When you go to the doctor, she treats your complaint — sore throat, upset stomach, insomnia, whatever brought you to see her.
When you go to a Reiki practitioner, she treats you — the person suffering from the complaint (or the person who doesn’t have any complaints but knows she will if she doesn’t take care of herself).
The Reiki practitioner will likely place hands on the part of your body that hurts (with your permission, of course). But she won’t stop there. Most Reiki practitioners will also access a series of hand placements on your head and the front and back of your torso.
You may notice sensations where the practitioner’s hands are. People often do. Heat and subtle movement are common experiences.
Or you may notice that area of your body become more open, feel more comfortable. If you had pain, it will likely diminish, and possibly disappear, even if the Reiki practitioner hasn’t yet touched the painful area.
Reiki healing is balancing
How is it possible for pain in one part of your body to be relieved when the Reiki practitioner’s hands are somewhere else?
No matter where the Reiki practitioner’s hands are, no matter how delightful that light contact may feel, the most important benefit of Reiki healing is what’s happening behind the scenes, inside your own body, where it’s remembering what it knows best — how to heal itself.
Unlike the oppositional approach of conventional medicine, which sends an intervention to directly counter the problem, Reiki healing does not target symptoms or conditions directly.
The parasympathetic what?
Instead of opposing any complaint head-on, an approach which often brings unwanted side effects, Reiki practice is balancing to your whole system. When your body is balanced, your own self-healing mechanisms function at their very best.
While a Reiki hand rests lightly on a particular area of your body, whether or not there is a discernible local response, there is an overall response as your system shifts into parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) dominance.
This is important why?
When the PNS is dominant, the body is in rest and digest mode. This means its priority is to recover, to heal, to deeply nourish and restore itself. The body knows well how to do these things, but our busy lifestyle keeps us in reactive sympathetic nervous system (SNS) mode, where the body’s priority is coping (fight or flight), not healing.
Our bodies simply cannot cope and heal at the same time. It’s fight/flight or rest/digest — not both at the same time.