Supporting the healing endeavors of all individuals practicing Reiki in the Midwest

Reiki for Recovery: A Pilot Program at Chicago’s Haymarket Center

In April of this year, a select group of five Master Teacher-level members of the Midwest Reiki Community were invited by Tori Shaw of Global Implementation Solutions (GIS) to help implement a two day Reiki pilot program at Haymarket Center, a halfway house and healing center for low income men and women struggling with chemical dependency. The program was the third in a series of  complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) pilot projects by GIS to gather research in support of funding for a full CAM program to  benefit marginalized populations in Chicagoland. GIS believed that through exploring and practicing complimentary and alternative medicine–in this case, Reiki–in addition to standard psychotherapy sessions, the woman selected to participate in this study would experience greater benefit in their recovery from life trauma and substance abuse.

MRC members provide Reiki demonstrations at the Haymarket Center

Participants share their stories

Participants included a group of nine women, all of whom had been incarcerated, experienced some form of abuse, and were undergoing recovery from drug addiction. On the first day the participants and teachers shared stories and each of the women experienced their first Reiki treatment. Afterwards, those who felt called were invited to a class the following week to be attuned to Level 1; all nine original participants were so moved by the energy of Reiki and excited to be able to practice energy healing themselves, that they returned to the attunement class held the following week.

Participants practice giving Reiki after their Level 1 attunement

For both the participating MRC members as well as the Haymarket participants, the program was a truly an amazing experience where miracles occurred. Below is Tori’s takeaway from the experience as posted to the GIS blog [used with permission]:

The Reiki Principles are as follows:

Today I am grateful to receive Reiki Energy and Blessings
Today I will not be angry with myself or others
Today I will not worry about that which I cannot change
Today I will work with honesty both on a spiritual and physical level
Today I will be kind and respect all life
Today I will send prayers and Reiki healing to all, unconditionally
Today Reiki will change my mind, body and soul forever

As a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioner, I have experienced first-hand the self-healing opportunities that alternative tools and therapies have to offer as they have helped me reduce my anxiety and depression bouts over the years. When designing our three CAM pilots in partnership with Haymarket Center (HC) and local healers in the realms of Sound Healing Meditation, Craniosacral Therapy and Reiki, in benefit of marginalized, recovery clients at HC, I had one wish for the group of ladies located on the Community Reintegration Program (CRP) unit:  That their hearts and beliefs be expanded and that they come into the full knowing that they are universally supported and loved unconditionally and that each of us has the power to self-heal if we so desire and believe that it is possible.

Moving through the two-part Reiki pilot, I came closer to my wish for these women than I ever thought possible. Hearing the women openly and honestly share the many traumas (emotional, physical, sexual and self-inflicted) that they have experienced in this life swelled my heart and brought tears to my eyes. After each person in our group had an opportunity to introduce themselves and share a part of ‘their’ story, one thing became abundantly clear to me:  We are all connected; the secrets and stories that we share have an underlying theme of interconnectedness. We have all experienced love, joy, hope, pain, despair and the drive to overcome these obstacles at some point in our lives.

As we moved into giving and receiving Reiki by practicing on one-another, I saw so many transformations, even if they were only momentary. I walked away after our two part pilot remembering the laughter, tears and love that was shared in a room filled with women and men from all different walks of life; the everyday barriers of socio-economic status, race, sexual orientation, trauma and addiction had no place. Seeing the faces of the women light up when they had a break-through or when tears streamed down faces when discussing the unimaginable things that we all have had inflicted upon us at some point in our lives, I felt overwhelmingly that we (the women, healers, GIS and HC) were on the right path. Alternative tools and coping strategies have the power to help us all, despite our backgrounds, race or ‘our story’.

It is with that hope that we will seek funding to support full CAM programs to offer to marginalized, vulnerable and at-risk communities within the Chicagoland area and in our global community.  The Midwest Reiki Community donated their time in kind to these pilots with one goal in mind: to bring the power and love of Reiki to all humanity.  I believe we are getting closer to their vision, one day at a time.  Thank you again to the beautiful women on the CRP unit at HC and heartfelt gratitude to the MRC for bring this new source of love and healing into our lives!

Learn more about GIS and their programs to strengthen healthcare systems across the globe.

MRC Master Teachers, Tori Shaw of GIS, and some of the amazing Haymarket participants after their first-level attunement

Photos: GIS


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This entry was posted on September 11, 2012 by in Outreach and tagged , , , .

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