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Reiki and Shoulder Pain

Article by Ashwita Goel, Reiki Master

Lower back and shoulder pains seem to be one of the most common problems today. While we could attribute the physical cause of these problems to desk jobs and computers, we know once we start taking healing more seriously, that mere changes in physical surroundings aren’t enough to create problems. There has to be an emotional cause.

In my observation, a shoulder ache almost always comes along with a block in the heart chakra. We all get hurt at some or the other stage in our lives. While some incidents we sail through comfortably, healing and moving on, some others leave us sore and hurting, unwilling to move on. These don’t always have to be the big, dramatic events in our lives; even the small, insignificant wounds can sometimes create long lasting blocks.

When we’re left sore after a painful incident, we shut our hearts down. After all, what better way to prevent getting hurt than to not let anyone into the heart? No vulnerability, no pain. Imagine a person trying to protect their heart region. We’d see a person crossing his arms in front of his heart, shoulders hunched forward. If you observe carefully, this is exactly the posture the shoulders have in people suffering from shoulder pain. The shape is completely opposite to the natural position of the shoulders, and obviously, there is going to be stiffness and pain in no time. Healing may bring temporary relief by loosening up the shoulders, but life situations that threaten to hurt can bring back the pain quickly.


Image by VinothChandar

Healing the Heart

Closing the heart down keeps the pain out, but also the love. It becomes harder to accept as well as to show love.

We shut our hearts down because of an underlying belief that opening our heart up can bring us pain. The solution over here lies not in replacing this belief with another, because love and hurt do go hand in hand, but in healing our fear of getting hurt. A dedicated sportsman experiences plenty of hard work, plenty of pain, maybe even injuries, but that doesn’t bother him, because the sport also brings him joy. It is the same with opening up the heart. Yes it will bring pain. It will also bring love, joy, togetherness, and in its ultimate flowering, infinite bliss.

  • Create a sacred space, maybe light a few candles, lamps, or incense.
  • Bring into your awareness a situation where you are afraid of getting hurt. This could be a real incident or an imagined one. Become aware of the feelings this situation brings up.
  • Stay with the pain, drop the resistance to it.
  • Embrace the pain, breathe into it, breathing in love.
  • Start your full body Reiki healing, starting with the heart chakra.

Regular practice of this exercise will help you be more open and loving. Your shoulders will start to straighten up by themselves, and the pain will disappear.

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Ashwita Goel
Ashwita Goel

Having learned Meditation as a child, Ashwita incorporated Reiki into her life during her early teens. After a decade of witnessing the magic Reiki, she felt compelled to take up Reiki professionally, and ended her corporate career in 2007, taking up Reiki full-time. She eventually incorporated EFT, hypnotherapy and past life therapy into her work. Apart from her healing work, she teaches Reiki and meditation, and her book ‘Healing Through Reiki’ is available on Amazon. You can connect with her through Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Reiki.Bangalore,
her website http://www.reiki-bangalore.com/ or visit her blog http://www.ashwita.com/zen/

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Ann-Marie Tillier November 16, 2014, 10:15 pm

    Does having depression affect you receiving and practicing reiki? Iv struggled getting proper flows since iv been on anti depresants xx

    • Ashwita November 17, 2014, 4:35 pm

      Being depressed itself would affect the way energy flows in your body. I don’t think anti depressants would affect the flow of energy in your body but it is likely they would affect your perceptions of the energy. I hope you are practicing full body Reiki everyday, many of my students have been able to completely get out of depression within 3 months of daily self healing.

      • Cheryl November 25, 2014, 4:45 pm

        Ann-Marie, I just wanted to share with you that I was on Anti-depressants for 20 years. I just got off of them in June. I received my first Reike treatment a little over a year ago, ( while I was still on anti-depressants) and it has changed my life. I took Reike one and two after that and use this as a tool everyday along with meditation, Crystals and healing classes. Some days are harder than others but I can tell you that the anti-depressants over a long period of time shut down the ability to feel and numb us to what we need to feel therefore what we need to heal. Please don’t take this as minimizing what you are going through, I am just trying to share with you tools and hope for the future. Blessings to you in Love and Light!

