming to groups with why they would return to a habit that’s hurting their bodies.
I have found that teaching patients about the power of observation and asking them to perform 90 seconds of observation before engaging in a destructive habit is extremely powerful. The instructions are simple. Before you pick up the cigarette set a timer for 90 seconds. During the 90 second seconds, observe how you feel prior to smoking. Then when the timer goes off observe if you wish to still smoke the cigarette, proceed with lighting the cigarette.
In the case of addiction, that observation period can often help the brain rewire itself and calm down the reward system in the brain.
Obervation to Empower
Traditionally the practice of medicine was based on a paternalistic model. This meant that the doctor gave orders to the patient that were accepted and never questioned. Times have changed. This is no longer an acceptable way to practice. Due to complexity of healthcare patients must participate in their own care.
Patients that have not felt empowered in most of their life will have a struggle with this. When it is time to make a decision about treatment options they may feel like throwing up their hands and want the physician to make the decision for them.
Burnout is a prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors on the job, and is defined by three dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy (1).
The topic of burnout has been growing and frequent in the healthcare industry for several years. Burnout doesn’t impact just doctors and nurses. Burnout is prevalent among teachers, where it can affect student test scores (2).
Any activity that is performed for a vocation can create burnout, particularly work that requires care of other humans. Work that can create burnout tends to be stressful, complex and likely requires specialized training.
3 Pillars of Burnout(1)
Feelings of Personal Inefficacy
What Causes Burnout?
Burnout is associated with jobs that are emotionally taxing. This can include health care, educations and first responders. Work that is emotionally draining in combination with being technically difficult increase the risk of burnout.
The ultimate solution for Burnout Syndrome is to repair the systemic issues that lead to the condition. Because this is always possible, those working ins stressful environments should know how to help themselves.
3 Ways Meditation Can Help Burnout.
Meditation to Rest the Mind
Exhaustion is one of the pillars of burnout. This is best relieved with a break when feasible. And fortunately, many of the individuals suffering for burnout don’t have the luxury of taking time away from work.
Meditation and serve as a mini vacation. Even practicing for 5 minutes allows the brain to relax.
Meditation can allow the brain to take a break from mentally taxing efforts. Although 15-20minute sessions can do wonders, even 3 minutes of deep breathing can allow for the circuitry of the brain to cool off.
Gratitude Meditation to Heal Cynicism
One the most devastating effects burnout can have is that those in a healing profession will lose contact of the heart of what they are doing. These individuals will have trouble with empathy, which can lead to poor outcomes, particularly in patient care.
Gratitude can be used as a form of meditation. Keeping a Gratitude Journal is a way to help focus the attention on the positive aspects of life. Have a listen to teh above podcast to hear fomr of the benefits of a gratitude practice.
Self Compassion for Feeling Ineffective.
If a work environment is making employees ineffective, there’s likely multiple layers that are causing this problem. Unfortunately, any complex system requiring more than a few humans, is likely to be complex and fraught with error.
Mindfulness meditation reminds us to bring ourselves to the here and now. We were reminded to focus on what we have in the moment, which is the breath. Forming a real life meditation can help heal the feelings of being ineffective and unworthy.
Daniel J. Madigan, Lisa E. Kim, Does teacher burnout affect students? A systematic review of its association with academic achievement and student-reported outcomes, International Journal of Educational Research, Volume 105, 2021,101714, ISSN 0883-0355, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2020.101714.
My original curiosity about Reiki was for for my own wellness regimen. I thought it would be nice to have a healing tool I could use on myself.
I completed the 21 days of self-healing and I felt better and I had in years. I have come to appreciate that becoming a Reiki healer has healed me as much as my clients. I am now from believer that being a Reiki practitioner improves the mind and body of the Reiki practitioner as well as their clients.
Learning Reiki has created benefits beyond what I had expected. I would have never anticipated so many areas of my life to improve by learning Reiki.
Even if you don’t practice Reiki on others, here are the reasons that you will want to consider learning Reiki for your own Health and Wellness .
7 Reasons to Learn Reiki
Ability to Stay Grounded in the Present Moment
In order to get the energy flowing in Reiki, you must be able to quiet the mind and center the body. It is well known that Reiki healer’s absorb some of the healing energies of Reiki. This is likely because Reiki is a form of a mindfulness practice. There is a sense of peace and calm that occurs wile performing Reiki on oneself as well as others.
