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Can any of you explain what Reiki is or Energy Healing & what are your thoughts on that as a Christian?

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi everyone,

I now go to a new cancer center that also incorporates and offers what they call "integrative therapies". I applaud them for this because other doctors I've encountered in the past act like nothing but drugs will do anything for people. What they offer includes: massage therapy, acupuncture, nutritional counseling, Tibetan Healing Bowls, Reiki, Healing Touch, Yoga, Wisdom Healing, and meditation.

I used to go to a chiropractor who was an Asian (Vietnemese) man who was the best ever- he did not use traditional chiropractic (crack em and pop em) approaches, but used to run some kind of "ball" over my back to identify areas of swelling through heat sensors. He'd then use accupressure over energy points (or something like that- I never really quite understood it). It really worked and there was no spiritual aspect to any of it- just the massage on pressure points A few years later, after I'd moved, I was hoping to find someone using the same approach & couldn't find anything but a traditional chiropractor. I wish I knew what it was called- I never wrote it down and no longer have or remember the name of that practitioner. Does anyone out there possibly know what I'm talking about?
I've always been curious about acupuncture & I have now set up an appt. for acupuncture on Monday to hopefully address some pain issues I've been experiencing lately. I also have an appt. for massage next week. I'm realllly looking forward to that!

Other than those two, the other approaches mentioned above scare me a little. Someone I know tried to explain the Tibetan healing bowls in that they are actually just sound instruments set up next to various parts of your body & that it's very relaxing. I guess they all scare me because they just sound so foreign to me (especially Reiki and Wisdom healing- sounds to me like native american pagan god stuff, which scares me.) No offense to anyone else with any of those beliefs, but I do not share those beliefs.
As a Christian, I don't want to utilize any approaches that have a spiritual side alternative to what I believe. Chanting a name of another god or word that has a spiritual meaning in another religion is not something I want to do (if that's what they do- I don't know what they do, really). I call on the name of God or his Son Jesus and that's it.

So... I'm wondering if any of these practices can be just physiological and not include any possible spiritual aspect. Do any of you have any thoughts and/or experience with any of this? I believe "energies" might also be akin to opening up flow of the lymphatic system, perhaps? I believe magnets can work, so might that be related to an "energy force" within the human body?

Any info from anyone out there- both Christians and others- would be helpful.

Thanks in advance,
Lisa

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

Hi Lisa, great post. I wish I knew more about many of the things you mention but I don't. But you know me, the lack of knowing about something won't stop me from having an opinion on it ;-)

There is soooooo much out there that we do not know or understand. I there is a lot to be said for eastern approaches to medicine and that very many of them have worked for thousands of years. It's kind of hard to ignore that. The human body is a very complex machine or being and is made up of all sorts of chemicals and complex nerve systems. I truly believe that manipulating or nudging these systems that health (or disease) can be achieved. I personally have done an energy exercise where you imagine a ball of energy between your hands, after a short time I was able to really "feel" this ball like it were a solid object. Not in the sense that I could knock on it and hear a sound, but that if I applied pressure, my hands would repel from "it". Just tried it again, I still got it baby! So what I'm also trying to say is we are energy and that a disruption in our energy can be harmful or throw us out of balance.

With the Tibetan sound thing, sound is caused or produces sound waves. I do not doubt that they could have a positive effect on internal organs. As far as not wanting to upset your religious beliefs, well... I do not see that happening. I am not aware of any of these healing techniques as part of selling one's soul to the devil or anything like that. Maybe the "worst" thing you may have to do is to chant or do a meditative "Ommmmmm" type thing but nothing that would denounce your belief in God. Now that is MY opinion. There could be some very devout Christians who would disagree. There are many who see Harry Potter as anti-christian too. I do not get that one at all but to each their own. I guess it would depend Lisa on your faith in God. Christians often use prayer as a way of hoping for healing, maybe some of this is just another way to pray?

It seems like it's between you and your maker and beliefs. If you feel strongly that you are "cheating on God" by trying some of these methods, then maybe they are not for you. I would be open to anything, maybe even praying, if would help me get through my cancer.

