What is Reiki & Can It Help Eczema (Guest Post)


Athena previously wrote a great guest post for It’s an Itchy Little World about the countless therapies she tried to help heal her child’s eczema. You can read her inspiring story and how she didn’t give up, here. She briefly mentions using Reiki as part of her child’s healing process. I knew absolutely nothing about Reiki, but was intrigued as I strive to learn as much as possible about all the natural treatment options out there for eczema. I asked Athena to share how Reiki helped her child and I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

Bio:  My name is Athena Goodman and I’m 33 years old.  I’ve been a cardiac nurse for 10 years and I’m a Reiki practitioner.  I love to read, cook, and do yoga and meditation.  Now that I’m a new mother, my new hobbies are cooking full-time, and chasing after my son.

What is Reiki?
Before I get into Reiki and how it assisted with my son’s eczema, I will share my experience with Reiki years before I got pregnant.  The first time I heard about Reiki was when I was in high school when my mother told me she was taking classes.  The question that popped into my head was what is Reiki and what does it mean?  Reiki is one of many modalities of spiritual healing.  It originated in Japan in the 1920s and was founded by Mikao Usui Sensei, who discovered Reiki through fasting and mediating on Mt. Kurama in Kyoto, Japan. By going through this spiritual transformation, he was able to receive the knowledge of Reiki at the age of fifty-seven.

There are slight variations of how Reiki is translated but when I took Reiki classes many years later I got this translation from my teacher, Jennifer Kimbley.  The first part of the word rei means sacred and ki means energy of the universe.  Reiki involves tapping into the energy of the universe while using the hands as a conduit to provide a deeper level of spiritual healing, to balance the body mentally, physically and emotionally.  Now when I was in my teens, I had no interest in Reiki, I thought it sounded a little fluffy, but it gave my mother satisfaction when she was healing others.  She always offered to treat me with Reiki, but I had no patience to sit still for more than half an hour, let alone relax or try to meditate.

In the winter of 2005 I experienced whiplash from a car accident.  My family doctor thought I would probably heal in about a month since I was young, but it ended up taking almost a full year before my back pain disappeared.   Right after the car accident, I didn’t work for a month as I am a cardiac nurse and physically helping people out of bed would be risky.  Weeks after the car accident I was still having back pain, so from time to time my mother practiced Reiki on my back, but she had too much on her plate to do it consistently, plus sitting up in a chair was too uncomfortable for my back.

About seven months after my car accident, I worked with a personal trainer at the gym in hopes of further strengthening my back.  She was very open minded in regards to healing and she brought up the topic of Reiki and how she knew someone that could help me.  At that point I thought I didn’t have anything to lose and I had already tried massage and physiotherapy, which didn’t provide enough relief.  Both therapies helped significantly reduce my back pain, but it wasn’t completely eliminated.  So, I went in for Reiki treatment with the practitioner my trainer recommended. To this day I can still remember my first Reiki session with someone other than my mother.  I was lying on a massage table and the only thing the Reiki practitioner asked of me was to relax and to breath deeply.  The best way I can describe my experience was that coming out of it I felt like I had slept for at least four hours, when in reality the session was only an hour and a half long.  She told me that was a common experience for her other clients.  At the beginning, before I fell asleep, at times I could feel heat radiating from the practitioner’s hands even though she did not touch me.  And at other times I felt like I was weightless and floating on air.  I could sense there was something going on during these sessions because after each one I would feel a wave of nausea and lightheadedness that lasted for a few minutes, which my practitioner explained was a reaction to all the energy my body had just received.  My husband, who is very skeptical of anything considered alternative, was open to a Reiki session with Camille after hearing about my experiences. After his first session, he admitted there was something going on he couldn’t quite explain.  From then on he never turned down a session with our practitioner and years later when I learned Reiki, he would never turn down a session with me.

My personal trainer eventually started taking Reiki classes and invited me to take them with her.  Now when I perform Reiki and I place my hands over someone’s body, I can feel temperature changes which guide me to where the body needs healing.  My teacher had told me she actually feels a physical tap in the palm of her hand when she scans someone’s body.  So, the sensation is different for all practitioners. Only once have I taken on someone else’s symptoms, when I felt a physical knot in my throat and a major headache while performing Reiki on someone. In my personal experience, I had only felt this physical knot in my throat when I felt like I was not being heard or validated, which the person I was treating confirmed they had experienced at the end of the session.

Reiki for Eczema
I started performing Reiki on my son when he was about six months old and his eczema was at its worst, head to toe.  Some days when I felt physically and mentally drained at the end of the day, my mother would perform Reiki on my son before he went to bed for the night.  I admit that I didn’t perform Reiki on my son consistently to see dramatic life changing results, but what I did notice was that after performing Reiki on him for ten to fifteen minutes,  he was noticeably less restless than before.  Most nights he would fuss a lot due to the itchiness and discomfort, so the Reiki treatments seemed to relieve his symptoms.  I’m not saying he stopped fussing altogether, as he was still waking up multiple times a night, but right after my mother or I finished the Reiki treatment on him, he would settle down a little easier. I always felt the same sensations performing Reiki on my son, the palms of my hands would start to tingle and I felt temperature changes when I scanned his body.

I don’t know if Reiki alone could have healed my son’s eczema because his case was so severe.  I started other treatments on him around the same time I started Reiki, such as the GAPS diet, dietary supplements and avoiding all the foods he was allergic to, and saw dramatic improvement over a few months time.  All I can say is that Reiki personally worked in healing my back and I have seen it work wonders for others too, so I know it can only benefit my son as well.  By implementing Reiki as part of my son’s healing process, I’m trying to boost his body’s innate ability to heal itself.

Have you tried Reiki? Has it helped you or your child?