Can Reiki help during my birth journey?

Whether you are wanting to become pregnant, already pregnant or have just had a baby, Reiki is one of the most gentle and healing treatments around. In this article I’ll give a little background into what Reiki is and how it can help you no matter what stage of the birth journey you are at.

So what is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” which means a practitioner will place their hands directly above certain parts of your body – usually the 7 chakras. It is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

When you have a treatment you are usually laying down or sitting comfortably. There will be some gentle music playing (but it doesn’t have to be) and the practitioner will move around you. It’s up to the client whether they wish to talk during the treatment but most clients prefer to quietly relax (or sometimes fall asleep!)

A session usually takes about 60 mins but this can be flexible depending on the clients needs.

Here’s how Reiki can help with…

– Fertility
Reiki works by helping to heal any imbalances in the body as a whole system. If you are feeling physically stressed, emotionally burnt out or mentally exhausted by trying for a baby then Reiki can assist clients to get back to a more grounded place. Clients experiencing difficulty with conception and fertility need to look after themselves first to give themselves the best chance of conceiving. Reiki gives clients the time and space to heal. In the longer term, regular reiki sessions have been known to help clients feel more relaxed and better able to cope with some of the ill effects of stress. All of this helps a client to feel in their best physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

– Pregnancy
Feeling lethargic, tired and worn out. Yip, pregnancy will do that to you. Reiki is ideal for helping pregnant mums to feel relaxed, rejuvenated and rested again. Also, lots of us feel a bit sensitive about other people touching our bodies. Reiki is a great therapy that involves no touching by the practitioner and can be given in a position mum feels most comfortable with. Not only can reiki help with the physical discomfort of having to carry a baby bump but it can also help with other pregnancy side affects.  The hormones associated with pregnancy – human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen — often are to blame for some gastric distress experienced by mums to be.  Symptoms like heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux are super common. Reiki treatment may help relax the gastrointestinal walls and can reduce or alleviate the sensation of nausea.  It may also provide relief from ligament pain, hip, back and nerve-based pain (sciatica and carpal tunnel are two common conditions) which can be experienced as pregnancy progresses.

Many pregnant women are juggling demands associated with careers, expectations from their families, changes in their relationships with their partners, and of course, in their bodies. These factors can exacerbate fatigue and mood swings.  Reiki treatment can help expectant mothers reduce stress and remain more grounded emotionally.  A Reiki treatment is, first and foremost, time for women to reorient themselves and their bodies during a time when they may no longer feel like it belongs to them.

– Birth
The very early stages of labour, experiencing a long labour or if you’re overdue and haven’t gone into labour can be a really stressful time for a woman. Reiki treatment also provides a non-invasive comfort measure, helping to relieve pain from contractions and reduce anxiety during the birthing journey.  The use of Reiki treatment may help reduce or eliminate the need for an epidural or other pharmaceutical pain relief. Assisting a labouring mother with Reiki treatment can provide the space and support for her to experience a centred, empowered birth experience.

Post birth recovery?

Reiki treatment is also helpful for post-partum recovery.  Women’s bodies undergo tremendous change to support the new life growing inside them; it takes a while for the body’s organs and processes to return to a normal non-pregnancy state.  Healing is still occurring inside a mother’s body after her baby is born, even after an easy or uncomplicated birth. Reiki treatment can help new mothers maintain well-being and emotional balance during those first weeks of adjustment.  This is especially important for the percentage of women who may experience post-partum depression. For those women who had a difficult birth, or a cesarean birth, Reiki treatment can help facilitate healing on physical and emotional levels.  Clinical studies of Reiki treatment are demonstrating benefits for reducing anxiety and pain levels.  Women recovering from surgery or birth trauma can benefit from this additional source of compassionate, gentle healing support. The medications used to relieve post-surgical pain often have unpleasant side effects, and the discomfort from the incision can make it difficult for women to hold or breastfeed their babies.  Reiki treatment supports the natural healing process, enabling women to get back on their feet sooner.

Again, with the gentle nature of Reiki it makes it ideal for mums who feel a little bit fragile after birth. It can be done with baby on mum, baby lying next to mum or while baby is feeding which makes it a practical treatment for a new mum to receive without having to worry about baby missing out on feeding or cuddle time. Had a rush to get out of the house? Having one of those days? The length of the session can be tailored to mum and baby so there’s no pressure on either of you to keep on going if its not feeling right. That’s the beauty of Reiki!

Reiki treatment understands and celebrates the journey that is motherhood: our bodies, our emotions and the spirit within that gives us strength and courage.

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