The overall affect if feeling very grounded and centered in the present moment. On of the Reiki precepts is “Do Not Worry”, and it is nearly impossible to worry during a Reiki Session.
When performing a Reiki session on myself or anyone else it is almost impossible not to become centered in the present moment. Even if my mind begins to drift the flowing energy quickly pulls me back to the present. After completing the session I typically feel wonderful.
All relationships are energy exchanges. Some relationships, like casual acquaintances or friendships are an exchanges of only a small amount of energy. Other relationships, such as romantic ties and family can involve large exchanges of energy.
Improving your own energy with the practice of Reiki can improve your relationships with others. Your ability to listen with your heart and soul will grow with every Reiki session you give yourself.
Being able to set boundaries professionally, emotionally or in other ways is important to maintaining a healthy mind, body and spirit. Having a personal practice such as Reiki has helped me in this way.
Being a busy primary care doctor, time is often a resource that is lacking. There is always a struggle between spending enough time with each patient while being respectful of the schedule and those that are waiting. I’m able to find gentle yet empathetic language to let patients know that although I want to hear what they have to say it’s simply not possible to spend hours with them.
Setting this boundary lets patient know I will honor their time with me, as I will honor time with each patient that comes.
My initial interest in learning Reiki was to prevent illness in myself. I am frequently exposed to infectious disease in my medical practice. I was very excited to have something in my toolkit that I could use in myself to prevent an infection. If I feel the early warnings of an infection I start using Reiki on myself for longer sessions. During the day it is not unusual for me to perform a 5-minute Reiki session for mental/emotional healing at lunch time. I frequently perform Reiki on myself at bedtime to help relax and to help with insomnia.
I have learned from my own body as I suspect many readers have learned that stress plays a role in pretty much any ailment I have. So I usually include Reiki anytime I’m feeling that I may become sick. I consider it one of my long-term disease prevention tools.
Becoming a Reiki Healer improves your communication
Listening with an open heart and a non-judgmental mind is a life skill that helps all of us. Unfortunately, so much of modern life trains us to communicate in a rapid pace, focusing more on our responses to the person rather than listening.
Reiki encourages a mindful state of being. Practicing Reiki oneself and others helps the healer quiet the mind. When the mind is quiet, it is much easier to listen during conversations.
Reiki practice can help heal judgmental thoughts. Judgments about a person or a situation can make communication difficult. When we try not to judge, and especially following the precept, “Do Not Get Angry”, we can communicate with others more effectively.
Many individuals are born with natural gifts. They may have psychic abilities which allow them access to information that is not normally available to the rest of us. This can include being able to see, here, feel things the rest of us cannot. This can also include increase empathy to the point that they’re able to sense others feelings (or being empathic).
My own intuition increased after Reiki I training. This blessing allowed me to sense what was going on with patients by making observations about their energy bodies in addition to there physical bodies.
This is a wonderful gift to have but please be aware that these are not always reliable. Using psychic abilities often requires you to be able to enter mindful state which can be difficult during busy times. It also takes practice. You need to be able to perform Reiki on yourself even briefly on a daily basis in order to engage these gifts.
Increase Awareness of Future Events
Training to become a Reiki Healer has been known to create a phenomenon individuals in which their psychic senses are opened up. I do not believe that this is a typical results. I do believe that having a quiet and calm mind opens the mind up so that information that is not normally available becomes available.
In my own life I’ve experienced an increased ability to predict future events. This goes with increased self-awareness as well as awareness of others around me. I would not say that this is an increased ability to be psychic. However I definitely can see how this would be possible especially in individuals that are naturally gifted.
I find that this ability to predict future events helps me most in my personal life and in my own health. Having the increase awareness of what’s driving my stress levels too high, what vibrations are bringing me down helps me to avoid events I may not want to be a part of.
Reiki Helps you Connect to Yourself
We all spend so much time communicating, taking in information and outputting information. Media images often shows us images of individuals that appear happier, healthier, wealthier, and overall thriving in life.
It can be difficult to sort out our own feelings of what is real and what seems real.
