My wife and I recently attended a course on Reiki. We are now certified as a First Degree Reiki Practitioners. As I was attending the course, I thought it would be good idea to share my thoughts on what Reiki is and how it might help patients with infertility issues.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a natural, hands-on healing art. It is part of a field known as energy medicine. Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese scholar and teacher, is acknowledged as the modern founder of Reiki in 1922.

The term “Reiki” comes from the two Japanese words: Rei (universal life) and Ki (force or energy). Reiki is spiritual in nature; it is not a specific religion. The “ki” is the vital life force energy that flows through everything.

Reiki can be thought of as the channeling of the “ki” through the practitioner to the patient. The energy flows to the areas of need, helping support the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, “Reiki is a complementary health approach in which practitioners place their hands lightly on or just above a person, with the goal of facilitating the person’s own healing response.”

A typical Reiki treatment may last 30-60 minutes. The patient lies on a treatment table, fully clothed. The practitioner will gently place their hands (palm down) on or just above the patient’s body in specific locations. There is no massage or manipulation involved.

During the treatment, the patient may have the sensation of warmth or tingling entering the body from the Reiki practitioner’s hands. Some patients feel no sensation at all. Following a Reiki treatment, most patients feel calm, relaxed and at peace. Many patients actually fall asleep during the treatment session.

Reiki can be performed on children, pregnant women, animals and even sent to others at a distant location! It appears to be a very safe treatment with no serious side effects reported. Once an individual has received attunement (the process by which a person receives the ability to provide Reiki treatment), Reiki can be self-administered.

Reiki is not specific to any one medical disease and condition. It has been used to help with a wide variety of conditions that may affect physical, emotional or mental health. Reiki can be used together and may increase the effectiveness of the patient’s other medical treatments or medications. Many people use Reiki for stress management, relaxation and to improve their overall well-being.

Reiki and infertility

We know that infertility can lead to stress, a loss of the sense of well-being and even physical discomfort from the therapies used. Stress has been associated with delayed time to conception.

While there are no high-quality scientific studies looking at Reiki and infertility outcomes, it seems logical that any therapy that might provide stress relief and relaxation may be helpful. Reiki is intended to work on the whole self- body, mind and spirit.

I believe that Reiki is a safe, complementary treatment that should be offered in addition to “conventional” medical therapies for infertility patients.

If Reiki interests you, talk with your medical provider about a referral to a Reiki practitioner in your area.

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