By Dr. Lourdes Gray
My late husband, John Harvey Gray would say to his students, “A Reiki practitioner can treat him or herself with Reiki just as effectively as if he or she were being treated by another Reiki practitioner. Reiki is the only modality where the practitioner can be his or her own healer!”
And John was right. One of the greatest gifts Reiki offers us is the ability to heal ourselves, to be our own healers. Reiki self-treatment is so powerfully effective because we, as Reiki practitioners, do not use our own energy to do the healing. Once we are attuned to the Reiki energy, whenever we touch “cells with a purpose,” that is, living cells in the body of a human, including our own body, animal, or plant, the cells that come in contact with our hands recognize that Reiki energy is available and start drawing it automatically. There is no need for prayer or meditation. It matters not that the cells are in the body of another being or in our own body. The process works in either case. It is completely automatic. We, as Reiki practitioners, are channels for the energy. The process of energy delivery does not require any type of effort or concentration on our part. In fact, we can practice Reiki self-treatment when we are asleep. The Reiki energy flows whether we are asleep or awake. As long as our hands are in contact with a body (and its cells) the cells in that body will be able to draw in the Reiki energy!
I was so excited to learn Reiki that the first night of my Reiki I training, I practiced Reiki self-treatment twice, just before bedtime. Then I went to sleep. I knew then, that every time I accidentally would touch my body with my hands during that night, the energy would flow into my body automatically. Before learning Reiki I had a very stressful job. I worked long hours and had very little time off. I was tired most of the time. I suffered from constant colds. As I gave myself Reiki that first night, my body was so depleted of energy that every time my hands touched my body (while I slept), it would draw in huge amounts of energy. I knew this because I would wake up soaked in perspiration from the intense energy flow. I would have to get up, take a shower, change my linens and return to bed. Then, as soon as I was asleep again, and I would unconsciously touch my body, the process would repeat itself. I would wake up drenched in perspiration from all the energy I was receiving. This nightly ritual went on for the first 21 days after becoming a Reiki practitioner. As a result, my overall health improved remarkably! By the end of the first six months of practicing Reiki self-treatment, I was a new person. The stressful events at work no longer affected me in a negative way. I was able to see beyond the surface and understand the teachings that were being presented to me. I felt stronger, more energetic, and happier. I was able to get much more work done during the day and had spare time to enjoy being with my family and friends. My immune system improved dramatically; I was now healthier than I had been in many years.
While lecturing in our classes, John would continue … “What is even better is that we can use Reiki self-treatment no matter what state our health may be in. Because in Reiki we are not using our own energy we can help ourselves no matter how ill we may be.”
When I first became a Reiki Master Teacher, a friend asked me to visit a man who lived in a nearby town. I will call this man “Bill”. Bill had Hepatitis C and was on a waiting list for a liver transplant. My friend and I drove to Bill’s home. I carried my bodywork table to Bill’s second floor apartment and knocked on his front door. Bill was so weak that he could barely open the font door to let us in. He had been sleeping in his living room on an old and filthy mattress. We had to help Bill onto the bodywork table. Before starting the Reiki session, I checked Bill’s general physical vitality … as John had taught me to always do before administering Reiki.
Checking for General Physical Vitality is one of the first techniques we teach in our Reiki I classes. It involves checking the height of a person’s (or animal’s) aura. One of the functions of the aura is to serve as a reservoir of energy. The aura, as a container for energy, can be compared with a balloon which is a container for air. Air expands the balloon; loss of air deflates it. Working in a similar fashion, the more energy or physical vitality one has, the more expanded the aura; the less energy one has, the less expanded the aura. Thus, the height or lack of height of the aura is a good indicator of the level of the energy or physical vitality in the body. When the aura is found to 15 to 24 inches above the chest, then the energy level is considered to be in the good range. When the aura is less than 10 inches above the chest, the energy level is considered to be low. This technique is very easy to learn and gives us a pretty accurate indication of the person’s (or animal’s) need for a longer or shorter Reiki treatment. We can use this information to customize the length of the Reiki session to better suit our client’s energy needs.
I could hardly believe my eyes when I checked the height of Bill’s aura. The edge of Bill’s aura was only two inches above his chest. I knew immediately that Bill’s energy level was extremely low. Bill needed daily Reiki treatments until his energy level improved. Yet, I did not have time to come and treat him every day. Suddenly, I had an idea. I asked Bill if he wanted to learn Reiki. I explained that Reiki is so simple anyone can learn it. I told Bill he would not be using his own energy for his Reiki self-treatments; he could help himself with Reiki no matter what state his health was in. All he would need to do is follow the pattern of positions that I would teach him. He could send Reiki to himself while he slept. Whenever he would wake up, all he would have to do would be to move to a new position. There would be no harm in his staying in a position for a long time … “just move to a new position when you wake up,” I said. Bill answered “yes,” he would be willing to learn. I was delighted. Over the next two days, I taught him Reiki. After I had completed his training and was getting ready to return home, I said, “… remember, you can do self-treatment around the clock. There is no such thing as too much Reiki self-treatment.”
