This healing therapy could well transform your running says Tina Chantrey

Reiki is a complementary therapy that focuses on your life force energy; by boosting this you aid your body’s natural healing processes. This holistic therapy treats the ‘whole’ person, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. ‘The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words. Rei means God’s wisdom or the higher power and Ki is life force energy. This means that Reiki is actually spiritually guided life force energy,’ explains Reiki Master Caroline Trowbridge (reikiwithcaroline.com).

Can reiki benefit runners?

By working with your life force energy, Reiki has many benefits for runners. It can help injuries heal, help you relax while you run (especially important before and after a race) and assist you in reconnecting with why you run. ‘By balancing your energy levels Reiki promotes natural healing in your body. It will help your mind and body relax, and promote greater awareness about why you choose to run.’ says Caroline. Think of Reiki turning negative energy into positive energy, which helps you achieve optimum wellbeing in body and spirit.

What should you expect?

During a Reiki treatment expect to remain fully clothed. Whilst lying down on a Reiki table, or sitting in a chair, your practitioner will progress through a series of ‘laying on hands’ positions, starting from your head and working through to your feet. You will be then asked to roll over so that this can continue on your back and legs. Expect a session to take approximately 90 minutes.

‘Reiki is natural, safe, powerful and profound in its ability to connect you to your spiritual self and life purpose,’ says Caroline. ‘During a session, you may sense a radiant wave of flowing energy around and through you which is peaceful and serene.

‘I find it is useful for us to agree on your intention by using a single verb for the Reiki session to help focus on what you would like from the treatment. For example, you may decide overall: “to relax” or perhaps “to reconnect” or “to release”.

‘Thoughts may come and go, as you settle into a deeply relaxing state. You may even find that you fall asleep at some point. All this is natural and a normal response to receiving Reiki. You may experience a sense of being connected to your own Ki energy which is incredibly empowering,’ she continues.

You may feel Reiki physically as heat omitting from a practitioner’s hands, which can feel more intense when they are guided to a particular area in need of attention. ‘You may experience an emotional release,’ says Caroline, ‘all of this is safe and normal. Some runners experience twitching of their muscles, some a floating sensation, others feel very sleepy.’

Results for runners

Remember, Reiki is working for the highest good of all and by releasing these emotional blocks you can move forward towards a happier and healthier you. ‘I would always advocate drinking plenty of water during the day and especially after your treatment,’ advises Caroline. ‘Your body is re-energising so staying hydrated, eating well and avoiding alcohol is advisable over the few days after a treatment.

‘After Reiki you may find you are much more connected to your environment, noticing your route, sounds, smells and new sights,’ adds Caroline. ‘You may feel less pressure to perform, and achieve times or PBs, and allow yourself to enjoy the moment.’

Reiki is an opportunity for all runners to reconnect to their core person, and be present for each mile they run. ‘Forget about Strava segments,’ she says, ‘and begin to see the world around you so much more clearly, and how beautiful each and every run is. Try new routes, run along canals, rivers and explore parks. And don’t forget to smile at the other runners you see.’

One Reiki session per month can help you maintain your overall wellness. For more acute conditions, it’s normally recommended to have four consecutive day treatments, or two treatments per week over two weeks in order for Reiki to flow well through all energy fields: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.