Article from VHI Magazine-Its All About Living, Summer 2004
Reiki claims to be a natural
way of energising the body
and channelling energy.
Dara Flynn tries it out
Stress,muscle pain, stomach ache, depression and disease. Most of us can tick at least one of these boxes - all are symptoms of modern day living. Our natural energies are knocked off balance on an hourly basis. We turn to sugar and energising supplements to achieve the balance, a method that usually backfires. Reiki (ray-key) is said to re- energise the body, mind, emotions and spirit naturally, by channelling energy back to the areas where we need it most. Brought to the West by Hawayo Takata in the 1960s, the practice of Reiki was developed by Japanese scholar Dr Mikao Usui in the mid-1800s and is now the fastest growing method of alternative healing in the world. Mary Tuohy is a Reiki master based in Dublin. Mary began practising Reiki in 1997 and in 1998 began educating adults in Reiki. Her courses involve attunement - learning to open up to the life-force energy and channel it. "Anyone can learn Reiki, and anyone can be attuned. The people on my courses also find that learning Reiki has led to changes across their entire lives - their diet, toxin intake, career decisions, relationships etc.," says Mary. It is important to choose a Reiki practitioner who is experienced and reputable. "The practitioner should be level-headed and ideally have worked in the area for a number of years and be familiar with the energy," says Mary
Reiki receivers have seen positive effects on all ailments, from general stress to more serious diseases, although it makes no promises and a reputable practitioner will never claim to diagnose health problems. Reiki has no side effects, although a first-time receiver may feel tired after the session.
Reiki has been the subject of much confusion, and is often thrown into the cauldron with myriad practices from faith healing to spirit guide channelling. In fact, Reiki practitioners do not claim to channel spirits or deal in the mysterious. The practise is more about overall healing than anything that stems from the occult.
Most critics of Reiki base their censure on the fact that they do not believe in a universal life force energy in the first place. In fact, mainstream physics has proven that the entire universe is composed of energy and the human energy field can be perceived by scientific instruments. The notion of energy is no longer obscure.
"Just as the body knows how to regenerate itself where and when it needs to, it is the body of the receiver of Reiki that directs the energy to where it needs to go"
Just as the body knows how to regenerate itself where and when it needs to, it is the body of the receiver of Reiki that directs the energy to where it needs to go. Usually beginning at the head, the Reiki master uses a specific series of hand positions on or just above the body. They continue in patterns along the body and the energy often leads off course to the areas that call for more attention.
Mary begins my session by asking some medical and lifestyle details, for her own information. I remove only my shoes and lie on the table with pillows under my head and knees. Soothing music plays in the background. She begins with my head, opting for gentle, hands-on touch.
Over the course often minutes or so, she gradually moves her hands out towards my shoulders. From time to time, I am aware of a pulsing or vibration in these areas, although so far, no heat. Later, Mary tells me my mind seemed to be racing so the energy took a colder form, literally to 'cool' the mind down. As she moves her hands to the shoulder area, I begin to be aware of an intense heat radiating from the hands. The heat is not a normal body heat, but akin to the heat felt an inch or so above a hot radiator. For the first few minutes my mind was racing. After a quarter of an hour, however, I have allowed myself to drift and find myself in a trance-like state, relaxed and happy. I noticed that the very gentle pressure applied to my chest feels quite heavy. Reiki energies often use the areas that correspond to the chakra centres as a basis, and more energy, she says, was needed around the heart chakra and at the creativity chakra around the pelvis. In the feet she detected an old injury on the Achilles' tendon. The vibrations I felt, she told me, are normal. They were not caused by her hands moving, but by the energy itself.
Afterwards, I felt as if I was covered from head to toe in a warm blanket. I was advised not to get up immediately, but to lie and relax in my new-found bliss. I leave feeling more relaxed than I have ever felt.
Mary advises clients with no major complaints and normal stress levels to undergo a Reiki session about once a month. People suffering pain or ailments may visit more frequently to begin. A session costs 40 euro for one hour, and 50 euro for an hour and a half.
Mary Tuohy is a Reiki master and teacher at all levels and runs courses from her base in Ranelagh. She may be contacted at: An Droichead Ur, 11 Ranelagh Village, Dublin 6. Tel: (01) 491 2166 or 0872206382