Many of us, at one point or another, feel a void, a need and desire for healing in our lives which may lead us to want to try alternative modalities such as yoga, pranic healing, chanting, and Transcendental Meditation. At least, this was true for me. I had studied everything from Theology to practicing life coaching in an attempt to help heal others whilst finding some sort of healing for myself. I have always felt that personal healing starts with helping others heal, and discovering the Level 1 Reiki Workshop held by Master-Teacher Sarah Salcedo-Rubin at Mysterium Philippines was a step in the right direction.
Before enrolling in the class, I had heard a little bit about Reiki, but found it confusing and complicated – all I knew was that it was a healing technique that had something to do with chakras, crystals, and angels. My assumption was oversimplifying the healing art, and while I was going through the course and doing my own research I found that it was a pretty easy healing modality to master, sometimes yielding miraculous results. Tumors disappear, cancers go into remission, and long standing autoimmune diseases just go away – its pretty amazing.
The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words: Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually-guided life force energy.” A Reiki treatment consists of laying the hands on the body in a prescribed pattern and allowing the energy of life to flow through the hands to the person being treated.
The Reiki Master-Teachers
Here’s a short history lesson on the origins of Reiki:
Before turning into a Buddhist monk, Dr. Mikao Usui started off as the Secretary of Shinpei Goto, then Head of Department of Health and Welfare and late Mayor of Tokyo. One of the many benefits of being in this position was getting to know many influential people all over Japan, which helped him immensely when he started his own business, eventually becoming a very successful businessman. After his business took a turn for the worse in 1914 because of Worl War I, he decided to leave the material world and its problems and became a Buddhist monk, focusing his mind on the devotional practice and training intensely.
Eventually, he returned to Tendai Buddhist Temple on the sacred Mount Kurama, where he had studied as a boy, amd took a 21-day retreat on the mountain where he fasted, chanted, prayed, and meditated, achieving enlightenment. Toward the end of his retreat in March 1922, while meditating, he felt a great and powerful spiritual light enter the top of his head which lead to him having a satori or enlightening experience. This light was the Reiki energy coming to him in the form of an attunement. He was overjoyed and knew that he could now heal others without his energy being depleted. In April 1922, Usui moved to Tokyo and founded the Usui Reiki Ryōhō Gakkai (which translates to “Usui’s Spiritual Energy Therapy Method Society”) in order to continue treating people on a large scale with Reiki.
From the Ultimate Reiki Master-Teacher to another, my Reiki Master-Teacher Sarah Salcedo-Rubin is all love and light! A soft-spoken lady with a lot of positive and mothering energies about her, one is automatically put at ease as she chats away about her work at White Space Mind & Body Wellness Studio and her other passion, acupuncture. Going through the paces of the workshop, she made the concept of using Reiki as a tool very simple – I like to think of it as a tuning fork of the Divine which responds to the energies flowing throughout the universe and within the human body, adjusting the flow and any interruptions which are a sure sign that the well-being and balance of the body is in distress.
Another interesting aspect Sarah shared about Reiki is that it works on many levels – mind, body, and soul. She shared the idea of how the body we all have is already perfect as it is, but due to certain emotional distresses, they manifest into the physical world as depression and stress that in turn may turn into mental illness and physical pains which is the Universe’s way of telling you something on an emotional or spiritual level needs healing.This may seem like a strange concept, but I also heard the same idea from a doctor friend of mine, Dr. Hildegardes C. Dineros, a pioneer and leader in the field of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery in the Philippines. Now if a successful medical practitioner believes in this theory, who am I to question it?
The Usui System
I had assumed going in, that the Usui System was something very complex that would take months to master. Surprisingly, it is very simple to learn. The capacity to use universal life energy for the purpose of healing is conferred by a Reiki Master through initiation and through a specific form of teaching, which is why the relationship with your teacher is vital to initiation. Naturally, you wouldn’t want to be taught a healing art by a teacher you dislike and vice-versa.
One has to understand, you not only make a strong link not only with that teacher, but with the entire lineage of masters associated with the practice, going back to Mikao Usui himself. Sarah’s lineage for her Level 1 Reiki training is from Reiki Master-Teacher Lilian Aisa Velasco, who got her training from Jo Bilasano, who got his from Alexander Grigoriev, then Walter Lubeck, then Phyllis Furomoto, Hawayo Takada, and lastly, Dr. Chikuro Hayashi, who was taught by Dr. Mikao Usui. This is similar to how sushi chefs are trained – there are no certificates or diplomas, but you are recognized by who your master is and what lineage of sushi chefs you come from.
