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I Tried Reiki for the First Time and Here's What Happened

By: Kristin Bugden

Kristin Bugden is a New Jersey-based mom and communications consultant. She loves to write, take barre classes and believes in a good reality television binge-watching session. Here, she writes about her first-ever Reiki experience. 

I’ve been interested in trying Reiki ever since reading an article about it in a doctor’s waiting room. After recently going through a few significant life changes, like becoming a first-time mom and leaving a full-time job to pursue freelancing, I felt like now would be the perfect time to try out Reiki. I wanted to see if it could help me attain a sense of calm and relaxation.

First Things First: What's Reiki?

Essentially, Reiki, is a form of energy healing. It’s a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If your life force energy is low, you might be more likely to get sick or feel stressed. Alternatively, if it’s high, you’re more capable of feeling happy and healthy. Reiki is non-invasive and administered by a practitioner who uses a soft, light touch on the body, or above the body, to focus energy. It can help relieve physical and emotional discomfort, enhance clarity, and promote spiritual healing.  

A Reiki session also includes balancing your 7 chakras, which stretch from the base of your spine to the top of your head. Each chakra is thought to be an “energy wheel” and associated with various emotional issues from self-esteem to our ability to communicate and experience love. 

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The Beginning

I found my Reiki Practitioner, Jennifer, by doing a bit of good ol’ internet research. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I stepped into her office, but immediately felt calm thanks to the soft lighting and a waft of essential oils. After filling out some initial paperwork, we started chatting. She basically wanted a download of my health history and any life changes, as well as what I’m hoping to work on through Reiki. I’ve always struggled a bit with anxiety, especially as it pertains to situations I can’t control, so this was the biggest area I mentioned that I was hoping to address – especially with all the life changes going on.

reiki therapy

The Reiki Session

After chatting for about 15 minutes, Jennifer directed me over to a Reiki massage table where I laid down and was ready to begin the therapy. At first, she checked all 7 of my chakras to see if any were out of alignment and then began a bit of light touching to shift and work with my energy. Since I initially mentioned to her that I struggle with anxiety and carry a lot of tension in my chest as a result, she also did a bit of guided imagery to help me cope with those feelings going forward.

During the guided imagery portion, Jennifer asked me to envision a bubble floating above my chest and to imagine the bubble being filled with all the stress I tend to carry there. She then asked me to picture the bubble floating away and to remember that I have the power to let myself feel a certain way and the ability to let all that tension go. This exercise lasted about five minutes and I have used the imagery concept since the appointment because I found it so helpful in terms of a stress reduction technique.

At the end of the 45-minute session, she went back and checked my 7 chakras once more to see if they were back in alignment. The entire session was basically done in silence except for the few minutes of guided imagery. I could feel the energy moving around as well as a deep sense of relaxation throughout the treatment.

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The Takeaway

Once the Reiki session was complete, we sat down to chat a bit more. Jennifer told me that the only chakra that was out of alignment was my throat chakra which is associated with our ability communicate and express our feelings. This made total sense to me as talking about my feelings isn’t exactly a strong forte of mine and a personal area I’d like to work on. The good news is that it was back in alignment at the end. 

One other thing she said that stuck in my mind was that Reiki is basically a process of reorganizing energy over time and helps the mind and body get on the same page. A perfect example of this is saying to yourself, “I know I shouldn’t be so frustrated about X,” but you continue to be extremely aggravated. Reiki will help you to gain more clarity in these situations and truly let it go instead of physically working yourself up.  

I entered her office a little high strung, but honestly left feeling like I had just had a detox. I’ll definitely be going back. I’m especially curious to see how I feel after four sessions, as she said most of her clients really start to feel a difference once they hit that mark.