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Reiki Thursday: Getting to the Root of Reiki

By April 25, 2024May 2nd, 2024No Comments5 min read
St. Ann Center's Reiki service is a convenient, cost-effective way to manage stress, ease aches and pains and better understand your mind-body connection.

St. Ann Center’s Reiki service is a convenient, cost-effective way to manage stress, ease aches and pains, and better understand your mind-body connection.

For those who prefer their mindfulness practice mostly hands-off, Reiki can be a powerful way to strengthen the mind-body connection and embrace the peace of total relaxation.

Even if you think yoga, meditation, Reiki and other mindfulness or energy-centered practices aren’t for you, you’ve probably also noticed those practices becoming more popular — even mainstream — with everyone from celebrities and pro athletes to your workmates, friends and neighbors. Even the traditional medical community has, for some time now, embraced mindfulness and wellness practices as practical, low-cost, effective means of helping to ease everything from chronic pain, elevated blood pressure and heart rate to grief, anxiety and depression.

The internationally renowned Cleveland Clinic, which counts Reiki masters among its staff, defines Reiki as an energy healing technique that promotes relaxation, reduces stress and anxiety, and encourages healing through gentle touch or hand movements just above the body. Reiki practitioners use their hands to deliver or redistribute energy to your body, improving the flow and balance of your energy and making your mind and body function as optimally as possible.

Reiki encourages maximum relaxation. When both your body and your mind are fully relaxed, the body’s cells can focus on healing and the mind is freed to function with more clarity. This is why many hospitals and other medical settings offer the practice in tandem with traditional medicine to optimize outcomes.

But Reiki can also help you if you’ve just been marching around feeling emotionally “gunked up” for no real reason,  or trapped in your reaction to a circumstance in a way that neither time nor talk therapy can shake loose.

In addition, Reiki has the benefit of longevity. The Asian-based practice had been around for many centuries before the early 1900s when Buddhist monk and scholar Mikao Usui suffered a near-death experience that led him to explore spiritual healing practices from around the globe, including Reiki – “rei” meaning universal and “ki” meaning life energy. From those explorations, he developed his own form of Reiki from which evolved the more modern practices.

chakra chart final

Think of chakras as critical intersections between your mind and body. If the intersections are blocked, so are your mind and body. Image: blog.mindvalley.com

 

Though Usui did not factor the now-popular concept of chakras into his version, modern Reiki practitioners consider them a valuable road map in providing the most relief to their clients.

Think of chakras as spinning wheels of energy within your body that correspond to bundles of nerves, major organs, and energy centers in our bodies that must stay balanced for us to feel emotionally and physically well. If each of these wheels spin along smoothly, we feel just fine. If they encounter an energy pot hole or traffic jam – that is they are depleted of energy or experience too much — our bodies interpret that as physical and/or emotional discomfort.

There are seven broadly recognized chakras in modern spiritual healing practices, each assigned a number, name, color, health focus and specific area of the spine from the sacrum (near the tailbone) to the crown of the head.

In this weekly series, we will explore each of the seven chakras and how they impact our well-being. In the end, we hope that chakras and the experience of Reiki make sense to you and seem more approachable as a way to heal your body and mind with fewer white coats and trips to the pharmacy involved.

Chakra No. 1: The Root Chakra

 

Muladhara or root chakra symbol

The symbol for Muladhara, or the root chakra, is red to signify its connection to our blood, the earth and our most basic needs.

The first chakra is officially called Muladhara, but you can just call it Chakra No. 1 or the root chakra. As its name suggests, the root chakra – which is situated in the base of the spine — is associated with the things that make you feel grounded or “rooted” in your life: your sense of security, a sound social and familial structure, and feeling at home with yourself, your world and your everyday existence. In short, that your basic needs are met in a way that feels satisfying to you.

When your root chakra is blocked, you may feel physical discomfort in your gut, lower back and lower body parts. Mentally, you may feel insecure, at odds with or disconnected from the people closest to you, angrier or more aggressive for no specific reason, or unable to focus on or complete a task.

Ways to balance a blocked root chakra incorporate its association with the color red and humans’ connection to the earth. Load up on red or purplish foods such as red or blue berries, cherries, blood oranges, radishes, red-hued leafy greens and red beets, or foods pulled directly from the soil such as potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips and onions.

You should also spend more time out in nature. Walk barefoot in the grass or meditate while seated on the ground. Take a long, leisurely stroll and admire the sunshine through the trees. Surround yourself with red, red-flecked or black crystals such as red jasper, garnet, bloodstone, smoky quartz, hematite or onyx, or breathe in earthy essential oils such as frankincense, cedar wood and patchouli, red spikenard or vetiver.

 

vetiver oil can help balance the root chakra.

Often described as the essence of tranquility, vetiver has a deep woodsy scent with a hint of sweet citrus.

Come back next Thursday to learn more about the second chakra, Savdihsthana or the sacral Chakra, which is associated with pleasure, creativity, spontaneity,  healthy emotions and the divine feminine.

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Ready to begin your Reiki journey now? St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care offers 60-minute sessions at competitive prices for community members , clients and staff at both the Stein and Bucyrus campuses. Find out more on our website. To schedule your appointment, or for further questions, please contact MaryBeth Johnson via email  or at 414-977-5077.

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