UPDATES: On Reiki, The Real Etouffee, and Olives Redux

On Reiki

Just for today,
I will not anger
I will not worry
I will be gratefulI will
Iwork hard on myself
I will be kind to others

– Five Principles of Reiki

Thank you to every person who has written to share their experiences with Reiki, either on New Year’s Eve or elsewhere, or their genuine interest to learn more about it. I just wanted to take a moment to share with everyone a few resources for those who would like to learn more about Reiki in general, to find a practitioner for hands-on healing.

When asked, many people say they aren’t sure if they felt anything during their session, whether hands-on or distant. This is not unusual. As a recipient of Reiki from other people, I always experience a sense of deep relaxation, and usually also a sensation of energy in motion, whether as undulating or pulsing waves, or warmth traveling from the site of the practitioner’s hands to other parts of my body. One practitioner sent cool energy from her hands which was still deeply relaxing. As a practitioner, I often feel very warm internally (as if I’ve been doing intense core exercises), and my hands and feet feel very cool, although when doing in-person treatments, I’m always told my hands feel like a heating pad.

For a description of what you can expect during Reiki hands-on treatment, I recommend the book, Reiki: Healing Yourself & Others, by Reiki Master Marsha Burack. I chose this book for my home library recently because it’s beautifully illustrated and includes photographs of each Reiki hand placement. On the Web, Reiki Master David Herron offers a description of Reiki treatments and the hand positions on his site, The Reiki Page.

For a more clinical description of Reiki, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides an introduction to Reiki as it is understood by their scientists on their site.

In this scientific vein, perhaps one of the most exciting developments about Reiki is its use in clinical trials sponsored by the NIH. There are currently 5 different scientific studies funded by the NIH that are looking at the effects of Reiki on stress, advanced AIDS, fibromyalgia, prostate cancer, and the effects of diabetes (painful neuropathy & cardiovascular risk). (Learn more or volunteer — 2 of the studies are still recruiting). I’ve also found a reference to, but haven’t read, a journal article about the use of Reiki in managing pain in advanced stage cancer patients: “A phase II trial of reiki for the management of pain in advanced cancer patients,” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Volume 26, Issue 5, November 2003, pages 990-997. Karin Olson RN, PhD, John Hanson MSc, and Mary Michaud RN.

Even without the hard empirical evidence, many hospitals, treatment centers and hospices now have patient treatment programs, mostly staffed with volunteers. Learn more about the Reiki In Hospitals project.

And more recently, nurses in many states can earn continuing education credits when learning Reiki. Reiki’s benefits to both patients and nurses (as self-treatment) is widely recognized in that profession. See individual states for requirements.

If you would like to find a Reiki practitioner for a hands-on session, the International Association of Reiki Practitioners(I am not a member) has a site available in English, French and Spanish that will assist you in finding one of their members near you.

If you’d like to continue distance healing, the Free Reiki Project accepts requests for Reiki healing, and is staffed by volunteers. You can reach the Project on RM David Herron’s site.

More questions? Let’s talk about it — leave a comment below or email me.


On Etouffee: I have permission to print Paula’s wonderful Crawfish Etouffee recipe. (See updated post)

On Fried Olives stuffing: we filled more olives, but also sweet peppers and mushrooms. (See updated post)