Treating the symptoms of anxiety with Reiki

Person with anxiety

Anxiety is a natural feeling. It is our body’s response to stress and can even benefit us in certain situations. It warns us of dangerous situations to help us prepare and pay attention. It is also normal to feel a bit fearful and nervous in some situations like a job interview and when you’re doing something outside of your comfort zone.

However, if you’re experiencing extreme anxiety or one that lasts longer than six months and is getting in the way of your life, you may have an anxiety disorder. It’s different from normal feelings of anxiousness or nervousness since it involves excessive fear. Anxiety disorders are more common than most people think. In fact, they’re one of the most common mental health issues nowadays.

There are a number of effective treatments for anxiety disorders that help most people regain control of their lives.

Types of Anxiety 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

If you have a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), you usually feel excessive worry or anxiety on most days for at least half of the year over a number of everyday things such as work, social interactions, personal health, etc. This anxiety interferes with your daily life, causing problems at work. Here are symptoms you may have a GAD:

  • Mind going blank or difficulty in concentrating
  • Feeling restless or on-edge
  • Hard time controlling feelings of worry
  • Easily irritated
  • Sleeping problems (insomnia, difficulty staying asleep, or restlessness)
  • Muscle tension
  • Getting tired easily

Panic Disorder

People with this type of anxiety disorder experience sudden panic attacks. These attacks are unexpected periods of excessive fear that come on fast and reach their peak within minutes. The attack can be triggered by something such as a feared object or can happen unexpectedly. When someone has a panic attack, they may experience:

  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Heart palpitations or increased heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feelings of being out of control

People with panic disorder usually worry about when the next attack will occur so they avoid situations or places that can be associated with these attacks which can get in the way of living their lives fully.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is another type of anxiety disorder. People with this disorder have recurrent uncontrollable thoughts (also known as obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (known as compulsions) such as counting, handwashing, cleaning, checking, arranging, or organizing things in a particular, precise way. People with OCD do these things hoping that these will make obsessive thoughts go away. But performing these repetitive behaviors only provides temporary relief and not being able to do them significantly heightens anxiety levels.

Just like people with panic disorder, people with OCD may try to avoid situations that may trigger their obsessions. Or worse, they may turn to alcohol or drugs to calm themselves.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that usually develops after someone experiences a terrifying ordeal in which severe physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events such as military combat, accidents, violent personal assaults, or natural disasters can cause PTSD. But not everyone with PTSD experienced a dangerous event. Some experiences such as the sudden death of a loved one can also trigger PTSD.

People with PTSD may have re-experiencing symptoms such as flashbacks (reliving the trauma that comes with physical symptoms such as sweating and heart palpitation, nightmares, and frightening thoughts. They may also show avoidance symptoms such as staying away from objects, places, or events that can remind them of the traumatic experience and avoiding feelings or thoughts associated with the traumatic event.

PTSD also causes arousal and reactivity symptoms such as feeling tense, being easily startled, sleeping problems, and angry outbursts. People with PTSD can also display cognition and mood symptoms such as distorted feelings of guilt or blame, loss of interest in activities that they once enjoyed, and negative thoughts about oneself or the world.

Social Anxiety

As the term implies, people with this anxiety disorder experience intense anxiety or fear toward social situations. When you have a social anxiety disorder you worry that how you act or behave associated with your anxiety will be criticised by others, making you feel embarrassed. This is why you avoid social situations. You have an intense fear of being judged or humiliated even in everyday situations such as eating in public or engaging in small talk.

Health Anxiety

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, it is normal for us to be extra concerned about our health. But those who are suffering from health anxiety tend to feel excessive distress about their health even if they are healthy. They might constantly feel that they have a symptom or symptoms of a severe illness. Their extreme concern about their health consumes them to a point that it interferes with several areas in their life, at school or at work, relationships, or prevents them from doing their daily routines.

Effective Treatments To Overcome Anxiety: 

For some people with anxiety disorder, lifestyle changes may be enough to cope with the symptoms. These include eating healthy, exercising regularly, working out, getting enough proper sleep, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, quitting smoking, and meditating.

However, in moderate or severe cases, psychotherapy and medication may be necessary to help you overcome symptoms and lead a more manageable daily life. You may be prescribed medications such as sedatives and antidepressants to balance brain chemistry, prevent episodes of anxiety, and get rid of the most severe anxiety disorder symptoms.

Studies have shown that Reiki offers several potential benefits for people with generalised anxiety disorder. It is an excellent way to complement other treatment forms. Some of these benefits include:

Lower stress levels
People with generalised anxiety disorder have higher stress levels than the normal population. Both research studies and anecdotal reports indicate that Reiki may assist to alleviate some of this stress.

