Life’s roads have not been completely smooth for me. I’ve battled disturbing emotions for my entire life, and up until a couple of weeks ago, I thought that future roads looked just as bumpy. That is, until, I discovered Reiki.
I guess I should tell you a little about myself. I’ve been battling depression ever since I can remember. When I was a young child, I have memories of wanting to cry for no reason. I have memories of being so frustrated at something, but not knowing what that something is or how to make it better. As I entered my teenage years, these feelings grew, leaving me extremely uncomfortable and seeking the help of a “professional”. Now, don’t get me wrong. I trust doctors, and I trust that they’ve had their education and know what they’re talking about. But after going to doctors almost every week for the past four years, they’ve unofficially diagnosed me with bipolar depression, severe anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. The reason I say unofficially is because every doctor I go to has a different opinion regarding the technical terms for the type and severity of depression I may or may not have. But there is one thing that is for sure. There is something wrong with me. I cannot handle situations as a normal twenty year old would. I am berated by racing thoughts, panic attacks, episodes of mania and severe depression. I have behavior that could be considered obsessive compulsive, which fuels the anxiety, which in turn fuels my depression. I thought I would have to deal with this for the rest of my life. That’s what brings me back to the topic of Reiki.
I learned what Reiki was only a couple of months ago. I was having a conversation with my friend, and she casually brought it up. It immediately sparked my interest. Somehow I knew that I had to try this. I’ve been on so many medications and seen so many doctors in the past, and nothing has worked. I don’t expect to be cured in one session with my psychiatrist or psychologist, but I also feel that nothing has ever helped me. I take medication to stabilize my mood, and I probably will have to take one form of medicine or another for the rest of my life. Therapy has never been helpful as my situation is more chemical than situational (my depression is derived from a lack or plethora of certain chemicals in my brain as opposed to something bad that happened to me while growing up). I immediately felt that Reiki could be my way to battle depression. At the time, I thought to myself that if it didn’t work, it was at least worth trying. It couldn’t hurt anyone.
I scheduled a group session with my friend, Amanda Nauton, her mother and stepfather, Dawn and Bill Fleming, and Eileen Foley. I was nervous when I first got there. All I saw was a massage table with some blankets on it and the four of them sitting around and talking. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous or skeptical as I lay face up on the table. They all stood around me, closed their eyes, and joined hands. Then they put their hands on my head, my shoulders, and my legs. I was shocked as I felt a burst of energy rush through my body the moment they all touched me. What shocked me even more was that, judging from their reactions at the moment, they all felt it too. They kept their hands in place, and I immediately calmed down. By the end of the fifteen minute session, I was the most relaxed I had been in a long time.
After my first session, I was hooked. When I left their house that night, a type of peacefulness had settled over me. I was also excited when Amanda told me that I could learn how to practice Reiki on my own. I found out that she was teaching her first Reiki I class, and I signed up. In November 2003, I received my attunement and a certificate verifying that I was a Reiki practitioner.
When I went to my first Reiki Practitioner’s night at the Beacon, I was extremely nervous. I kept thinking that I was going to practice on someone and seriously injure them. However, I had a really good time. What felt like thirty minutes was actually two hours. I even got compliments from people who could feel a difference in the section of body on which I was working. It is an exhilarating feeling to be able to help someone, and even more exhilarating knowing that I’m helping myself in the process. When you perform Reiki on someone, you are also healing yourself because the energy has to pass through you in order to get to them. That first Reiki night was the first night in a long time that I didn’t have racing thoughts. It was the first time in my life that I have been able to shut off my mind and only concentrate on one thing: the person on the table who was receiving the Reiki.
My problems have not been cured with Reiki, but it sure has helped. I’ve learned how to meditate and how to calm myself down. After a Reiki session, I find myself much more relaxed and just generally happy. Since I’ve discovered Reiki, I’ve introduced it to two of my friends. One of them just finished their Reiki I class, and the other is signing up to take it. I’m determined to tell more people about it and get more people interested in it.
In my mind, how could you not want to be a part of something so great? In February I completed my Reiki II training and I plan to then go on to study Karuna Reiki. During the past couple of months, I feel that Reiki has been the best medication for me. Although I am not cured of my depression and my anxiety, Reiki has given me the opportunity to sit back and look at things from afar. I am able to relax and sift through my brain and find out what really is bothering me and try to fix it. Because I am able to give Reiki to other people, I now feel as if I am an asset instead of a burden. Being around people who give and receive Reiki is encouraging because I see people being healed in all sorts of ways. Now that I know about Reiki, I can’t imagine life without it.