What is Reiki / Energy Work?
Reiki is a hands-on healing technique that was developed in Japan in the late nineteenth century. It is a simple technique for transferring healing energy from one person to another. Reiki practitioners are trained to sense the energetic fields around the body, detect and correct blockages. They don't actually flow their energy into you, but rather direct 'Universal Energy' to you. Once the energy is rebalanced, the body has an easier time of healing. Most Reiki training, while not religious in nature, teaches spiritually based emotional intelligence and empathy. (Healing Touch/Therapeutic Touch is another energy practice used in the medical field and is similar but is not spiritually based.)
What is Energy?
If you asked a scientist to explain energy, they would define it in terms such as gravitational, nuclear/atomic, electromagnetic, thermal, mechanical, kinetic etc.. But there is a more subtle form of energy that many think flow through all living things. Some refer to it as "Universal Energy". In China they call it Chi (Qi). In India they call it Prana. In Japan they call it Ki. Reiki (Rei-Ki) means universal life energy. It is the circulating life force in all things. Balancing this energy is the underlying principal in Eastern medicine but it is also known by many other cultures, especially the indigenous.
This energy flows through over 100 spinning energetic meridian centers (chakras) of the body and thousands of other energy channels. If you have ever been to an acupuncturist, this is the energetic system they are tapping into. Reiki practitioners, and similar modalities like Healing Touch, also work with this energy.
Universal Energy is difficult to explain and perhaps beyond our full understanding. For those who can feel energy, it takes on different qualities. For me it feels like static electricity so I think it 'piggy backs' along the electromagnetic circuits of the body. It feels tingly. At other times it feels like a force field, similar to pressing against an invisible balloon. Often I feel a temperature change over a particular area of the body and that directs me to work in that area.
Is this Universal Energy Field also connected to the electromagnetics of Earth? I suspect it is, but I am not a scientist so I don't fully understand how it all works. I do know our nervous system works through electrical impulses. The heart and brain generate powerful electromagnetic fields that extend beyond the body (the heart being the biggest generator, reportedly extending 16 feet or more beyond the body and is 100,000 stronger electrically than the brain!). The Earth also has electromagnetic fields. The sun has magnetic fields too and we know that solar flares can affect our cell phones and electronics. Perhaps they affect our own circuitry. We swim in a soup of electromagnetic frequencies. Our natural frequency, I suspect, is calibrated to the frequency of the Earth but we also have other frequencies in our environment - some are natural from the Earth...and some are not (AC power, computer/monitors, radio AM/FM, our TVs, cell phones, WiFi, the sun, x-rays, etc.).
What is Vibration?
Everything vibrates at the atomic level, and atoms make up the molecules... that make up the cells... that make up YOU. In Reiki we talk about the energetic vibrational frequency of the body. Bodies that are resonating out of a healthy frequency will experience health issues. Your organs respond to your vibrational frequency. Your glands respond to your vibrational frequency. Your metabolism responds to your vibrational frequency and your metabolism is one of the ways that Energy moves through your body.
What controls Vibration?
Your vibration responds to the way you feel. When you think a thought you usually have an emotion attached to it. That emotion is the powerful indicator of how you are vibrating. If you are thinking a thought that makes you feel good then your vibration is 'high' and your body is releasing 'happy' hormones and neurotransmitters like Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin and Endorphins. If you are thinking a thought that makes you feel bad then your vibration is "low" and your body is often releasing stress hormones like Adrenaline, Cortisol, Norepinephrine. Everything is mind over matter. Every illness is mental first. Everything is about thought. Everything is about vibration. Everything is about the way you feel. Practice doing things that make you feel good and you are doing your own "Energy Work".
Ways to shift to a healthier Vibration?
So how do we go about raising our vibration to allow the energy to flow through the body better and create a better life? Here are some ways I have found that are helpful.
• Manage your thoughts and emotions. This is the most important way to raise your vibration because your emotions (stress) have a constant effect on your vibration. Find ways throughout your day to stay positive. Do not judge others or yourself. Feel compassion rather than hate or fear. If the emotion that you feel when you think a thought feels bad then spend 10 seconds to turn that thought around and soften it. It is a moment-by-moment retraining of your thought process and belief system. It does not happen overnight so be easy on yourself.
