Reiki for Pain

Q. I am looking to explore alternatives to medication for chronic pain that began following knee surgery. I now have sciatica and continue with physical therapy and as much exercise as possible. Reiki has been recommended to me. What is it, and how would I know if it is good for me?

A. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes physical healing. It is a simple, natural, and safe spiritual intervention that is gaining popularity when used in conjunction with other medical and therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery from injury. According to Eleni Ottalagana, a Reiki practitioner in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina, “Reiki uses light touch — or no touch at all — to bring restoration to the body through a rebalancing of life force energy. A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows all around you. Reiki treats the whole person, including body, emotions, mind, and spirit, which creates the beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security, and well-being. As a Reiki practitioner, I have seen a patient receiving Reiki in one area of the body needing attention experience an overall lightness and balance throughout the body and spirit.” She adds, “I highly suggest trying Reiki as an alternative therapy along with a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet. Food is important in helping decrease the overall inflammation within our bodies and may help with the sciatic pain you are feeling.”

Want to read more pain questions and answers? See our Pain Q&A section.

Our expert: Jackson Rainer is a board-certified clinical psychologist who practices with the Care and Counseling Center in Decatur, Georgia, helping people living with chronic illnesses. He consults with a variety of experts to answer a selection of readers’ questions in each issue of Pain-Free Living.

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