HELENA — Reiki is a relaxation and stress reduction technique that started in Japan, and it’s something some Montanans are using to manage the pressure of the pandemic.
Dana Koon owns and works at the The Light Room in Helena. Koon said, "In 2004, I went to massage therapy school and wondered what ‘this’ additional thing was to the physical practice of working on the body,and so that’s when I found out from them what they were doing, and I thought, 'well, what is this weird thing?'”
That thing is called Reiki. Reiki, as an alternative therapy, is a meditative practice that practitioners sch as Koon say can help people manage the pressure and stress that Covid-19 has brought to some lives. It involves gentle massage-like touching, or moving the hands over the body, to help relax or calm or the individual through what they claim is the transfer of energy from the practitioner to the individual.
Koon says Reiki is “really important right now, because we are all just kind of functioning right now day by day, one step in front of the other, in this pandemic, because we have thiscrazy thing that is happening, with not very many answers and the wonder of when things are going to get better.”
Koon says the pandemic forced her to shut down for about six weeks, but over that time people continued to reach out to her. "They were wondering when the doors would be open again.”
As they walked through the door again, there was a common theme in all of her clients. “They realized a collective fear and pain they didn’t understand, so as soon as they got on the table, and then when they got off of the table, it was almost, like, a complete layer of pain had left their bodies—it was almost like armor and energic armor that was around them.”
Reiki is not without controversy, due to the difficulty in proving its effectiveness with science.
Some hospitals have included Reiki as part of a therapeutic approach, but say it should never be used as a substitute for regular medical treatment or medication.
The federal National Institutes of Health says of Reiki:
- Reiki hasn’t been clearly shown to be effective for any health-related purpose.
- There’s no scientific evidence supporting the existence of the energy field thought to play a role in Reiki.
- Reiki hasn’t been shown to have any harmful effects.