Welcome to In the Rising Podcast "Let's Build One Another Up!"
May 16, 2023

Reiki: A Holistic Approach to Pain and Anxiety Management

Learn more by reading the blog on FitAfterBreastCancer website.
International Association of Reiki Professionals
Article about Biofield therapies
Article about Reiki, Pain and Anxiety

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was a phrase that I heard often while working with clients going through cancer, and so I created this podcast. I also saw that there is a gap in knowledge about cancer, lymphedema and how to manage recovery, so I created Fit after Breast Cancer.

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Reiki: A Holistic Approach to Pain and Anxiety Management

[00:00:00] Bettina, ITR host: Hello and welcome to In the Rising a Health and Wellness Podcast for those going through and those supporting those going through cancer. My name is Bettina Brown and I'm board certified in physical therapy wound care and lymphedema. And you know, for me, cancer is very personal. It's affected my friends.

My immediate and my not so immediate family, and therefore, I created this podcast and fit after breast cancer.com to address the multiple dimensions of our lives during and after recovery.

Hello. Hello. I'm so happy to have you here today on In The Rising Podcast. And if you notice something, it's that I am doing a solo cast. It's something I haven't even done for several years and I actually miss it. I miss having my own agenda and things I really wanna talk about, and I have loved having guests on, and I will continue to have guests because I walk away learning something new and I know that we all do.

But I really wanna go back to the roots and the origins and more or less the purpose of this podcast, and that is to really be about health and wellness and having your own definition of what your life is and what you want that to look like. As I was thinking about what a health and wellness podcast is 

I Really had to go back to what are my own core values. And that's when I came across my own power quote. And I'm gonna share this with you at the end of this podcast. I have it written out, I have it in a frame. And it's really, I think, the quote that I wanna live my life by. And I would love to share that with you in a little bit.

And as I was thinking about what should this conversation be about? I decided to look at really health, what the definition of health means and what it can mean for especially those going through a major life event. And often that major life event is kind of an assault on our health. And really if health is the definition of being free from illness or injury, and it does involve your mental and physical condition.

Health is a big thing and I think that's probably why it's so hard to define, and it's also trying to find the meaning of it for every single person on every different point of their life. What I really wanna emphasize today is an emotional connection to a physical connection. If you've heard me talk long enough, you know I'm a physical therapist and I say the longer I'm a physical therapist, the more I realize how much of our health.

Has nothing to do with our physical wellbeing, but our emotional and spiritual and mental, psychological wellbeing and how that affects our physical health. As well as going the other way around. I started remembering as I was pondering this question on the drive home from work that I have had many clients really kind of whisper something to me because they found something that was helpful for them, but they didn't feel it was really socially, uh, or in western culture, western healthcare culture.

It was not really accepted and it was a complimentary. Or alternative, complimentary and alternative type of health. And that is Reiki. And maybe you've heard of this before, and maybe the, the, it conjures up visions of people walking around and flowing dresses and having long hair or hair and dreads walking around in Santa Fe, New Mexico or, or having anything of that nature.

But Reiki is actually so much deeper and larger than that. It is something that a lot of my clients would. Whisper to me almost and say, have you heard of anything about Reiki or, I thought about doing it, and when I said With confidence, yes, I've heard about it, and I've had many clients really appreciate the experience that there was this sense of relief that came across from my client and they.

Would either share they have done this, or they felt more comfortable walking down that path and seeing what that felt like. And so I wanted to share what Reiki is because I thought this was a little bit of a woohoo thing. And as I learned more and learned more, I walked down the path of becoming a Reiki student and all the way up to a Reiki master and a Reiki practitioner myself.

And even though I don't typically use this on my clients, I do use this on myself, and I think that's one of the wonders of this type of therapy is that you don't need someone else to do this kind of. Rehabilitation through yourself. So what is it anyway? Well, reiki is a, a, a Japanese healing technique.

