As you probably know, I’ve been dealing with knee injuries for the past couple months. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine invited me to try a different kind of treatment: Reiki therapy. My friend Ritika Rose is a certified advanced Reiki practitioner, certified Life Coach, and a licensed Occupational Therapist (among other things, this girl has led a full life!). I had never had a Reiki session before. I typically default to Western medicine for treating illness and injury; that’s just what I grew up with. I also like to be open to new experiences, and what better way to try something new than with a trusted friend! Of course, if it’s something that contributes to my dance journey, I’ll share it here too. So read on to find out what my first Reiki session was like!
Per the International Center for Reiki Training, Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It’s a form of energy healing, which means it uses the energy of the body to help it heal itself.
During the actual session, I laid on a massage table, first on my back and later on my stomach. Relaxing music was playing. Ritika told me ahead of time to just relax and “be.” I didn’t need to do anything specific or expect any particular experience. I have to say that the older I get, the more I appreciate moments when I get to just chill and someone else does the work.
The whole thing took about an hour. I could have easily taken a nap, but I was too curious to really fall asleep. Ritika placed her hands on different parts of my body including my head, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet. Her hands were very warm as a result of activating the energy to be used in the session, which made it feel like a very gentle massage. The music took me on a dancing journey. Ever since my entrance into ballroom dance, it’s hard to hear music and NOT start visualizing choreography. I danced through forests, old castles and rocky beaches, all in my head. That’s my kind of meditation!
After we were done, it should come as no surprise that I felt very relaxed, as anyone would after a meditative massage. I was especially curious about how my knees would feel. In particular, I had a very large bruise behind my right knee, a result of deep tissue work at a previous physical therapy appointment. It was tender and swollen that morning, but when I felt it after my Reiki session, the swelling had diminished and the tenderness was gone!
I noticed another big difference the next day at my solo practice. There had been a lot of fluid in my knees that my PT was working hard to move out, but it seemed to recollect as fast as she cleared it. While my knees still got sore during practice the day after my Reiki, the swelling underneath the knee caps was again diminished significantly.
Since my Reiki session, I’m still dealing with my slower-than-I’d-like recovery of my knees. But I think the Reiki work was the push that got me over that swelling that refused to subside. I’ve had some swelling since then, when I’ve pushed a little harder in my dancing, but not nearly as bad as before and it goes away faster.
Ritika also offers an energy assessment, where she does an assessment of your seven different chakras. The amount of energy emanating from each chakra indicates where you may be feeling stressed or out of balance in your life. We did this along with the Reiki therapy. I know next to nothing about chakras, but the discussion of what Ritika found amounted to a counseling session that helped me a great deal in solving a personal debate I was struggling with.
So in about two hours, I got meditation, massage and counseling. Not bad at all! Like I said, I definitely felt an improvement in my knees. It was a relief to talk out what I was struggling with and gain clarity based on what my own energy was telling Ritika. I also found the whole process fascinating and I loved that my time with Ritika addressed both mind and body. There’s so much evidence as to how the mind affects the body and vice versa. When I’m feeling anxious, I frequently get a stomach ache or nausea (mind affecting body). On days when my knees have been really bothering me, I feel unmotivated and even depressed (body affecting mind).
Yet, so much of our medicine separate the two. You can go to physical therapy and you can go to mental therapy, but at least in Western medicine, you don’t often find something that addresses the two together. My time with Ritika did just that.
As dancers, we understand the importance of connection and we understand the importance of keeping both our mind and body in top shape. A therapy that connects mind and body is tailor-made for us!
So what about you? Have you ever had Reiki therapy? Share your experience in the comments.
If you are struggling with any physical pain, discomfort or internal conflict that is holding you back and want to know more about how Ritika can support you in healing and moving forward, check out www.ritikarose.com or email her for your free consultation at email@example.com.
She currently works in the San Francisco Bay Area, and travels to see clients in Los Angeles once a month.
Be sure to let her know the Girl with the Tree Tattoo sent you!