        • Shannon December 14, 2014, 2:22 pm

          I am a newly 2nd degree practitioner of Reiki. Before that I had been taking Reiki as a patient every 2 wks. since April. In the last 3 mo with Reiki and floral essences I am off my anti depressants and anxiety meds and doing well. I am not telling you to go off your meds, if you are taking any, under a doctor’s advice. This is what has been working for me. It is one of those you find what works for you and stick with it. I wish you the best.

      • Celeste April 9, 2016, 9:45 am

        I had very severe mental health problems and I literally had no life left in me. I couldn’t smile, laugh or anything. Reiki changed my life around. I was on not only anti-depressants, but also anti-psychotic medication as well as anti-anxiety medication. The biggest cause for me was stress and trauma. Too much of it. I couldn’t handle any more of it. I had to move away from the city into the countryside, I had to just completely change my life.
        My cousin is a Reiki master in both Tibetan and Usui tradition, he performed a Reiki session on me and it made me sleep for about a week afterwards. It did the trick. it gave me the much needed kick start I needed.
        For the best part of 5 years afterwards I kept changing my life in small steps, introducing relaxation and spiritual practice again, introducing a new form of exercise that I simply enjoyed (mountain walking), I was very fat from being on medication at the time too, and I turned it all around.
        Years later I decided to take my 1st degree in Reiki, and I started doing more self healing. I’ve not needed another session from my cousin but I know if I wanted to I can have any time.
        I asked him then to do my second degree attunement which he did for free ( well we exchanged in another way as I helped him with some other work)
        And yet again this made an even bigger difference to my life, I am now preparing for my masters and continue in the self healing side and I do practice on others if they want it. I have some friends and pets that enjoy the healing and upliftment Reiki brings.
        But really it can turn a lot around in a short period of time. I dropped off the pounds, came off all the medication, and am still not looking back on that, yes I still have my bad days, but they are nothing in comparison to what I was going through.
        Trauma can be a funny thing to heal. It peels layers like an onion, sometimes you have to revisit it several times. But Reiki is very gentle and it will only allow you to go at the pace you are comfortable with.

        I find personally that having a bad day can affect how I am feeling about everything, so I am sometimes not as aware of the flow of Reiki when I am under the cloud. However, it is still flowing and it still goes where it is needed and often I find I don’t need to turn it on, it turns itself on when I need to heal something.
        Don’t be afraid of that, if you find your hands heating up for what appears to be no reason, there is always a reason. And it usually starts with something inside of ourselves that needs addressing. Sometimes if others are around it can be confusing as to who needs it, so start with the self and if its genuinely not you, you will feel guided about who and what needs it.

        • Mayra A May 19, 2018, 11:36 pm

          Hi Celeste, I find your post resonating to what I went through before I found Reiki in my path. Reiki came to me when I had hit rock bottom and I will always be thankful for it and the light it has brought to my life. Soon after I recovered I became extremely interested in all spiritual concepts. I found that when you go through a dark time like we did, it also means you are AWAKENING.

  • Ashwini Chube November 25, 2014, 2:24 pm

    Beautiful article, thanks for sharing the tips

    I myself have been practising reiki and most of my clients or friends/family who come for healing are suffering due to closing their hearts deliberately to create a wall around themselves thinking it would prevent them from getting hurt.The fact is they are getting hurt more as they are not living their life fully.
    These tips will definitely help me in helping them heal their heart chakras

    Thank you once again

    Loads of best wishes and love

    • Ashwita November 25, 2014, 3:19 pm

      Thanks Ashwini 🙂

  • Pauline December 1, 2014, 1:08 pm

    I live in Kingston Canada, how do I find a Reiki practioner?

