An alarmingly common condition that can be roughly summarized as “facing chronic sadness and sense of hopelessness,” depression is felt by approximately 400 million people the world over, according to the World Health Organization. Symptoms include loss of interest in hobbies or socialization, weight loss or gain, and more.
When untreated, depression can sharply affect the way its sufferers live on a day-to-day basis. When severe and still unaddressed, it can result in troubling consequences. Thankfully, depression CAN be battled and there are in fact numerous treatments for managing it. One such treatment is the practice of Reiki, which could be very effective when paired with professional treatments.
Many studies have shown that, as a complementary treatment, Reiki does in fact help sufferers manage the symptoms of depression. In large part this is thanks to its calming, healing effects that also lead to a better quality of sleep. And it is because of these effects that more and more hospitals are providing Reiki services.
A study by Shore (2004) involved patients with mild depression and stress undergoing six weeks of Reiki treatment. Results showed that for up to about a year after, subjects who underwent Reiki therapy exhibited not just immediate but also long-term improvements in their hopelessness, stress, and overall depression. In a small study by Motz (1998), heart surgery patients also underwent Reiki therapy. This resulted in the total elimination of postoperative depression typically seen in heart surgery patients.
Let’s go through some of the benefits of Reiki for people who are suffering from depression:
1. Instant relaxation – One of the bedfellows of depression is anxiety, which can be combated by the instant relaxation one can get from a session of Reiki.
2. Regaining a sense of control – Feelings of hopelessness can stem from someone feeling like they don’t have control over their lives. Due to its proactive nature, Reiki can provide this feeling of control again.
3. Relief from stress – Large amounts of stress can play a part in the development of depression or worsen pre-existing depression. The healing effects of Reiki can help alleviate this stress, leading to reduced symptoms.
4. Boosted mental and physical balance – An imbalance in a person’s mind and physical self can lead to exacerbated depression. Reiki restores this balance, leading to improved moods and aid with feelings of sadness or guilt.
5. A connection with another person – Depression can lead to a feeling of being disconnected, so people withdraw from socializing, even with loved ones. Because Reiki is such a connected practice that involves a compassionate practitioner, it can provide some relief from this feeling of isolation.
While one session can provide instant albeit temporary help, the benefits of Reiki for the management of depression are maximized with multiple treatments over the course of an extended period of time. For long-term improvement of symptoms, it is best to attend multiple sessions. It is also best used in conjunction with other treatments that address depression.
If you are suffering from feelings of depression, then I highly encourage you to seek help from a qualified therapist, counselor, or medical professional. There are people out there who are waiting for you with open, compassionate, caring arms, who are more than happy to help you out. You are not alone.