Practicing Reiki on yourself can help to reconnect you to who you are, and what your true heart desires are. Practicing on yourself and others can help you sort out what you need and you see around you.
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“During the gratitude intervention, we observed decreased HR compared to the resentment intervention.”(1)
Palpitations are a common reson to come into the doctor’s office. Granted, palpitations could be a sign of something serious such as a dangerous cardiac arrhythmia. Oftentimes, palpitations aren’t related to any one specific illness. They are likely the result of chronic shallow breathing, chronic anxiety, and overall disengagement from the body.
This interesting study determined that having studied participants participate in a gratitude intervention, lowered heart rate is compared to focusing on a resentful activity.
What is interesting about this study is that the behavioral intervention starts off identically. They are meditative exercises in which the individuals are instructed to relax. The difference is that in the gratitude intervention the participants were encouraged to focus on gratitude while in the resentment intervention the participants were encouraged to think of things that make them angry or upset. They were purposely encouraged to ruminate negative thoughts and emotions.
Here is the example of the interventions used in the study. I tried an abbreviated version on myself. I noted that I felt worse doing the resentment intervention as well. I felt short of breath during and after the resentment exercise.
How many of us do this on a regular basis? Reading the study I became fascinated with my own thoughts. I soon notice that when I think thoughts of reason I do feel more tension in my chest and upper back. When I think thoughts of gratitude I noticed my energy improves and my pulse seems to come down.
“Gratitude may be beneficial for improving psychological health in individuals with IBD or arthritis.”(2)
Depression is a serious disease that must be managed just as any other chronic disease such as cancer or diabetes. Diseases linked to chronic inflammation, such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease
Cools the Fire of Inflammation
“Patients expressing more gratitude also ha[ve] lower levels of the inflammatory biomarker index” (3)
Soothes Chronic Pain
“Patients with knee/hip OA who receive care at a major academic VA medical center, we found that a six-week intervention focused on building positive psychological skills such as gratitude and kindness significantly reduced OA symptom severity and improved measures of well-being. ” (4)
1 .Kyeong, S., Kim, J., Kim, D. J., Kim, H. E., & Kim, J. J. (2017). Effects of gratitude meditation on neural network functional connectivity and brain-heart coupling. Scientific reports, 7(1), 5058. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-05520-9
2. Sirois, F. M., & Wood, A. M. (2017). Gratitude uniquely predicts lower depression in chronic illness populations: A longitudinal study of inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 36(2), 122–132. https://doi.org/10.1037/hea0000436
3. Mills, P. J., Redwine, L., Wilson, K., Pung, M. A., Chinh, K., Greenberg, B. H., Lunde, O., Maisel, A., Raisinghani, A., Wood, A., & Chopra, D. (2015). The Role of Gratitude in Spiritual Well-being in Asymptomatic Heart Failure Patients. Spirituality in clinical practice (Washington, D.C.), 2(1), 5–17. https://doi.org/10.1037/scp0000050
4. Hausmann, L., Youk, A., Kwoh, C. K., Ibrahim, S. A., Hannon, M. J., Weiner, D. K., Gallagher, R. M., & Parks, A. (2017). Testing a Positive Psychological Intervention for Osteoarthritis. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.), 18(10), 1908–1920. https://doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnx141
Most people don’t become aware of their anxiety until they have a severe symptoms. What most people don’t realize is that well before the sentinel event of anxiety that makes most people reach out for help, there were symptoms leading up to it that may have been going off for weeks or months.
Although all anxiety requires medical attention, there are things you can do for yourself to lower your anxiety in a few minutes.
The following the tips I wish the share. Having experienced anxiety myself, I wished I had had these exercises to help prevent my first anxiety attack.
Grounding is a term used frequently in the holistic and metaphysical realm. It involves visualizing your biofield and bringing the excessive energy down to your legs and feet. Grounding exercises can be done at any time, even if you’re busy doing something else. The idea is simply to help with worry thoughts and create an energy pathway to take all that excess energy out of the head and into the legs and feet which is calming. Download a free copy of the ebook 9 ways to ground your energy.