Again, great post Lisa
-phil

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

Thanks Phil,

I'll report back in after I have the acupuncture on Monday what that experience was like.
So far as the other things, I've talked with Serrana who's done the Tibetan Healing Bowls before & I may go for it in September (the guy who does it is gone for the summer). Maybe I'll try the Reiki sometime too. Sometimes I think you can get it during the chemo- I'll ask about it since I'm getting chemo this Wednesday (starting up with Folfiri).

Talk to ya later-
Lisa

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

I'm interested to hear about your experience. You know, I wish more people visited this forum. I think many feel it was created to get them to shut up about God. I don't think that was it's purpose. It was made so we could talk about God, Buddha, Allah, Energy, ...whatever and not be judged or condemn people for having the "wrong" belief. I view it as a learning experience but that's me. I suppose some are not interested in what others think.

Good luck with the chemo Lisa
-phil

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2084
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi Lisa,

I know where you're coming from. When I was deep into my healing journey doing my TCM, yoga, acupuncture, et al, I was very cautious about sharing this with other church people b/c of the judgment I felt from Christians....that they'd deem it pagan voodoo without really bothering to a) research it; b) try it before they judged it; and c) open their minds to the healing possibilities.

This is one of the reasons why I don't go to church anymore.....and I'm a Jesus Chick too.

My continual perplexity is the common held belief that Western Medicine is somehow more "Christian" and Eastern Medicine is pagan. Kinda like thinking that Jesus is a Republican rather than the Radical that he was. As believers don't we think that ALL knowledge is from our Creator? It just becomes about culture then, not religion per se.

Personally, as a Believer, I have completely reconciled my belief system with my bend toward Eastern healing. In anything I do, I invite Jesus into the process so that his presence and power is a part of it. And if it's not healthy for me I have to trust that that message will be made known to me on a case by case basis rather than just a blanket distrust or rejection of something that may very well be highly beneficial for my healing.

So I hope your enjoy the new aspects to your healing journey. I think it's awesome that you're gonna try it out and that you're willing to experience something that may be out of your Christian comfort zone. You'll find you're not alone. :-)

peace, emily

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

HI Emily,

I appreciate what you've said. I think I'm feeling comfortable enough with the idea that if I end up NOT feeling comfortable, I can voice that to whoever the person facilitating is. I have a strong sense of intuition, so I know I'll be able to sense if what I do is alright or not. As you said, I can just make Jesus my focus and invite Him in everything, and if that isn't able to be done in what I'm trying, then I'll know that isn't for me.

On another note, addressing the Christians being Republican idea, I can identify with that strongly (admittedly, I've often truly wondered how a true Christian could ever be a Democrat) but I WILL admit that I've been doing a lot of questioning of that lately. The whole thing with the national healthcare ideas being floated around and the fact that it seems so Republican to automatically be against it really that upsets me. Granted, I think there's a lot to work out and I'm not a huge Obama fan, but I strongly admire the fact that he's persistent in that something needs to be done and he's not going to back down! I know the whole huge issue of how it's going to be funded, how it will affect current healthcare, etc. is HUGE and I have my own concerns, but I'm really having great difficulty trying to understand how Christians can be against what is proposed but then have no alternative ideas to help uninsured people in our own country. Being a Christian should mean that we show the love of Jesus to others and take care of the poor around us- otherwise we are NOT showing the love of Jesus!

Jesus' words just kept popping in my head strongly today and yesterday "If you love me, then feed my sheep" We must show love to others- it is what Jesus commanded! I think too many Christians (myself also, admittedly) have not done enough to show the love of Jesus in caring for others, but we're sure quick to condemn others in other various ways. I mentioned the guest speaker at church today in my other post- well something else he mentioned (my church is currently looking for a new senior pastor) was. "I bet if Jesus himself were here candidating for the senior pastor position and preaching to you, that most of you would vote against him! Jesus was far too controversial and "out there" for everyone around him in his day. He also said, "I think we'll all be really surprised some day who else we see in heaven and who else we don't see". Sure makes me think a lot!

