Written by Kate Bouchard
For some time, people in western societies have been turning to ancient eastern techniques such as meditation, yoga, or acupuncture to better their health and wellbeing. One of these techniques, of which I am a trained practitioner, is Reiki Energy Healing. Reiki is a practice that aids the body in releasing stress and tension by creating a deep sense of relaxation. Because of the level of relaxation reached during a session, Reiki promotes both healing and good health.
Energy both surrounds us and is within us. Just like a plant flourishes when placed in the light and spoken to kindly each day, so do humans. We are attracted to high and positive vibrations, while being repelled by negative or low energies.
Ever walk into a room and be able to physically feel the tension after someone just had an altercation? Or see a person walk by on the street who seems to emanate love and light? Then you have already been introduced to the concept of life energy. It’s on these ideas that energy healing practices are based. The human body has an energy field and the brain emits energy signals throughout your body via nerves and energetic pathways. Reiki energy healing is based on the ancient idea that strong life force energy contributes to good health, and a diminished supply of life force energy can contribute to illness.
Reiki restores energy balance by relieving the physical and emotional effects of unreleased stress.
And stress is a real problem today - medical research has determined that continual, ongoing stress can block the body’s natural ability to repair, regenerate, and protect itself. In fact, the American Institute of Stress estimates that 75-95% of all visits to doctors are the results of reaction to stress. The physiological impacts of stress can include everything from minor aches and pains such as tension headaches, to major health problems like heart disease.
Over the last number of years, scientific evidence has been published about the real, physiological and psychological benefits of eastern spiritual practices such as meditation and yoga. Reiki is less scientifically studied, but it is beginning to be used in conventional medical spaces as a compliment to traditional western therapies. In fact, more than 60 hospitals in the United States have adopted Reiki as part of patient services, according to a UCLA study, and Reiki education is offered at 800 hospitals.
As I always reiterate to anyone considering reiki, while energy healing can be an effective compliment to other holistic therapies and medical treatments, in no way should it be considered a substitute for appropriate medical or emotional treatments. I suggest being wary of any practitioners who claim otherwise. It can, however, be extremely useful in calming the anxieties and stresses of undergoing invasive procedures, and in releasing those negative emotions and fears that have built up over time. You can think of it as priming your body, your mind, and your spirit to give it the best possible conditions for healing.
The first two questions I get from those trying reiki are: what happens during a session? And, what does reiki feel like?
Imagine an environment similar to when you receive massage therapy - you’ll be on a massage table with linens, and the scene is set for relaxation and comfort. A candle may be lit and relaxing music might be playing. Some practitioners may also use essential oils or crystals. The difference between massage therapy and Reiki is that with Reiki, clients are fully clothed. They are invited to close their eyes, and there is no talking during the treatment. Reiki healing can be performed with or without light, non-invasive touch depending on your level of comfort. It is just as powerful at a distance, if you would prefer a no-touch treatment.
Some clients feel sensations during a treatment such as “waves of energy”, see colours, or shapes, or feel radiating warmth.
Others have no to little sensory experience, and report general feelings of relaxation. If you don’t personally experience sensations during treatment, there’s no need to worry - it does not mean you won’t reap the benefits of Reiki. When working with a new client, I sometimes explain that a reiki session is, at “worst case”, a relaxing, meditative hour, but the reality is that most of the people who have been on my table experience much more than that.
In my client case forms - of which (before COVID) I was working toward submitting to the Canadian Reiki Association to become registered - clients have described all kinds of experiences during a session including seeing colours and lights, feeling emotion rise to the surface, seeing scenes or visualizations, feeling vibrations, and more. Some cry as we move them into a deep state of relaxation, others experience feelings of warmth and safety. Many times they report feeling my hands performing light touch on two areas of their body at once.
I have personally found Reiki to be a wonderful compliment to therapy, naturopathy, supplementation, acupuncture, and conventional medicine. As I was preparing for my first ever surgery in November 2020, Reiki helped clear and heal the complicated negative energies and anxieties I had around the specific health issues I was facing. I was able to receive treatments pre and post surgery to support me in my healing, and in the release of what I think of as “stuck” negative energies that had accumulated in my body, and to be honest, in my heart.
As a client, I have been deeply moved and touched by how Reiki has supported me emotionally, physically, and mentally.
As a practitioner, it brings me such joy to be able to harness energy, light, and love through Reiki to support the healing of others. I must admit, it feels as though I am healing myself in the process.
I invite curious and open spirits to explore Reiki as another tool in their toolkit towards health and wellness.
Kate is a trained Reiki Energy Healer, having received her certificate in Usui Reiki Level 1 and training under Reiki Master Teacher and Spirituality Mentor, Myorei Zeraffa.
In addition to founding Loba, Kate is the CEO and Founder of Vancouver marketing company Armature Collective where she leads a team of creative freelancers in delivering marketing and branding strategies for their clients, many of which are in the health and tech space.
Kate's unique history spans international corporations, boutique firms, government-funded associations, numerous personal and professional creative endeavours, and successful forays into entrepreneurship.
She believes strongly in giving back and supporting personal development. She has held numerous community leadership roles and provides Purpose Coaching to select clientele.