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Avalon Recovery Society

A Friend of Recovery: Exploring Reiki

Reiki blog post

Written by Mercedes Miller


To some Reiki means a form of healing, to others it may be a new word, and to others it may seem like a bunch of baloney.


No matter where you stand on this spectrum, this article will help demystify Reiki and explain how it can have a role in healing and recovery.

Reiki is a 2,000 year-old Japanese natural practice that draws on the Universal Life Force Energy (can be called God, the Universe, the Divine etc.) and flows that energy from the practitioner throughout the client’s body to promote healing and relaxation.

This practice is passed down from teacher to student. Reiki is two words combined: Rei, which means God’s Wisdom/Higher Power and Ki, which means life force energy. So Reiki is a healing practice of spiritually guided life force energy.

While Reiki is spiritual, there is no religion associated with the practice, and to practice or receive Reiki, one can be of any religion or belief system.

A typical Reiki session would involve the client lying down on a bed, closing their eyes and listening to calming music as the healer moves around the client, laying hands on them and offering energy to the client’s body where it is needed.

Reiki can be a helpful alternative or adjunct to more common Western modalities of healing such as talk therapy and Western medicine. There is a lot of value in these Western modalities, but they aren’t for everyone, and you can be left feeling stuck if you’ve exhausted seemingly all of the possibilities.

Drawing from an Eastern, more spiritual background, Reiki has been known to assist individuals struggling with a range of issues from digestion problems, headaches and low energy to depression, anxiety and addiction.

This isn’t a suggestion to completely abandon the methods of healing that work for you, but rather an invitation to explore other options that could promote and improve your healing and recovery journey.

The recovery journey can be a difficult one, with withdrawal causing immense physical and emotional stress, which is where the practice of Reiki comes in.

Firstly, Reiki creates a consistent environment of acceptance that promotes self-love and encourages healing and recovery.

Secondly, Reiki can provide relaxation that helps calm the body and the physical symptoms associated with withdrawal. This practice can also clear out the grief and other stores of negative energy that we hold in our bodies.

Reiki focuses on acknowledging and clearing negative feelings that are no longer serving us out of our bodies, so that we avoid becoming our trauma and past negative experiences. This allows for a healthy growth forward and can be a beautiful assistant on our path to recovery.

So if you’re frustrated with Western modalities of healing, looking for an adjunct to those practices or just looking for a new way to promote your healing and growth, giving Reiki a try and exploring it for yourself could potentially bring you to a more grounded and relaxed future!

Mercedes headshot

Mercedes Miller is a Masters' student in Counselling Psychology at Adler University and recently completed her Social Justice Practicum with Avalon Recovery Society for the 2019/2020 academic year.

Mercedes has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and volunteered at ANOVA, a shelter for women experiencing domestic violence in her hometown of London, Ontario. She says her experiences have led her to be very passionate about feminism and supporting all women.

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