Reiki treatments are given either hands-on or hands-above to a fully-clothed recipient who typically rests covered on a massage table. Reiki can be given sitting, however, I find the table with its heating pad is quite relaxing and I would recommend this over sitting. Many of my clients report entering a meditative state or experiencing a deep sense of calm while receiving Reiki. Sessions last anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes.
In a 2002 journal article, biofield researcher, James L. Oschman, described the findings of another researcher, Dr. John Zimmerman, who uncovered evidence that “practitioners of various hands-on and hands-off therapies such as Reiki … can emit ELF signals from their hands.” ELF stands for extremely low frequencies which are generally accepted to range between 3hz and 30hz. Oschman notes that “the important frequencies for stimulating tissue repair are all in the biologically important extremely low frequency (ELF) range” (ibid). What is interesting about ELF’s is that their waveforms are exceedingly long, and these can not only penetrate dense matter such as salt-water and dirt, but travel fully around the globe with little loss of signal (Wikipedia, 2017).
The Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota (2015) describes Reiki in this manner: “Reiki is a spiritual, vibrational healing practice used to promote balance throughout the human system. Reiki does not involve physical manipulation or the ingestion or application of any substances, but works with the subtle vibrational field thought to surround and penetrate the body.” It goes on to say: “Reiki practice is extremely passive. The Reiki practitioner’s hands are still for most of the treatment, moving only to change hand placements. The Reiki practitioner is neutral, making no attempt to fix the recipient or to change the biofield.”
About Colour-Sound ®
Science understands everything is energy, in constant motion, and vibrates at a frequency. Colour Sound Therapy ® as I practice it is based on the principle that the body can maintain or adjust back to a state of balance and healthy resonance through the applied frequencies of colour and sound. In practice I find most clients respond to colour and sound in a manner similar to that of Reiki.
Using colour and sound to support healing has been studied since ancient times. According to Azeemi (n.d.) “Phototherapy (light therapy) was practiced in ancient Egypt, Greece, China and India. The Egyptians utilized sunlight as well as color for healing.” Hippocrates was known to use sound in the form of music in his treatment of physical and mental issues. “It was believed that healing the soul through music also healed the body, and there were specific musical applications for certain diseases.” (Kleisiaris, Sfakianakis, & Papathanasiou, 2014). In his 1704 book Optiks Isaac Newton created a colour circle that laid out a correlation between the seven primary colours and musical notes (Wikipedia, 2016). In essence one could say that colour and sound are different degrees of the same phenomenon.
Contemporary Use of Light In Therapy
Using light to treat specific medical conditions is accepted by medical science, both with full-spectrum light and with a specific colour range.
The Mayo Foundation says “Light therapy is a way to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and certain other conditions by exposure to artificial light…During light therapy, you sit or work near a device called a light therapy box. The box gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light. Light therapy is thought to affect brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep, easing SAD symptoms. Using a light therapy box may also help with other types of depression, sleep disorders and other conditions. Light therapy is also known as bright light therapy or phototherapy.” (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 1998-2016).
Another example of using light is phototherapy for the treatment of jaundice in newborns. According to the Mayo Foundation “Your baby may be placed under special lighting that emits light in the blue-green spectrum. The light changes the shape and structure of bilirubin molecules in such a way that they can be excreted in the urine and stool. The light isn’t an ultraviolet light, and a protective plastic shield filters out any ultraviolet light that may be emitted. During treatment, your baby will wear only a diaper and protective eye patches. The light therapy may be supplemented with the use of a light-emitting pad or mattress.” (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 1998-2016).
For more information on this topic please see the research page.
Are There Side Effects?
In describing the potential after-effects of Reiki the Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota (2013) states: “Because there is nothing about a Reiki session that can interfere with conventional medical care, Reiki has no known contraindications and can be used concurrently with any medical intervention. Reiki will not override the action of medical interventions, but rather support the patient while he or she goes through them, restoring balance in body, mind, and spirit to the degree possible. Patients who feel well even when fighting chronic illness are more likely to complete their medical treatment and be active partners in their health care. Because the activation of Reiki pulsations in the practitioner’s hands adjusts to the changing need of the recipient, and stops when appropriate, you can’t get too much Reiki, no matter how long the practitioner’s hands are in place. Occasionally people experience a temporary aggravation or intensification of symptoms during or after a Reiki session. This may be as simple as a momentary feeling of discomfort at the site of an old injury or surgical scar. Such an experience resolves quickly and may be part of the body’s process of healing. A temporary aggravation of symptoms sometimes occurs when people suffering from chronic conditions elect to receive multiple (and perhaps longer than usual) Reiki sessions in quick succession.”
A term commonly used in complementary therapy circles to describe after effects is that of “healing crisis”. This term refers to a person experiencing short-lived (from a few hours to a few days) symptoms which may include fatigue, aches and pains, headaches, mental irritability, increase in dreaming, or unusual sweating. By no means does everyone experience such effects. One energy session for a generally healthy individual is unlikely to demonstrate any after-effects outside of relaxation. Of my clients, the vast majority report an increase in well-being. The potential for reaction has a great deal to do with how out of balance you are, how long you have been out of balance, and how much energy therapy you have elected to undergo in a short time period. Your potential for reaction (or no reaction) is as unique as your own healing situation and cannot be determined by your energy therapist any more than your doctor can conclude what side-effects a medication will have on you.
Azeemi, S. (n.d.). A quantatative study on chromotherapy. Retrieved November 5, 2016, from www.ksars.org/ResearchFiles/1407274040_373S.pdfz
Kleisiaris, C. F., Sfakianakis, C., & Papathanasiou, I. V. (2014). Health care practices in ancient Greece: The Hippocratic ideal. Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, 7, 6.
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (1998-2016). Infant jaundice. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/light-therapy/home/ovc-20197416
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (1998-2016). Light therapy. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/light-therapy/home/ovc-20197416
Oschman, J. (2002). [Interview with William Lee Rand]. Reiki News Magazine, 1(3), 1-8.
Oschman, J. (2007). [Interview with Teil]. Retrieved October 20, 2017, from http://energyresearch.homestead.com/Videos.html
University of Minnesota. (2013). Are there any safey concerns for using Reiki? Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/reiki/are-there-any-safety-concerns-using-reiki
University of Minnesota. (2015). Reiki. Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/reiki.
Wikipedia. (2016). Visible spectrum. Retrieved November 3, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visible_spectrum
Wikipedia. (2017). Extremely low frequency. Retrieved October 14, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremely_low_frequency