Reiki energy and the human 5 senses.
Reiki is unknown by the majority of the human 5 senses as it is dealing with healing energy from the Divinity, energy that most people can’t see, hear, taste or smell. Though they can often ‘feel’ the energy and it is translated by the human brain into a sensation of heat. This positive healing energy can be heightened for the Client by involving the senses. I have omitted the sense of taste as we do not feed our Clients.
The brain and the five senses.
I just thought I would do a quick thought provoking post about other factors that come into play when we help someone. Using these processes can be as equally beneficial to the Practitioner as well as the Client, keeping in mind that we too have ‘the brain and five senses’ connection.
We are constantly making memories or decisions based on our 5 senses, this is how we make sense of the world around us and how we keep safe e.g. if something feels hot we don’t hold it or if something tastes bitter or rancid we will usually spit it out.
Below are some ideas and it maybe instinctively something that you already incorporate into your Practice or you may read something today that you could add to your healing sessions to make it more meaningful for the Client.
Benefits of sounds for healing.
The right music or nature sounds can be healing for the Client. Sound is such a valuable therapeutic tool for balancing and healing. How do we decide what is best for the Client? We don’t, I think the best sounds for healing are what the Client responds to so why not ask the Client what they prefer e.g. sea/waves, the countryside, crystal bowls or flute music etc. I say this because I have had a few healing session that have woken me from a nice deep relaxation to the sound of a groaning whale, when I much prefer the sound of waves (the beach being my happy place).
All Clients are individual and you want to make it a therapeutic atmosphere in the treatment room, it can be the difference between the Client relaxing, releasing pleasure-producing chemicals and being mentally in their ‘happy place’ OR them feeling annoyed and releasing adrenaline ( a stress hormone).
Though we don’t have control over outside noises e.g. workmen digging up the highway. If working from our home we do have more control over noise pollution within the building. If working from home discussing with family members how important it is that it is quiet and peaceful when you have a Client may be appropriate. Signage to remind people of this is useful, such as a ‘Therapy in progress. Please be quiet’ sign attached to the front-door or therapy room door.
Asking for feedback from Clients periodically is essential, use this to ask about anything that prevented them from relaxing. If unwanted noise was an issue you can limit it as much as is feasibly possible. I stopped seeing an Energy Healer because her treatment room was above her stairs and every session her teenage daughter come home slamming doors, running up and down the upstairs and rummaging in her bedroom. This often ruined my relaxation and I found myself waiting each time for her to stop rummaging and to run downstairs again. It’s good to remember that the Client is paying for a service and part of that service is respite from the noise and hustle- and-bustle of their busy day.
Touch: Benefits of therapeutic touch.
This title may seem strange for Reiki Practitioners as we do touch our Clients, though we do gain consent as we know that not everyone likes to be touched. With Reiki we can hover above and this works just as well.
There are many other forms of therapeutic touch and they can make a big difference to a Client when they are upset or stressed. In nursing we used a hand on the shoulder to depict that we cared and that we were listening or a hand on the Patient’s hand. However therapeutic touch does have to be used with caution, though for some this touch can be a comfort in their time of need for others it is unacceptable. A lady whose hand I held all the way to the operating theatre when I was a student nurse stopped me two years later in the hospital to say thank you, she had never forgotten me holding her hand and keeping her calm until she went into theatre. Therapeutic touch can be something that is remembered long after we have forgotten that kindness.
However for other Clients touching could be a cultural ‘no-no’, some cultures do not want to be touched by someone who is not their family e.g. Japan. Also some people just do not like to be touched in anyway.
I think as you get to know your Clients you know who is hands-on themselves and who responds well to a caring hand on the shoulder.
Smell: Benefits of aromatherapy oils.
I think smells are another therapeutic tool, smells are a really important aspect of our daily lives. How many people love the smell of their first coffee in the morning, or the smell of their toast? Smells help us cement memories in our minds too, so spearmint/peppermint oil may remind us of Christmas and candy canes. Also these oil have an uplifting and balancing quality.
I personally use peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil if I have a cold or sinus trouble, they really help to unblock my nasal passages. This could be used with a Client if they come in with a cold or blocked nasal passages, a few drops in an oil diffuser or on a tissue next to the Client’s head (not too close it gets into their eyes) to ease congestion.
