Tag Archives: self-care

An Introduction To Reiki


By Karl Robb

There is little doubt that human touch is of benefit to our well-being. When I speak of touch I mean it in  the most caring and compassionate of ways and not just in a sensory manner. Touch is therapeutic and I have great confidence  that it is the  highway to relief and possible healing.

If you’ve never heard of Reiki, then I hope that this posting will intrigue you enough to learn more about what it is and what it does. In the end, I hope I can encourage you to experience the power of Reiki. I think it best to get an understanding of what Reiki is from my dear friend and Reiki Master Teacher, Gilbert Gallego, who over 12 years ago showed me how Reiki could improve all aspects of my life. I have seen Reiki greatly reduce my symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, lower my stress, give me peace and calming, and provided me with a greater understanding of who I am and what I am capable of achieving. First, learn what Reiki is and where it came from and then I will tell you some amazing but true stories of what I have seen Reiki do:

This text  comes from http://www.reikijinkeido.org and Gilbert Gallego, a Reiki Master Teacher in Fairfax, VA.

Reiki is a Japanese word. The Kanji Rei means spirit, and Ki means energy or life force. In essence, Reiki can be interpreted as spiritual or universal life force energy. Reiki is also known as the Usui System of Natural Healing, a very simple technique to aid in the process of healing and many believe that it leads to a path of self-transformation. Reiki was initially brought to the United States by Mrs. Hawayo Takata, a Japanese American who studied it in Japan in the 1930’s. Reiki has since become the fast-moving energy modality in the West during the past 30 years.

Reiki was developed in the early 1900’s by a Japanese Shingon Buddhist named Mikao Usui.  Master Usui was a well-known scholar and respected healer in Kyoto who undertook an extensive study of healing phenomena as taught through history’s greatest spiritual leaders. Through his travels, research, and meditation, he was led to an ancient healing method based on a combination of Buddhist practices performed only by monks and kept as secret knowledge. It is believed that Dr. Usui learned part of this method and received special empowerments and a meditation through which he expanded his understanding of the energy of healing. He spent the rest of his life practicing and teaching this knowledge. One of his students, a medical practitioner named Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, gave this method a proper structure, which lay people, could practice. Today, this method is now known as “Reiki”.  From www.reikijinkeido.org

Twelve years ago, I knew nothing about Reiki. By total coincidence, if you believe in them, I met Gilbert, my teacher. I had heard of a therapy called Trager (which is very different than Reiki) and found that he was the nearest practitioner in my area. I went for Trager but found Reiki. My wife, Angela, who suffers from migraines came along with me to the appointment. Gilbert explained Reiki to us and we both had doubts and were wondering why we were even in his office? We were true skeptics. I was reluctant to get on the massage table (fully clothed by the way) and Angela agreed to watch but that would be the full extent of her participation–that didn’t happen!

A little over an hour later, after coming in stiff in the legs and a bit tired, I felt refreshed and rejuvenated. I felt wonderful and it showed! My face beamed and seeing this, Angela, with no hesitancy,  decided to go next. She too experienced the power  of Reiki.

This was the first step on our eleven year Reiki journey.  Twelve years later, my wife and I just completed our one year training as Reiki Masters. I have seen Reiki do some wonderful and unexplainable results for me, my wife, my animals, and friends.

Here is just a brief list of what I have experienced with Reiki:

  • I have seen Reiki stop or dramatically reduce dyskinesia (uncontrolled movement).
  • I have seen Reiki diminish or even subside headaches and pain.
  • I saw Reiki lower my mother’s blood pressure before her chemo treatment.
  • I have seen Reiki reduce stress and help improve sleep.
  • I saw Reiki drastically reduce a Cancer patient’s pain from an 8 to a 3 on a 10 point scale (10 being the highest). That patient was my mother.

These are just a few of my experiences with Reiki. If you would like to learn more, please contact me for more information.

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Importance of Self-Care


Importance of Self-Care

For many years, as I visited with other carepartners, I stressed the fact that carepartners “needed to take care of themselves so, they could care for their loved one with Parkinson’s”.  Last year, I had a personal realization about this phrase.  What I should have said is:  “I need to take care of myself for me first, my loved one second”.

It’s so easy for us in today’s world to put ourselves last on the “care list”. We put our children, spouses, family, home, work, pets, and so on way before we take care of ourselves.  When a chronic illness such as Parkinson’s is also part of the equation, there’s even more of a tendency for carepartners to rush their loved one into the top spot for care.

If Not YOU, WHO?

It is vitally important that the carepartner have a depth of self-knowledge and be willing to ask one’s self “How are you doing today?” or “How am I doing in this moment?”. My realization of this fact came from my study of Reiki and mindfulness meditation. The first level of Reiki is about self-care.  Mindfulness Meditation is about being still and focusing on the self, specifically one’s breath.  My self-knowledge evolved over time and I’m so happy that it did.  I only wish that I had a grasp of this self-awareness sooner!  I find myself checking in on my mental, emotional and physical awareness.  This really is a practice that you have to do yourself.  As much as your loved one, family, or friend ask you “How you are doing?”, they may not be prepared for your true answer.  Most of us will not give the true answer, anyway.  The true answer is being with yourself and looking honestly at the whole package.  I find the following questions are helpful for me.  These are just a few examples to help someone to get started.  Once you begin an internal dialog with yourself, you will find questions that are best suited to you.

  • How do I physically feel today? Are there areas which need some attention?
  • How balanced do I feel mentally today?
  • How much time can I make for myself to meditate, exercise, <insert your activity here> today?
  • How can I best care for myself today?

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Filed under Carepartners/Caregivers, Parkinson's, Self-care