Having generalized anxiety disorder makes it difficult to relax even when no significant stressor is present. Many people who participate in Reiki sessions report feeling relaxed both during the session and after it is complete, which may be beneficial to someone who struggles with anxiety.

Improved mood
Not every person who has been diagnosed with a generalised anxiety disorder will experience depression. However, for many people, these two issues go hand-in-hand. Research indicates that people who participate in Reiki sessions on a regular basis feel less depressed than they did prior to therapy.

Better sleep
People with a generalised anxiety disorder may find that they have trouble falling asleep, are unable to stay asleep, or don’t feel rested even after sleeping all night. Reiki sessions may alleviate some of these issues and improve the quality of sleep.

Healing Crisis – why you could be feeling worse after Reiki

Healing Crisis – why you could feel worse after a Reiki treatment

Typically recipients of Reiki treatment leave the session feeling light, calm and relaxed, however on some occasions they may experience the complete opposite. Sometimes the practitioner will hear from clients that they experiences worsening symptoms after their treatment.

Why is this? What is a healing crisis?

A healing crisis is also know as a healing reaction or a temporary worsening of symptoms.

A healing crisis can be a sign of an effective, natural healing process. While it can be uncomfortable, it is at the same time a sign that your body is working to heal itself.

However if your body does not experience a healing crisis, don’t worry about missing out. Every person’s healing needs are different. Some people have deeper wounds to heal. It doesn’t mean that you are not getting the most of your treatment, if you did not experience a healing crisis.

Some people have a lifelong amount of toxic energy waste to offload and in the right time, with the right practitioner, the body will finally be ready to release and let go. Imagine having 20 years of stress on your shoulders. Imagine how your body would feel letting go of this weight? Probably incredibly relieved and exhausted at the same time.

A healing crisis is a sign that the body is finally ready to release and heal on a deep level. There is no way of knowing when a healing crisis may occur, as the body lets go layer by layer and then finally heal the root of something. It may be uncomfortable at first, but it gets a lot better moving forward.

True healing is not always comfortable. True healing requires presence, a deep commitment to self-development, to letting go of what, how and when you should be healing, and a ton of patience. Accepting that pain is an essential part of healing, the body will make that final shift of letting go.

If you feel unwell after a Reiki session, don’t worry too much, because your body is working the way is should and the symptoms are only temporary.

Symptoms of a Healing Crisis

– a flushed face
– nausea, headache
– painful joints
– fatigue
– insomnia
– diarrhea, vomiting
– irritability

Here are tips to help you get through a healing crisis after Reiki:

– Communicate with your practitioner. They are helping to allow the energetic activity to be integrated in your body – the systems for your physical body, emotions, and mind. You are stirring up and releasing this material because you were ready to evolve, shift, and heal.

– Do your best to face what’s going on.

– Dialogue with your body and let it know that it can be released, let go, and integrated without the pain syndrome.

– Believe in yourself. Believe that you are okay, even if you feel weird in your body.

– Be gentle with yourself. Eat nutritious foods and drink plenty of fluids.

– Always relax and rest. Self-nourishment and self-care.

Can Reiki help to speed up recovery after surgery?

Research studies have shown that Reiki offers a number of different benefits, some of which may be beneficial to people who are recovering from a surgical procedure.

  1. Reiki may reduce anxiety before and after surgery.

Multiple research studies have explored the possibility of using Reiki to help patients who are preparing for or recovering from surgery. These studies have shown that people who participate in Reiki sessions before and after surgery are less likely to feel anxious than those who do not. Because anxiety may inhibit the healing process, it stands to reason that reducing anxiety through Reiki sessions may be beneficial to the healing process.

  1. Reiki may help prevent or reduce depression after surgery.

Depression is a common issue experienced by patients following surgery, especially if the surgery was complex or requires a long, painful recovery period. People who are struggling with depression are less likely to follow doctors’ orders and may therefore experience a more difficult, slower healing process. Failing to comply with a doctor’s instructions may also raise the risk of post-surgical complications. Studies have shown that Reiki may reduce depression and help people to feel more optimistic. Thus, people who participate in Reiki sessions after surgery may be less likely to feel depressed and more likely to be proactive in their recovery.

  1. Reiki may reduce stress levels.

Stress causes inflammation to build up in the body, which may delay healing. Research shows that people who participate in Reiki sessions report feeling less stressed and more relaxed. People who have undergone a surgical procedure may be able to use Reiki to reduce their stress levels and encourage faster healing.

