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Why Massage and Reiki?
Because they kill stress!
Stress has been identified as a major factor in many illnesses and painful conditions.
Hormonal and chemical changes it produces in the body can cause inflammation, including the joints and soft tissues.
An antidote to stress is the triggering of the “Relaxation Response” a term coined by Herbert Benson, MD of Harvard Medical school.
It means the switching of the nervous system from “fight or flight” mode (where harmful stress hormones flood the tissues) to “rest and digest” mode (where the body can focus on repairing damaged tissues and healing.)
Massage Therapy and meditation are two ways to coax the body into the Relaxation Response.
Everyone knows massage is awesome, but have you tried Reiki?
(These days many people have heard of Reiki, but aren’t really sure what it is.)
Reiki is a system of relaxation and healing, rooted in the practice of meditation as taught by its Japanese founder, Mikao Usui, in the early 20th century. The components of the system are similar to other familiar eastern meditative practices such as yoga, tai chi, and the many forms of seated meditation.
NOTE: Some Reiki practitioners also provide other, more esoteric, healing services. That creates confusion about Reiki’s true nature. Reiki itself does not include work with crystals, channeling, mediumship, or magic.
Here is a summary of evidence about the benefits of meditating, from pain relief to brain health! (Thank you to Dr. Emma Stammala of Stanford University for the article.)
There are many ways to meditate. This wonderful meditation resource, the Live and Dare blog lists 23 of them. The Live and Dare author, Giovanni Dienstmann, has also complied an impressive summary of research.
Reiki is rooted in meditation as well. It’s easy to learn, but can be developed and defined over an entire lifetime.
One of my favorite Reiki teachers is Frans Steine. His webpage is the International House of Reiki. He has made it his life work to go back to the roots of Reiki, studying with masters of meditation and martial and healing arts in Japan.
I love his explanation of Reiki because it touches on the spiritual aspect of Reiki in a way that is down to earth and applicable in today’s world. Reiki offers the spiritual-but-not-religious vibe so many of us are seeking today. It can’t be beat as a way to ground ourselves and connect with others in our increasingly complicated and digital society.
The hallmark of a Reiki practice is that, in addition to personal benefit, Reiki is practiced with others and so promotes healing and wellness among family, friends, and the community.