When dealing with stress and anxiety, many people today are choosing alternative or complementary healing strategies. Although as yet there has not been much in the way of funding for scientific research on energy healing such as Reiki, it is a gentle therapy may be very helpful in relieving stress, anxiety and depression, and while the conventional scientific medical community may not have confidence that it is effective, it is widely accepted that it does no harm.
Reiki, along with other energy healing therapies such as Healing Touch Therapy, is based on the premise that the physical health of the body is only part of holistic health. The mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of life are important to wellness and quality of life.
Reiki and other energy healing modalities are based on the belief that the body has a subtle body of energy that flows throughout the the body. The Yoga and Traditional Chinese Medicine traditions call this energy prana, qi, or chi energy. Reiki energy healing is an energy medicine therapy in which the healer moves their hands over the patient’s body, without physical contact.
Reiki practitioners believe that the therapy itself does not accomplish the healing. Instead, it promotes healing and balance. Although it is often considered to be spiritual healing, it is not allied with any particular religion or belief. The person receiving Reiki does not have to believe in the effectiveness of the therapy, although practitioners do say that the patient does need to want to be healed.
Research is showing that Reiki energy therapy can be very effective in dealing with stress, anxiety and depression. Reiki energy healing has earned respect in the medical community for its ability to relieve stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, nearly 40 percent of adults use complementary or alternative medicine, (CAM).
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) funds scientific research on complementary and alternative therapies. Reiki is a modality that is classified as an energy healing therapy. Other types of energy healing include palm healing, Qi Gong, , Healing Touch Therapy and Therapeutic Touch.
While traditional and natural therapies can help the body to heal, they are not meant to replace conventional medical care. The term alternative and complementary is meant to convey the idea that these therapies can and should be used along with the best practices of conventional medicine.
While many doctors are not trained in complementary and alternative therapies, and are still cautious about prescribing alternative medicine, the evidence for the effectiveness of CAM is increasing. However, there is still a lack of scientific research on CAM, and many questions remain unanswered. As an example, while acupuncture has proven to be effective treatment for many conditions, there is still a lack of scientific understanding of how it works.
Doctors rely on conventional therapies that are well-researched and tested to be safe and effective. One reason for the lack of research is that large, scientifically controlled studies are costly. Research for conventional therapies is often funded by large companies that develop conventional medications. There are few resources for research on alternative therapies, and often little or no financial incentive to invest in costly studies.
There is yet another challenge to researching those complementary and alternative therapies that are classified as energy healing. Modern medical technology makes good use of physical energy, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), laser surgery, cardiac pacemakers, radiation therapy and UV light therapy. However, the subtle body energy that is basic to the traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda is not measurable with our current technology. This poses a difficulty in following the scientific method for testing a hypothesis using control groups, due to the inability to measure results. The placebo effect further compounds the difficulty in determining the cause of any results.
However, many practitioners report that they can see or feel subtle energy. It is very interesting that in animal studies, Reiki produced measurable reduction of has measurably reduced physical symptoms of stress such as heart rate and cellular damage caused by stress. As animals have no preconceived notions about what is happening, the implication is that they are responding to a valid healing energy that is beyond the capacity of modern instruments to measure.
As with any complementary and alternative therapy, Reiki is not meant to replace conventional treatment. Complementary and alternative therapies are meant to be used along with the benefits of conventional medicine. Always, the best practice is always to work with your medical doctor, and communicate clearly about any therapy that you are using. Clear communication prevents unwanted interactions from herbal and dietary supplements as well as ensuring that any complementary therapy that you use is not contraindicated for your condition.
While many doctors feel uncomfortable recommending an alternative therapy that they are unfamiliar with, as more information comes out, and more patients report their results, doctors are becoming more open to therapies that are a safe complement to conventional treatment by doing no harm and providing support for overall health.
Reiki energy healing has been found to be a gentle and effective way to realize a state of relaxation. It reduces stress and anxiety, and may help reduce pain. There are many kinds of Reiki practice, and a wide variety of training methods. One source for finding trained practitioners and information about Reiki can be found on the website for The International Center for Reiki Training.
I would love to hear about your ideas about Reiki and energy healing. Did it help you deal with stress and anxiety? If Please share your experiences in the Comments section below.
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