Most Reiki practitioners have no trouble curing acute issues (be they physical, psychological or emotional). A headache, the flu, emotional shock - these things can often be healed with just one Reiki treatment.
Where it gets difficult is with chronic issues. These are the things that have troubled us for a long time, and as such have dug themselves deeper into our 'cellular memory'.
In simple terms, this means that we have come to accept their long term place in our body (or being), thus making it harder to get rid of them.
Cancer, weight problems, deep emotional hurt - all of these things can insinuate themselves so deeply into our thought patterns that we feel we can never get rid of them.
The reason traditional Reiki practice often struggles to solve chronic issues is that it is not targeted enough.
To make this clear, let's take the example of a long-standing emotional hurt that occurred, say, when your partner left you for another person.
Let's imagine that this event happened a year ago, but you still haven't emotionally got over it. Sometimes you might forget about it - sure - but little things continue to trigger the pain, so you know you haven't healed.
What to do?
The general Reiki approach would probably just be to give yourself a full body treatment (or, more likely, many) and hope for the best.
This may work; but if it does it will usually only be after considerable effort.
The reason for this is that while the Reiki energy is most certainly doing something, it might nevertheless find it difficult to target the issue you want healed.
The reason for this is made obvious if we imagine someone coming to you for help with a sprained ankle. It's pretty clear that the best way to fix it with Reiki would be to treat - you guessed it - the ankle.
You wouldn't tell the person to lie down and then spend 95% of your session working on his head or chest. It just wouldn't make sense.
And yet that is precisely what we do with most ('non-targeted') issues. We heal around the issue in the hope that some of the healing will eventually filter through to the site of our actual problem.
But wouldn't it be simpler just to heal the problem directly? And if so, how can we do it?
Let's return to the example of your partner leaving you for another person. Time hasn't healed the pain; general Reiki hasn't appeared to help; what can you do?
The approach I recommend involves a three-step healing process. You can actually apply it successfully without Reiki; but if you have been attuned it will be more powerful if you Reiki your 2nd chakra while following each of the steps.
Since the 2nd chakra (otherwise known as the hara) is the energy centre of the body, giving it Reiki (while directly targeting the issue with the steps outlined below) will not only replenish energetically depleted areas, it will also help to rebalance you on a physical and emotional level.
(Note: the 2nd chakra is located a few centimetres below the belly button) .
This step involves summoning up the feelings associated with the break-up and then working with them.
In other words: do whatever you need to do to feel the pain; pinpoint it to a certain part (or parts) of your body; open yourself up to the feeling.
To understand this process you need to realize that feelings associated with an issue can always be experienced in the body.
If you look within, for instance, you might find that thinking about the break-up causes a tightening in the heart region or perhaps a pain in the stomach.
The sensations caused might just be tingling or heat or any other of a thousand different things - the particulars don't matter. What matters is that you locate an area in your body that is associated with your pain and then open up to it.
To open up to your pain you need to override your default mode of behavior which is to flee from it.
This happens when you try to push your pain away, repress or defend yourself against it.
None of these approaches work, because while you may be able to successfully push an issue away for the short term, that doesn't mean that you have got rid of it. Far from it.
Instead, what you have most likely done is simply pushed your pain into your unconscious mind. This is unfortunate, since it thus becomes impossible to track - and that makes it dangerous.
It can resurface and attack you when you are least expecting it; it can manipulate your thoughts, feelings and actions from behind the scenes.
And since it is invisible to you, you will have no way of controlling what it does. This is a highly regrettable situation to be in.
Fortunately, the solution is a simple one: Stop repressing things that bother you. Instead, you need to do the exact opposite and bring them out into the light.
You need to open yourself up to your problems - feel them as deeply as possible.
The most important thing to remember when opening up to pain is that you must never fight it. Opening up means feeling the pain - and observing it.
You are not trying to get rid of your pain. You are not trying to dissolve or overcome it. You are not trying to do anything. You are just watching and feeling it and waiting to see what happens.
If you can just sit with your pain you will most likely discover an amazing secret - it will dissolve and go away, even without you doing a thing.
But if you fight it; if you actively try to manipulate this level in the healing process, you will actually only 'fuel the fire'. You will give energy and attention to the 'problem' and that will merely cause it to grow larger.
One of the reasons chronic issues are so difficult to deal with is that we end up believing in their absolute reality. If our partner leaves us, we believe that we have been irrevocably hurt by him or her.
If we are overweight we believe that is simply the way it is.
If we have skin problems we resign ourselves to most likely always having them.
Yet it doesn't need to be like this. We can change the situation.
But to do so we need to start reconditioning our belief patterns. We need to start imagining that our situation could be otherwise. We need to start to feel what it would be like for our situation to change - for us to be happy and healed.
The way to do this is to stop concentrating on the 'problem' and instead put our attention on the 'healed state'.
In other words, imagine ourselves healed.
We need to visualize our healed state and experience the associated feelings of happiness this gives us.
Do this several times every day; replace any negative thoughts and images about our issue with ones of health and happiness; and healing cannot help but occur.
If we stop feeding our illness with our beliefs then it cannot survive.
Most illness is associated with a lack of self love. In many cases this involves guilt; at other times a lack of self worth. Whatever the case may be, negative feelings about ourselves attract negative results.
What we therefore need to do is reverse the process. Instead of having negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves that lead to negative results (both physical and emotional), we need to have positive thoughts about ourselves that lead to positive results.
To do so it can help to make positive affirmations like: 'I am lovable', 'I accept myself exactly as I am' and 'I approve of myself'.
We can use the above affirmations or think of our own - it doesn't matter. The trick is simply to try to feel the truth in them. At first this might seem difficult - or even a lie. But if we persist, in time we will come to believe what we are affirming.
And with that belief will come a new reality that validates the belief!
No one can say if and when a chronic issue will be healed. If we follow the above steps, however, chances are high that we will not only get much better results than we would if we followed traditional 'non-targeted' Reiki, but also that our health (on all levels) will soon be restored.
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