Want a greater sense of balance and wellbeing? Samantha Cookson shares her experience and insights of the natural healing therapy, reiki.
How did you discover reiki?
I was drawn to reiki, or it was drawn to me – I’m not really sure! I’ve always been interested in non-traditional healing, the power of positive thinking and spiritual wellness, so maybe on some level I invited it into my life. But how did I discover it? Over the years I’d met many people who changed their thinking, health and lives after seeing a reiki practitioner. Then, when I was living in the UK in my 20s, a friend bought me a treatment as a present. I didn’t really know what to expect from it and I actually didn’t feel very much at the time, except a lovely sense of calm and relaxation during and after the session. I also remember feeling a tingling sensation throughout my body during the treatment and getting really thirsty (both common!).
What happened next?
Over the next few weeks, I seemed to feel more “present” in my own life. I was more conscious of my thoughts and actions, and how I was living my life – whether I was being all I could be. I found myself feeling more loving towards people who’d previously gotten on my nerves, and generally seemed to be sweating the small stuff less and less. It sort of just happened. Ultimately, the big shift for me came when I met a wonderful Buddhist lady in the UK who was a reiki master. She introduced me to the concept of becoming a healer myself, something I had never thought about.
What does reiki mean to you?
I’m humbled by my relationship with reiki. Being able to help other people, whether that’s by opening their heart and mind to the idea of energetic or spiritual healing or whether it’s through using my own hands as a channel is an honour. I love knowing that we can all change our lives for the better if we want to – whoever we are and whatever our belief system.
How have you seen it work for you or others?
Reiki has worked for me on a number of levels – in particular, reducing anxiety and stress at specific times in my life. It’s a very calming and centring experience for me, so sometimes I give myself reiki when I feel I need to connect with the universe and gain a sense of balance and perspective in my life. Which is often!
Why should people try it?
My grandmother, who passed away many years ago now, was a very wise lady and used to say to me: “Everything that matters most in life is invisible.” She was so right! Reiki is surprising, mysterious and profound. The energy will work with you to balance your very being and heal you where you need it the most – and sometimes it’s not where you think. Just because it’s not a needle, pill or surgery – something visible – doesn’t mean it won’t fix you where you’re broken. I always tell people who think reiki is a load of new-age mumbo jumbo, why not try it? What do you have to lose? There are no side effects and at the very least you have an hour to yourself of complete peace, wonderful stillness and deep relaxation. Whatever your belief system, it’s definitely good for your soul!
How does reiki work?
Our vital life force energy– ki – flows through our bodies via a series of meridians (invisible energy channels) that connect the inner and outer bodies. Reiki is based on the belief that disease and poor health happens when this flow is interrupted, and that reiki can help the body re-balance any disruptions or blockages in this flow. With the body in balance, wellness and vitality returns.
What does a reiki session involve?
Most sessions last around an hour, and you sit or lie down while the reiki practitioner uses their hands as channels to try to direct the energy to treat the disruption of ki. It is believed that the universal life force energy (reiki) flows through the practitioner’s hands and enters the recipient’s energy system. Many report experiencing heat or feeling tingling sensations as the healing energy moves from the therapist’s hands and begins to restore balance. This healing is said to continue to manifest for some time after the session ends, so you may be asked to rest for a day or so to gain the full benefits of your session.
5 reiki principles
Just for today:
l Do not anger
l Do not worry
l Honour (respect) your parents, teachers, neighbours and friends
l Earn your living honestly
l Show gratitude (compassion) to all living things
“If I think about it now, I didn’t go looking for reiki – I think it found me. But I was certainly open to the idea of energetic and spiritual healing at the time.
Always make sure you choose a registered practitioner. Try searching Reiki Australia’s practitioner directory at www.reikiaustralia.com.au