Reiki, a Japanese healing technique, brings relief to patients

BY JEREMY DILLON
For The Express-Times

Jill Rehrig takes a hands-on approach to healing.

In her career as a physical therapy assistant and massage therapist, she sees people living with life-changing chronic pain. She helps them manage the pain through treatments such as reiki, the Japanese healing technique that is gaining in popularity because of its touted benefits of reducing pain, stress and anxiety, all through the power of touch.

“I had a patient who had been in an accident, and her pain level was at a constant 8 out of 10,” says Rehrig, an instructor of reiki at Northampton Community College as well as owner of New Beginnings Medical Massage in Monroe County. “After performing reiki on her, I was able to help reduce her pain level to a 3 out of 10 without any other changes to her life.”

Reiki is said to incorporate a universal energy that surrounds everyone. In China, that energy is called chi and in Navajo, it is nilch’l. Reiki taps into the universal life energy around the body, Rehrig says, and accesses that energy to help heal the body.

Practitioners access the universal energy by lightly touching patients with their fingers and palms. It is usually performed while the patient is lying down, but it can also be performed while the patient is seated or standing. The main goal is to have the patient relax, Rehrig said.

The process of placing the hands relies on the intuition of the practitioner, who follows seven general areas in the beginning but allows the body of the patient to guide the hands to the area that needs the most focus.

“The body has jug handles like on a highway where congestion like stress and anxiety builds up over time that impede the flow of energy. By focusing on these areas, it helps clean up that congestion,” Rehrig says.

Karen Huslik, a retired nurse and volunteer reiki practitioner with Hunterdon Medical Center, also emphasizes the flow of energy in reiki.

“It’s like water flowing down a river. Energy goes through me to the patient for healing,” Huslik says.

Huslik says she has to keep her mind as free as possible so she can listen to where spend time with her hands. She feels where to stay and move through a light touch.

The results of the therapy vary by patient, the practitioners say. Some report a tingling sensation during the treatment while others feel heat, even when the hand is not placed on the body. Some have seen visions or reconnected with past traumas. Most people feel an overarching calm after the therapy has finished.

“I know that I’m doing it well when I leave and the patient is asleep,” Huslik says.

Hunterdon Medical Center surveyed patients about their thoughts on reiki therapy to get a better understanding of its benefits and found it helped improve stress, anxiety, pain and nausea by at least 50 percent. It helps with the effects of chemotherapy as well as the general stress of being in a hospital, Huslik says, and it can even be performed on family of patients in the hospital who are going through a stressful time.

“There’s a part of us that isn’t addressed by Western medicine, and that’s the emotional side of us,” Huslik says. “Compassion is so rare in a hospital, but to be able to connect with one human being … is a great thing.”

Both Rehrig and Huslik advocate reiki therapy as one tool in the holistic approach to medicine. It should be used in conjunction with traditional Western practices, they say. Healing is not just a science but an art, and when those two are used in the healing process, the whole person is addressed, they say.

“What happens when you hurt your hand? You rub it,” Huslik says. “Touch has an incredible healing power.”

Article source: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/entertainment-general/index.ssf/2013/03/reiki_a_japanese_healing_techn.html



Powered by Yahoo! Answers