The Usui system of Reiki is administered by “laying on hands” in certain positions around the body and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us. If one’s life force energy is low, then we are more likely to get sick or stressed, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. Admittedly, after years of working jobs that are high on stress, my health isn’t what it used to be. As much as I would like to blame my age, I haven’t even turned 30 yet, and yet here I am, feeling poorly every other week. “If this is to work, then I should see a change in my energy levels.” I told myself.
In order to receive Reiki healing, one would need to open the body. mind, and spirit to the healing energies of the Divine. This isn’t something that you can do yourself or learn from reading a book, as the ability to use Reiki is not taught in a classroom setting, but is transferred to the student during a Reiki class. This ability is passed on during an “attunement” given by a Reiki Master, who in my case is the lovely Sarah, and allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of life force energy to improve one’s health and enhance the quality of life.
During my attunement, I was asked to sit comfortably in a chair, close my eyes and meditate, visualizing a light beaming down from the heavens into my crown chakra. Sarah used a big quartz crystal charged with healing energies and placed it directly under me, to help with the attunement process, and with the palms of my hands pressed together in prayer, Sarah would move them around, alternating from my chest to my forehead, opening them up and blowing on them, before repeating the process again and again, before leaving me with her blessing.
I honestly didn’t think the attunement was anything spectacular – if anything it was merely a couple of hand gestures done in a sequence. But whatever it was that Sarah did, it made me really, really sleepy afterwards. After the attunement, Sarah and the rest of my classmates headed out to get a bite to eat, while all I could manage to do was take what seemed to be a very long nap. It wasn’t exhaustion – I felt it was my body’s way of wanting to recharge after going through the seemingly simple but intense jolt of energy to my system. Later that night I was as hyper as an Energizer bunny, just overflowing with ideas – for myself, for projects I had been working on that have reached roadblocks, and for clients of mine who seem to be at a standstill. My brain was thinking faster than I could write or type!
The Seven Chakras
Going into the Level 1 Reiki workshop some more, we learned a lot more about the seven chakras of our body, and how a misaligned or blocked chakra could actually manifest as physical ailments in certain ways, depending on the degree of blockage. I realized one of the most difficult aspects of Reiki healing isn’t with memorizing the chakras and what they stand for or the various hand positions, but with the forgiveness work one has to open themselves up to in order to heal. Letting go of anger, resentment, and hurt, especially when compounded over time, can be hard to let go of, and the process can be a long and emotional journey.
The work chakra is a Sanskrit word for “spinning wheels” or “wheels of light” – spiritual energy centers in the body and around it (the aura), and they function like etheric computers, each storing various bits and bobs of information and energy that relate specifically to the individual and the different areas of their lives.
One of the main roles played by our chakras is the transformation of life-force energy (ki) into energy that can be absorbed by the body. When a chakra is energized, it feeds that energy via the energy meridians (also called the nadis) into the nervous system, and each of the primary chakra points are connected to an endocrine gland, whose secretion of hormones into the bloodstream influences the body at a cellular level. Just wrap your head around that for a minute or two.
To my understanding, when one of the primary chakras are blocked or misaligned because of a spiritual or emotional malady, this triggers the endocrines glands to pump hormones into the bloodstream that we may not necessarily want. For example, the Third Eye Chakra is connected to the pituitary gland, and its purpose is for insight, mind development, and taking action on ideas. This may be blocked because of lack of discipline, the fear of the truth, constant harsh judgement of yourself or others or an inability to learn from past experiences, which when carried out consistently for the long term can lead to clinical depression, learning disabilities, neurological disturbances, panic seizures, and sometimes even strokes.
On Healing Others
After receiving an attunement, I was now ready to start learning how to heal others. Since this is a simple, natural, and safe method for healing and self-improvement, it has been effective in helping with virtually every known illness and malady, and always has a positive effect on the body. Reiki also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to help relieve stress and promote recovery.
After being taught how to desensitize our hands to feel for the energy each chakra point gives off and the hand positions needed with the healing energy work, I partnered up with one of my classmates for the course and we practiced healing each other as well as experiencing a Reiki treatment. During my time getting healed, I noticed my body kept wanting to sway, and the more I tried to consciously make it stop, the more intense it became. After asking Sarah about it, she said it was probably from my Sacral chakra, and that I probably needed work with my relationships and learning to “let go.” She hit the nail on the head there.
A Reiki treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing. But one must remember that in order for the Reiki healing energies to have lasting results, the client must accept responsibility for her or his healing and take an active part in it – there is a 21-day cleanse required as well as the corresponding forgiveness work.
