From speeding up the recovery of common infections like colds to strengthening the immune system and creating a sense of calm, Reiki can have a hugely positive effect. So says Andrea Anstiss, a Dubai mum of two teenage boys, who believes they have benefited from her holistic healing knowledge.
‘My boys are incredibly well-balanced, healthy, socially outgoing, bright and sensitive to others,’ says Andrea of Marcus, 18, and Perry, 16. ‘I really feel that Reiki has contributed to their strong sense of self and emotional intelligence.’
As well as having calm and balanced children, Andrea is known as an extremely ‘laid-back lady’, though she insists it is Reiki that has turned her stress into serenity.
Popular in North America, the ancient Japanese technique of Reiki, a form of energy healing, is still relatively unknown in this region and it is only natural that there is scepticism about the benefits of the laying on of hands, especially when ‘treating’ children.
‘In my many experiences, Reiki seems to speed up both the physical and psychological recovery time after accidents, injuries and illnesses,’ says Andrea, who has applied it on her own children to hurry along the healing of illnesses and knitting of broken bones. ‘It is used as an elective therapy in hospitals in Canada and the US to speed up recovery after operations,’ she says.
Motivated to learn Reiki in 1993 when her first son Marcus developed a severe case of colic, Andrea worked her way through Reiki’s four stages, undertaking her Reiki Masters in 1996, and has since taught this ancient healing art to hundreds of people.
‘Marcus’s colic stressed us out and I felt that learning Reiki would provide me with a tool to help me cope,’ says Andrea. Likening this ‘hand-healing art’ to a first-aid kit that balances energy rather than suppressing symptoms, Andrea says that the only time she’s used medical professionals for her kids is for broken limbs or stitches and that her 18-year-old has had antibiotics only twice in his life. ‘I’ve no doubt that Reiki and a happy home life strengthens the immune system and is a much healthier option than drugs,’ she says.
Having previously studied other holistic methods, Andrea understood how emotional imbalances in parents can affect children and admits that she was sold on the idea of doing it as much to calm herself down, as to use on her children.
‘It calms not just the person you are giving it to but also the giver – so, as I give Reiki, I also receive energy. It’s a win-win situation.
‘To ensure a stress-free afternoon I used to Reiki myself before collecting the kids from school, and it’s been huge in helping me manage my own stress levels and negotiate difficult periods in my life.’
Andrea’s Reiki work ranged from helping her children to adjust when they moved countries to healing her son’s eczema as a toddler, she says, describing it as a ‘profoundly useful yet simple healing tool’.
‘Our hands are an extension of our hearts and Reiki is like a palpable transmission of that unconditionally loving energy,’ says Andrea, who extols the virtues of hands-on child-rearing, which provides security and relaxation for kids.
‘When they were toddlers, before they slept I would sit with them, a book in one hand and holding them in my other arm with my hand over the solar plexus. I believe this helped them to sleep,’ says Andrea. ‘I’ve never made a big deal out of using Reiki on them – especially as they got older, as they’d think it was too weird, un-cool and resist.’
Reiki can even be used to heal from a distance, a practice Andrea has used since her children got older. ‘Reiki can move across time and space,’ she says. I’ve sent it to them when they’ve sat exams to help them focus.
‘It’s a brilliant tool for the health and happiness of your children. I’d recommend it to all parents. Sending your child to a practitioner, can cost Dhs400 an hour but, for Dhs1,000, you can learn Level One Reiki and administer it yourself.’
Andrea Anstiss is a Reiki Master/Teacher and Hoffman Process teacher. You can reach her on 050 856 6912 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Based on the idea that an unseen life-force energy flows through us, the Japanese technique of Reiki is administered by the ‘laying on of hands’ releasing emotions and energy blocks and balancing the system, explains Cathy Darnell, a Reiki teacher and practitioner at Synergy in Dubai. Like Andrea, Cathy touts Reiki as a technique for life, valuable as an everyday health maintenance tool.
‘Reiki is about taking responsibility for your own health, teaching you to get in touch with your body. A form of preventative health, it can be used to give your body regular tune-ups, much like a car,’ she says.
Cathy believes that children respond well and are generally more sensitive to Reiki than adults, as their energies run faster and they are more emotionally present. ‘Kids go through emotions in five minutes, unlike adults who hold on to negative emotions for a long time,’ she says, citing increased focus and creativity and the promotion of sleep, calm and natural self-healing as benefits for bubs.
You can take a Reiki 1 workshop with Cathy at Synergy. The two-day workshop with a follow-up meeting after 21 days, includes an introduction to the science of Reiki and the Human Energy System and teaches you Reiki treatment techniques for healing yourself, as well as children and pets. Dhs1,000. The next course starts March 17.
Synergy Integrated Medical Centre (04 348 5452; www.synergyctrdubai.com).