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Does Reiki Work Well with Guided Imagery?

02 Nov

Someone told me that you recently mentioned using guided imagery and Reiki together. I am very much interested in this as I am a Reiki Practitioner/Master. I would love to hear your thoughts on this and any suggestions. Is there anything available I can use as a guide?

Actually, Tonya, I think I was reporting on an exciting, ongoing study at Scripps in La Jolla, where returning, traumatized Marines are given treatments of Healing Touch while listening to our Healing Trauma imagery, and, even mid-study, it's clear to the investigators that this is a dynamite combination.  PTSD symptoms drop and the completer subjects in the control group (who get EMDR + individual therapy) have insisted on getting a CD and an HT treatment as a goodbye present.

We think that the HT makes the intense, emotionally evocative, powerful Healing Trauma imagery - which can be too much for some people, right out of the box without some more neutral, relaxing imagery to build up to it - tolerable and even more helpful than usual.

I don’t think you’d need a guide, as the combination is pretty straightforward.  If you want to look into all the possible reactions to imagery or the ways to potentiate it further, I’ve covered all that in Chapter 10 of Invisible Heroes, General Guided Imagery Wisdom and Tactics. (Basically, I threw everything new in there that I’d learned about using imagery, because I wasn’t sure I’d ever have the patience to write another book, and we’ve actually discovered a lot since 1995, when I wrote Staying Well with Guided Imagery.

We’ve also heard great things about combining this imagery with biofeedback, bilateral tapping and massage therapy, but these reports are anecdotal as opposed to definitive outcomes from controlled studies.

One thing we can safely say:  if the combination of Healing Touch and guided imagery helps with PTSD, then you know it has to be good for the more garden varieties of stress, anxiety, panic and conditions such as depression, OCD and so forth.  It’s also been used very successfully with dying patients and people in chronic pain.

I would think Reiki would have similar effects but I don't know of any clinical trials to point to that would prove that. It just makes logical sense.

Hope this answers your question.
All best,

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award