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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Reiki Shifts Depression: by Anne Bentzen

Sep 03, 2014 06:48PM

The recent passing of beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams has turned public attention to the serious and often hidden torment of depression that afflicts many. While there are many medicines available to treat depression, there are also natural alternatives that can help alleviate symptoms, such as Reiki.

Reiki complements mainstream medical treatments with its ability to inhibit the production of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenalin, by triggering a deep relaxation response in the body. This response affects the autonomic nervous system by turning off the “fight-or-flight” response of the sympathetic nervous system and allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to be in charge. Healing can only take place when the body is relaxed and normal cellular growth, hormone regulation and digestion can resume. In addition, the immune system is replenished.

Reiki founder Mikao Usui discovered in the 1920s that while he could heal the physical body of his clients with Reiki, they would often return several months later with a different physical symptom. He realized that it was necessary to treat the emotional body as well in order for his clients to achieve true wellness in body, mind and spirit.

The five Reiki principles, which Usui taught in every Reiki 1 class, create “an invitation to happiness; the spiritual medicine for all illness.” The focus of these principles is heart-centered living within the present moment. Usui recognized that anger and worry were the two primary poisons of the mind, which keep a person preoccupied with past issues or concerns about the future. Gratitude opens the heart, and is the antidote for anger and worry. This is the heart of Reiki. Incorporating the five principles into your life has immeasurable benefits.

Just for today...I will not anger.

Just for today...I will not worry.

Just for today...I will be grateful and give thanks for my blessings.

Just for today...I will do my work honestly.

Just for today...I will be kind to myself and every living thing.

Where attention goes, energy flows. All potentiality exists in the present moment. Waves of possibilities don’t become solid until we put our attention on them. 

Anne Bentzen has a private practice in Westchester. Register online for courses and healing circles at Healing circles and Reiki courses are held at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 236 South Bedford Rd., Rt. 172, Mt. Kisco. For more information, call 914.588.4079 or visit

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