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Saturday, January 25, 2014

What is a Healing Reaction?

After a Reiki session, one can sometimes have what is known as a "healing reaction." But what is it, and how can you tell if you're having one? Let me offer some thoughts here that I hope will help practitioners be able to more easily explain healing reactions to their clients, as well as assist anyone who has undergone Reiki treatments (or is considering doing so) to understand what a healing reaction is and why it's a good thing!

"Healing reaction" is the name given to any reaction--be it physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual--that occurs after a Reiki healing session when unhelpful energy can still be in the process of clearing from the body.

For example, if you come in to receive Reiki on a weak ankle that has been bothering you, after the session, you may notice that the issue seems to briefly flare up! Confusing, right? But after this brief flare up, you notice a significant improvement in the strength, pain level, and mobility of your ankle. The brief flare up would be considered a healing reaction.

The same is true for emotional issues you may be working through with the help of Reiki. If you are healing from an emotional wound and have received Reiki to help you in this process, you may notice that you have a brief surge of palpable emotions around this issue shortly after the session... but then after the seeming "surge" subsides, you feel remarkably better!

You may be noticing a theme here; the key to recognizing what is a healing reaction and what is just a separate bothersome issue is twofold:

1) Brevity -- Healing reactions vary in intensity, but they are brief. They are the visceral experience of the unhelpful energy coming up and out of your body and your energy field. You may feel that unhelpful energy intensely as it comes fully to the surface to be released. 
  • If you find that you are experiencing a prolonged issue, that issue itself needs to be addressed; it cannot be called a healing reaction, and you should reach out to your Reiki practitioner to check in on what your best next steps might be. Additionally, you should contact your doctor or another medical professional if you have any pressing concerns about your physical or emotional health.

2) Improvement -- Do you notice a significant improvement around the issue afterwards? Once again, if a healing reaction occurs, it is as a result of the unhelpful energy that was shifted during your Reiki session now coming up and out, exiting your body and your energy field. Though you may feel it more intensely as it reaches the surface of your body or your consciousness, when it has fully cleared from your system, you should notice an improvement! It need not be a huge, life-changing improvement (though it can be!); just observe how you feel and check in to see if you have improved around the issue at hand.

Now certainly, healing reactions do not occur after every session, even if deep or intense healing has taken place, and there is no one type of reaction that is typical to all who experience them. The above is simply to help practitioners and receivers of Reiki better understand when and if a healing reaction is taking place. 

It should also be noted that healing on any level can bring other issues in need of healing to the surface that weren't ready to be addressed before the more top-level issue was dealt with. That reality, where a new issue rises up to the forefront to call for healing, is not technically a healing reaction in the terms that we are discussing it here, but one could assert that the reaction of readiness to work on a new issue is a form of healing reaction.

It's easy to feel like you're grasping at straws when trying to put words to the work of energy healing and its properties and effects, so I hope that what I have written here is helpful! All in all, I hope that those who may have had questions about healing reactions have a clearer picture of how they can be identified, and that their very occurrence means that HEALING has taken place, and unhelpful energy has been released! 

I would love to hear your thoughts about healing reactions and how you have experienced them. Please engage with me in the comments section below!



"A heart with a mystery on it" (c) Haley Steinhardt


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