One of the first things I was taught about reiki energy was that it is intelligent and flows to where it is needed. Naturally this was difficult for me to grasp until I experienced it for myself.
I had promised reiki to my friend and colleague, Jean Nielsen, before her foot surgery. By the time we coordinated our schedules, I was a reiki 2 practitioner and Jean had resumed walking, with the support of a cane.
Jean and I were both thinking about her foot as I began the session. I started at the head and moved systematically through the hand positions as I had been taught, down towards the feet.
This steady progress was interrupted at Jean’s hips, where I was suddenly struck with a visceral appreciation of what it feels like to lose mobility. I gasped, “This sucks!” “…This is even worse then losing a driver’s license!” “…This is simple, everyday tasks like walking to the washroom!!” Eyes tearing with frustration, I wailed, “This really sucks!”
Pausing to grab a tissue, I looked at Jean, seeking confirmation. “That’s right!” she agreed, bemused at how her pain was causing such a reaction in me.
Then she apologized for making me cry. I assured her that no apology was necessary. To walk a mile in Jean’s shoes, I needed to feel extreme frustration! Besides, I explained, I wasn’t attached to the emotion because it wasn’t mine; it was hers!
Resuming at Jean’s hips, I sensed something even darker. “It’s so scary!” I exclaimed. Losing mobility for Jean was forcing her to face her own mortality; first the foot, then the legs, then the hips… “…A slippery slope,” I elaborated, “…the beginning of the end!”
I asked Jean if she’d been fretting about these things or had a good cry about them. She agreed it had been troubling her and was sometimes a major source of frustration and even anger; she had been expecting to be reasonably pain-free and mobile again after her operation and hadn’t expected the pain to move to other spots. Because she was walking unevenly with a cane, her hip had actually been giving her more grief than her foot.
She said she tried not to wallow in these feelings, but she sometimes feared that things were getting worse instead of better. My talk of mortality and the ‘slippery slope’ was exactly how she had been feeling.
She also said she hadn’t been talking about this to anyone and was extremely surprised when I picked up on it. Our discussion helped Jean realize that it was time to start taking action by consulting with a chiropractor and/or physiotherapist.
As I completed the session, I didn’t observe any noteworthy sensations at Jean’s feet… so what we had both expected to be a primarily physical, foot-focused treatment turned out to centre around blocked emotional energy in her hips!
I saw Jean again that evening. She reported, with surprise, that her hips were feeling much better. A couple of days later, she texted that she was, “amazed at the difference. I thought I might feel ‘fresher’ but didn’t realize the pain would actually go away! Hips are so much better. A little pain creeping back but nothing like before. Thank you so much for taking on my problems and throwing them away!”
Having a sunny outlook is a blessing and I have no doubt about it supporting healing. At the same time, Jean’s session illuminated the value of surfacing and releasing negative emotions. I believe that seeing me reflect her distress helped Jean acknowledge how frustrating and scary losing her mobility really was.
In Jean’s and other reiki sessions I have experienced, sometimes I rant, sometimes the recipient cries, and sometimes we rant and cry together. It doesn’t seem to matter who expresses emotions as long as they are acknowledged and cleared.
Jean’s session also convinced me of the intelligence of reiki energy. I trust it to flow where it is needed.