Although a firm believer in other things that some might find more fanciful, I scoffed at the notion of Reiki, which seemed to me a silly way to make a massage more expensive. Given my high stress work I was always on the look out for ways to relax, anything that would turn my never resting mind off, even for a few minutes and especially for anything that would help me fall asleep and stay asleep.
After many failures, including what I felt was my complete inability to learn how to meditate (if you tell me to be grateful for the chair I'm sitting on you've lost me) I made the, for me, desperate decision to try a doctor of naturopathic medicine. To me this was witch doctor "alternate medicine" but I was willing to try.
After a 20 or 30 minute chat with a pleasant woman who seemed quite sane (there's that skeptic again) when she asked if I was open to Reiki (she also happened to be a Reiki master) I thought "what do I have to lose at this point" and agreed expecting nothing.
The following 30 minutes changed how I saw the world and the paths to healing and relaxation forever. It's been a bumpy road, one I'm still on, now a Reiki practitioner myself working towards master level and I will be forever grateful I said yes that day.
I don't think I can truly convey the experience with words but I'll try. This particular Reiki master was evolved to the point she did not touch at all, it was entirely a mental/energy experience (leaving me more skeptical at first). She had me lay down while she sat across the room on a cushioned bench with her legs crossed and eyes closed. She asked only that I think of my idea of the most peaceful place, imagine myself there and imagine myself open. The choice to open or close my eyes was mine. My brain loves a task and it jumped happily on the "be open" command, while the rest of me enjoyed laying on a beach.
My also too busy brain concentrating with military precision on the image of a flower opening to the sun. At first all was concentration and soothing music and then I started to feel a pleasant warmth inside parts of my body (I found out later they were specific chakra's). Suspicious I opened my eyes and looked around and sure enough the doctor had not moved at all and was still humming, eyes closed. The relaxation level my body and mind began to feel was, to me, incredible. It was like I was melting into the bed of sand I imagined myself on. As I let my skeptic side go and truly did open, the warm sensation became a pleasant and very distinct tingling as waves of energy pulsed through and over my body. Waves I could not deny I felt and that had a positive and strong effect on my stress level, state of mind and general wellness.
Since that day I've been to several Reiki's, none as strong as the first (but then she'd been doing it a lot longer) and have had varying degrees of intensity in sessions from nothing at all (taking the course doesn't give you the gift) to the healing I needed at the time.
Eventually one of those Reiki's became my master as I decided to start fulfilling the destiny given, but not accepted by me, by that first amazing doctor and Reiki master who changed so much for me with one visit. She told me then that I had a natural healing touch and that my path in life was to heal others, to use my gifts to help but first I had to learn how to let go of the burdens I took on from other people.
Turns out there was a reason the client's loved me. I took some of their pain, stress or fear away with every contact and kept it for myself (lucky me). So I spent several years learning to meditate (something else that first visit taught me and I thought I would never get that one right). I've been open to trying everything from yoga to having my chakra's balanced with crystal singing bowls. Some treatments having been surprisingly effective, some simply interesting but I learned more with every experience.
Now as I've journeyed into finally working with others I have discovered the great gift for both parties that Reiki can be. By healing others, you not only continue to heal yourself, you grow stronger in your abilities to heal with every session.
I look forward to the continuation of my journey and hope to start others on a path equally as rewarding. There will be highs and lows, periods where the energy is strong and clear and times you feel you've lost your focus but the beauty of it is once you've been touched once by a connection to your inner and higher self, there is always a way back.