Have a listen to the podcast Understanding Anxiety
Download a free copy of the Ebook “9 Ways to Ground Your Energy”
It’s that simple. Taking a deep breath in and exhaling out of your mouth it’s one of the fastest ways you can decrease your own anxiety
One of my personal favorite mediation and mindfulness techniques is the Ujjayi Breath. This is a Yoga breathing technique that is easy to perform and can be done at any time of day.
Here are the steps:
Take in a deep breath through your nose, filling up your belly and chest
Exhale through your nose, with your mouth closed. Slightly constrict the back of your throat, which will create a hissing sound. This slows down your exhale.
Repeat the cycle
You can try Ujjayi breath for one minute initially. You may want to try checking your pulse, then doing a round of Ujjayi breath for a minute then checking your pulse again. Notice any difference?
There are many ways you can use meditation to reduce your anxiety. I have created a short meditation you can use to transmute worry thoughts and positivity.
Want to try a meditation to channel negative emotions? Click here
Tap it Out
Eft, also known as the emotional freedom technique, is a healing modality that is gaining popularity. EFT involves repeatedly tapping acupressure points which has been clinically shown to remodel the brain and create immediate as well as long-lasting changes. You can use tapping on what’s called the quote karate chop points quote in which you will rapidly but gently tap the outside of each hand together while taking deep breaths. There are many wonderful online resources for tapping that you may want to check out here The Tapping Solution
While you’re in the middle of an anxiety attack it’s very hard to think clearly. But if you are managing anxiety, or trying to prevent anxiety from getting much worse, is it possible for meditation to heal anxiety? If so, how is this best accomplished?
When you’re in the middle of an anxiety attack, there’s probably nothing more upsetting than someone telling you to just calm down.
Believe me, I definitely understand. My first anxiety attack was like a force of nature. I can recall the physical feelings of doom, feeling a need to run, my vision narrowing and not being able to breath.
What is Anxiety?
It helps to have an understanding of the difference between feeling anxious, having a diagnosis such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or phobias.
Check out the podcast, Understanding Anxiety
It is typical in the everyday human experience to feel anxious. You’ve likely experienced anxiety even today. You may be feeling some anxiety right now as you read this blog post. The feeling of anxiety is simply an emotion associated with worry about future past or present events
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
You begin to think of anxiety as being a chronic condition and possibly a medical condition when the symptoms are pervasive and present for more than 6 months.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Worrying about many different things
Aches and pains related to muscle tension
Disrupted Sleep(Combs 2014)
Likely one of the worst consequences of chronic anxiety is panic. This is the experience that many of us call a “panic attack”.
Panic Attacks are very individual but usually start with hyperventilation, palpitations, dilated pupils, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting or even diarrhea. These events are the end result of a chemical cascade in which the fight or flight symptom has been activated in the body.
If you have been anxious or worried for several hours or days at a time, your endocrine system has been getting a signal from your brain stem that a threat is coming. At some point either your brain perceives the threat has finally arrived, or it’s simply can’t take the stress anymore and your adrenal glands release a large amount of adrenaline. This adrenaline hits your system and does its job in getting your body ready for a fight. The physiologic changes that occur during a panic attack are all a result of the adrenal glands doing what they were designed to do.
Phobias I point out because they often can present as generalized anxiety. Phobias are generally going to be anxiety that is associated with a specific stimulus which can be an event, a place, an object, or generally something that is external to the body.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is anxiety symptoms that stem form intrusive, often disturbing thoughts. Individuals suffering from OCD often have rituals, or actions they do to relieve the stress caused by the obsessive thoughts.
Meditating to Heal Anxiety
It is difficult to consider sitting still and breathing if you are in the state of anxiety. Particularly, if you have gotten used to being in thoughts of worry constantly it goes against your feelings to sit still and quiet. I advise my own patients that they should always try meditation if they have been diagnosed with anxiety or want to prevent anxiety.
Using meditation to heal your anxiety will also help with medications.
Which meditations to do for anxiety
Any of them!
There are many different styles of meditation. Beginners often do well performing guided meditations. These are meditation in which an instructor offers visualization, instructions on breath, and other tools that can help focus the mind and calm the body. Guided meditations often take an additional resource.
