I am delighted to have a guest blogger, Marcela De Vivo writing today on a much-needed topic: Reiki For Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD). In this time, whether we are dealing with physical trauma of a car accident or surgery, emotional trauma such as death or divorce, or for the countless now who have been involved in war or live/work in places that are as stressful as actual war zones, we need healing modalities like Reiki more than ever.
Reiki For Post-Traumatic Stress
Physical wounds can sometimes affect people by going much further than skin-deep. Trauma to the body can lead to unseen emotional or psychological distress that, if left unaddressed, can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can be triggered in a number of ways, however, not only by physical trauma. Anyone who undergoes extreme mental or emotional stress can be afflicted.
Without treatment, the anxiety disorder manifests itself in prolonged bouts of depression, anger management issues, sleeplessness and an inability to focus. These emotional and physical symptoms can interfere profoundly on a sufferer’s daily life, sometimes resulting in the loss of employment and support from friends and family.
Diagnosing and treating PTSD has been challenging, as this disorder has only just begun to gain understanding and acceptance. While traditional psychological treatments have had varying degrees of success, many of the affected have turned to alternative forms of treatment to address the symptoms plaguing them.
Many forms of bodywork have been found to alleviate PTSD indicators. Hands-on massage and similar techniques reduce cortisol production in PTSD sufferers and non-PTSD people alike. This is particularly important as individuals with PTSD usually produce high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, keeping them in a constant “fight or flight” physical and mental state.
Unfortunately, not all PTSD patients may be willing to allow hands-on techniques to be used on them, especially if the trauma stems from a physical event. Reiki is a non-intrusive alternative healing practice that would suit these particular individuals. Allowing the clients to stay completely clothed, it can be done without any physical contact for those who prefer, Reiki provides the stress relieving and healing benefits of traditional massage and bodywork without adding to the stress of the patient.
Similar to traditional massage practices, one of the greatest benefits of Reiki healing is stress reduction and relaxation. Reducing stress leads to a host of health benefits, including improved immunity, reduced blood pressure and better ability to heal.
PTSD patients often experience a great deal of stress due to their trauma—adding the daily stressors that the average person faces may become too much for them to handle, therefore, alleviating stress is imperative for those suffering from PTSD in order to gain control and continue on with their lives.
Reduces anxiety and depression
Research shows that Reiki can help reduce anxiety and improve depression symptoms. In a recent study, clinically depressed subjects who underwent Reiki treatments demonstrated both immediate and long-term improvements in depression, stress and hopelessness after six weeks of treatment.
Another study followed heart surgery patients who were suffering from postoperative depression, and were treated with Reiki after the operation. These subjects showed a complete elimination of the typical experience of depression.
People diagnosed with PTSD often suffer from prolonged bouts of anxiety and depression; alleviating these psychological issues allows them to move forward with other treatments as well as adjust to everyday stressors.
Begins the healing process
A reduction in stress, anxiety and depression allows the body and mind to start healing. Without a steady stream of stress hormones and negative thoughts, individuals with PTSD are able to address core concerns and improve general well-being.
Reiki also brings about physical healing, which contribute to improved mood and outlook. Patients who have undergone Reiki therapy report to have improved sleep quality, reduced addictions, pain relief and increased energy. The Reiki technique can also help those suffering from acute trauma as the treatment restores and balances the body’s natural healing energy.
As a gentle, non-intrusive powerful form of energy work that reduces anxiety and stress, Reiki helps trigger the body and mind’s natural restorative abilities. PTSD patients could benefit greatly from Reiki therapy through a reduction of psychological distress, allowing them to finally move forward on a path to healing.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Los Angeles with experience in a wide variety of health issues, from special needs, alternative therapy, and conventional medicine. A level-2 Reiki practitioner herself, she’s seen first-hand the benefits this treatment can have on people.