Historically, Reiki has been used to increase well-being by alleviating pain, anxiety and stress. It helps reduce the side effects of medications and hastens recovery from injuries and surgery. Reiki works well in conjunction with other types of therapy because its calming effects begin almost immediately. This leaves patients more calm and open to participate in psychotherapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
Free from the mental obstructions of anxiety and pain, people feel more able to adopt challenging changes to their lifestyle. Reiki therapy clears the mind, allowing people to reevaluate their lives and see through the clutter to make important decisions. Through this clarity of mind, Reiki can help people become more active in their health and wellness as they recover from drug and alcohol addiction.
What is Reiki Therapy?
Reiki is a Japanese method of stress reduction that also promotes overall healing. It is practiced by “laying on hands” and is based on the concept that there is a “life force energy” that flows through a person and gives them life. According to this theory, if a person’s life force energy is low, then they are susceptible to get sick. However, if their life force energy is high, they will be happy and healthy.
The term Reiki is the combination of two Japanese words: Rei which means “God’s Wisdom” and Ki which means “life force energy”. So Reiki literally means “spiritually guided life force energy.” The treatment of Reiki has been described as a feeling of sublime glowing radiance that flows through the body. Reiki affects a person’s entire essence: their body, emotions, mind and spirit. This Holistic treatment imbues the patient with relaxation and the feelings of peace, security and well-being.
During a Reiki session, the recipient remains fully clothed and lies down on a treatment table or sits comfortably in a chair. Reiki therapy involves a light touch with the practitioner’s hands held on a series of locations on the head and the front and back of the torso. The placement of the hands should never be inappropriate and there should not be any pressure. Additional hand placements can be done on other parts of the body if additional therapy is needed. Some practitioners hold their hands just off the body if desired.
Can Reiki Help Treat Addiction?
The first step in the recovery process is a physical detox from the substances that the person is addicted to. This will inevitably result in symptoms of withdrawal that can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening. Withdrawal can be very stressful for a person, both physically and mentally. Symptoms of withdrawal often include muscle pain, soreness, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting, shakiness, inability to sleep, loss of appetite and extreme mood swings. Reiki can be effective in relieving these physical symptoms as well as calming a person down mentally.
People that are going through the detox process are typically not only suffering from withdrawal symptoms but having to face the wreckage of their past behavior as well. Most likely, there was an inciting instance that brought them to the point where they had to reach out for help. They were likely brought to detox by a family intervention, a medical emergency, law enforcement or just hitting their rock bottom.
The mental state of a person undergoing detox is wrought with panic and extreme stress. During this period, the person is forced to question the way that they have been living their lives and are confronted by the dire need to change everything about themselves. By transferring an energy of calmness, peace and safety, Reiki can ease the transition of beginning a journey into recovery. Once the patient’s body feels safe and supported, it can release the sense of panic and trauma that accompanies withdrawal symptoms.
While the manifestations of pain felt by recovering addicts can be largely felt physically, the root of that pain can be emotional. Recipients of Reiki often express that once their body is calmed and their mind relaxed, that the physical pain subsides.
Addiction creates reservoirs of grief and guilt in a person. The most successful drug and alcohol addiction treatments provide an environment of acceptance that promotes self-love. Reiki does wonders to foster this type of environment. Many patients have claimed that the first time that they ever felt unconditional love was during a Reiki session. Clients often cry during Reiki therapy, this is the body’s way of releasing built-up emotional and psychological stress.
Recovering addicts who were recipients of Reiki have also said that their Reiki sessions were their first experience of being touched lovingly without the other person wanting something from them. Many addicts and alcoholics have suffered physical or sexual abuse. By experiencing tenderness and care they are able to release the tension caused by their desire to protect themselves from further abuse. Reiki allows many patients to experience peace for the first time in their lives.
Unfortunately, for many people, this may not be the first time that they have had to undergo a detox from drugs and alcohol. For many, the effort to stay sober has been impeded by an inability to let go of unresolved emotions and repressed issues. By living in a state of denial, they are blocking themselves off from the actual issues that brought them to the point where they needed to self-medicate or numb themselves. They were only treating the symptoms of their disease and not the cause. Reiki Therapy is a crucial method to break down this denial and bring patients to a fuller understanding of themselves.