  • Subhadra December 8, 2014, 2:25 pm

    I am regularly doing reiki whenever ii feel depressed I. Give reiki to heart chakra and back of heart chakra. Your method of treatment looks good and useful. So let me practise the same every day. (Let it go )principle works good . But difficult to practise strictly. Thank u

  • sally January 18, 2015, 11:36 am

    I am a practising reiki channel and I think people can’t realise how good reiki is because you can’t see it,as in its not tablet form.
    I was on anti depressants for years and I can now realise that if I had come into having a review treatment back then it would of been so much more beneficial than any tablet!
    Most people these days have blocks in there heart chakras because we live in such a fast paced world.it’s a case of hurt and move on instead of giving us time to heal.
    There is nothing better than to spend sometime healing the heart and what ashwita s exercise does is a fabulous way to achieve this without the use of chemical tablets!
    Blessings x

    • Ashwita January 31, 2015, 10:46 am

      Thanks for your lovely comments Sally 🙂

  • Heather October 17, 2015, 3:21 pm

    I see that this article has mostly addressed the heart chakra and shoulder pain (plus depression), but what about the lower back pain.
    I’m assuming it’s due to blockage of the sacral chakra, but what tends to be the cause of this? If relaxing into and releasing emotional hurt is for the heart… what is the focus for sacral and consequently the lower back? I have a lot of problems here.

  • Audrey December 27, 2015, 3:08 pm

    Yes I would also like to know how to heal low and middle back problems.

  • Erlinda April 9, 2016, 9:01 pm

    Very good to know,,,very useful thank you:-)

  • Amrit April 18, 2016, 5:36 pm

    Please tell me more about Reili healing my lower back too as it is affecting my hips also. I am having much discomfort in sitting in cross legs position for more than 15 minutes. Thanks

    • Ashwita Goel April 19, 2016, 3:45 am

      Lower back pains are closely related to the heart chakra as well, and in most cases have the same root cause. If you do the things mentioned in this post it should work for lower back pain as well. Shoulder pain comes from too much stress, whereas lower back pain comes from stress combined with anger and guilt.

  • Audrey April 18, 2016, 5:46 pm

    I would also love a reply to Amrit’s question….I feel the same pain. I suffer when I sit anywhere – which is affecting my life 🙁

    • Ashwita Goel April 19, 2016, 3:47 am

      Thanks for your comment Audrey, I’ve replied to Amrit for now, maybe I will write a post on it as well.

      • Audrey April 19, 2016, 2:33 pm

        Thank you. A post on it would be great.

  • Karen Kusko August 10, 2016, 8:31 pm

    I will comment on the talk about antidepressants. I have been an RN in the US for 26 years and have recently gotten interested in energy healing. I am certified as Reiki Master but do mainly self healing at this time. Personally, I spent many years suffering from depression and panic disorder. I did take heavy dosages of antidepressants as well but tapered off several years ago with therapy, meditation and yoga. I believe meds can be appropriate in many situations but I will say they stunted my spiritual growth to a certain extent.

  • niharendu majumdar August 13, 2016, 4:54 am


    • Celeste August 13, 2016, 5:42 am

      Sure it can, you can also do very deep meditation too. If it’s stress related you should see improvement. If there is an actual injury then it may take longer. I get recurring bouts of shoulder pain from an injury I had at work one night, and despite physio I usually have to get an osteopathic massage instead to help it stay away. If you can find a Reiki trained Osteopath that can yield even bigger results. A combined treatment often works better. Hope your shoulder feels better soon.

  • Dria September 27, 2016, 9:26 pm

    I have a friend who could really use this but hasn’t been attuned to Reiki, could the first steps before doing a session still be helpful?

    • Ashwita Goel September 28, 2016, 4:24 am

      Hello Dria, yes of course, it could be used if one doesn’t know Reiki as well. Just ask your friend to replace the Reiki healing bit with a visualisation. I would recommend imagining that energy is moving up her spine as she breathes in and down as she breathes out. Learning and practicing Reiki regularly will help tremendously though, and should completely resolve the problem in a few weeks/ months depending ont he severity of the problem, so I recommend that she find a class soon as well 🙂

  • Hazel Wallis April 17, 2017, 6:29 pm

    Thanks. Interesting article. Makes a lot of sense ?

  • Debra Grant July 29, 2020, 7:47 pm

    Thank you so much! I just used this on an area that has been really weighing me down and this was the loss of my grandson. This was incredibly effective! I have tried healing this so many ways! THANK YOU INFINITELY! I will keep using this!

    Debra Ann Grant

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