  1. Reiki may improve the quality of sleep. 

When the body is trying to heal from an injury, trauma, or surgical procedure, good quality sleep is essential. Reiki produces feelings of relaxation for many clients, and people often report that they notice improved sleep quality after beginning Reiki therapy.

  1. Reiki may reduce sensations of pain.

Pain is incredibly common after surgery. If the pain is severe, it may even slow the healing process by preventing the individual from participating in the physical activity necessary to promote recovery. However, Reiki may reduce sensations of pain following surgery. In fact, one study showed that women who had undergone a hysterectomy experienced less pain during recovery if they participated in Reiki sessions before and after the procedure.

Is Reiki Safe after Surgery?

Reiki is completely noninvasive. During a Reiki session, the practitioner places his or her hands gently on the client in specific positions in order to encourage the proper flow of the client’s own ki or chi energy. In some cases, the practitioner may not need to touch the client at all. Thus, Reiki should not pose any risk of complications or side effects for patients who have recently undergone surgery. In addition, it can be used in combination with any other type of therapy, rehabilitation, or medication the individual may need to aid his or her recovery.

Start the year right with Reiki

Why a Reiki session to begin the new year is a MUST

The start of a New Year is the perfect time to reflect on new goals and new intentions. Getting a Reiki session can help you prepare for the time ahead. A Reiki session can amp up your positive vibes and improve your outlook on life.

How does a Reiki session prepare you for what’s ahead?

For most of us, the New Year means starting over with a clean slate. The New Year comes with new chances that will allow us to become better with our goals, our health and relationships.

However, we sometimes enter the new year with old negative feelings.

A Reiki session paves the way to a fresh start. This might sound like a big claim, but Reiki can help us set our lives in order.

When our mind is healed, we become more positive. A positive outlook will improve our perception of others, we become more patient and more understanding.

Reiki can help us achieve our fitness goals. Living healthier is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, but it is also one of the hardest to stick to. A Reiki session improves balance and well-being, you tend to choose healthy options and stick to a lifestyle change more consistently.

Reiki can help us achieve our personal goals: A clear mind and increased focus will help us achieve those goals we have set for ourselves.

There is nothing more that says “I wish you a prosperous New Year ahead” than the Gift of Reiki.

How I got into Reiki

Before starting on this journey, I had never experienced Reiki before. The name Reiki came up once or twice, but I never questioned what it was or what it was used for. Then a friend mentioned she did a Reiki course and how she started treating her husband who had a very stressful job. This didn’t really sink in until a few months later when my 9 year old daughter started showing signs of anxiety and stress.

At the time I was also looking to learn a skill, that I could take with me wherever I went. Having moved from country to country in the last 25 years for my husband’s job, I always needed to re-invent myself professionally and thus learning a skill that I could practice anywhere was a tempting thought.

In my research I came across Omegapoint Singapore offering a free Reiki course preview and I thought, this might be a good idea in order to find out more about this “Reiki thing” and if it could be of interest.

At the event while the teacher gave some insightful information about the history of Reiki, there were also volunteers present, who offered the participants to feel the Reiki energy by placing their hands on their shoulders. I sat in front of this 20-something guy who had just completed his training a few months before and thought to myself “no harm in this, I will just sit and see what happens” while listening to the speaker.

The moment he placed his hands on my shoulders, a feeling of electric buzz started to spread through every nerve in my body. It felt so incredibly warm and safe, I was totally in awe. I can’t tell you how long I sat there, I didn’t see or hear anything anymore.

After the guy released his hands from my shoulders, I sat there for a good 10 minutes, unable to move, I was in a complete state of relaxation and calm.

I didn’t question the “why” and “how”, I just knew I wanted to learn more about Reiki and the rest is history as they say.

Ever since completing my Reiki trainings, my hands have been on people mostly, but also animals and plants. It truly is amazing to see what the energy does every time.

Reiki practitioner Stephanie
Stephanie, Reiki practitioner

Who was Dr. Mikao Usui?

Dr Mikao Usui was born to a wealthy Budhist family in 1865. As a child, Dr Usui studied in a Buddhist monastery where he was taught martial arts, swordsmanship, and a Japanese form of Chi Kung, known as Kiko.

Throughout his education, Dr Usui had an interest in medicine, psychology and theology. It was this interest that prompted him to seek a way to heal himself and others using the laying of hands. It was his desire to find a method of healing that was unattached to any specific religion and religious belief, so that his system would be accessible to everyone.

