I am originally from Japan.
I grew up there till I was 19 years old, so I had heard of Reiki before I moved to the US.
But I thought it was kind of a spooky thing because the word rei 霊 means “spirit,” and ki 気 is “energy.”
I was not sure what “energy of spirit” was about;
I could only think that it may have something to do with a ghost (hahaha), which in Japanese is yuu rei 幽霊.
I was scared and not interested.
The first time I received Reiki was after I was in a coma for three days at a trauma hospital in Phoenix, Arizona because of my near-fatal car crash outside of a little village of Hope, Arizona in 2001.
I had broken ribs, knees, ankles, feet and toes, and my heart and lungs were crushed and damaged.
I had a tube to my lungs and from my mouth to breathe.
I was not able to talk for a while because of the tube in my mouth.
Every part of my body was in so much pain.
Eric (my husband) told me later on that as soon as I came out of the coma and the tube was removed from my mouth,
I was telling him to move my intensive care bed closer to the window so I could feel the sunlight and heal.
When he told me he could not move me—since I was attached to so many machines—I cursed at him and said,
“Move the f***ing bed to the window!
I have to feel sunlight!!!”
Of course, he could not move the bed at all, so I was pissed off.
But I could not be pissed off for too long, because I was told by my doctors that I would not be able to walk anymore; my legs were brutally broken.
They had thought they’d have to amputate my left leg, but they were able to keep it.
I am so grateful for the doctors’ decision, but I did not know there were many years of physical therapy, daily massages, and positive affirmations to come.
After surgery, I had 3 thick titanium plates and 13 screws all over both of my legs and ankles.
My legs, feet, and toes were numb, but at the same time, I had so much pain.
How is it possible to have no feeling but extreme nerve pain?
I could not explain, but that was the way I felt (I still have some of the numbness and pain).
I was not able to sleep much, so my friend’s roommate, who was learning Reiki, came to give me my first treatment.
Reiki helped me relax and sleep.
I could not believe it, and I never forgot about it.
My recovery from that car crash was very long, but I experienced a long recovery already when I had ovarian cancer in 1993 so even I had to be in a wheelchair for many years I never lost my hope and I remember how much Reiki helped me at the trauma hospital in Arizona.
I really wanted to learn the practice, so I found a teacher in Redondo Beach in 2002.
I think I did not have a connection with that teacher, or I was not ready to learn something new.
My focus needed to be on healing from PTSD and learning how to live my new life with a wheelchair.
It was a big transition time, and I was not able to accept that I was going to be in a wheelchair the rest of my life.
I started to walk again with crutches and not use the wheelchair all the time, little by little.
After 17 years, I now only use a cane and no wheelchair, most of the time.
My legs, feet, and toes have still nerve pain all the time— sometimes so much that I can’t sleep.
But I have learned Vipassana meditation and learned to accept the numbness and pain and try to not get attached to it.
This practice helps enable me to do many things like bicycling, yoga, and hiking.
I’ve loved yoga since I was in my 20s,
so I challenged myself to take Yoga Teacher Training a few years ago, when I turned 60 years old, and become a yoga instructor.
Read my blog, “Yoga for Life.”
Back to the Reiki: I really wanted to learn it again with the right teacher.
I met Amanda Jaye, an English lady who lived in Japan and mastered Jikiden reiki (Jikiden means “directly handed down”) in Kyoko, Japan.
This is Amanda Jaye’s website.
Her teaching was more authentic, traditional Japanese Reiki.
I connected to it right away.
Amanda teaches using Japanese words, so we can feel kototama 言霊
the five precepts, or go kai 五戒, are all in Japanese,
and everyone has to learn to say them in Japanese).
I love reijyu 霊授, which is translated in English as “attunements.”
Below is what Amanda wrote about reijyu on her blog:
In the 1920s, Japanese founder, Usui sensei, devised a simple way to clear the connection we all have to this ability within.
Our natural state. His method has been passed down through generations for more than 90 years.
In the west, you often hear the word ‘attunement’, yet this has a slightly different meaning than the Japanese ‘Reiju’.
There is nothing new to ‘tune in’ to. You already have Reiki running through you.
The easiest analogy is to imagine cleaning a pipe that is clogged – you do not have to build a new pipe or tune into a new frequency like a radio station. Reiju simply clears the pipe you already have so the flow is more abundant and can then have a greater effect when given to yourself or others.
I practice and use Reiki just like I cook macrobiotic foods.
I used Reiki for my dog daughter Kula when she was diagnosed with spleen cancer (Hemangiosarcoma) two years ago.
We were told she would live about two weeks to two months.
I included Reiki in my healing modality of making macrobiotic food, Chinese herbal medicines, acupuncture, moxibustion, Bach Flower remedy, homeopathy, and essential oil for her, but I was not confident enough to communicate with her yet since I started to study animal communication eight months before she got sick.
I also did not know how deeply and powerfully beneficial Reiki really would be that time.
I felt Kula liked Reiki, but I was not sure how much it was really helping her.
Now I can see now that I did not give her enough Reiki time everyday for her to get the benefit because I was too busy with my work and worried about what to cook for her. She departed to heaven 2.5 months later in my arms.
Last year, I received Reiki twice a week from my friend Sally, to help me heal from cancer of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Primary non-Hodgkin of Liver, stage IV.