There's a lot of questions and who's andhas and who did it and who's really, and, and who brought it back to the Western culture? But there's really no discrepancy that it came from Japan, and a lot of people really do attribute that. This came from Dr. Usi, who went on his own fasting adventure and really felt connected to spirit.

And so what Reiki en entails, just by default, is a greater connection to something bigger than us. And using energy and probably this conversation would've been very different 50 years ago or a hundred years ago, about using energy. But we know so much more about it and it's often in our language.

You know, I like their energy, I'm feeling their vibe. I don't get good vibes or good feelings from that person. We use it in our language to describe something that we truly don't have an understanding, or when we're on a, on a really nice first date and our hands will touch and we feel this electric shock of energy.

There's a lot of research backing up that this is true, that we are in each other's energy fields all the time, and truly that our heart. San energy field can be up to three feet away so you can feel if someone is caring for you. You can feel if they're not. So really what research and science is doing, which I'm a fan of, I love it, uh, is really identifying that Reiki has something to it that is a little more than just the woowoo.

That there's actual evidence to it, and it's been around for a long time. It's becoming more popular. And when I say popular, I think more accepted that this is a type of healing therapy that helps spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically. But regarding reiki, And my topic today, I wanted to address how this can really be used to help reduce anxiety and help reduce pain.

I came across this article which was published through, we call it P med. It's in the National Institutes of Health, and this article was like a, an analysis, a meta-analysis, looking at 49 different articles and how each of those 49 had to meet certain criteria. But they looked at everything from those going through cancer to those who had just had surgery.

To those that were feeling some sort of anxiety in anticipation of surgery or anticipation of some sort of health intervention. And what they found is that, of course we still need to do more research. We need to have a lot more evidence behind it. But there is something to it that a lot of people required less pain medication after one or more.

Sessions of Reiki, they also reported less anxiety. This is a great time when you can question yourself. Is coffee really the reason why that you wake up in the morning? Or is it the act of having coffee? Is it the act of going through the motions and adding your creamer and and sitting down for that cup and having that first sip and it feels so good?

Do we really feel more awake after a few milligrams of caffeine, or is it the anticipation of knowing we will. And it's the same with Reiki. And what is really wonderful about this is that there's nothing that is required from anyone. Yes, you wanna have a reiki practitioner that has done some research and learning and growth and has a connection, but it's really not this practitioner who is healing you.

They're really more like a channel of energy, kind of like a water hose is a channel for the water. It is not going to bring the water. It doesn't create the water. It allows the water to flow in a certain direction, and that is really what Reiki is for, and the person who you seek reiki from. How often do we go to a counselor and we're like, I'm, I'm needing some direction, I'm needing some guidance because we need feedback that we're putting out information, we're putting out how we're feeling, but it's really having someone else.

Bring that mirror up or review things with us, and that's the same type of energy mechanism that Reiki is. And having that time to be in a comfortable position to have your intentions when you walk in there, is your intention to feel better? Is your intention to let some. Trauma go is your intention to let your body actually stop doing, doing, and not be the human doing, but be the human being for just some time of your life.

Allowing yourself this moment to relax, to not be attached to technology, to not feel like you have to be on the go for something. And when you are experiencing that, a lot of my clients have said, You know, Betina, I actually felt better. I felt at peace. I felt at calm. I could really feel like heat generating from another person's hands.

I could really feel I. An internal flame that came outta my body. I really felt less pain. I really felt like I had just released a couple Samsonite luggages from my shoulders, and I could walk taller. I felt better. Well, if these are the sensations of why and what we're feeling, how can this really be used in our day-to-day life?

And another question that came up with all of my research and reading. Is, do we need to have a chronic pain condition? Do we need to have a trauma in our life? Do we need to have something happening in order to experience and involve ourselves in a regular reiki practice? Do we need an excuse? And what I really feel is, no, I feel that if we want to practice this, this is just as much of a prevention and health maintenance as it is a health intervention.