Luckily in the age of cell phone apps, there are so many to pick from. Here are my recommendations:
Mindfulness meditation is a style of meditation in which you attempt to quiet the thinking mind. I am studying to be a certified mindfulness meditation instructor. I have found this process endlessly fascinating and have found in my own meditation practice I no longer want guidance and I prefer now to meditate in silence for 20 minutes.
You can easily perform mindfulness meditation by focusing on your breath for 3 to 5 minutes. And that’s it!
This is also my new favorite. Walking meditation is just what it sounds like. Rather than performing your meditation while at rest or lying down you walk. I’ve come to rely on this when I want to move my body but don’t have time to exercise and meditate.
Mantra meditation is using an inspirational phrase or saying to focus the attention. You use your inspirational saying over and over, either chanting it out loud or thinking it in your mind during your meditation.
Meditation is a journey. Anxiety can be a journey as well. And maybe helpful to visualize anxiety is a journey to yourself. Please embrace every way along the process. And make attempts to return to yourself and meditation as much as you can.
Combs, H.,Markman, J. Anxiety Disorders in Primary Care. In: Pagalilauan G, Editor. 2014. Psychiatric Diagnosis and Management in Primary Care. Seattle (WA): Medical Clinics of North America.
In his seminal work, The Hidden Messages in Water, Masura Emoto created a special technique to demonstrate the effects various words have on the formation of water crystals. The water was exposed to words by speaking to the water. Then the water was frozen. Crystals were examined and photographed under a microscope.
Emoto discovered that when the water was exposed to positive words such as “love”, “hope”, or “thank you” symmetric beautiful crystals formed. If the water was exposed to words of hatred, either no crystals formed or crystals that were of a regular shape form.
This is an example of a crystal that was shown the words love and gratitude. Notice it’s very symmetrical and overall very beautiful.
It is easy to see from these pictures that using words with a high vibration lead to beautiful well-form crystals. Using words that are low vibration lead to no formed crystals or something that’s not as attractive.
In his work, Emoto reminds us that we’re made of 70% of water. His theory is that water holds a memory of the environment in the energy has received.
Then that means what happens to the water in our body when it’s exposed to violence, words of anger, anything that is less than love?
Choose Your Words For Healing
If you think about your body being made mostly of water that is constantly interacting with your environment, this helps you to refrain how you approach your mind body and soul. On your own healing journey, how do you speak to yourself? Do you use words of kindness to yourself? Or are you having thoughts that constantly lower your vibration because they are less than love?
In my book, 21 Day Meditation Journey, one of the meditations captures the idea of using healing words. During the meditation, we created positive affirmations.
You can get started with this right now. In my own person practice, when I feel my thoughts becoming negative, I replace those thoughts with positive thoughts. Even if I don’t feel the thoughts, I notice a difference within a few minutes.
Positive Affirmations for Healing
“I provide love for myself and others”
“I am God’s Creation”
“I am as I am meant to be”
Create your own list of positive affirmations. Make it fun! Make a wallpaper on your cell phone, or your computer screen.
Programming your thoughts for positive will change the vibration in your body. It would not be good to carry the negative words in the water in your body.
You can use your words to heal yourself. Its so simple, yet effective. Even if you have to “fake it”, do it until you feel how your positive thoughts change your vibration.
These are resources where you can find research articles for scientific evidence of the efficacy of Reiki. You can simply type in any search you want in these databases and you should be able to have access to several articles that will be free.
I typically rely on PubMed because of the rigorous scientific process as required for any article to be listed on this database.
Google scholar is particularly helpful if you’re wanting to capture a large number of research articles.
The international association of Reiki professionals has collected several useful articles you can use for your own review as well as for literature to provide for organizational leaders.
Depending on the size and resources of any organization that’s considering adding reiki, it may be feasible to offer training through the organization. Most Reiki practitioner receipt training on their own. If they’re already trained the clinic or hospital May verify training by showing of a certificate.
Training individuals that are interested in Reiki should be fairly simple. Many courses can be completed within a few hours. Educating the staff of the availability of this training will likely be very pleasant as many individuals working in hospitals and clinics are natural empaths and will be attracted to this type of healing modality.
Recommended sanitation equipment such as hand sanitizer
Option for distance session using teleconference or phone
There is very little need equipment to start making a practice. When I added Reiki to my own clinical practice I only added a few candles for aromatherapy. We opted to use the exam tables or a chair and dedicated one exam room for this treatment to share quiet.
