Why Reiki Works For Me

By Laura Braden

Always feel like you’re burning the candle at both ends? Need more mental clarity? Holding on to grudges or past traumas way too long? Have a hard time slowing your mind down? Do you feel mentally, emotionally, spiritually or psychologically stuck?

If you answered yes to any of these – you should consider Reiki.


I found Reiki in 2011 during a “transitional moment” in my life where I was acutely aware that I was growing and evolving, but it was a painful and inefficient process. I was mentally, spiritually and psychologically stuck – what did I really want with my life? Where did I want to invest my time? Why can’t I just move on and let toxic loved ones out of my life? Am I ever going to resolve my trust issues? Frankly, I’m constantly asking myself these sorts of questions, but this latest installment was awful. Nothing felt right. As usual, my professional life was great – but my personal life was a mess.

Enter my dear friend AK Vogel. She was on the tail end of a similar journey and shared her experience of Reiki over a tearful lunch (mine, not hers). So I gave it a shot – and have been hooked ever since.

What and the Heck is Reiki?

According to Reiki.org, “Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.” … Its use is not dependent on one’s intellectual capacity or spiritual development and therefore is available to everyone. It has been successfully taught to thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.”

I can practically hear some of your eyes rolling right now. 🙂

Reiki is incredibly hard to explain, but physically, it feels like alternating waves of light/warmth and mentally/emotionally, it feels comforting/healing.

What Happens During Reiki?

The standard process usually includes a brief consult/check-in with your practitioner in a dimly lit room with soothing music. You remain clothed under a blanket on a massage table. Just close your eyes and settle in. It’s about 20 percent actual massage with 80 percent “waving” and “moving” energy around.

Every now and then (and if your practitioner is also really intuitive/psychic) they make ask you questions or say they’re seeing something that’s always meant to be symbolic to your life, but the talking is really minimal. I’ve had folks ask me “who’s the young teenaged boy with blond hair that’s died?” (my best friend from high school) or “wow, I feel like I’m pulling a lot of arrows out of your back” (thanks, be sure to get them all out) or “your left side is way more tense than right, which means X, Y and Z.”

Source: Slate.com
Source: Slate.com

The best part of Reiki is that all you really have to do is relax and focus on your breathing. You don’t have to clear your mind or even stay awake (I’ve fallen asleep and had some of the CRAZIEST dreams ever). I’ve had giant tears roll down my face – inextricably. I’ve had my body jolt and my stomach rumble, only to peek open my eyes and see my practitioner waving over that section. And I’ve had some of the biggest mental epiphanies of my life simply by laying on that table.

I always walk away from Reiki with mental clarity and a better understanding on whatever is plaguing my mind. It’s allowed me to say goodbye to people I love but aren’t good for me. It’s allowed me to “own” and accept who I really am and what I really want.

Just like anything else, it’s not a silver bullet. But a dear friend struggling with cancer and using all means at her disposal (chemo, yoga etc) tried it, and said it was one of the few things that truly brought her peace. And just like most other things (yoga, meditation, therapy), if you go with clear intentions, you’re more likely to walk out satisfied.

Local Practitioners

I’ve been to all of these folks – and they’re amazing. For newbies, I’d suggest Courtney to get you started.

GINTREE REIKI: Courtney Ginn
In between spaces, but she makes house calls!!
916-583-8328, GinnTree AT gmail.com 

225 30th Street, Suite 208
916-531-8298, marion.livingreiki AT gmail.com

House calls and office visits!
706-766-0298, Contact him.

MICHELLE MAHLMANCertified Holistic Health Coach and Reiki Practitioner
michelle.mahlman AT gmail.com

Try it out and let me know what you think!

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