Reiki in a time of Coronavirus

In the seemingly long ago time before the lockdown response to the Covid pandemic, I was sometimes called to do Reiki treatments for people suffering the mental anguish of a poor diagnosis from the doctor, when they say there is no new medicine to try, or when they give that dreaded advice to put your affairs in order; advice that can create a vortex of despair in even the bravest soul. Reiki for palliative care taught me the importance of connection and human touch in a time of transition. But now we must add the psychological damage caused by isolation into a stirred up cocktail of fear, anxiety and perceived powerlessness, as we ask those with symptoms of this novel coronavirus to avoid physical contact with others.

We hear of lonely deaths away from loved ones, where compassionate smiles of reassurance are blocked by masks and a tender goodbye kiss or touch of a loved one’s hand carries the threat of contamination. If there was ever a time to focus on the benefits of remote healing, this is now, as we face Covid 19. Often called distant healing, this way of offering Reiki is an intense combination of intention and energy, based on the belief that everything is energy and everyone is connected, irrespective of time and distance. Social distancing is therefore no barrier to treatment: there is no need for the Reiki healer to be present.

Whether the person is in the next room or the next city makes no difference at all. We know that a positive outcome of Reiki is often a reduction in stress and this in turn can ease breathing and relax the tension held in the body, which gives a better chance of restorative sleep and supports the body’s own healing mechanisms to function.

The intention for those who are facing the final transition is to increase the possibility of them being at peace with the process of letting go, as they soak up the deep spiritual and emotional healing to find gentle relief from the worry and fear of the unknown, and absorb the physical healing sent to ease their pain. In Reiki, there is a precept or principle that asks us to be in the moment and this can also extend to being with death, so that we may have a good transition. Gentle healing energy sent with the intention of easing transition does not in any way hasten the last steps of our journey on earth.

It simply helps us tread them with a sense of peace and in as much comfort as possible. When this healing is extended to the family, it can make space for their loved one to depart from them with dignity and clarity in celebration of all they have shared in their lives together. Letting go without fear of the unknown is also possible for loved ones who must remain here and pass through the many stages of grief.