I returned to his apartment the following week to check on him. He greeted me at the door with a little smile, and said he was feeling better. Bill said he had been practicing self-treatment around the clock. This time, he was able to get on the bodywork table without my assistance. I checked the vitality of his aura, and it was better, approximately 10″ above the chest … much better than the week before. Then, I gave Bill a Reiki session, repeated the instructions for self-treatment, and said goodbye. I returned a week later. This time, he had prepared a delicious lunch for me. After lunch, I checked the vitality of his aura. It had climbed a few notches! Bill continued practicing Reiki self-treatment. Every week he seemed to be improving. He began taking walks and later on, started working part-time. Bill was feeling better and better every day. A few months later he went to the doctor’s and had some blood work done. He later phoned me and said his doctor had told him it was the first time he had seen a test for Hepatitis C come back negative after it had been positive. Bill’s body always had the potential to heal. It just did not have the energy to do so. Reiki self-treatment gave Bill’s body the energy that it needed.
Until the time of his passing in January 2011, John practiced the following the self-healing routine. At night, John would give Reiki to his head and neck, his eyes, the side of his head that has to do with hearing, and to his throat. If John had had a particularly emotional day, or if he would wake up and could not go back to sleep, he would place his hands behind his head. This would be the self-treatment protocol John practiced every night. After breakfast, John would practice self-treatment on his torso for approximately 20 minutes. If John had eaten a big meal, he would perform a self-treatment on his abdomen. This would help to digest the meal. If John ever had a sore throat, which happened very rarely, John would spend five or six hours treating his sinuses, throat, and chest. Occasionally, John treated his liver.
John would say to his students, “I treat any position as little or as much as I want to, since I know where my health challenges are. Reiki self-treatment is an effective stress-reduction method. I am a much more peaceful person now than when I was in the business world. I am much healthier than I would have been if I had not learned and practiced Reiki. I’ve outlived the average age for men in my family and expect to continue living longer and in good health.”
Often, people become deeply relaxed while giving self-treatment, and they often doze off. This is fine. Enjoy the nap. You can do Reiki when you are asleep, when watching TV, while driving, or even while sitting in a reception area waiting for the dentist or a business appointment. Just rest your hands wherever you need the healing energy and it will flow quietly and unobtrusively, even while you are napping.
I, Lourdes, prefer doing the self-treatment all at once … usually in the evening at bedtime. While lying on my back in bed or on a couch, I place my hands over my eyes and forehead. If my arms get tired, I put a pillow under my elbows. I stay three to five minutes in each position. Then I do the sides and back of my head. I work my way down the front of the body from the throat to the bottom of the torso, covering the neck, breasts, heart, lungs, diaphragm, digestive system, intestines, female reproductive system, and bladder. I also treat my adrenal glands, kidneys, ureters, sacrum and coccyx by reaching around the back for a more direct effect. If you cannot reach your back, treat from the front of the torso and stay longer to allow the energy to penetrate. I finish by treating the back of my knees and the soles of my feet. The Insomnia Point, an extra point known in Japanese acupuncture, is located in the center of each heel. If you have difficulty falling asleep, treat the back of the head and the Insomnia Point.
After six months of self-treatment, my eyesight also got better. Takata’s recipe for eyesight improvement is to treat positions one, two and three of the second pattern for ten minutes each on a daily basis … in addition to the standard self-treatment routine. She also recommended eye-strengthening exercises before the sessions. “Follow this routine for a minimum of three months before you can expect results,” she told her students.
Problems that generally do not respond to western medicine may improve with Reiki. After several years of consistent self-treatment, a number of students with lifelong thyroid deficiencies have been able to either decrease or discontinue thyroid medication with their physicians’ approval. Several female students with fertility problems were able to conceive after practicing Reiki for some time. The last one we trained sent us a letter a year ago, announcing the birth of her twins.
Rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, allergies, pre-menstrual syndrome and other chronic illnesses can often be improved by self-treatment, keeping in mind that conditions present for years are unlikely to disappear overnight. Consistency is the key.
Reiki self-treatment can also serve as preventive maintenance. It keeps cells energized, making it more difficult for disease to set in.
Most importantly, Reiki self-treatment is an expression of self-compassion. It provides us with a way for us to care for and to nurture ourselves. Self-compassion is different from self-esteem. Self-esteem implies a judging or evaluation of our self-worth. Self-compassion is a way of treating ourselves with love and kindness, in spite of our known shortcomings, our suffering, and our failures. Recognizing and accepting ourselves as we are, and practicing self-compassion are the first steps in our healing process. Being willing to give to ourselves this amazing healing energy is a beautiful act of self-compassion.
John always reminded his students to give Reiki self-treatment sufficient time to work. He would say, “If you decide to do Reiki self-treatment daily for at least six months, you should notice a significant improvement in your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.” I, Lourdes, hope that you discover, just as we did, that Reiki self-treatment is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves.
For more information, please watch the following Reiki self-treatment video by John and Lourdes Gray
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