Why Are We So Stressed?

It has become the norm. The majority of us are living with a certain level of stress that has woven its way into the fabric of our daily lives. We wait for the weekend, or the next vacation, in hopes that it will melt away.

The American Psychological Association reports that stress levels have risen over 40% in the past five years. Money, work, health concerns, and job stability are often cited as some of the big causes of worry.

But what about the daily stressors? The neverending To-Do list, the constant barrage of emails, text messages, and voicemails. Grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry. When do we find the time to sit, breathe and rest?

Some stress is normal, and can actually be healthy. It keeps us motivated and on task, instead of lying on the couch scrolling through our Facebook feed all day. But how much is too much? When it begins to hijack our health. When stressed and overwhelmed become the norm.

How can we take back our health and reset our bodies and minds to a place of healing?

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese energy balancing treatment developed in Japan by Mikao Usui. It comes from two Japanese words; ‘rei’ means universal or higher power and ‘ki’ means life force energy.

Reiki works with our body’s innate ability to heal itself.  It promotes stress reduction and relaxation which allow the body and mind to shift to a state where healing can occur. When our life force energy is low we are more likely to get sick, stressed and overwhelmed. Reiki helps to bring our bodies and minds back to balance, allowing us to be healthier, calmer and more resilient.

This gentle, yet powerful, technique encourages balance mentally, physically and energetically. It helps us to release stuck energy, experiences, and stressors and invites in energy to heal and restore.

How Can Reiki Help Me?

Close your eyes for just a moment. Think about the last time you had a near miss on the highway. Or you were under a tight deadline at work. When you bring these events to mind what happens to your physical body? Do your heart and breath rate speed up? Maybe you get a tightness in your belly or begin to sweat a little. The muscles tighten, preparing the body to respond.

This is your sympathetic nervous system at work, the ‘fight, flight or freeze” response. It’s designed to help us react when we are threatened. We feel the rush of adrenaline coursing through the body, primed to fight or flee.

The trouble is, this primal instinct doesn’t differentiate well. A caveman trying to outrun a saber tooth tiger had the same response you have to forty-seven unread emails in your inbox. We get hijacked by the nervous system. Stress hormones flood the body. And since many of us are under constant stressors, the body never gets a chance to reset.

Enter Reiki. During a Reiki treatment, our body begins to shift from the fight or flight response of our nervous system to the rest and restore mode, known as the parasympathetic nervous system. This is where the body can truly begin to heal.

While everyone’s response to Reiki is a little different, most people feel a state of deep relaxation, calm and peace. It can reset the nervous system by bringing in positive energy and helping us to release the negative energy and experiences that are stored in the body and mind.

What Can I Expect During a Reiki Session?

Reiki treatments generally take place in a wellness treatment room, similar to massage therapy or acupuncture. A full session will typically last one hour, but this can vary.

You will remain fully clothed for your Reiki treatment. During the session, the practitioner will use a series of hand placements to facilitate the movement and balancing of energy in the body and the chakras (the seven main energy centers in the body).

Most people feel very relaxed and peaceful during a treatment, you may even fall asleep. Some people notice physical sensations, such as tingling, lightness or heaviness, or can visualize different colors.  You may have an emotional release as Reiki is helping to clear energy from stress or past trauma.

During the treatment, it can be beneficial to stay quiet in body and mind, to breathe fully and simply notice what comes up for you as receive the treatment. This can help you become more aware of where stress and emotions are held in your body.

Taking the time for healing is a powerful act of self-care. It can simply be about creating quiet time for yourself away from the stimuli that we are exposed to all day long. Reiki treatments are a place where we can soften, surrender and breathe. They can help to support you mentally, emotionally and physically and encourage a state of balance where wellness can thrive.