Today as I was helping my partner get to physical therapy, 10 days after her ACL reconstructive surgery, I was watching the many people work on various machines, pushing and pulling their muscles, working to get them back to normal strength. It made me think about energetic healing and its place in the process. For something like reconstructive knee surgery, certainly physical therapy and the manipulation of muscles is absolutely essential for the healing process. However, as in all cases, we have levels of healing, and energetic therapies have a slightly separate focus — on the subtler levels of the living system.
In most belief systems, we have four aspects to our being: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. They correspond, for example, to the four elements: air, water, earth, and fire, respectively. Each element needs to have its proper presence to keep the body balanced. Eastern systems of thought suggest that imbalances in any one level will alter the other levels as well. For example, when the body is imbalanced emotionally, for example, over a long period of time, the imbalance will eventually manifest on the physical level. So, energetic healing, as it is balancing emotionally, spiritually, and mentally, is seen as preventative medicine.
However, energetic modalities are not only preventative, they also have their place in the healing of a physical manifestation of illness. For example, in the case of the knee surgery, the physical therapy is helpful in manipulating the muscles back to faster working condition, but a Reiki treatment or some other such energy balancing technique works with a spiritual and emotional (and even mental) focus. the Reiki session allows the recipient the space and time to focus his/her energies on the healing of the specific area as the bodies energies are balanced. The Reiki practitioner is not bringing the healing, rather, she is creating the proper space for it. As Jim Pathfinder Ewing says, “to say that someone is a health care ‘provider’ is something of a misnomer both in traditional and alternative medicine. In order to be healed, one must want to be healed…the authority is within, through the inherent wisdom of the body” (135, Reiki Shamanism, Findhorn Press, 2008).
In other words, the one with the disease or the physical imbalance must want to heal in order for any therapy to work. Reiki practitioners cannot bring healing, they can only be conduits for energy. Reiki is working on the mental, emotional, and spiritual level. Mentally, one must believe that healing is possible. Emotionally, one must keep one’s immune system strong and stay as balanced and content as possible. Staying connected spiritually allows one’s faith and one’s spiritual helpers to aid the healing process. Reiki helps with all of these aspects. In a Reiki session, both the giver and receiver are in a meditative state, allowing a deeper spiritual connection. Additionally, the energy of Reiki is calming, rejuvenating, pain-relieving and stress relieving, allowing one to emotionally come into balance and focus on the healing work at hand. Finally, the focus of the session can and should have an intellectual intention, and both giver and receiver concentrate on this goal throughout the session. For example, one could intend, simply, that the energy go to the highest good of the body for health and healing. Alternatively, one could intend that the energy flow throughout the body to strengthen the immune system and bring focused energy to the knee as it heals from the trauma of surgery. Countless intentions can be formed, and the session is mentally recharging in this way.
The recipient is in charge of his/her health, and a Reiki session is a gift of energy that will be used in a focused or general way, always with the intention that it result in the highest good for all.