At the hospital, they have Reiki volunteers. I’ve heard of Reiki but never had the chance to try it before. However, since it’s billed as a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing, I signed up.
Reiki comes from “Rei”, which means “Higher Power” and “Ki,” which means “life force energy.” It is a therapy that uses touch (or near touch) to direct life force energy to channel healing energy into the patient. Reiki practitione
Reiki treatment increases your supply of life force energy and helps you heal quickly. It promotes relaxation, makes you feel at peace, and reduces your stress. You start moving toward your unique physical, mental, and spiritual balance, and your body’s own healing mechanisms begin to function more effectively.
Reiki is administered by the hands, placed lightly on or near the body of the patient. The healing energy from the body and hands of the Reiki practitioner flows to the patient. The patient then experiences feelings of relaxation, mental clarity, pain relief, decreased anxiety, and a sense of well-being. Research has shown that this occurs because the activity of parasympathetic autonomic nervous system in the patient increases significantly.
Reiki for Horses
Horses are considered to be good candidates for Reiki because they are very attuned to our emotions and energy. While I’ve never practiced Reiki per se on my own horses, I use the Masterson Method on them, which has similarities, and they have all responded well. What does a response look like? Licking and chewing, blinking, yawning, and profound relaxation.
Reiki’s effectiveness is not dependent upon physical contact — there is no manipulation and no chance that you can hurt your horse during it. From what I’ve read, it helps promote a deeper connection with your horse, but to achieve that, you need to bring to the practice a meditative calm. This certainly holds true when I work with Freedom. He’s a very twitchy horse and sometimes I can barely lay a hand on him, but if I’m very quiet and still he eventually tunes into me and starts to relax.
Does Reiki Work?
I’ve had three different practitioners work on me last week. These were short sessions, only about 15 minutes. Mostly I felt a profound relaxation and peacefulness. Not an easy thing to do with my mind racing and my body banged up. As with a horse, I noticed increased gut sounds, too :).
I’d like to believe that by directing my energy toward healing, that I’m helping the process. Anecdotally, and in the small amount of research available, there are a lot of stories about bones healing faster, or reduction in pain, anxiety or depression. However, these are difficult parameters to measure. I’ll just have to go with the fact that it made me feel better and that similar practice has helped my horses demonstrate relaxation and reduction in stiffness and tension.
And I will not turn away the next volunteer.
How about you? Have you tried Reiki on yourself or any of your animals? What kinds of results did you experience?