Imagine being in a meditative state – that complete feeling of calm and presence that restores your balance and leaves you feeling lighter. Now imagine being several “levels” deeper than that state. Imagine drifting even lower into the subconscious of your mind and then watching visions—memories, people, situations, traumas—pass by like a film reel, replaying all the buried thoughts you had long forgotten about, or repressed. This is what I experienced during my first Reiki healing session. Obviously, the idea of watching negative memories or repressed thoughts scroll by doesn’t exactly affirm the (perhaps misguided) expectation of relaxation during a Reiki session. But strangely enough, despite this cocktail of thoughts that whizzed by, I was still calm and clear, observing each memory with distance and curiosity. At the end of the session, however, I felt scattered and foggy, unable to gracefully reflect on my experience. It wasn’t until some time had passed that I started to be able to really think about the visions I’d seen. But I knew almost right away that those visions—those memories, people, situations, and traumas—were energy freely flowing by me. That energy had been blocked and buried deep down, and that was what Alexia, my Reiki healer, helped me release. The whole experience left me feeling very curious. I wanted to understand Reiki a bit better, and what better way than to have coffee with a Reiki healer. So, a few days later I sat down with Alexia Houchins, a level two Reiki healer, to ask her a few questions about Reiki. Here is a snapshot of that conversation, and what she would like to share about Reiki: As a Reiki healer and facilitator, what exactly is your role during a healing session? Reiki healers do not diagnose, treat, or cure specific conditions; they are simply there to channel the energy. “My job is to show up and get out of the way,” Alexia says with a laugh. She explains that Reiki is about holding space and allowing energy to freely flow where it needs to. The role of the healer is to act like a “water hose” that enables the energy of unconditional love to flow into the client. How might one Reiki healer differ from another? The path of the Reiki healer is very intuitive. If the healer is level one, they must be called to be level two. Advancing further up the levels of certification must be part of an intrinsic journey for the healer because with each advancement in level, the healer’s “water hose” expands to channel even more energy. While one healer may be able to channel more energy than another, the important thing is to find a healer you connect with. What can a healer feel from their client during a session? During a Reiki session, a healer can feel heat in places where the client is easily drawing in the Reiki energy. In areas where there is an energy blockage, the healer can feel coolness. “I can feel areas that maybe clients don’t want to release,” Alexia explains. She says that we all have the potential to shift and change, but that our humanness can limit us. Because of this, many of us aren’t yet ready to address certain (often more difficult) parts of ourselves that may come up during these sessions (the “boulders”). We may only be ready to acknowledge the smaller things (the “pebbles”). The healer can feel that reluctant energy. How would you describe the purpose of Reiki to someone who is unfamiliar? Alexia gives an analogy of a dying cell phone. Your cell phone is designed to be able to perform many functions. Over time, though, the battery begins to drain. When your phone’s battery drains, it needs an external power source to recharge. Reiki, in this analogy, is the external power source. By receiving Reiki, you are essentially “recharging” your soul and restoring balance so that you can operate at your best again. Additionally, Alexia explains that Reiki is a heart-centered practice. This means that the energy that is flowing is sourced from a place a love so that the receiver is infused with it. This heart-centered love energy is what facilitates the healing. How often should one do Reiki to experience the full benefit? Reiki should be done as needed. Often, people seek out Reiki during a transition or a crisis, and this is fine. For general maintenance and balance, Alexia recommends integrating Reiki into your schedule once a month. But the timing and frequency of Reiki sessions is completely up to the you.
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