A little piece of calm

Anyone remember the first series of Black Books with Dylan Moran? The first show in Series One? Where Bill Bailey swallows the Little Book of Calm? I felt like swallowing a library of them last week – but thankfully, I rediscovered the calming effect of Reiki instead.

Reiki is a Japanese word, or rather two words: Rei meaning ‘the higher power’ and Ki meaning ‘life force energy’. Combine them and you get a spiritually guided life force energy. The history of Reiki is a little spotted and, at one stage, after WWII when the US banned the practice of alternative medicine in Japan, Reiki practitioners went underground. Few knew of it. And the only way apparently a Japanese could train in Reiki was to go to the USA to be trained by an American who had been trained in Japan. No wonder so many look at it a little skeptically.

Many moons ago, while working in London, I did my Reiki I – the first of three stages to become a Reiki practitioner. I don’t remember much about it, other than when I was ‘graduating’ – can’t ever remember the Reiki term for it – I felt this huge wad of emotion feed up from my toes, through my body, and release in the form of a major bout of hysteria. I bawled. In front of the whole class. Hysterically. And I was the only one to have such a reaction. But man did it feel good. It reminded me of a cult I saw interviewed on the Late Late Show once – they called themselves the screamers and had a commune up in Donegal somewhere. Their therapy was to stand in a field and scream their heads off, something I’ve been known to do on occasion… and not in a field 🙂

On rare occasions since then, if someone was in pain (physical or emotional), I have offered to ‘do some Reiki on them’ – and admittedly I’ve had varying degrees of success. But it takes a huge amount of energy and it’s not often that I feel the urge to volunteer. Selfish? Perhaps. But I know my limits.

Anyway, as I was bouncing the walls over the last couple of weeks, tearing my hair out over this dastardly dissertation and trying to stay sane while at the same time endangering every close relationship I have by overdosing on a mainly (but not always!) irrational angst, I thought again of Reiki. And I sought out the lovely PA who just happens to live in my neighbourhood. Five one-hour sessions later and calm has been restored to 66A.

I can’t say that I felt any miraculous energy flooding through my veins as PA went through the laying of the hands. I usually fell asleep. I only cried once. The first time. Whatever demons that were on the rampage inside obviously upped and fled as the remaining sessions were … well.. quite quiet. But the difference they’ve made!

I’m like a new woman. Back in my stride. Taking everything as it comes. Stressing no more. I had forgotten the concept of being in the perfect place at the perfect time … and even if it seems far from perfect, the secret is to find the perfection in it.

Now, the skeptics say that Reiki works as well as any placebo. And so it may. Whatever, I say… it worked for me. And I really don’t need to understand how or why – just feeling the calm is enough.