While pharmaceuticals are sometimes used to treat the symptoms of autism, many parents worry about potentially toxic conventional drugs and instead (or alongside more conventional treatments) turn to natural therapies to ameliorate symptoms of the disorder. This “alternative” medical approach treats the individual rather than the diagnostic label, and addresses underlying imbalances rather than concentrating on symptoms.
Reiki is an option that can help maintain harmony, health, and systemic balance in the brain and nervous system without side effects. It’s a healing technique I’ve used to great effect with my son Lucas, seven, who was diagnosed with autism in 2008. At that time, I utilized various educational therapies, along with the GF/CF diet, and began seeing two holistic/homeopathic doctors with Lucas. But I knew in my heart that although these approaches were helping him, there was still something missing. We found it in reiki, and since I started using it with Lucas he is expressing himself much more, and his behavior and coping skills have improved.
What Is Reiki?
Reiki is a simple, yet powerful technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. The earliest archaeological evidence for the treatment was found in Tibet, dating back approximately ten thousand years, and was rediscovered in Japan, in 1922, by Dr. Mikao Usui. Reiki is administered via the “laying on” of hands, and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy,” or aura, flows through us and nourishes us. There are various words for this force in all the different cultures and religions of the world—to the Japanese it’s ki, to the Chinese it’s chi, Christians call it light, Hindus say prana, Muslims call it baraka, and in our modern language, we use the words bio-energy, or cosmic energy.
Reiki replenishes and rebalances this energy, and amplifies our innate abilities to heal ourselves. In doing so, it balances the mind, body and spirit, thus activating a feeling of wellbeing. I learned this during my own investigations into how exactly reiki worked, and it was an astounding journey that satiated my mind and body with peace and harmony. The stress I had been feeling since Lucas’s diagnosis melted away, and most importantly, from feeling lost and unsure of what I could do next to help Lucas, I became determined to find out what this pure form of healing could do for him.
The Chakras and Hand Positions of Reiki
The human body consists of sensory input and integration, respiration, circulation, digestion, reproduction and secretion, and there are seven corresponding chakras for these functions. The brain and the whole being also have a chakra. These chakras are situated at the top of the head, forehead, throat, heart, solar plexus, navel, and at the bottom of the pelvis. A chakra can be overactive, underactive or in balance—in the case of an underactive or overactive chakra, reiki can promote balance and thus health in the respective organ.
Reiki hand positions also have an effect on various areas of the body. The first four hand positions treat the head and brain and can be helpful for stress reduction, improvement of memory; easing headaches and earaches, improving cold and flu symptoms, relieving fears, and calming the mind. The other hand positions treat the front and back of the body. The front-body positions can be helpful for strengthening the immune system, regulating the heart, blood pressure and digestion, stimulating lymph circulation, promoting relaxation, and helping to increase self-confidence. The back-body positions can help to ease neck, shoulder and back problems, and strengthen the kidneys, adrenal glands and nerves, while also stimulating the immune system, easing worry, and promoting creativity and confidence.
Reiki And Lucas
I can remember the first time I tried reiki on Lucas. He has an enormous amount of energy and is always on the go, but as I used the various hand positions I’d learned, he started to yawn and tell me he was tired. It was clear that Lucas felt the energy, and it was relieving his anxiety. He stayed next to me, calm and relaxed, and after about 30 minutes he thanked me. I asked him how he felt, and he told me his head felt good and that his tummy was better. I was thrilled, since the reiki head positions treat the head and brain, and Lucas has issues with being constipated. I knew at that very moment this was helping my son and would continue to do so.
I ensure that Lucas receives a reiki treatment daily, and since he doesn’t always want to sit through a session, I often treat him while he’s sleeping. Now when Lucas has a stomachache, or doesn’t feel well, he tells me that he needs reiki. He once said it while he was having his therapy, and I gave him a treatment right then as his therapist, Tricia, watched. I could see the amazement in her eyes when Lucas told us he felt better after just a few minutes. Lucas himself knows that reiki is making him feel better, and I see improvements in him daily.
A Life-Changing Experience
Profound personal revelations can manifest during a reiki class, so it’s best to experience it for yourself. There are many areas that are considered sacred to reiki practitioners and must be discussed during classes only. It has been a life changing experience for me. I now sleep deeply every night whereas before I’d been waking up and worrying, and though there are still many things that would normally cause me great stress, reiki has helped me to let them go.
I’m in a place of acceptance and of knowing deep in my soul that my son is continuing to recover from autism, and when I think of this I can’t help smiling and am very thankful. I could have never imagined doing anything like reiki before, but Lucas led me to this path, and on this journey. Reiki is a beloved topic for me personally, and I love sharing it with people who are open to such an astounding experience. I feel blessed that I’ve become a reiki practitioner and teacher, as it’s a wonderful and rewarding gift.