Providing distance sessions especially during the pandemic is ideal. These could be scheduled just like any other appointment and would allow the client to remain in their home safely while they receive the treatment. From my experiences a physician is well as a Reiki practitioner, I would recommend offering distance sessions first.
Scheduling and Payment
In the United states, complementary treatments are rarely covered by insurance. Patients will need to be educated on this fact likely multiple times. Unfortunately, they will have to pay cash for their treatment. This is where the challenge will be the greatest. In a healthcare system where patients are not used to paying for cash up front for services, there will be resistance. However, if you are considering adding this treatment modality to your clinical setting, providing educational material, handouts, webinars will help the patients understand the value of this care.
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People suffering from fatigue have often sought all kinds of treatment. You may be wondering if you suffer from fatigue, is it worth it to consider Reiki?
Can Reiki help with fatigue
Using Reiki to heal fatigue, particularly Chronic Fatigue is a great idea. First, you want to make sure you have been evaluated to find all the reasons you have fatigue. I would recommend discussing your symptoms with your family physician or primary care provider.
I am always cautious when dealing with patients in my clinical practice or Reiki clients in terms of fatigue. In my experience, fatigue similar to insomnia, weight gain, and depression, it is often a symptom of some other condition. Although I do think it’s good to aim at treating fatigue as a standalone condition both practitioner and client need to realize that there are likely multiple underlying issues leading to the problem.
That being said, no matter what approach is taken eventually the person being treated needs to be offered a holistic solution. This may include medications, nutritional supplements, psychotherapy, and of course the subject we are discussing reiki.
When is Fatigue a problem?
There will be times we are all prone to feeling tired. This should happen daily, when it’s time to go to sleep. It may occur on a longer basis after a major life chance such as the birth of a child.
Chronic fatigue is defined as persistent undermitting fatigue that has been present for at least 3 months and usually 6 months. The diagnosis of chronic fatigue is not usually made until a complete work of has been done. Other conditions such as anemia, thyroid disease, malignancy or autoimmune disease need to be ruled out.
Getting to the Root of Fatigue
Fatigue needs to be fully evaluated since it can be a symptom of a serious disease. I always recommend talking to your physician about your fatigue even while your pursuing a holistic remedy such as Reiki.
Fatigue often is a symptom of anxiety or depression. This may likely come up during your evaluation. It is important not to be judgmental of yourself during this time. I’ve had many patients accept the diagnosis of depression or anxiety as a failure. This is not true of course. If your fatigue is a results of depression and anxiety, it simply means your disease is coming mostly from your neurological symptom rather than a condition of the body.
Reiki and Fatigue clinical evidence
Reiki can help with fatigue. Recently, while preparing for talk, I discovered two papers that showed Reiki can help with fatigue.
Individuals being treated for cancer have fatigue that often has no obvious treatment. Cancer is taxing in a number of ways. Cancer is hypermetabolic tissue, meaning it is using more or the body’s resources than other tissues. Treatments for cancer or also taxing. Side effects of radiation, chemotherapy and surgery are common unfortunately.
A small study conducted in Canada “suggests that Reiki treatments are moderately effective at reducing CRF [Cancer Related Fatigue] and may have more broad-ranging effects on overall quality of life.” ¹ A healing modality such as Reiki can and should be offered to patients as it will not cause harm and offers additional treatment options
A study completed in a rural academic center showed that as compared to massage, “Reiki showed a statistically greater improvement for fatigue and anxiety compared with massage therapy.²” Patients being hospitalized are under the highest stress levels imaginable. Being subjected to treatments as well as disrupted sleep increase stress levels to a point that any illness may be made worse.
What to expect using Reiki for Fatigue
If you are considering Reiki to help with fatigue, I would recommend getting at least 3-6 sessions. Fatigue, similar to insomnia, is often a symptom, so while you are starting your Reiki treatments, you should purse medical care to rule out issues such as anemia, vitamin deficiency as well as if you need testing for anxiety and depression.
Many people have a healing reaction after treatment with Reiki. Its typical to actually feel more tired or sleep more after treatment. I advise clients to allow for more time to rest after they’ve started a treatment course with Reiki.
