“I am a traditionalist when it comes to medicine and although I had a vague idea about Reiki, it was not something that I particularly wanted to experience. Reiki to me meant vaguely hippy people with a faint whiff of 1960’s incense. Not so for Jikiden Reiki!”
A chance encounter with Jikiden Reiki practitioner Gisela Stewart persuaded Mags Fenner to give the method a try. Having fractured her spine in a riding accident, Mags had felt considerable pain relief from just 10 minutes of casual treatment at a networking meeting. Now curious about this incredibly simple Japanese hand healing system, she agreed to a course of treatments and found that the sessions not only helped with the physical pain, but also with the emotional trauma caused by the accident. “For me Gisela’s Jikiden Reiki treatments came along at just the right time. I believe that they dovetailed with my hydro and physiotherapy sessions to give me the ideal rehabilitation programme. In a perfect world, I would love to see Jikiden Reiki being included as an option for anyone involved in rehab, the benefits to me were clear and as tangible as those I received from physio.”
Meaning ‘direct teachings’, this purely Japanese approach to energy healing is free from western New Age influences and takes a practical, treatment focused approach. Practitioners learn to observe the body’s natural healing response by paying attention to the sensations they feel in their hands when touching the receiver’s body. This helps to identify the problem areas where treatment is needed most, and an experienced practitioner can make assessments as to whether they are dealing with an acute or chronic problem, and on the frequency and length of sessions needed to have the best chances of improvement.
“Jikiden Reiki provides a remarkably simple route to tapping into your body’s own healing ability using energy to accelerate its natural healing processes,” Gisela explains. “Wound healing is a great example, as you can literally watch the healing process being speeded up in front of your own eyes. I remember my daughter falling off her bicycle onto gravel and sustaining the kind of deep grazes along her spine that you know would turn green and seeping if you covered them up with a plaster, and would take at least a week, probably longer to begin to heal. Giving first aid Reiki treatment immediately, a crust had formed within half an hour. That’s all we did. In fact she then put on her T-shirt (no plasters needed), and went back out on her bike. The grazes were gone without a trace within the space of a week.”
This authentic form of Reiki healing has become available to Westerners through the Yamaguchi family. Tadao Yamaguchi, teaching in London and Edinburgh in September, has grown up with Reiki from childhood. Having seen conditions big and small improve with his mother’s and other family members’ healing skills – including illnesses as serious as tuberculosis, which in his mother’s youth was thought of as incurable – Reiki to Mr Yamaguchi is as natural as water and air. He insists that even beginners can use energy healing successfully. Tadao sensei’s mother, Chiyoko Yamaguchi, who had learned the healing art from Chujiro Hayashi at the tender age of 17 and had practised on a daily basis for over 65 years, used to stress that the Reiki coming from her and the Reiki coming from you and me is the same energy, and that perhaps the only advantage an experienced practitioner has is that they may feel the body’s healing response a little more easily. Mr Yamaguchi emphasizes that with lots of practice, any practitioner can get to this level within half a year or so.
A big thanks to the Big Issue Scotland for first publishing my article in the 2013 Edinburgh Festival edition reaching thousands of readers. If even one or two are now curious about a healing modality that they may not have known much about or may not have previously considered, it will have been worth the effort.