Lavender and camomile are great oils to help a client relax and unwind. I often drip it in the top corners of my pillow at night to help me sleep.
If a Client needs their mood boosting the zesty citrus oils are very good for this. If a Client needs a quick lift in spirits then lemon or orange oil is very good, it help can elevate a Client’s mood and they are also calming. Grapefruit oil is both balancing, uplifting and may help with anxiety.
One of the best oils to use in your treatment room in winter and times of cold outbreaks is the ‘four thieves oil’, it smells wonderful!!! If you have never heard of this oil here is a short version of the tale, during the ‘black plague’ four thieves who use to rob the dead were brought to trial. The judge offered leniency if they could tell the secret of how they never got infected by the plague. They explained it as a mixture of aromatic herbs and oils that they rubbed on themselves before committing their crimes. Whether it’s true or not who cares it’s a great story and the oil is believed to be antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral and boosts the immune system thus keeping cold and virus away. It is thus beneficial for the Client and the Practitioner!!
However again it is best to discuss with the Client if they have a preference or dislike a certain smell, I know someone who hates the smell of lavender with a passion!! This is why I suggest dripping the oil on a tissue near the Client instead of dripping it on the sheet or pillow.
If the Client likes the smell of lavender and as they relax you can mention how relaxing lavender is they can then associate lavender with relaxing. This is called ‘neuro-associative conditioning’, this cements the smell of lavender to relaxation. This can be useful for future therapy sessions but also it gives them an oil they can use at home e.g. to drip on their pillow at night or smell when at work and they need to relax a little.
I did an essential oil workshop that got us to stand in the ‘power stance’ and to say positive confidence evoking statements while intermittently smelling the blend of oils the practitioner had dripped onto our palms. This smell was then strongly link to these feelings and statements, if a Client e.g. has feelings of anxiety or dread then a sandalwood essential oil would be good for this exercise.
Sight: Benefits of Spiritual healing colours and pictures.
We have all heard that ‘first impressions count’, what we see visually is quite often the first sense we engage in a situation. These visual images have a profound effect on our brain, emotions and then body functions. If we watch a scary movie we can feel our heart speeding up, our anxieties levels rising as our ‘fight-or-flight’ response kicks in. For many people sitting at the beach watching the waves flow in and out is very relaxing, this image to them evokes feelings of tranquillity which means relaxing soothing neurochemicals are released into the body.
The above paragraph explains two very opposing experiences through the sense of sight, but how do we bring this into the treatment room? Firstly I would say the images, pictures and décor in our treatment rooms. If you are coming to relax then pictures help denote this is a place to relax e.g. pictures of Buddha, waterfalls, beach scenes, Angels etc. I suggest a waterfall as it can’t be seen as being religious orientated for those Clients that aren’t religious.
Also as first impressions are important you want a clean and tidy treatment room, a cluttered room can be a difficult place for some people to relax in and it can look unprofessional. Also you want the energy to be free flowing, any ‘feng-shui’ expert will tell you that clutter drains away your energy and retains stagnant energy.
The walls should be a neutral tone, some known relaxing colours are cool shades of green and blue, these colours help us feel more balanced and calm.
Purple is a very Spiritual colour and I personally like purple items in the treatment room this can be Angelic pictures infused with purple to amethyst crystals. A purple blanket can also be a lovely addition to the treatment room or a yellow or orange blanket as they are healing colours.
The lighting in a treatment room is very important, too harsh lighting activates our brains and prevents us from relaxing. Having a dimmer switch for the lighting means you can dim the lights for healing sessions and turn it up to denote the end of the session and to help the Client feel more awake before they leave.
To include the senses?
It is a matter of choice whether we try to use the Client’s senses to heighten the healing experience, whether we include one or several of the senses. The good news is that a lot of these practices would also be beneficial to the Practitioner too.
As we do use our senses to retain memories could the smell of lavender and being relaxed then be a new tool the Client can take with them for times of stress? In Nursing we were taught to make the Client/patient independent of us, this could be a way to help them relax and heal in between sessions.
I think as always the thing is to remember to ask the Client their preferences and get Client feedback, everyone is an individual and we all like and dislike different smells, sounds, colours and textures.