If you are a Reiki practitioner, you may consider treating yourself in the mornings. Using the Mental/Emotional Technique for even 5 minutes in the mornings will likely bring some relief. Preferably, you should attempt to do full treatments on yourself. Consider journaling as well. I often use my journal to help me understand my on energy blocks after a self treatment session.
Tsang, K. L., Carlson, L. E., & Olson, K. (2007). Pilot crossover trial of Reiki versus rest for treating cancer-related fatigue. Integrative cancer therapies, 6(1), 25–35. https://doi.org/10.1177/1534735406298986
Vergo, M. T., Pinkson, B. M., Broglio, K., Li, Z., & Tosteson, T. D. (2018). Immediate Symptom Relief After a First Session of Massage Therapy or Reiki in Hospitalized Patients: A 5-Year Clinical Experience from a Rural Academic Medical Center. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 24(8), 801–808. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2017.0409
People curious about Reiki wonder if there are any risks associated with the treatment. Many treatments have benefits (which is what we want) and risks (unintended consequences of treatment). Reiki is one of the safest healing modalities I am aware of. I am used to prescribing medications which have considerable side effects that can be dangerous. Any treatment can cause harm, but the question is can Reiki cause harm?
Adverse Reaction to Reiki
Many people come to a Reiki session hoping for a session of relaxation. Many clients will enjoy a relaxing session in which they drift into a light sleep or meditative state. Some clients will not have such a peaceful session. Reiki unblocks energy in the body, mind, and spirit. Depending on the person’s experience, some may have very strong emotional releases with crying or yelling.
It is fairly common to have physical sensations during a Reiki session. Many individuals notice sensations of warmth, coolness, tingling or buzzing. It is also very common to have muscle twitch briefly as the body makes adjustments. Reiki is helping the body heal itself, so in particular those with painful joints may feel small movements in the affected area.
Unfortunately, it is possible to have uncomfortable sensations that may interrupt the session. When I’ve treated others, I’ve had clients become nauseous, vomit, or have pain. Pain during the session may be alleviated by readjusting on the Reiki table.
Personally, when I receive Reiki sessions, it’s not unusual for me to have to use the restroom during the session as my body detoxes negative energies.
Healing Reaction After Treatment
I advise all clients, new and returning, that there may be a delayed healing reaction. I instruct clients after a session to avoid strenuous activities for at least 24 hours and to drink plenty of water. The body’s energy has undergone major shifts. This may lead to fatigue, sleepiness, or even cold-like symptoms. I feel that it is best to let the body settle as well as the mind.
My clients frequently report vivid dreams after the session. Many of my clients report taking long naps after their session. I’ve had clients who could not rest after the session but they seem to do okay.
When Reiki Doesn’t Work
Reiki simply may not work. If the reason that brought a person to Reiki is severe, or the client is not completely open, Reiki may be ineffective. In this situation, money and time have been lost. However, I would advise these clients to give it more time as the healing effect may be delayed. I have had clients that did not respond and try additional treatments. In these instances, there seems to be a response.
In the previous podcasts, the Limits of Reiki, I discuss expectations coming to Reiki. Reiki does not replace medical treatment. Reiki can help any condition, but a severe condition that is rapidly getting worse will not likely respond to Reiki.
Many individuals may seek Reiki out of desperation. These individuals should be counseled that they may be experiencing a shock or grief response. In these cases, I often ask for the individual to wait before deciding to initiate Reiki. If they choose to proceed, I like to set treatment goals before starting the treatment.
Relationship with Healer is Not Therapeutic
If you are being treated by an individual that you have not formed a therapeutic relationship with, the overall session may not be effective. I feel that anyone that provides this healing service should be willing to have open and honest dialogue and should be available for questions after the session.
Is it Worth it to Try Reiki Again?
If you’ve had a session that you feel did not work, I recommend using your intuition if you decide to try another session. There may have been many factors that may have prevented the outcome you desired. Possibly, the outcome you were pursuing may not have been in your best interest. I feel it may be good to discuss with your practitioner the results, as you may have had a positive response that you did not originally identify.
Reiki is a healing modality that hope becomes available to all people, but I feel it is important to understand there are limits to this healing modality, just as there are to all healing modalities.
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