Healing Modalities & Methods
Reiki is a dynamic process, technique, and spiritual energy that promotes a healing for the body, mind, spirit and soul; a complete holistic healing for health and wellness. The process and technique of Reiki, pronounced ray-key, infuses loving positive energy from the Universal life force into a person’s energy field to reduce depression, anxiety, stress, and tension. The Reiki energy inspires peace, enhances creativity, increases hope and happiness, promotes compassion for the self and others, and leads to improved relationships. Additionally, Reiki encourages present moment awareness and a recognition of an individual’s spirituality which flows through all aspects of life.
The energy technique of Reiki is most commonly facilitated by a light touch on or above the body by a Reiki practitioner. Additionally, Reiki can be given by the Reiki practitioner distantly and with the practitioner’s eyes, breath, or thoughts. A practitioner can facilitate Reiki through meditation, spiritual prayer, or body focusing techniques or simple thought. The healing practice of Reiki is extremely effective virtually as well.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) considers the energy healing of Reiki to be a mind-body complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and a putative or biofield energy therapy. Reiki allows for a strengthening , cleansing, and balancing of the body’s energy centers and fields.
Reiki can be offered as a standalone treatment, integrative approach, or to compliment Western medical treatment. It can be taught to anyone and administered anywhere. The word Reiki comes from two Japanese kanji, ideograms used in the Japanese written language, Rei and Ki."Rei" refers to universal, spirit guided, and/or divine while "ki" is the life force energy that flows through the Universe. Reiki is believed to come from the highest, sacred source and therefore cannot cause harm or be facilitated incorrectly.
The Reiki practitioner is a facilitator of the healing process and does not direct or provide the healing energy. Furthermore, the Reiki practitioner does not diagnose any medical conditions. Because the Reiki energy is from the Universal life force, a sacred and divine source of the highest vibrational frequency, it is an intelligent energy and works in the needed area of the body. The recipient of Reiki gives the practitioner permission to facilitate the healing. Reiki is not a religion, nor does the recipient have to believe in Reiki or any other spiritual or religious traditions.
The energy of Reiki is a spiritual holistic energy that provides an opportunity for a shift toward positive, life-giving perspectives, and an awareness of the sacred within.
Talk therapy or psychotherapy is a safe and effective treatment that attempts to reverse inaccurate beliefs and modify unhealthy behaviors or lifestyles. Psychotherapy enables individuals to understand themselves, reflect, set goals, take responsibility, and consciously choose to make changes. Psychotherapy is a process of exploring and resolving personal or interpersonal issues as well as developing self-understanding and insight that brings about life changes (Fall et al., 2010). Psychotherapy includes a variety of theoretical orientations to treat mental or emotional issues or illnesses.
Psychotherapy originated with the development of the psychoanalytic theory by Sigmund Freud in the late 1880’s. Freud developed psychoanalytic theory at a time when psychiatry believed that biological factors, such as infections, metabolic disorders, or degenerative processes of the brain were the cause of mental illness and medical interventions were the solutions for neurosis and mental health (Grof, 1985).
Freud’s philosophy, taking a deterministic view of life, considers the unconscious and how past situations influence feelings, thoughts, and behaviors (Freud, 1899). As a reaction for or against Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, other psychological frameworks have developed. Psychological treatments may include cognitive behavior therapy, behavioral activation therapy, psychodynamic therapy, problem-solving therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, nondirective support therapy and social skills therapy (Cuijpers, van Straten, Andersson, & van Oppen, 2008). The therapeutic psychological orientation used depends on the psychotherapist’s perspective and the individual’s condition. Additionally, psychotherapy can be used in conjunction with pharmacotherapy.
The Integration of Reiki & Psychotherapy
The integration of Reiki and psychotherapy addresses the interconnectedness of cognitive, behavioral, spiritual, and energetic aspects of a person by the combination of the holistic and spiritual energy practice of Reiki and psychotherapy. Specific attention is given to the body, the strong therapeutic relationship, the recognition of spirituality, and being in the present moment. The healing that results, promotes symptom reduction, helps develop new and healthy perspectives on life, new coping skills and leads to positive changes in relationships.
Psychotherapy in this model is based on the humanistic and transpersonal psychological perspectives of psychotherapy and incorporates energy psychology. The holistic energy practice of Reiki inherently brings the spiritual aspect of an individual into the therapeutic session. This modality offers a loving, calming, and peaceful experience in which new insights and reflections may occur without judgment or shame. The psychotherapist is able to use Reiki as a tool to shift negative viewpoints to positive, abundant, life-giving perspectives. These changes provide hope.
The Process of Healing
The body is an important aspect in the holistic healing process. The integration of psychotherapy and Reiki brings awareness to the body so that unresolved issues and traumas that are held as stress, tension, pain, and discomfort in the body, can be addressed and healed. These issues and traumas may be creating self-defeating thought patterns, poor self-esteem, depression, and other physical ailments. This modality of healing allows for physical and energetic releases in the body of unwanted emotions.
As holistic and sacred Beings, spirituality cannot be isolated from our lives and hence separated from talk therapy. The theological term, Imago Dei, defines the inherent value and dignity in every individual and implies that as humans, we have a divine spirituality; a moral, spiritual, and intellectual nature that is created. As spiritual healing occurs, perceptions of ourselves may change and recognition of our significance in the world is established.
We learn to live in peace. Peace is accepting ourselves and our emotions and having confidence in our inner strengths. It is trusting the process of life and being in the present moment, truly seeing, feeling, loving, hearing, and breathing. Peace is being. It is not always a serene moment, and we can choose to be peaceful at any time, even at the most anxious and stressful moments.
A Word on Healing
The term “healing,” in this discussion, does not refer to a cure of a disease, but rather a process of personal life-giving transformation that is dynamic and occurs over time.
Cuijpers, P., van Straten, A., Andersson, G., & van Oppen, P. (2008). Psychotherapy for depression in adults: A meta-analysis of comparative outcome studies. Journal of Counseling & Clinical Psychology, 76(6), 909-922.
Fall, K. A., Holden, J. M., & Marquis A. (2010). Theoretical models of counseling and psychotherapy (2nd ed.). New York: Taylor & Francis Group.
Grof, S. (1985). Beyond the brain: Birth, death and transcendence in psychotherapy. Albany, NY: State University of New York.