Back & SpineReiki for Pain Relief: Does it Work?

Reiki for Pain Relief: Does it Work?

When you’re trapped in a world of constant, chronic pain, you’ll do anything for relief. Speaking from my own personal journey with Degenerative Disc Disease and a herniated L5, I know this to be true. When Ibuprofen and patience isn’t helping, people seek alternative forms of therapy like massage, ART (Active Release Therapy), chiropractic care, acupuncture, essential oils, Reiki and hypnosis.

If you’re seeking a holistic solution to improve your day-to-day pain management, Reiki may the answer. Reiki is a form of therapy that focuses on your body’s natural energy.

Promoting your body’s healing energy
Its history dates back to the early 1800’s. The word Reiki comes from the Japanese words “rei” and “ki.” The word “rei” means “universal life” and the word “ki” means “energy.”

According to IARP (International Association of Reiki Professionals), “Reiki Practitioners understand that everyone has the ability to connect with their own healing energy and use it to strengthen energy in themselves and help others. It is believed that a person’s “ki” or energy should be strong and free flowing. When this is true a person’s body and mind is in a positive state of health.”

woman receiving Reiki treatment

Relaxation and stress relief

Reiki is known for being an extremely relaxing form of therapy. By freeing the body and mind of unnecessary stress, the body is better equipped to heal itself. According to a Medical News Today article:

  • It is also said to induce deep relaxation, help people cope with difficulties, relieve emotional stress, and improve overall well being.
  • People who receive Reiki describe it as “intensely relaxing.”
  • Small studies show that Reiki can slightly reduce pain, but no studies have shown that it is effective in treating any diseases.

What makes Reiki unique

The trend of using Reiki for pain management is growing. According to UCLA Health, more than 4 million people use Reiki. Advocates agree this holistic is approach to wellness and pain relief is becoming more accepted by traditional medical practitioners.

In order to refocus negative energy into healing energy, Reiki practitioners may use a gentle touch on up to 20 different parts of your body to release your tension and stress. Unlike traditional massage, you are fully clothes during a Reiki session.

Depending on your practitioner and your goals for pain relief, you may not even be physically touched, but instead your practitioner simply moves their hands above your body. For some chronic pain sufferers, Reiki makes sense because physical touch is too painful or uncomfortable.

Why Reiki might work for you
Prior to herniating my L5, I absolutely loved massages – the harder the pressure, the better. After months of excruciating pain, I remember getting a massage thinking that it would alleviate my aching body. Instead of enjoying much-needed relief, my experience on the massage was unbearable.

My masseuse was wonderful and accommodating, but nothing she could do helped. From the moment I tried to lay on the table, I began to understand the true extent of my back injury. We tested different positions with various pillows and I did my very best to relax, but the massage made me even more tense, because my body was anticipating pain with every touch. It was miserable, both physically and emotionally.

That being said, if your chronic pain involves nerve sensitivity like mine did, Reiki could be best option for your situation. It’s a totally safe alternative, so there aren’t any dangerous risks. The only downsides would be the time you spend at your session and the cost of it.

Have you tried Reiki for pain relief? Would you recommend it other chronic pain sufferers?

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