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Reiki through the End-of-Life Journey

Supporting the End-of-Life Experience through Reiki

You know those regrets, the ones that you feel in your heart or throat when the memory, the image appears in your mind? Mine, the regret that aches, is not being aware of reiki when my mother was dying. Despite the relatively short "final stage" she experienced, had I known what I know now, I could have eased her pain significantly. Supporting the dying with reiki is a precious gift.

Let me rephrase what I just wrote. Reiki would have eased her pain. A reiki practitioner is a channel for reiki; there is no "I" involved. Through a series of reiki experiences anyone can become a clear channel for life force energy. (I encourage you to have a look through the related posts I have written on reiki to gain a better understanding.) Hands-on healing did not begin with Mikao Usui, the credited founder of reiki, but he made it accessible to anyone.

How can reiki facilitate the process of dying?

Reiki eases pain by releasing and diffusing energy held in the physical and emotional bodies. These principles naturally apply at any stage of dis-ease, but there seems to be a profound receptivity to the channeled energy at this stage of life. Whether hands are placed on or over the body, the practitioner can feel the blocked energy releasing from the body. In reiki terms, this is referred to as byōsen. Both the type of sensation and its strength will inform the practitioner how long to remain in a particular position. The practitioner feels the release of energy in waves that peak and subside over time. The recipient may feel nothing or experience any number of types of release.

Release of energy can be experienced in a number of ways. It may be experienced as a sense of inner peace or a deep feeling of connection. There may be tears, yawning or digestive stimulation. Body parts may quiver or twitch or there may be waves of warmth or coolness. More often than not, the client will drift off into a restful sleep where "dreams" will reveal any number of messages. For the dying this could bring tremendous comfort in finding resolution or forgiveness towards the self or others.

There is a profound connection between emotions (life experiences) which are stored as pain, discomfort or dis-ease and where and how it manifests as a chronic condition in the physical body. Reiki practitioners can often intuit the emotional cause of pain and, if the client is open to releasing this energy by consciously giving it permission to return to source, reiki will guide it on its way. Often after one treatment, the reiki experience is so profound that the client begins to deepen their inquiry. Of course, at the end of life, the dying are often unable to speak. Reiki seems to have an inner knowing and guides the practitioner in a deeper level of communication with the recipient.

In my experience, reiki accelerates the final stage of life. Perhaps, due to the experience of contentment created through the release of emotional and physical pain, the dying seem to leave quickly and peacefully. I mention this because not all caregivers or family members are prepared for a "quick exit".

How can reiki nourish caregivers?

Depending on how long, the caregiver has been in the role of support, their nervous system is likely in need of a few extended reiki sessions. The beauty of reiki is that it may be channeled for multiple recipients simultaneously if necessary. The caregivers, friends and family may assemble in a circle seated on chairs or on lying on the floor. When I do a group healing, I guide the participants into relaxation through breath awareness and calming visualizations. I position myself so that reiki may be beamed to the whole group simultaneously. This experience may last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. The effects of a group healing often create a bonding experience .

How can reiki support children through the process of death?

Like the dying, children are more receptive to energy and experience the effects of reiki almost instantaneously. They usually fall asleep within a few minutes and when the session is complete, they transition back to their day without feeling drowsy. I feel that we underestimate what children hear, feel, sense and absorb. Reiki sessions for children can be much shorter, much like a power nap and help them to find peace in the experience of death.

Reiki is for Everyone

I have guided many clients through difficult transitions. There are no circumstances too old, too buried, too complicated that together we cannot begin to unpack. For both the living and the dying, the benefits of releasing energy that no longer serves is twofold: balance and freedom.

If this post has spurred questions or you are interested in connecting with me, leave a comment below or scroll through the many services I offer and let me know how I can make your day better. Stay well! Sadhana


Integrative Healing with Sadhana offers instruction and guidance as a full healing package or you can choose individual practices such as Yoga, Meditation, Reiki, Space Clearing or Intuitive Readings in Gibsons BC. ​Either way, you will be met exactly where you are at and together, we will adapt practices to fit your individual needs improving your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.


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