“What do you get from Reiki treatment?” – “Peace.” One word can say a lot, don’t you think? With Reiki, many clients experience deep states of relaxation, the type of brain frequency that seasoned meditators achieve with years of practice. In the words of a medical doctor commenting on a well-known Reiki blog: “Reiki brings the benefits of meditation to people who cannot sit still by themselves”.
But Andy, the young man who describes the effect of receiving Reiki so eloquently in a single word, is not just any client. Being on the autistic spectrum, this 26 year old service user with severe global developmental delays attends a day centre for adults with learning difficulties, where I have the privilege of giving him Jikiden Reiki treatments on a weekly basis.
His mother and carer reports noticeable results: “He is much less anxious and becoming less rigid in his routines, and more open to spontaneous activities. For anyone with degrees of autism, the smallest change to routine can cause major anxieties. Reiki seems to have an overall calming effect. It reduces Andy’s stress levels and fears.” With visible enthusiasm, she tells me that she now plans any challenging activities for a Thursday afternoon, just after Reiki treatment. “Andy hates being measured at the tailor’s for a new Sunday suit. As he doesn’t like being touched, this is always an ordeal for everyone involved. I just couldn’t believe how easy going he was after his Reiki. This treatment is proving very effective at alleviating some of the issues surrounding his condition. Since he started receiving Reiki treatment, he has also developed a more normal sleeping pattern for the first time in many years.”
Andy can sometimes go without sleep altogether for periods of up to two days, but frequently, during Reiki treatment, he falls asleep as his overactive brain is beginning to unwind. He also suffers from poor blood circulation in the hands and feet, which we tackle by focusing Reiki on the lymphatic system. Often, when waking up from a little snooze, Andy will check that I’m still there and lets me know that he’s enjoying the Reiki by gently touching my hand. I take this as a vote of approval, and it has given me the courage to be bold: Since he is physically very able by comparison to other service users I work with, I decided to give him a 5 minute ‘Kekko’ blood circulation massage specific to Jikiden Reiki, and although Andy does not enjoy touch, he now regularly lets me do this! A small miracle, and one of the many blessings I enjoy in my work as a Jikiden Reiki therapist and teacher.
Special thanks to Andy and his mum for giving me permission to share their story.