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What is Reiki?


Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.


What to expect.


Reiki is most commonly done on a massage table, recliner, or bed with the client fully-clothed. During the session, the client may notice that the practitioner’s hands feel warm and that they often get warmer as the session continues. A treatment may feel like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you.



How it works.


Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing. Many have reported miraculous results.

     Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.

     Reiki heals by flowing through the affected parts of the energy field and charging them with positive energy. It raises the vibratory level of the energy field in and around the physical body where the negative thoughts and feelings are attached. This causes the negative energy to break apart and fall away. In so doing, Reiki clears, straightens and heals the energy pathways, thus allowing the life force to flow in a healthy and natural way. While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not.



My Reiki Story


I had been married to the love of my life, Brian Young, for about a year in 1994. Brian had HIV and had begun his decline into symptomatic AIDS in mid-1993.  Besides psoriasis, he had been diagnosed with Kaposi’s Sarcoma, which is now nearly “extinct” because of all the treatments for HIV/AIDS that have been developed since the mid-90s. Kaposi’s usually showed up as purplish-red spots on the skin.  It was a real “scarlet letter” for AIDS, because many people (primarily men) had numerous spots all over their faces and the skin on the rest of their body.  However, some people, like Brian, developed Kaposi’s internally.  It started orally on his gums and tongue.  Luckily, that was easily treated with one or two treatments of radiation.  He also had lesions in his bronchial tubes, lungs and digestive system.  That came later on.


Kaposi’s could affect the lymphatic system, destroying lymph nodes in various parts of the body. This often caused blockages in lymphatic flow leading to swelling in the arms and legs.  Brian was a naturally skinny man his whole life.  He had long legs and “shapely” ankles.  One day I noticed some slight swelling in his legs and feet. This increased over the next few days. I feared the worst, imagining that this was just the start of the “sausage legs” that many men developed as scar tissue replaced lymph nodes and the natural flow of lymph was impeded. 


Brian and I had been going to the Immune Enhancement Project (still operating at 3460 16th Street in San Francisco). Among other offerings, they had a free Reiki clinic on Tuesday nights. Two Reiki Masters, Cheryl and Claudia (a lesbian couple), ran the clinic.  Brian and I both received Reiki sessions whenever we could.  Mostly, I found the sessions effective in reducing the extreme anxiety that I suffered from as I watched my Beloved’s decline and was his primary caregiver.  Brian was very sensitive to “energy work.”  He could no longer enjoy regular massage due to the loss of muscle. Massage hurt.  Reiki, however, helped him relax and feel better, as well as increasing his energy.


Within a week of the onset of the ankle, foot and lower leg swelling, we showed up at Reiki Clinic.  We explained the situation and Cheryl went to work, doing Reiki on Brian’s legs and feet for an hour.  By the end of the session, the swelling was decreased and by the next morning it was completely cleared up!  And, it never returned!  As a Level 1 Reiki practitioner, I did regular “tune-ups” for Brian until his death in March of 1995.  We considered this Reiki healing a miracle.

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