And that's what I think is the beauty about Reiki itself. So what does a typical session look like? Is often what is asked? Well, it can be whatever you want. You can have it in person or you can have it distance. And this is the first time when people will look at me like, okay, beta. When I talk about it, and here's when I'm gonna give a disclaimer.

First of all, I was, I was really on that, same boat. Like what do you mean distance healing? And, and I'm not so sure about that. So I. Decided to do my own experiment and I signed up. I became a Reiki student and I did the studies. I did the research. I really looked into it. I took the mindfulness component, the meditation components that go a apart of this, finding my own guide and finding my own values in life, and finding a place in my own mind that is a really safe place for me to go to at any time.

And coming back from that, how I felt that I felt so connected to the ground, I felt so connected to my environment. I felt connected in a way that having a connection over social media and even a phone conversation is not quite the same. I felt connected to someone very important, and that was myself. I felt very connected to my values, my purpose, and my vision in life, and that is a very freeing.

Moment, and if we look up the definition of health, it is to be free. It's really the first word, the state of being free from illness or injury, but it's the state of being free and that's a really nice place to be. It really is. And as I was going through that, I decided to go through my. Final step, step three, and not just being a student and working on myself, but learning how to apply all the principles of energy and meridians and chi and see how I can use that to work on others.

And so you are really treated from someone else. Who opens and helps open you up, who is a channel for you to really bind that final step. And I signed up. I will admit to you rather skeptically and I. Was, you know, asleep at five o'clock in the morning. I remember it was around five o'clock and I thought, okay, I'll wake up and see if I feel any different.

And I suddenly came out of a deep sleep and I felt like my body was on fire when my. Eyes opened. I thought for sure the bed's on fire because I was just hot. And anyone that knows me, they know I wear gloves to type, like my hands are always cold. I'm usually that person with the sweatshirt in the summer.

I don't carry a lot of body temperature. I don't. I think my thermometer is broken. So to have this experience of intense heat was really awkward and quite vulnerable, and as soon as it happened, I reached for my cell phone to look at what time it was, and it was five o'clock in the morning. And I was getting my distance attunement, and so at that moment I did believe in distance.

I did believe in connection. We've learned through science that particles can be in two places at one time. If this energy that we talk about actually is true and the research is showing it, is there something about that that can be very freeing? And so with this Reiki, I have really advocated for people to learn more.

I've advocated for people to adopt it and integrate it into their life. You do not have to take away anything. You don't have to take away your nutritious eating. You don't have to take away the moments of being able to walk in nature. You don't have to take away anything, but just have a moment to reconnect with yourself and to be free.

And what the research has shown is that those that were doing this were able to report less pain. They needed fewer pain medication. They required often less opioids. And we all know about the crisis we're having right now in the western world with opiates. They also reported less anxiety and pain when they did their, questionnaires.

They felt a higher quality of life. Now, could these, analyses be with a greater people, a greater end? They call it like a greater number of individuals. Yes. Could there be a sham reiki, you know, where you're. Having someone there, but they're not in an active state of performing reiki, but just physically there and see what is really working.

Yes, there's definitely more research that can be done, but for those people who had just had their surgery, for those people that had just gone through chemotherapy, for those people that were having that pain, their pain perception had reduced. It was very real to them. And so I would really challenge you.

To go ahead and learn more about something like Reiki and to, to find your own state of health, knowing that you're free from illness and injury, but also to find what is health and what does health mean to you today, and what are you gonna do to get there. What Western, Eastern complimentary, alternative, and integrative things are you gonna do in your life?

So my power quote today is something I have chosen. To live my life by, and the quote is by Audrey Lord, when I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision. Then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. It is my hope that you found this episode of value, that you're going to go look into another source, that there are show notes below where you can find practitioners, where you can gather some more information.

So you can read the blog post that's written by me about it in my own journey, and so I welcome you to. Learn more about this and learn more about yourself. Until next time, let's keep building one another up!