• Sleep or take a nap. We heal when we sleep. When we sleep our energetic vibration naturally rises. When we wake, it goes back to where it last was before we slept. A great exercise to try as you drift off to sleep is to think of 5-10 things you are thankful for. If you go to sleep in a state of appreciation, you will wake up in a higher vibration and it will help set your energy for the rest of the day.
• Turn off the TV if it upsets you. Leave it on if it brings you enjoyment and laughter. But, the biggest negative hit on our vibration, in my opinion, is television. How do you feel when you watch the news? If what you are watching brings you to an emotion of fear, anger or hatred then turn it off. I realize you will want to be informed so it is a balance that you will have to navigate on your own. How do you feel when you watch your favorite comedy? There is comedy that is feel-good and there is comedy that is not. Only you will know what feels good.
• Meditation. Depending upon what type of meditation you practice you either 1) stop thought 2) focus on something neutral, or 3) focus on something pleasing. All of these will raise your vibration. We are all born with a set frequency. It is a naturally high vibration. The main thing that brings it down is resistant thoughts. Meditation allows your frequency time to rise again. 15-20 minutes in the morning is all you need to create a shift in the energy. I suggest 20-minutes right after you wake, before breakfast or dressing.
• Clean water. You knew this one. We are 60-80% water (depending on how much we drink). Our bodies need clean water at the cellular level to heal. We are also electromagnetic so we need a conductor at the cellular level. Water is conductive. If you can afford it, consider spring water or other forms of clean filtered water without chemicals or additives. Even tap water is asking our kidneys to do more work because they have to filter out the fluoride and chemicals they add to kill bacteria.
• Healthier diet and foods with high water content. You knew this one too. We don't all respond to the same diets, but I'm guessing you know what foods make you feel healthier. Most frequencies will raise by following a lighter, 'back to nature' diet and adding more fresh fruits and vegetables (and less chemicals). Also consider the emotional frequency of animals and how emotions affect their bodies. Would you rather eat an egg from a caged chicken whose feet have never touched the ground or one that is running around "free range"? Other considerations are organic and non-gmo.
• Nature. Earth is our home and we are tuned to her frequency. A spiraling electromagnetic energy spirals up from her and when we are in nature, we recharge our batteries, so to speak. Are you a high-rise dweller and your feet rarely hit mother earth? Take a walk in the park. Imagine energy spiraling up into your feet and hands. Smile and appreciate the birds, squirrels and any other animals that you see. Animals are the balancing factor on our planet. Unconditional love is mighty powerful. Pet a dog. Cuddle your cat. Ride a horse.
• Sound. Music has a direct vibrational effect on our bodies. How does a song make you feel? Does it make you feel energized or empowered (think about your workout playlist)? Does it bring up feelings of sadness or anger (breakup songs)? The right music can make you feel joyous. Perhaps you have experienced a sound bath of crystal bowls at your local yoga studio. Maybe you are drawn to Gregorian Chants, Solfeggio frequencies, or other forms of sacred music. Sound has a vibrational frequency that transfers easily to the human body (remember all that water? Sounds travels through the body's water into the cells).
• Color/Light therapy. Our color spectrum has a frequency as well. In fact the chakra system is aligned with different colors that resonate at a particular frequency that supports each chakra. And each chakra governs a gland in the endocrine system. Light waves enter into the eyes and stimulate the pineal and pituitary glands in the brain. When you take that walk to the park, enjoy the sunshine and the colors of nature.
• Energy workers. Energy workers (Reiki or Healing Touch) are people who sense energy. They feel it in their hands and often see it or sense it in other ways. Everyone can develop this sensing of energy to some degree but energy workers have studied the energy system and know ways to influence your energy to shift up to a higher frequency. They don't actually flow their energy into you, but rather direct 'Universal Energy' to you. The frequency shift you will experience lasts for several days but you will need to continue to shift your vibration on your own (or you will undo what they did).