How exactly can Reiki help us de-stress and re-align? We reached out to Hong Kong-based Reiki Master, Bruce Taylor, for answers

As a form of alternative healing, Reiki certainly skews more toward the spiritual end of the spectrum. But more and more scientific studies are finding that while this unique form of energy healing may not perform miracles, it has the ability to bring your mind to a place of total relaxation, restore the body back to balance and, as a result, reach a more optimum state of health and wellbeing. 

In Reiki master Bruce Taylor's own words, "a body in rest is a body in health". Bruce, who is based in Hong Kong, began studying Reiki and the healing arts in 2006. He is a Reiki Grandmaster in Usui Reiki, and a Reiki Master in both the Tibetan and Kundalini traditions.

As a practice that doesn't require physical touch between the master and the client, virtual Reiki sessions have increased in popularity during the global Coronavirus pandemic. But how exactly does Reiki work to help us de-stress and re-align? We spoke to Bruce to find out. 

How would you explain Reiki to someone who's never experienced it?

Reiki is a holistic healing modality that originated in Kyoto, Japan in 1922. The client can expect to quickly reach a deep state of relaxation in which tension, stress and inflammation begin to drop. This allows Chi (vital life energy) to more easily circulate through the body, via activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, and for the body to then more efficiently prioritise healing on all levels - physical, emotional, spiritual, energetic.

What can people expect to feel or experience during a session? 

The effects of Reiki are often immediately felt and my clients often describe the session as deeply relaxing and restoring, as if they just slept a deep night’s sleep, with the healing continuing for days post-session.

See also: 5 Easy Breathing Techniques For Instant Calm

How can Reiki be an effective tool for de-stressing and restoring balance during a global pandemic, like we're experiencing now? 

Any pandemic, or similar stressor, will bring with it an abundance of fear, anxiety, worry, and stress. Indeed, our current Covid-19 environment has brought with it all of these difficult emotions. These trigger the automatic nervous system, resulting in increased levels of inflammation, stress hormones and elevated blood pressure. 

Within pandemics such as Covid-19, we are constantly presented with a myriad of stressors, and if we hold on to those - be that consciously or subconsciously - then we are adding to the burden of stress on our mind and body. Under too much stress, any system will begin to break down, and our bodies are no different. 

Reiki is a powerful healing modality because it's like an express train into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is our rest and restore mode of function. From here we are able to lower inflammation, stress levels and blood pressure to restore balance, which is where we heal most efficiently. 

Think of this state as an ultra efficient method of communication between your mind and body. 

Why are more people looking toward Reiki as a form of healing?

Reiki is quickly gaining in popularity as it is such a gentle and effective technique for healing. Particularly in Hong Kong, we are a society that is too stressed, over worked and emotionally drained. Reiki creates a space to release these tensions and return the body to balance. 

Do you think science is catching up to the physical and mental benefits of Reiki? How so?

Indeed I do. Recently the US Institute of Health published a meta-analysis on Reiki, which shows its wide-reaching health benefits. I see this daily with my clients but it is great to see it published. To put it simply, a body in rest is a body in health…and Reiki is exceptionally effective at bringing us back to our natural, stress-free state.

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