What is massage and reiki?

Massage:

Massage is the therapeutic practice of manipulating the body’s muscles and limbs to ease tension and reduce pain. It is effective in easing the symptoms of disorders and pain in the muscles and nervous system, being a beneficial treatment for tense muscles resulting from stress. It is a method of healing that stimulates the blood circulation and the lymphatic system to help assist and clear the body of toxins.

Benefits of massage:

  • Reduces stress
  • Relieves muscular tension
  • Improved posture and better breathing
  • Increases Circulation
  • Improves skin quality
  • Improves mobility
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Improves the immune system
  • Better digestion
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Detoxifying

Aftercare advice:

  • Drink plenty of water (to help detoxification)
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine for at least 24 hours
  • Eat something sweet if feeling woozy
  • Eat a light meal
  • Take gentle exercise (postural exercises assist mobility)
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Keep warm

Occasionally you may experience the following reactions upto 48 hours after a massage, these are uncommon but perfectly normal as your body is expelling toxins:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Increased urination/defecation
  • Increased thirst
  • Tired/achy muscles

If any of the above symptoms persist please seek advice from your doctor.

Reiki:

Reiki was developed in 1922 by Mikao Usui in Japan. Originally as a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing. This technique uses a universal energy that is said to be transferred through the palms. This universal energy is known as qi (pronounced, â€˜chi’) in Reiki. In other related therapies it is referred to as the Western notions of humours, prana in Hindu, ruah and nefesh in Judaism, chi in Igbo, pneuma in ancient Greece, Hawaiian mana, lüng in Tibetan Buddhism, and indigenous America had manitou.

Universal energy is considered to be the basis of existence. It sustains all life. Found in the electromagnetic energy of the sun to photosynthesis in plants. So, taking a more scientific view at this concept, we can relate it to the electrical impulses of the body. For example, in a typical human, the cerebral cortex contains approximately 15-33 billion neurons, each connected by synapses to several thousand other neurons, communicating via axons carrying electrochemical signal pulses, called action potentials, which reach all over the body; potentially, reiki could be thought to be stimulating the flow of electrochemical energy with the human body.

Similar therapies include therapeutic touch (developed in the 1970’s by Dora Kunz and Dolores Krieger) where the client’s universal energy is manipulated. Also, laying on of hands, which is a religious practice of Christianity, where the Holy Spirit is invoked for spiritual and physical healing (uses contact). 

Reiki translates as ‘spirit energy’. The spirit is further defined as ‘a person’s emotions and character; the soul’, which effects their ‘mood, attitude, temperament, nature, and typical attitude’. The objective of reiki is to use physiology (the study of functions and mechanisms within a living system) to work the qi in order to help the client’s condition. It aims to promote good well-being. 

The safety concerns for practicing are akin to many complementary therapies, which are low. It is considered safe for most people to use complementary therapies, and also alongside other medical treatments, i.e. cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy are often encouraged (by and with the consent of their doctor) to use complementary therapies to help them generally feel better.

With reiki, ultimately, it is the client who heals their own self. The therapist acts as a human energy conduit, in order to support the client’s own immunological response. 

It must be noted that the safety and legal concerns for all complementary therapies to be aware of are that theses treatments may be natural but they can cause harm if administered incorrectly. Indirect harm can be done through poor knowledge of the practitioner, causing dangerous side effects, i.e. feverfew can cause miscarriage in pregnant women. Drug interaction must also be considered, i.e. gingko and chamomile can increase the risk of bleeding in those taking anticoagulants (including aspirin). Consultations with perspective clients must be undertaken and be thorough. Clients should never give up or substitute medicine or treatments prescribed by their doctor for alternative procedures.

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