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How Sophie used Reiki self-care to help

With pain, recovery from surgery, and general wellbeing

Sophie may never have known about Reiki if she didn't live next door to a Reiki master. Wanting to be a good neighbor and show support, she accepted an invitation to attend a Reiki intro program.

Nearing 80, Sophie was already on more medications than she liked. She was concerned about the increasing pain in her joints and dreaded an upcoming surgery. Sophie was encouraged to learn that Reiki helps with pain, enabling some people to reduce or stop their pain meds (with their doctors' supervision). And it made sense to her that since Reiki treatment enhances the body's innate ability to heal, it can help people get up and about faster after surgery. Feeling she had little to lose, she signed up for the next class.

Sophie found much to appreciate in her Reiki class, and especially liked the focus on wellness instead of illness. Practicing Reiki on herself was a quiet revelation, unlike anything she had experienced before. The peacefulness lingered long after the first class session and enveloped her anew when she practiced at home. Back in class, Sophie at first felt tentative to place her Reiki hands on her classmates when they practiced with one another, but her self-consciousness soon melted away. Although the teacher said repeatedly that Reiki was primarily for self-care, Sophie noticed the familiar sensation in her hands as she cuddled her grandson before bed and was amazed when the usually rambunctious boy fell asleep on her lap. She frequently told her friends, "I've got a treasure in my hands." Sophie took her treasure into surgery, giving herself Reiki even as she waited on the gurney.

Each time she became conscious in the recovery room, she placed her Reiki hands on her abdomen or chest, as was comfortable, and found that Reiki soothed the discomfort from the incision. Once out of recovery, she continued giving herself Reiki many times a day. Sophie was discharged from the hospital a day earlier than expected. Five years later, Sophie continues to practice Reiki self-care every day. She and two Reiki friends meet weekly to share treatment-they call it their "Reiki bee"-and she's delighted when her daughter occasionally requests a Reiki session. Sophie and her physician have stopped some medications and reduced others.

She thinks Reiki may be why she is no longer troubled by side effects from the ones she still needs. "I always knew it made sense to be a good neighbor," she laughs, "but I never thought it would change my life!"

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