Many people suffer from an increase in depression and pain during the winter months. This is often referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder. While most people slow down a bit in the winter, and many experience some mild feelings of sadness, especially during the Holidays, some people have a full depression, with anxiety levels high and energy levels low. Others with Seasonal Affective Disorder experience symptoms with the onset of summer. They become high anxious and easily agitated and suffer from insomnia.
Many of the issues with Seasonal Affective Disorder have to do with the body becoming unbalanced as exposure to the sun decreases. Light therapy can often help by increasing the exposure to UV light, thus helping to regulate the hormonal changes in the body. However, some people need more than this. For many, anti-depressants are needed to allow them to cope until spring.
Winter can be a very high stress time of the year for most people. The Holiday season brings many additional activities and requires much more to be done. There is extra shopping in crowded stores, more cooking for larger groups of people and parties and family functions to attend. This extra stress can cause a great deal of anxiety and lead to depression, particularly for those who are sensitive to being around crowds.
Taking frequent breaks to slow ourselves down a bit can help a great deal in getting through any stressful situation. We also need to take a little time each day outdoors, even in the winter. Fresh air and sunshine are vital to good health and with the shorter hours of daylight in the winter, it can be a challenge to get enough sun.
Reiki is known to help reduce pain, alleviate anxiety and calm depression symptoms. It reduces our feelings of stress. It produces a deep feeling of calm. While I could not locate any studies specifically about Reiki and Seasonal Affective Disorder, I have written before about Reiki and studies on its effect on mental health. All of the studies on Reiki and mental health showed a reduction of symptoms following Reiki treatment. This applied to depression, anxiety and insomnia.
Even for those without a disorder, having a few Reiki treatments during the winter months may help reduce the typical sluggishness felt in the winter. It may also help prevent the increase in infections form cold and flu viruses. Reiki has been shown in studies to improve the immune function responses in the blood. It creates balance precisely where needed, thus reducing the likelihood that exposure to a virus will lead to infection.
Even if there were no scientific studies showing the effectiveness of Reiki in increasing the immune system function, or improving pain and depression, we know it feels blissful. It is so very calming. Stress seems to vanish during and immediately after a Reiki treatment. The relaxed state can often lead to more beneficial ways of dealing with life to come to mind. This increases even more after Reiki attunement.
Offering Reiki to others during the winter months is a great way to help them cope with the issues that many struggle with during this time. A session may be just what they need to uplift their spirits and allow them to enjoy life this winter!
Article by Angie Webster
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Angie Webster made a significant contribution to the Reiki community, with a particular focus on Animal Reiki, which she had a deep affection for. As a knowledgeable Reiki Master Teacher and Author, she conducted online courses on energy healing, herbalism, flower essences, and personal growth.
She is the author of “Animal Reiki: How it Heals, Teaches & Reconnects Us with Nature” and “Reiki from A to Z”. Currently, Angie has decided to retire from her professional life to devote more time to her health, family, and the little joys of life.