My blog “My First Chemotherapy”
I was suffering so much with pain in my liver, and the chemotherapy was the most discomfort I’ve ever experienced.
I was not able to sleep.
I was sad, and I cried a lot.
But every time I received Reiki, I was able to sleep and deeply relax.
I was able to feel happiness again through the sessions, and I felt I had my hope of getting better.
Finally, I experienced how Reiki is truly a deep, powerful modality for my body, mind, and soul (spirit).
From that experience, I decided to add Reiki to my practice more seriously once I got better.
I have also been using moxibustion, which helped me relax and able to ease my pain, so I decided to combine the two together for myself everyday continuously.
Reiki and moxibustion combination have been helping me so much to release the pain and relax me deeply.
Another thing helping is meditation so I practice it everyday.
Reiki and moxibustion with meditation combination for my recover from Lymphoma is a big key for me everyday.
Since I had ovarian cancer in 1993 I was not able to have a baby.
My husband, Eric and my joy of life is having dog and cat family so we live with six dogs and two cats.
In order for me to get my strength back after chemotherapy for Lymphoma I started to hiking with dogs.
My animal family has been teaching me and helping my life so much.
Now going to hiking with my dogs became a therapy for me.
Here is my blog of “Hiking with Dogs“.
Now about once a week, I hike with my dog’s hiking friends so there are usually more than 10 dogs.
Two months ago, Kula’s sister Oro was diagnosed with the same spleen cancer (Hemangiosarcoma).
See my blog, “Oro Came To My Life The Day My Mother Passed”
I have been giving Oro Reiki, with combinations of massage and moxibustion with Bach Flower Remedy and aromatherapy guided by holistic veterinarian Dr. Lane.
I can see how much Oro likes them, how much she can relax and she is getting benefits.
I am also able to communicate with Oro better than two years ago when I was communicating with Kula.
Other important things are I have more time to spend with Oro and learn to trust her to give me direction so I am not worried about what I need to cook for her so much. I am leaning to see how much Oro is teaching. I always feel my animal family (six dogs and two cats) is teaching me and they are my teachers.
I started to help some of my clients and offer Reiki, combining with shiatsu and moxibustion.
My clients who have experienced Reiki recognized how much benefit they got.
I also use Reiki to help my husband, Eric relax.
I am very happy that I am able to help my husband and animal family and other people with what I believe and what I experienced.
This past weekend, my teacher Amanda came to America to offer her seminar again.
It was so good to attend it to review my practice.
I met wonderful Reiki practitioners too.
Reiki class is also offered at Cancer Support Community in West Los Angeles once a month (every third Thursday at 6 pm, but call to make sure 310.314.2555) at no charge.
I enjoyed the class when I attended there.
If you do not know Reiki and you are going through with cancer, this is a good place to start.
Also, I think many classes are offered around your area so you can find it and learn for yourself.
When I found out Oro had spleen cancer (Hemangiosarcoma) at the end of July,
I started to give Reiki right away and also looked for Animal Reiki class for me to take.
I never saw Animal Reiki sight before, but it was meant to be for me to find it this time.
So I just started to take Animal Reiki level 1 with Kathleen Prasad.
Even though I have taking Reiki classes with the certificate of Reiki practitioner and giving Reiki to many people and been giving Reiki to my animal family already, I thought I could learn more.
This will be a great addition to my studies in animal communication with Lydia Hiby.
There are eight people from all over not just in the U.S. in Animal Reiki level 1 class.
There are eight classes to meet on line every Monday morning.
I really enjoyed hearing everyone’s story and receiving Reiju from Kathleen.
Kathleen has over come breast cancer and she has already taught me a lot as also cancer survivor like I am cancer survior.
I know learning Reiki for animals will help my dog and cat family even more and perhaps help rescued dogs and kitties in the future when I am a fully recover from Lymphoma.
Below is one of Animal Reiki level 1 homework from first week to reflect on one of the Reiki precepts while completing the turtle zentangle.
For today only:
do not anger
do not worry
be honest in your work
be compassionate to yourself and others
I choose the third one – do not worry.
Since Oro was diagnosed cancer I am worry a lot about her.
I choose the colors that this turtle is living in Maui (Hawaii) and swimming freely and happy without worry. I liked the colors I choose.
I repeated Reiki precepts while I was coloring many times and spent more than three hours to complete.
I noticed that this simple exercise homework of coloring the turtle helped me to calm and not worry about Oro so much.
“What is Animal Reiki,” from Kathleen Prasad’s website:
- This method is founded upon traditional Japanese Reiki techniques and philosophy.
- Animal Reiki is mindfulness meditation practiced “with” our animals, rather than an energy therapy done “to” them.
- Animal Reiki meditation is taught as a state of mind with flexible physical forms.
- Touch is used only when animals seek it out, and then only as a compassionate support.
- Mental focus techniques develop an “All is Well” state of mind for the practitioner that sees the animal’s perfection in this moment. Kathleen calls this seeing with your “Animal Reiki eyes,” in other words, seeing more deeply, with your heart.
- This method acknowledges and honors each animal as a spiritual teacher and healer in his/her own right. Practitioners learn to listen to animals and become receptive to their spiritual wisdom and healing gifts.
I am happy to share how I started Reiki, where I am now with it, and where I might be going in the future.
Love, Sanae 💖