Reiki is a healing art from Japan that uses light touch on or just above the body to help facilitate deep relaxation, promote balance and an optimal state of well-being. The gentle nature of this bodywork is especially beneficial for expectant and new mothers because it helps prepare women for the physical, emotional and spiritual changes necessary for a “centered” pregnancy, labor and post-partum recovery experience.
Reiki healing is especially useful for relieving the physical discomforts of pregnancy. The hormones associated with pregnancy – human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen — contributes to gastric distress. Reiki treatment may help relax the gastrointestinal walls and can reduce or alleviate the sensation of nausea. It also can also provide relief from round ligament pain, hip, back and nerve-based pain (sciatica and carpal tunnel are two common conditions) typically experienced as pregnancy progresses. Reiki treatment can be so deeply relaxing that people often drift off into asleep – and as any pregnant woman knows, sleep is a valuable commodity!
Many pregnant women are juggling demands associated with careers, expectations from their families, changes in their relationships with their partners, and of course, in their bodies. These factors can exacerbate fatigue and mood swings. Reiki treatment can help expectant mothers reduce stress and remain more grounded emotionally. A Reiki treatment is, first and foremost, time for women to reorient themselves and their bodies during a time when they may no longer feel like it belongs to them. Reiki treatment, along with other supportive practices such as chiropractic, prenatal massage and prenatal yoga, can have great benefits for a mother-to-be and her developing baby.
Reiki treatment can also provides a non-invasive comfort measure, helping to relieve pain from contractions and reduce anxiety during labor. The use of Reiki treatment may help reduce or eliminate the need for an epidural or other pharmaceutical pain relief. Spouses, partners, doulas and other childbirth professionals trained in Reiki practice can be a valuable source of support for laboring women:
Assisting a laboring mother with Reiki treatment can provide the space and support for her to experience a centered, empowered birth experience. It can be tremendously gratifying for the spouse or partner to be able to provide an additional source of loving and centered support, creating a deep shared connection between the couple.
Reiki treatment is also helpful for post-partum recovery. Women’s bodies undergo tremendous change to support the new life growing inside them; it takes a while for the body’s organs and processes to return to a normal non-pregnancy state. Healing is still occurring inside a mother’s body after her baby is born, even after an easy or uncomplicated birth. Reiki treatment can help new mothers maintain well-being and emotional balance during those first weeks of adjustment. This is especially important for the percentage of women who may experience post-partum depression.
For those women who had a difficult labor, or a cesarean birth, Reiki treatment can help facilitate healing on physical and emotional levels. Clinical studies of Reiki treatment are demonstrating benefits for reducing anxiety and pain levels. Women recovering from surgery or birth trauma can benefit from this additional source of compassionate, palliative support. The medications used to relieve post-surgical pain often have unpleasant side effects, and the discomfort from the incision can make it difficult for women to hold or breastfeed their babies. Reiki treatment supports the physical healing process, enabling women to get back on their feet sooner.
Reiki treatment honors the women we are: our bodies, our emotions and the spirit within that give us strength and purpose. Please contact me if you are expecting a baby, and would like to find out more how Reiki treatment can help support you in a healthy, happy and centered pregnancy.