Sarah had already mentioned while doing Reiki, your hands will just know where to go, and I was pretty amazed to see that she was right. There was a certain flow to the healing that just happened on its own, and Monette, the classmate I was healing, said that she could feel a warm flow of energy during the treatment and that my hands were very, very warm. Unlike the other intuitive exercises I had done previously, Reiki exerts no energy as all since you are merely a vessel for the Divine energy. I remember trying to force the healing on her, but then my head would start to ache, which was probably as good a sign as any to just stop and “let go.”
A 21-Day Cleanse
After getting a Reiki attunement, the vibratory rate of the body is amplified, triggering a 21-day cleansing period where built-up negative patterns and energy blocks are released. Some of the typical outward signs one may notice in their life as a result of this cleansing process include: various dreams, strange feelings, emotional changes, physical changes such as detoxification and letting go of old habits. Some reactions may seem unpleasant at first, as the negative energy is released, but by just saying “yes” to the experience, accepting it and not attaching a great deal of concern, each one will simple pass away.
The healing/cleansing period can last a few days to a few weeks, and it is important to know that this is a temporary condition and part of a much needed healing alignment for the individual. In my case, the cleanse is making me sleep a lot more than normal, which I think is just my body’s way of healing and regenerating. I also feel very aware of my surroundings and the people I spend time with, and have found myself to not leave the house and just spend time with my dog (who also gets a good dose of Reiki healing from me).
Unbeknownst to many, Reiki is already being used in the West as complimentary healing treatment, with Reiki Masters assisting surgeons during surgery. In the Philippines, the only hospital also offers Reiki as a form of healing is the Philippine General Hospital. I don’t think we will be seeing this kind of energy healing in the Catholic hospitals, as the CBCP would definitely have their stand on the matter, with Reiki not being mentioned in the Bible and all, regardless of whether or not the healing technique was discovered a few hundred years after Christ’s death, transfiguration, and ascension.
To add to this, while Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion – it has no dogma. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not. Because Reiki comes from God/The Supreme Being/The Source, many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it. There are also various branches of Western Reiki that combines the two – like Angelic Reiki, which combines the healing art while invoking certain Archangels for guidance.
Overall, Reiki can be used in any situation where there is a desire for and openness to healing. It is in the practice of the art, consciously being with this energy, that one can learn more and become more aware. Here are a few scenarios of how you can use Reiki in your life:
- Bless your food with Reiki by placing your hands over your food.
- Enhance or begin your meditation practice using Reiki and/or a crystal
- Assist those who are in the process of crossing over – Reiki can help alleviate pain and fear, creating a bridge to the other side
- Plants love Reiki! Use this on new seedlings and indoor plants or bless your outdoor garden.
- Unborn babies love Reiki, too! Moms-to-be can use Reiki to enhance both their own and their baby’s health. It’s wonderful for relaxation and preparation for birth, as well as during labor.
- Comfort your child’s “ouchies”, ear aches, etc. with the healing power of Reiki. If you have furbabies, enhance their health by petting them and giving them Reiki.
- Reiki can be used to bring light to any situation, even a business meeting or a job interview
- Bless new acquaintances by shaking their hand
- Program your crystals for healing and abundance by using Reiki and affirmations
- While visiting an elderly relative, touch them as you talk and give them the gift of Reiki
- Use the power of Reiki to help align and assist you in manifesting your goals
- Reiki enhances and develops your intuition and other gifts, become more balanced and peaceful as Reiki quiets your mind.
I have yet to fully digest the whole Reiki Level 1 or Shoden Level experience since I am still in the middle of my 21-day cleansing, but in the few days that have passed I’ve already noticed that I’ve become more intuitive, a lot more patient with myself, and a lot more understanding of the world around me. Another interesting learning after going through the workshop is that Reiki has made me more mindful of the little things that may have an emotional source. Is your sinus acting up? You may be irritated with someone. Suffering from a bad migraine? Anger and perfectionism or frustration may be the root cause. Recurring strokes? Negative thinking, forcing a change of direction, or even cessation of joy are possible culprits.
Get certified for Level 1 Reiki (Php 2,500) and get a complimentary attunement and healing session with Master-Teacher Sarah Salcedo-Rubin at Mysterium Philippines located at the Mezzanine Floor of the Burgundy Place Condominium, Katipunan Avenue corner B. Gonzales St., Quezon City. For inquiries or to reserve a slot, please call + 63 916 551 1824.
Sarah Salcedo-Rubin is an ear acupuncture detox specialist, metaphysical lecturer, spiritual wellness consultant, and Reiki Master-Teacher. A counselor and healer by nature, Sarah teaches reiki to help people overcome lifelong challenges and maximize their full potential. Sarah received her training from Reiki Master-Teacher Aisa Jarales.
Photo Credit: Featured image and meditative woman from shutterstock.com, Sarah’s photo from Sarah Salcedo-Rubin.