Anyhow, nice chatting with you Emily. :) Just another thought, Emily- have you ever thought of joining a Bible study or church and actually getting into discussions about this kind of stuff? I think, rather than give church up, it might be enlightning for people there to open up their minds a bit. I certainly am not going to give my church or ladies' group up- I like sharing my experiences with them and how Jesus is bigger than the box we've tended to put Him into. Not that I'm saying ALL these practices I've mentioned are okay, because I'm not fully convinced of that yet. I think some may be okay and others may not- my jury is still out on that. It helps me to talk to others who believe and have also experienced them, though. :)
I think I'll try them first before I mention anything around others at church, but I still ponder the possibility of talking about it with them.

Lisa

Ron Stone
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Emily,

Sorry to hear your church has judged on your choices of healing methods. The purpose of the 'body of Christ' (the church) is support one another. Many Christians complain that Christianity is judged by non believers without them doing their do diligence about Christ. Ironic isn't it.

I believe you have hit the nail on the head when you said: "I invite Jesus into the process so that his presence and power is a part of it." We just have to careful not to practice 'religious' part of the healing process. I too believe that eastern methods can be very effective. I'm careful to recognize that it's Jesus and always go to Him for the source of power and give thanks to Him.

Remember, your relationship with Jesus is personal. However, don't stop searching for a good Bible teaching church. Fellowshipping with other Christians and being fed the word are also commandments from Christ.

God bless,
Ron

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi,

Ron, first of all, I just wanted to say I like what you said in your post. I believe many people who have been turned off by church have done so because they reacted to what a few Christians have said or done. Christians are just imperfect people like everyone else! We shouldn't "throw out the baby with the bath water", so to speak. You are right in saying that we are commanded to fellowship and worship together with other believers.

Phil,
I told you I'd post back after my acupuncture session- I had it on Monday. It went really well and the needles going in did not hurt at all. In fact, it's kind of weird sounding, but I could feel them going in slightly, but not as pain. When each little needle tapped and then went in, it was like an "aahh" feeling of relief. Very weird, but I actually really enjoyed it. Since it was two days before starting up the Folfiri again, we focused not on the chemo side effects, but on some severe joint pain I had been having (which is why I was wanting to try it in the first place). Well, the joint pain continued on pretty badly all the rest of the day and night, but it was completely gone when I woke up the next morning! I can't say for sure if it was truly the acupuncture or if it was coincidental (as it does normally come and go some- but not usually that dramatically). I have set up two more sessions for next week, as well. Since I had chemo yesterday and have the pump hooked up to me now, we'll focus on chemo side effects I may be having, digestive/colon issues, etc. next time. I'm looking forward to going back for it again!
I never really had an spiritual concern with getting the acupuncture, just more with the Reiki, Tibetan healing bowls, and the "healing touch" therapy. I think the only one of those I may still consider trying would be the Tibetan healing bowls. That actually has the "freakist" name of them all to me, spiritually speaking, but from what I've read about it and heard from Serrana (who is also a Christian who posts on this board) since she's had it done, it's really more physiological with sound waves. With that said, I know the inner feeling I get, though, if something doesn't feel right, I'd know right away if it's right or wrong for me to do. That one will have to wait to be tried, though, as the person who does it is on vacation until Sept.

Have a blessed day, everyone-
Lisa

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2084
Joined: Dec 2001

Hi Lisa,

So glad you enjoyed your needlework. :-) I find it quite relaxing too. My TCM would give me a massage after my acupuncture. Pure bliss (until the next day when i would have a "detox" release of deep seated emotions....but that's another story).

peace, emily

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

I had another "dose" of acupuncture again today. Last time, she focused on the neck, back, and foot pain I've been having. The day after the acupuncture, the pain was gone! It started slowly creeping back some again last night (6 days later), but not nearly as bad. So, in today's session, she again focused on the pain and also on the nausea and gastrointestinal side effects from the Folfiri I started up Wedesday. I really think it works!

Lisa

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

I'm glad to hear that you are finding relief with the acupuncture. I think there is an awful lot to it especially since it's been in use for thousands of years. I think that gives it "street cred" as they say in China...
-phil

donnare
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Lisa,

There is a wellness center affiliated with a Catholic hospital close to me. It was formed and is run by the nuns there. They offer massage, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, etc. - many other forms of alternative therapies to complement the traditional therapies at the hospital. A close friend, a devout Catholic, has actually become certified as a yoga teacher through their training program. I don't think any of the alternative therapies would interfere with your Chrisitan beliefs, and I don't think you would be required to do anything that made you uncomfortable.

