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  • Sarah Wheeler

The Nourishing World Order: Reiki as a Balm for our Post Covid World

Updated: Mar 9

Discovering the spiritual system of Reiki will offer solace and courage for times ahead.


Cue the theme music from “Jaws”.


Just when we thought it was safe to get on with our lives. Just when we thought we were getting much needed respite from the propaganda and fearful news…


We had a little time to breathe when the UK government droids announced the end of their Public Health Crisis, before the press started banging the drums of the next crisis coming our way. As far as media headlines are anything to go by, there is always some crisis or war going on. The War on Terror, The War on Drugs, The 2008 Financial Crisis, The Covid Crisis, One Step Closer to War. With so much crisis and The Wars on This, That and The Other it’s a wonder that people do not walk around exhausted in constant low level and stress and free-floating anxiety….Wait! Isn’t that what has been happening to people for the last couple of years?!


AND THEN, drum roll please: In slithers Bill Gates touting his new book on how to prevent the NEXT pandemic.


Yo, Bill! We might shout.

How do you know there will be a next? Do you have vested interests that would benefit from another pandemic? How come you have so much to tell us about the intricacies of virology and disease without a single scientific qualification? Did you did you chew it all over while you kicked back on Epstein’s jet?


How do you, personally, navigate news of various crisis and ongoing wars? Honestly, I think we do well not to just hide in a cupboard given the amount of souped-up scary news the media likes to serve us.


What might be the agenda for peddling fear? One might ask.


I enjoy hearing peoples’ sideways views on how to avoid being overcome by the barrage of sh*t that world governments and mainstream media fire in the direction of the general population.


They fire it toward those of us who are doing what we can to enjoy our lives, attend to our basic needs, participate in our local communities, make money and afford ourselves entry level self-care.


Never watch the news! Don’t vote! Grow your own food! Learn survival skills and self defence! Stay connected to your spiritual practices! Find new ways of creating community outside of this thing we call The System!


There are things I like about all of these suggestions. Thanks to the guidance of my partner, a vegetable patch and greenhouse sprung up in our garden last year. I am glad to say that I can’t remember the last time I thoroughly read a mainstream media news article other than to skim for the tone and agenda being touted.


We could find solace elsewhere. It is the nourishing healing system of Reiki which has helped to keep me vaguely sane since I first met Reiki in 2015. I teach Reiki because I can personally vouch for the impact it had on me to help me heal from a long-term eating disorder and PTSD. In my humble Yoga/Reiki teacher opinion, what the world needs now is:


Love Sweet Love

Nature Sweet Nature

Trust Sweet Trust

Connection Sweet Connection

Beauty Sweet Beauty


Reiki has its roots in all of these needs. The founder of Reiki, Mikao Usui, drew on his background in nature based Shintoism and the foundations of oneness and connection within Tendai Buddhism during his process of developing the Reiki system.


Reiki has become synonymous with hands on/off healing, particularly in the West. If anybody is talking about Reiki they are generally referring to the application of placing one’s hands on or around areas of one’s own or a client’s body to help facilitate physical, mental, spiritual or emotional healing (or all of these!). Reiki works. Hands on/ off healing is offered in many hospitals around the world to help facilitate patient recovery and to help manage stress levels of those with terminal or chronic conditions.


A study on post-surgery Reiki took place at the Bryn Mawr Hospital in Pennsylvania where patients were offered Reiki sessions after their complete knee replacements, with twenty patients were in a control group. The Reiki sessions provided significant pain relief before and after the surgery. According to the British Medical Journal’s study on Supportive and Palliative Care, it was concluded that Reiki decreases pain, anxiety and depression and improves the quality of everyday life in several conditions. What goes on in the body during a Reiki treatment is that the parasympathetic nervous system, the branch of the nervous system responsible for our relaxation response, becomes awakened thus encouraging healing across our holistic body system. If there is any goal to offering Reiki through hands on healing it is to strengthen the body’s innate restorative processes. There is SO much more to Reiki though than the possibility of giving Reiki treatments.


Reiki is an entire spiritual system with five branches, all of which work in union to help bring the practitioner into relationship with the universe as a being connected with all living things. In my opinion, the most beautiful effect of the Reiki path is the sense of coming home to myself which gets more palpable the more regularly I connect with my practice. Working with Reiki for five years has provided me with an unmessable-with inner anchor that no matter what happens, I will be OK and I am enough. I had searched outside of myself in people, substances and things, for that sense of OK-ness for much of my adult life. Corny as it sounds, my answers and OK-ness were in my heart, there had just been too many blockages and crud (beliefs, wounds, traumas) for me to believe in my own Enoughness.


No matter what bizarrely concocted plans were undemocratically shoved our way over the last couple of years, I had a place to come back to. A place where I could trust myself to ask questions, trust my instinct, listen to others (sometimes messily because there have been arguments!) and make choices that were based on my values of healing, freedom and integrity. Whether I am doing a hands on self-treatment or meditating on the Reiki Principles I am able to come back to my heart anchor amongst any exterior chaos.


When Reiki students share with me the shifts that are happening in their lives since stepping into Reiki, that feeling of connection to the universe rings true. From aiding sleep to easing pain and emotional distress, Reiki has many gems to offer us. I am reminded of Mikao Usui's words: Reiki is love. Love is wholeness, wholeness is balance, Balance is freedom from dis-ease.


The Reiki system offers us a chance to learn who we truly are, underneath the layers of personality, social conditioning and anxieties.


In a world which wants us to rapidly divide its people into categories: left or right, jabbed or unjabbed, Biden or Trump, Russia or Ukraine, Vegan or Paleo, like or dislike, it can be comforting to remember that humans are not creatures that are easy to categorise. It is unnatural to do that to us. We are messy, intricate, fluid beings and we need to meet our own and other people’s messiness with compassion and open-hearted patience rather than the conditioned sympathetic nervous system reactions which have us look for the threat that our fellow humans pose to us. If you have a background of trauma which many of us do, where you have been under real threat, the constant banging of war-crisis drums can heighten the fight, flight or freeze reactions which encircle our view of life.


Let’s also get real that the world is still reeling from the impact that lockdowns and the restrictions on health care have taken on humanity’s general wellbeing. According to MQ Mental Health Research, there are ten million people in the UK alone that cannot get the mental health treatments they need. The way that the powers that be collaborated to handle the virus has exacerbated this need. Millions of people need anything from acute mental health crisis intervention from medical professionals to discussions on ways to care for themselves. What would it be like if our schools showed us how to care for ourselves with self-healing techniques, to help us manage some of our mental health needs?


Crystals

When ever we can, let us gently back away from the media narratives on our screens which increase fear and frustration and turn toward caring for ourselves. Sure, it is not always that simple to come toward calmness. I definitely benefit from expressing my anger and irritation at how governments treat their people (do remember that if you live in a democracy, your government is meant to work for you, not rule over you), I rant with my friends or write it all down, assess why I feel so damn triggered, and allow the energy of anger to pass through me. Then I can come back to the things I care about: friends, family, having a laugh, eating hummus and my spiritual/self care practices.


F**k knows what the next few months hold, or the next week or day. I do have a feeling though that practices like Reiki which help us to care for ourselves (and perhaps others), will become radical super powers of the coming age.


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