Reiki and Addiction Recovery

Relaxation in Recovery

Those people who are recovering from an addiction have many challenges to face during the early days of their sobriety. They may be faced with a substantial stress and experience emotional instability. This part of recovery is sometimes referred to as an emotional rollercoaster. It can take a few months for things to settle down. During this time, people can benefit greatly by practicing relaxation techniques. On technique that people in recovery may want to try is Reiki. In addition to fostering relaxation, this technique may also provide health and spiritual benefits.

Reiki Explained

Reiki is a Japanese spiritual practice that has its origins in the early twentieth century. It is also used as a type of alternative medicine by many people around the globe. It can benefit the individual by promoting relaxation and encouraging the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Roughly translated, the word Reiki means life force energy from a higher power. A treatment using the technique usually involves palm healing. This is where the therapist transfers energy through their palms so that it can benefit their client.

Reiki is based on the understanding that there is a life force called Ki (this is called Chi or Qi in Chinese medicine). If there are any problems with the flow of Ki in the body, it produces physical or mental symptoms. This is what people experience as illness. The goal of Reiki is to increase the strength of Ki and encourage it to flow more smoothly. There are two main types of Reiki: traditional Japanese Reiki and Western Reiki. The main difference between the two is that Western Reiki uses set hand patterns for treatment of different conditions.

Benefits of Reiki

There are a number of potential benefits associated with Reiki including:

* It encourages the body to self-heal itself faster. It may also give the immune system a boost so that it is better able to fight off illness.
* Reiki is believed to help people sleep better at night. Insomnia can lead to different types of mental and physical illness so anything that can combat this is going to be welcome.
* Those individuals who are undergoing Reiki will experience deep states of relaxation. This is highly beneficial because it allows the body to rid itself of tension. Stress is a contributing factor in many types of sickness and Reiki may help people reduce it.
* Those who are dealing with chronic pain may find that Reiki helps to improve their symptoms.
* It encourages the body to rid itself of toxins.
* This technique may help people mentally by increasing their creativity and memory.
* It may help to improve self-esteem.
* In Eastern medicine it is believed that most illness is caused by blockages in the body to the flow of Ki (Chi/Qi). Reiki is believed to help remove these blockages.
* This type of treatment is believed to slow down the aging process.
* People will usually claim to feel full of energy after they have undergone a session of Reiki.
* This technique can be of great value to people who are on a spiritual path because of its ability to cleanse the body.

Benefits of Reiki for People Recovering from an Addiction

Reiki may be of particular benefit to those people who are recovering from an addiction. It is unlikely to be enough alone to help an individual overcome an addiction, but it can be of great benefit once people are sober or in the process of getting sober. The potential benefits for people recovering from an addiction include:

* It is claimed that this technique can make addiction withdrawal symptoms feel less severe. These symptoms during the first few days of recovery can be uncomfortable and daily Reiki sessions may make things more tolerable.
* Early recovery tends to be an emotional rollercoaster. There can also be a great deal of stress as the individual adapts to their new life away from alcohol or drugs. The relaxation benefits of this technique can mean that people deal better this stresses of the first few months of recovery. If people feel too overwhelmed they can be tempted to relapse so the ability to deal with stress is a must.
* Those individuals who have been involved in substance abuse for a long period will usually do a great deal of physical and mental damage. This technique can help repair some of the damage and get the individual back on a path towards healthy living.
* It is usual for people in early stages of recovery to experience plenty of anger and resentment. These emotions are highly dangerous because they can lead right back to addiction. Reiki may help them release some of these negative emotions.
* This type of healing can help people feel more comfortable in their own skin. This is particularly helpful for those individuals who are dealing with self-esteem issues.

What to Expect at a Reiki Session

The procedure for a Reiki session can differ depending on the style used by the practitioner (i.e. Western or Traditional Japanese Reiki). These are the main elements of most Reiki sessions:

* Those who are receiving Reiki therapy need to be wearing comfortable clothing. This means not wearing garments that will feel constrictive in any way. It is also best to avoid clothing that will make people feel too hot or too cold. It is also best to remove belts and any jewelry.
* The Reiki therapist will usually place their hands lightly on different parts of the body; some therapists do not actually ever touch the body but instead place their palms close to the skin. They may focus on one part of the body for as long as five minutes.
* The client will usually start off by lying flat on their back. The practitioner usually works down the body starting at the head first of all.
* Sometimes the Reiki therapist will use scented candles and relaxation music to create a calming atmosphere.
* Sometimes those who are undergoing this treatment will experience strange sensations in their body. This could be a feeling of energy flowing. Some individuals even claim to feel like they are floating above their body.
* People usually feel quite relaxed after a Reiki session. If they feel a bit too relaxed it might be best to get somebody else to drive them home.

Research into the Benefits of Reiki

At the moment, there is not enough evidence to support the healing claims made for Reiki. There are plenty of anecdotal claims from people who say they have benefited from this technique. Even those who do not believe in the existence or healing properties of Ki energy can still gain from the relaxation benefits of this technique. It can therefore still be something worth considering for people who are recovering from addiction. Of course it would be unwise to ever try to replace needed medical treatments with an alternative approach such as this.

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