Dr Usui traveled a great deal during his lifetime studying all types of healing systems and eventually became a Buddhist priest/monk and lived in a monastery.

Sometime during his years of training in the monastery, Dr Usui attended his own training rediscovery course in a cave on Mount Kurama. For 21 days, Dr Usui fasted, meditated and prayed. On the morning of the 21st day, Dr Usui experienced an event that would change his life forever. He saw ancient Sanskrit symbols that helped him develop the system of healing he had been struggling to invent. Usui Reiki was born.

After his spiritual awakening on Mount Kurama, Dr Usui established a clinic for healing and teaching in Kyoto. As the practice of Usui Reiki was spreading, Dr Usui became known for his healing practice.

Dr Usui founded his first Reiki clinic and school in Tokyo in 1922. Before he died, Dr Usui taught several Reiki masters to ensure that his system would not be forgotten. Among them was Dr Chujiro Hayashi, a former naval officer who set up a Reiki clinic in Tokyo. Dr Hayashi further developed the Usui system of Reiki by adding hand positions to more thoroughly cover the body. Using his system, Dr Hayashi trained several more Reiki Masters, including a woman named Hawayo Takata, who brought Reiki home to the USA.

Today, people who practice Reiki use the methods developed by Dr Usui.

Dr Mikao Usui
Dr Mikao Usui, founder of Reiki

How Reiki works and what to expect during a treatment

Whether it’s the comforting touch of a friend’s hand resting on your shoulder or the warm embrace of a loved one, it’s clear that the power of touch is profound. In this edition of Wellness Wednesday, we delve deeper into Reiki – the century-old art of ancient touch healing said to be great in complementing Western medicine – with Singapore-based practitioner Stephanie Schueller

treating emotions
energy healing for trauma and anxiety

What is Reiki?

Established over 100 years ago by Dr. Mikao Usui, a distinguished Japanese scholar that studied Buddhism, martial arts, and Kiko (a Japanese form of qi gong), Reiki is a Japanese phrase made up of the words meaning “universal life force” and “energy”.

Dr. Usui desired a method of healing that was unattached to any specific religion and religious belief – so that his system would be accessible to everyone. It was this desire that led to this art of hands-on energy healing that targets stagnant energy in and around the body where there has been physical injury or emotional pain. Since then, his teachings have been taught and passed down through the International Usui Reiki Network. 

How It Works

Known to improve the flow of energy throughout the body, Reiki is also said to enable relaxation, reduce pain, speed up healing and reduce symptoms of various illnesses. During a session, the practitioner will place his or her hands on certain areas of the client’s body using specific positions, covering main organs or essential body systems. 

Once the practitioner’s hands are in contact with the body, energy begins to flow to the areas according to the client’s needs. What’s most interesting about Reiki is that your body’s own inner wisdom will decide where the energy is most needed. 

person receiving Reiki
Reiki in Singapore


Reiki is a gentle and completely safe form of healing, making it suitable for adults, children and babies alike. Pet or plant parents will be pleased to know that Reiki has also proven to be beneficial for animals and all sorts of flora too!  As wide-ranging the benefits of Reiki are, you don’t necessarily need to show up with a problem. Even those who are well will enjoy its relaxing and meditative effects. 

Some of the advantages of Reiki include chronic pain relief, speeding up the body’s self-healing ability, detoxification and support of the immune system, promoting a natural balance between the body, mind and spirit, improving focus, and better sleep.

What To Expect 

The initial consultation with your practitioner only takes a few minutes and is part of the first session. The practitioner will ask you what your objective for the session is, be it a specific illness, pain or emotional issue you’d like to work on. 

Throughout the session, you will be fully dressed in comfortable clothing and lying on a treatment table. People claim that afterwards, they feel refreshed and extremely relaxed – something in-between a waking and sleep state. Some even feel as though they achieve greater mental clarity. 

The way you experience the energy passed on through Reiki may be different from that of another person’s. It could be experienced as a warm, cold, or tingling, or elicit no sensation at all; the difference in sensation occurs due to the amount of energy flow varying from individual to individual. For example, more energy will flow for someone with an illness or pain than someone who is healthy, but however the flow of energy feels for you, you’ll almost always feel a relief or release after your session. 

After The Initial Appointment

Relaxation sets in pretty much immediately after your session. While Stephanie has seen clients leave her practice pain free after one session, like all therapy, the number of sessions required to fully address a specific problem will depend on its severity. 

How regularly one might want to attend follow up sessions will also differ. To give a rough idea, stress-related issues may require regular weekly sessions for one month, while chronic pain or more series illnesses may need treatment over a longer period of time.