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The first time I heard of the Reiki healing modality was in 1997. Back then I was a 24 year old student for massage therapy in College. Every Friday was a practice day, with students from the various therapy-programs practicing their skills with their fellow students.
One day, someone walked in our classroom and asked if there was anyone willing to give an hour of their time for students who are practicing Reiki. “What is Reiki”? I asked. “Oh, it’s a kind of massage”, was the answer. “Always willing to get a massage!” said I, and off I went, to the Reiki classroom. There, I was assigned a Reiki student, who instructed me to lie on a massage table, with my clothes on. I was not told anything about what she was going to do. And I didn’t think of asking. Exhausted from the preceding weeks, from studying for exams and practicing massage every day, I was happy to leave my body in the caring hands of another student.
My experience on the treatment table was different than anything I had expected before. At first I was curious – it seemed to have been a long preparation while the student was placing her hands on the top of my head for several minutes, then again on my ears, and then, yet again, covering my eyes with her palms. I began to be bored. “What kind of a massage is this”? I thought to myself. She is not doing anything. But I didn’t finish that thought, and I started feeling something warm which seemed to have come out of her palms. As her palms touched my neck, and then my shoulders, they became warmer and warmer, and moving down my body the heat became so extreme that I actually began wondering whether this type of heat could leave a burning mark on my skin. At some point I felt like I was being covered with many blankets, hot, yet pleasantly sleepy and calm. When the treatment has come to an end, I sat on the bed, and was stunned to find that my several weeks’ long exhaustion no longer existed. Instead, I felt re-energized and focused! I was curious as to how long this feeling would last, and was pleased to find that a week later the treatment still had its impact on me. Needless to say that I immediately asked for more information about the method and shortly after took the course of the first level of Reiki.
It is important for me to tell this story when I am asked if a person needs to believe in Reiki in order for it to work, similarly to the ‘placebo effect’. Now I can say that I know from my own experience that Reiki works regardless of your belief. When I first experienced Reiki I did not even know what was being performed on me and I wasn’t looking for any unusual sensations. Regardless of that, the Reiki energy has worked, and the results were simply stunning. Today I know that there is no need to believe in Reiki or to understand it in order for it to work. It just does. Moreover, as soon as I began to work with the energy myself, I very quickly understood that there was nothing ‘bizarre’ about my first experience with the Reiki energy, and that what I had felt during and after the session is typical for people receiving Reiki treatments.
My first ’self-given’ Reiki treatment has changed the way I viewed life
Right after the course of the first level of Reiki I had begun exploring the energy of Reiki. At the course we were instructed to give ourselves Reiki treatments for the following 21 days before we treat other people. Now I was already equipped, or should I say biased, with the experience that I had of my first Reiki treatment, which had set the bar high for my hopes and expectations. I was ready for another energy boost to my system, when something even more unexpected happened. After connecting with the Reiki energy to be channeled through my hands as I was instructed at the course, I began in the same way that I learnt, the same way that I described receiving the treatment at the college, placing my hands on my body and channeling the Reiki energy. Things were going alright, I had felt the warmth of the energy flowing through my palms, and was happy to see that it worked. Little did I know what was about to happen. As soon as I placed my hands on my heart, I felt as though a whole new world revealed itself to me, a world which I had never considered before in my life. All of a sudden I felt like a child, being held by an infinite loving and nurturing parental-like being. However, this being was not physical. I could not see it, I only knew it was real, and I received the message that I always was, always am, and always will be, a beloved child of this ‘parent’, for whom I did not have a name. With tears rolling down my face, I knew beyond a doubt that there was indeed some kind of source from which all things are born, and of whom essence was love itself. My eyes still water today when I think back to that experience. And yet again I was left stunned by the wisdom of this energy, which knew exactly what I needed to receive from the session at a given time.
I, as many other Reiki practitioners, can use thousands of words to describe what Reiki is, and can tell numerous stories of our personal experiences with it. But to truly know what Reiki is and how it can work for you, you will have to try it yourself. In Reiki, no two sessions are quite alike. You will always get what you need and as much as you are open to receive.
Ora Waldman is a Registered Holistic Practitioner who has been walking the path of healing and self discovery for many years. She supports others on their own journeys by offering private-sessions, certification courses, and a variety of learning opportunities. Ora is an avid educator who promotes public-awareness to holistic therapies and to self-awareness, and who actively and regularly helps build a sense of community among practitioners, by offering a platform for practitioners to connect and to collaborate, and by initiating events that address their interests and needs.