Shaolin Kung Fu

The “Kung Fu” Of Reiki

How many of us have watched the old Chinese martial arts films from the golden years of Chinese cinema?

The word “martial arts” is literally translated from the Chinese word Wu Gong (武功) but the popular term used is Gong Fu (功夫) or Kung Fu (a spelling popularised and retained from pre-Pinyin days). The term Kung Fu itself literally means “a skill set” or “an effort” and this term, when used in Chinese, is not merely used within the context of martial arts but also for any skill that requires mastery, ie cooking, carpentry, the fine arts, etc.

In the classical Chinese martial arts films, particularly of the Shaolin genre, the prospective student is usually forced to wait for several days outside the premises of the monastery before being allowed to enter.

That, however, does not mean he is now a student.

The potential student is usually first made to sweep the grounds, scrub the floors, wash the cooking pots, chop firewood and other menial work for months.

It is only after that, after the prospective student has proven that he is committed, that the real training begins. Since it is going to be tough, his teachers want to ensure he will be willing to go the distance.

The Reiki Healing Process

So what does this have to with the practice of Reiki?

Reiki practice, like martial arts, is actually a process rather than an event. This point is often not given due credit because the actual learning of Reiki or receiving a Reiki healing is usually so easy. Many people do it and leave feeling great about it and move on.

Reiki energy is soothing. It is relaxing. It is pleasurable. It is an absolutely delightful way to pass some time.

But every now and then, things don’t go according to this script. From time to time, a session triggers something, and a Reiki student or healing recipient undergoes what is known as a healing crisis.

This healing crisis might be physical or emotional or both, and it can be unpleasant. Irritability, moodiness, physical pain, queasiness. These are all possibilities.

Not exactly what we had in mind when we joined the queue for some Reiki “magic”.

Of course, since such things seem so contrary to how Reiki “should be”, we might wonder whether something isn’t going wrong in such cases. Incidentally in one of our recent energy sharing sessions, we had one participant who was worried that she was “allergic to Reiki”. But the fact of the matter is that there nothing is “going wrong” in such situations. It is actually all part of the healing process!

I wrote an earlier post that provided a perspective of this phenomenon with a bit more details.

A simple metaphor would be having a bottle of water with a layer of mud at the bottom. If the glass remains undisturbed, the water looks clear and clean. Shake the bottle and the water starts turning a dirty brown.

Does that mean that more mud has entered the water? No. Its just means that the mud has shifted.

So even if we feel that you are “moving backwards” after Reiki, things really aren’t worse than when they began. All that has happened is that we are now aware of the impurities that was hiding within us. It was buried, and now it has risen to the surface.

So what, we might say. Given a choice, many of us would rather not be consciously aware of the “mud” that is in our system. But it is this raising up of the “mud“ is often the first step to impurities being cleared out of the system.

It wasn’t Reiki that created the pain or anxiety or whatever other impurities that we are now suddenly aware of. It merely started the process of bringing it out from deep within us and it is definitely way better to get it out than to let it fester unseen.

The absence of such an awareness doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting us. That doesn’t mean it isn’t lowering our daily energy levels, draining our enthusiasm for life, and limiting our happiness.

Committing To The Practice

So coming back to the martial arts analogy, the more committed we are to the practice of Reiki, the better results we will get from it. This is because we will inevitably, at some point, get tested.

Most of the time we will simply feel great, and there is no necessity to feel discomfort on the road to healing Ooften we just feel better without any healing crisis. But eventually, if we stay in the healing game long enough, something will pop up, and when it does, we will be challenged.

The key when this happens is simply to be calm and carry on. Because if we are going through stuff, it is a clear sign that healing energy is working. It might not be working in the way we’d like, but it is working!

The thing to remember in situations like these is that as much as we often want change, change can be painful.

There is a saying attributed to Albert Einstein that goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. For something to change, something needs to change!

This healing crisis may seem more intense on those who have had gone through more in the past. This could be in the form of emotional stress, unhealthy habits, trauma, and more.

The positive to all of this, however, is that the more you have been going through, the more you stand to gain when the healing crisis is complete. The process may not be enjoyable, but like a successful fast, it will leave you feeling like a new person afterwards.

Reiki Isn’t A Magic Bullet

In my practice, I have had folk tell me a myriad of health, or relational, or emotional issues that they are going through and then asked if ONE SINGLE Reiki session could fix everything. Usually I try to be understanding and explain to them that some issues may take a little longer to resolve. Occasionally that works but more often than not, these folks would just move on and continue their search for someone who could do that. I can only wish them well.

Of course there have been incidences, some of which I have been a part of, where a single Reiki session seems to have provided a cure for a particular major issue. These, however, are often the exception rather than the rule.

In general, at least where chronic issues are concerned, wellbeing returns incrementally. It’s something that happens over time. You keep applying Reiki, and bit by bit, things start to improve.

The key, therefore, is to stay in the healing process long enough to let a full healing occur. If we are working on a serious condition we’ve had for years, chances are there will come a time in the healing process where we will be tested. And if this happens, then we are going to need to be bite the bullet. It’s easy to quit, but if we do that, we’ll just end up back where you started.

So commit to the journey. Soak up the discomfort. And know that if the condition seems to be intensifying, it is a sign that Reiki is doing some work. It is like an IOU from the Universe that healing is coming your way.

But quit too soon. Quit before the healing process has run its course, and we just end up having the pain without the gain. We’ll have suffered without anything to show for it.

So stay calm and carry on. Conquer the emotional and physical demons, and reap the rewards.

Reiki can and will help us. We just need to give it the time to do its work.