How Can it Help Treat Addiction?
Drug and Alcohol treatment varies depending on the person, the environment, and the belief system the individual involved in the treatment presently has. Over the years there have been changes to the treatment offered within the drug and alcohol community; a variety of therapeutic modalities (including gestalt therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, person centered, etc), medication assisted treatment, and 12 step focused, to name a few. Although these therapy approaches have different benefits and characteristics, the constant within the therapy and treatment of drug addiction is that the focus needs to be on the biological, physical, and mental effects the individual who is seeking treatment is going through. Certain treatments may not work for one individual compared to another individual. Understanding that everyone has different treatment styles needs to be understood and applied to their treatment planning as well. As of the last decade a recent approach has included a holistic approach on counseling allowing for more of a natural approach to be included in the treatment process. A holistic approach focuses on the relationship between mind, body, and spirit, attempting to understand and address the ways issues in one aspect of an individual can lead to concerns in other areas. This can include a variety of treatment modalities including Reiki.
As already noted, this may work for some but not everyone, however it is important to understand what this approach includes, how it is applied to substance abuse treatment, and basically what to expect when trying it for the first time.
Reiki is a type of therapy that is best described as a hands-on-body healing in which a practitioner places hands lightly on or over a patient’s body to facilitate the patient’s process of healing.
Reiki is characterized as a spiritual energy form of therapy. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), The belief from those who practice Reiki is that the energy from the individual can be channeled to support their body’s natural ability to heal itself.
What does a session look like?
Reiki presents with no immediate risk to you as the individual engaging in the session. This is non-invasive. There is no harm associated with the practice. During a Reiki therapy session, you will meet with a certified Reiki specialist. At this time they will ask you to lay down on a massage table. The Reiki specialist will then place their hands over (or directly on top of) the your body in various positions, typically starting at the top of your head. The Reiki session will then allow the energy to flow through the specialist through their hands to you as you lay there. The most beneficial part of the session is the idea of relaxation that you will have the ability to engage in. As you lay there calmly with the specialist you’re allowing your body to become to a complete calm state which can then lower your stress response encouraging a healing environment. At this time it can be very powerful as well as emotional. Your body has a way of protecting you to the point where unresolved trauma, anxiety, guilt/shame, etc. can be present without you even knowing. This provides you with the opportunity and ability to be intuned with your body so you can begin to identify these emotions and begin the healing process.
Most Reiki sessions last anywhere from 20 mins to 90 mins. The individual you engage with during these sessions are a trained professional therefore it is important to trust and feel comfortable with them during this time. This would also mean being honest with the specialist so you have the opportunity to get the most out of the session. That being said it is important that you tell them what your expectations are, ask any questions you may have, be open minded to the thought of something new so you don’t present as tense and closed off, inform them of any injuries or pain that you are experiencing so they are aware of all of that prior to the session starting, and communicate with the specialist in between sessions when you are feeling something that you are not typically use to.
What are the benefits of a Reiki session?
What can I expect to gain from a reiki session may be one of the first thoughts that come to mind. Understanding that everyone is different and your takeaway from the session may be different then someone else’s just as if you were meeting with a professional counselor for an individual session. Being open minded to the possibility and the approach is very important in this aspect (as it is for all types of counseling modalities offered to you). However, this is what you may benefit from when engaged in Reiki treatment;
The Relief of pain, anxiety, and fatigue
Reiki is known to help calm the body allowing for a reduction in pain and anxiety. This may also allow your body to feel more calm and refreshed, reducing your fatigue symptoms at the same time.
The ability to treat present depressed symptoms
Reiki is commonly used as part of a treatment approach for those that are presently diagnosed with depression or other mental health related disorders. This is due to the idea that reiki helps with improving physical symptoms, mood, and your overall wellbeing.
The ability to boost and increase your mood
As noted above, Reiki is commonly the approach to help treat anxiety and depression in a holistic and natural way. It allows the individual to feel more at peace and calm after 30 mins of a session with a specialist.
The ability to treat other symptoms and conditions
Reiki has been identified to have helped with other conditions including headaches, tension, and nausea. The ability to allow your body to have a relaxation response can aid in these symptoms and conditions.
It is important to understand and know that although Reiki offers these benefits and has been identified as a healthy natural way to treat mental health and anxiety, it is a process and should be taken that way. Reiki sessions typically last for several weeks as you cannot expect to see results after just one session. It is also important to remember as mentioned earlier, Reiki just like other forms of therapy, may not be beneficial for you. Being willing to engage in an open-minded manner is important in order to move forward.