Guest Column: Reiki—an ancient healing art

Reiki is an ancient Tibetan healing practice. It’s based on the idea that a “Life-Force Energy” flows through each of us. When your life force is low, you are more likely to feel the effects of stress and to get sick.

Reiki works by reducing stress and promoting relaxation, thereby allowing our bodies’ natural healing resources to be used, reducing pain and anxiety. Reiki provides healing on all levels—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Reiki can bring a steady, gradual improvement into every aspect of life.

Reiki is not a religion or a medicine, and does not replace modern medicine. It does support any healing methods a person may be using.

Reiki is a simple form of hands-on healing that is usually accomplished with the client lying on a massage table, fully clothed. What is needed is an open attitude to receive and accept the Reiki energy. My clients state that Reiki produces a feeling of mental clarity, calmness, coziness and well-being.

Hospitals and clinics throughout the country are discovering the value of Reiki. It is used to promote healing in surgery, neonatal intensive care, and oncology units to relieve the dying process for patients and family.

My personal experience with Reiki has been equally impressive. I have used Reiki on myself to relieve all kinds of aches, pains and emotional distress with great success. I have used Reiki to help a premature infant thrive and assisted family to heal more quickly from various surgeries.

I am profoundly grateful for having been given the opportunity to work with Reiki. After 30 years in the nursing field, I have found a non-invasive, safe, easy and pleasant way to help and comfort my clients.

Gayle Merrithew is a Reiki Master Teacher and a Registered Nurse with 30 years of experience. She may be reached at (815) 543-1708 or

From the April 13-19, 2005, issue

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