Article by Asha Surti
As an Occupational Therapist, my job is to ensure that a client is as independent as possible. Depending on the age, motivation level, disability or injury, the “occupation” may of course be variable. As a Pediatric OT, one would work to ensure the child is meeting his or her developmental milestones, is healthily engaged in the occupation of “play”, and demonstrating independence with goals of handwriting, self care, and social skills for example. As an OT and Reiki Master, and witnessing the ongoing rise of autism and ADHD, it is hard to not see the benefits of integrating both fields.
After completing my Reiki training in Thailand, many questions popped up for me. How can a parent use Reiki to calm a child with ADHD or behavioral issues? How can a child be an active participant in healing themselves? How will Reiki be accepted in schools or homes with children with disabilities?
I begin to think of yoga and how it was not initially widely accepted in many schools. Some educators feared there was a religious component to the modality. However, we can now see that there are many yoga based programs that enable children to increase their focus, attention span and sense of balance. One example is Getting Ready to Learn used in some NYC public schools. Can Reiki eventually coincide with alternative strategies such as yoga in the school system? I am determined to find out. There are just too many possible benefits to not explore this question further! Here’s a few helpful key strategies on how Reiki can aid to benefit children.
- Teach children self Reiki. This is an important lesson that they can carry with them forever. Teaching children simple hand positions is one way they can calm themselves, so that they always feel in control of their emotions and well being. It will also help strengthen a sense of independence and a feeling of accomplishment.
- Teach parents to incorporate Reiki into their child’s day. It can be as simple as fifteen minutes at the beginning of day, and fifteen minutes at the end of the day. This can allow the child to get focused and energized for the daily activities, and also feel calm before falling asleep.
- Teach children the importance of listening to their bodies. Children of all ages are dealing with anxiety and high stress levels. However, identifying and observing the beginning moments of frustration can increase coping skills. In addition, increased attention to body awareness can assist with poor coordination and clumsiness, increase muscle control, and increase sensory awareness through energetic vibration.
- Improve overall attention span and focus. With ADHD on the rise more than ever, Reiki can help reap benefits of allowing a child to feel more centered and grounded, releasing excess energy and toxins. It is likely that the lower chakras (the Root, the Sacral, and the Solar Plexus) are typically blocked in a child who exhibits symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity. Reiki can help open up these centers for increased energy flow to and from these points.
- Experience gentle healing touch. It is important for children to feel safe at all times. The experience of Reiki in itself is likely to increase your child’s confidence, promote self worth and a healthy body image. Learning about healthy touch, sensations and vibrations are crucial to one’s personal, emotional, and social development.
For more information on Reiki and Child Development, check out www.reikitraveler.com!
Asha Surti is an Occupational Therapist who studied at Boston University, and a Reiki Master currently practicing in Hoboken, NJ. She completed her training with leading RMT and Hypnotherapist Nicholas Harris in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She was inspired to integrate holistic healing practices into her work by her late aunt, Urmila Surti, who was a RMT in India. She believes everyone has the ability to heal themselves, and feels guided to assist others in their journey; she is currently researching integrating two of her passions, OT and Reiki in serving children with special needs, particularly on the autism spectrum. She can be followed on Instagram @ReikiTraveler, or contacted at www.reikitraveler.com