What is energy work or Reiki, and how does it relate to psychotherapy?
I have to say that when I first learned of “energy” work, I was a skeptic. My first real introduction to energy work was when a friend of mine, who was working on her Master’s Thesis, gave a presentation in a class we shared on Alternative Medicine and Healing Touch Therapy. Soon after that experience, I found myself in a therapy session (where I was the client) and my newborn baby was fussing. My therapist asked if he could place his hand on my son’s back as I was holding him against my chest. I immediately felt something happen in my body as my therapist put his hand on my child’s back, and also noted how my child became relaxed and quit fussing. I asked him what he was doing, and he was surprised I could feel the energy coming through his hand to my son’s body and then to my own. As my son became peaceful and quiet, my therapist told me he was channelling Reiki, and that if I could feel it, I should go for a session with a Reiki practitioner and learn more about it. And so began my journey of learning about the human energy field and healing touch therapy.
We are all made of energy particles. There is so much we can’t see with our naked eyes. Humans can be very concrete in our beliefs and stubborn about our perceptions. After many experiences, as well as studying in depth regarding quantum physics, yoga, and other related sciences, I have no doubt that working with energy has significant and important implications in healing of all kinds.
My training: I spent four years studying and experiencing classes at a healing arts school here in Nashville, Tennessee. My class studied the integration of psychotherapy with energy and healing touch, and we learned many different modalities. We were all phd level psychotherapy practitioners who also had been trained in Reiki and wanted to ethically practice integrating that into our psychotherapy practices. Sometimes I felt like we were Jedi students learning from our Joseph Campbell/George Lucas teacher about how the force is the light within us and how it is also all around us and moves through us, and that if we learn how, we can use this force for healing and for good. In all seriousness, though, Reiki has been channeled/practiced for centuries, and is an ancient healing art. It is not magic, and it works with or without faith. It can be used to help the systems of the body flow with more ease, reduce anxiety and depression, heal traumatic wounds, and also physical illness or wounds. And, there is a growing body of scientific, peer reviewed research that validates this claim.
Our bodies and minds can become blocked with fear, past experiences, or illnesses. Reiki works on an energetic level to clear these blockages with pure healing energy. From personal experience, energy work has been the most profound therapy to facilitate the movement and healing of trauma and ptsd out of the spirit, mind, and body in myself as well as in many of the clients I have served.
What is a Reiki session like?
You lay on a massage table and have a comfy blanket and pillow. The practitioner may touch you on the head, hands, knees, or feet. However, touch is not necessary.
The session lasts around 30 minutes, but may be longer or shorter depending on your need.
As the practitioner begins the channel of energy, people often say they feel a sense of warmth as the energy travels through their bodies, they often describe that they feel relaxed and rejuvenated during and after a session.