Be well,
Donna

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

Thanks Babs and Donna for your advice and thoughts- I do appreciate hearing them.
There is that "still, small voice within" of the Holy Spirit that is very strong in me & I know that I will be able to tell what is okay or not. I like the idea that I could focus on Jesus while meditating, as you mentioned.

Thanks-
Lisa

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

I have NEVER heard of anything sinister being connected with Reiki. I was introduced to this concept of universal energy decades ago and I have recently "brushed off" the books I have on it.

During my cancer treatment I was privileged to be given a gift of healing touch by a practitioner that is a registered nurse. The healing touch group here has mostly nurses in it. It is fascinating and is akin to Reiki in the concept of universal energy. I also practiced guided imagery using O. Carl Simonton's model.

I did amazingly well in treatment per my doctor and nurse and think that the healing sessions helped significantly. I've since added yoga and meditation to the mix. I am intrigued by acupuncture and might add this also.

I don't see anything wrong with complementing Western medicine with other therapies. After all, who are we to think that we have all the answers? We can learn alot from Eastern and Native American cultures and others that I have not mentioned. Let's take the best of all and utilize them.

Mary Ann (aka Daisy)

natly15's picture
natly15
Posts: 1934
Joined: Sep 2009

hi Lisa, this is the first time I've logged on to this particular discussion board. I'm also a Christian. I know little or nothing about Eastern treatments, but if you can keep Jesus in the treatment, and use discernment the Lord will guide you. My neighbor is a Christian chiropractor and he has mentioned pressure points in the body which can change chemistry. I havent realy thought about any alternative treatment, but now think I may ask him more about how I can manage my nausea. I meditate, but do not use a mantra. My meditation comes thru bible reading, praying, speaking, and then listening. I was told many years ago that we need to be very careful when meditating in the Eastern right. We must always be careful to discern the spirits so as not to let any not of Christ into our bodies or psyches.

JC (not verified)

Hi,

I have been a member of the DFSP board since the summer and recently came upon this board, finding the discussion very interesting. I had surgery for DFSP nearly three weeks ago and am glad to be on the other side of it right now. For me, the power of prayer, the power of my own spiritu and spirituality, and the expertise of my physicians has helped me to better understand the importance of integrative care.

I am a philosopher who teaches both eastern and western thought. I was raised Catholic and am familiar with other Christian, and some non-Christian, religions. In my view, it is important to consider what is truth and seek truth in any way we can. Doing so does not require us to abandon our own beliefs; rather, it can really help to solidify them.

Reiki is a practice I have experienced for a few years; it helped me through my foot surgery over three years ago and it plays a role in my day to day functions as I use to to help me relax and move energy in me and around me. Modern science has taught us a good deal about energy fields and I think Reiki helps us to learn how to 'use' our energy in beneficial ways. I have also experienced healing via crystal bowls, etc., and I have found it to be transformational.

What I have learned from having cancer, and surgery to remove it, is that we each need to honor our true selves and really get to know who they are. Being an active person, it has been hard to take sick leave for the past three weeks, and I have one more I will take this upcoming week. I know that it will be beneficial for both my physical and mental health. I am commited to being who I really am and not who others want me to be.

Anyway, this is just a short blurb; but I welcome coments and hope to participate in this discussion again. It is surely and important one.

Take care.

JC

New Flower
Posts: 4128
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi,
I am wondering about Reiki and how it could help me and other cancer survivors.
Since I finished Chemo and radiation I have been trying regain energy and physical health. As 8 months has passed I am still in recovery mode.
At my last visit my primary care physician advised to try Reiki to restore my energy flow as it was interrupted due to the surgery and other treatments.
Just wondering if anybody has used Reiki practice for recovery after treatment.
Thanks,
New Flower

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi All,

It's been a while since I've read or posted anything on this board...
Thanks to all who have given input here on my post.
I haven't pursued any of the Reiki or energy healing as of yet, but I have decided that- for me- as long as I keep Jesus at the forefront of everything, that it would be okay. I don't have any more info on it, since I haven't yet experienced it, but that certainly doesn't mean that I won't experience it at some point.

Take care everyone-
Lisa

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