We all know the many wonderful benefits of Reiki: it helps us relax, relieves stress, provides an emotional release, boosts immunity and the body's natural self-healing mechanisms, balances and nourishes our energy field, opens our energy centers (if the practitioner knows how), and promotes feelings of balance and well-being. It's a great service to receive on a regular basis to keep yourself in a good energetic shape.
However, if you're dealing with major emotional or health issues, benefits of Reiki are only temporary at best. Reiki doesn't really "fix" anything.
How do I know? I give sessions at our local community Reiki Clinic, which many folks come to visit every week. Every time I find blocked energy centers (chakras) in a patient, I open and balance the chakras and restore a healthy energy flow, and the patient feels great... Next week, they're back and the same chakras are still blocked the same way. Almost every time. Why doesn't the effect last?
While we may go through temporary changes in our energetic state throughout the day and see our energy centers open and close depending on the situation, most people seem to have one or more "chronically" blocked or closed energy centers.
What closes or blocks our energy centers? Usually, our emotional or behavioral patterns. Every chakra is associated with not only glands and physical organs in its vicinity, but also an area of psychological functioning, such as emotional expression, confidence and sense of self, mental clarity and perception of reality, verbal self-expression, connectedness, and so on. When we suppress ourselves in an area of psychological functioning, we stop, divert or block the energy flow through the associated chakra.
Our negative emotional/behavioral patterns often persist for many years, sometimes for a lifetime, so the associated energy centers remain chronically blocked or closed, or in some case even completely still and not letting any energy through.
What's the problem with that? Well, if an energy center is not functioning properly for a long time, that leads to physical health issues in the area. Thyroid problems? Blocked throat chakra. Digestion issues? Imbalanced solar plexus. With practice, you can even look at a patient's body shape and immediately know which chakras you're going to find affected: a horizontally blocked chakra (holding down energy and feelings) often leads to accumulation of tissues (fat) or fluids (bloating) in the area of the body around it (worst case: tumor).
Guess what chakra is affected in the majority of folks I see? The second one, sacral, which is in charge of our emotional expression (and also money and sexuality). When I talk to folks after the session and ask if they often find themselves holding down their feelings in order not to upset others, the answer is usually, "Oh yeah, all the time..." There is a problem in our society if so many are feeling the need to suppress their feelings! I like to encourage my patients to find ways to express what they feel: it doesn't have to be destructive or confrontational, it can be very gentle, and one can also express their feelings while alone with their journal, not necessarily to someone's face. That energy flow needs to happen so you can stay healthy!
When a practitioner opens or unblocks your chakra, you may feel a temporary relief and even a bit of a new-found freedom to express something you have been holding down. But almost immediately the habitual emotional pattern that you've been living with for years will kick in and restore the status quo. You can't fix that in one day! And someone else can't fix that for you.
That's why Reiki doesn't address any deep or chronic problems. In order to achieve a stable, open energetic state (and therefore physical and emotional health), the patient must work to change their underlying emotional patterns that are blocking energy flow, and of course a Reiki practitioner can support them energetically in that healing process.
Where our unhealthy emotional patterns originate is a larger topic that deserves a separate post. Let me briefly mention one point though. I think we can all agree that our negative emotional patterns (suppression of emotion, self-sabotage, self-doubt, not speaking our truth) often develop in response to adverse circumstances earlier in life, especially in childhood, and working with a good therapist can help address that - to a degree. However, what I was surprised to learn in my studies and practice is that we are often born carrying negative energetic influences (energetic qualities resonating to self-doubt, disempowerment, etc) from past lifetimes. Those energies cause and perpetuate our unhealthy emotional/behavioral patterns AND additionally attract circumstances, such as abusive relationships, which in turn help sustain those patterns. That's why sometimes psychotherapy cannot completely eradicate our issues - it cannot see beyond the stories from this current lifetime and thus cannot get at the root cause.
Let me also mention that many of these negative energetic influences from the past are associated with a specific chakra and can be causing energy leaks and loss of energetic integrity in the area, thus affecting health and stability of the chakra. We can keep opening someone's chakra every week only to find it back in its unhealthy state the next day if there's a deeper underlying energetic issue.
Personally, when I started doing Reiki, I often found my chakras out of whack at random times and I just couldn't keep them in a consistent, stable state for a period of time with Reiki alone. Later, by working with an intuitive healing method called Soul Realignment, I was able to discover and clear multiple negative energetic influences from the past, stop energy leaks, and restore energetic integrity, and that finally stabilized my energetic state. I rarely ever find my chakras in a state other than Open anymore. When we're in energetic integrity, our system is more robust and can bounce back and rebalance itself more easily.
And as I mentioned in other posts, Soul Realignment work was life-changing for me not only in terms of energetic health: it also led to greater physical well-being and a level of healing from emotional trauma that I didn't think was possible for me in such a short time. While I still love and do Reiki, I'm acutely aware of its limitations when it comes to fixing deep and chronic issues, and that awareness motivated me to become a Soul Realignment practitioner so I could offer this life-transforming healing method to others. You can learn more about what this method can do for you here. A single 45-minute session can help you discover what's keeping you unhealthy and stuck in negative patterns so you can finally break free from those patterns and restore your energetic integrity.