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  • Reiki: Not Waving but Drowning November 7, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite , trackback

    An autobiographical post. Six months ago  I detailed some experiences in Shiatsu. In the last eight weeks the same practitioner gave me a series of treatments in Reiki as part of her training. Reiki for the uninitiated, in which I would still include myself, is the laying of hands on or, for the most part, over the body. The hands of the Reikist travel up and down transferring energy in and out supposedly restoring balance to the reclining body: sessions lasted about 40 minutes, I think. I was a shiatsu enthusiast because I like the idea of massage. I was skeptical about Reiki and did not have high hopes but I tried to go into it with an open mind. And then I started drowning…

    I noted no changes in health connected to Reiki, but from the third or fourth session I had strange experiences of dropping into a state of semi-consciousness. I want to say that I fell asleep but that isn’t quite right. In these states I felt that I was floating on water. One of two things would then happen. In some I would have short image flashes: these were photographs or runs of photographs not films in my head. Plates from my childhood, peas, a face… In others I would have the, I found very unsettling sensation, of ‘drowning’. In fact I would surge back to consciousness breathing for dear life. (Interestingly when I asked her after the treatment the Reikist had not noticed any panic.) The closest analogue experience I have had to this is the sensation of falling, when you surge back to consciousness while trying to go to sleep.

    As regularly noted on this blog I’m fascinated by the tricks and exploits our brain can get up to. After having done about eight sessions of Reiki I’m convinced that something happened to me. I would be inclined, though, to blame this on the rhythmic breathing. While the hands are moving over my body I find that I fall into a very regular, very rhythmic breathing and that this goes on for, at least, half an hour: something that I’ve never managed with yoga or any form of meditation. Perhaps it is the sense of being the focus of attention for someone else, perhaps it is even a form of communication and solidarity with the Reikist. I was so convinced by this explanation that I tried to recreate the deep breathing myself with images and drowning, but I failed. Slightly worryingly the sense of drowning has passed over, a couple of times into my bed when I’m falling asleep…

    I call Reiki ‘witchcraft’ when I speak to my wife: it scares me a little bit. I think of Shiatsu as a dear aunt who drops by and gives me cakes and twenty pound notes.

    Anyone else had drowning experiences with meditation or reichi or can you offer a physiological explanation? Drbeachcombing At gmail DOT com