Article by Natalie Mitchell
Do you believe in miracles? Well you should because we are so much more than we know, we are the miracle!
When I first got interested in Reiki some 15 years ago, I would never have believed where it would take me. The first 7 or 8 years were spent dabbling in and out of Reiki, not really understanding it, my only understanding was that the sensations, the hot, the cold, when I put my hands-on others were signs that I was feeling energy. I had never experienced energy within, never thought to look within to understand these sensations. My first Reiki teacher taught me nothing energetic, so how could I know what Reiki was really all about.
And then about 7 years ago, my journey really began, and now I will never look back, only forward on an incredible path with Reiki, a journey that takes you deeply within to find your ‘true self’, your ‘authentic self’, a journey to good health and happiness, a journey to help others do the same.
As a child and teenager, I was the sickly one of the family, always at the doctors, eczema, hay-fever, severe migraines, several bouts of bronchitis and influenza each winter. And as I got older into my thirties you could add on arthritis, with aching, painful joints, knees, hips, elbows and hands. I suffered rhinitis, sinusitis regularly as well as many years of irritable bowel syndrome, bad backs, slipped discs and sciatica.
And through all of this, I never wanted to go to the doctors, I did not want to be this victim to illness, taking medications and anti-biotics, it wasn’t who I wanted to be. I did not want illness to be my story. So, I would go on the internet looking up alternative medicines for the conditions I had. And one day I came across ‘An Introduction to Reiki’ at Tarporley High School. I wondered if it was possible, these claims about Reiki healing, these claims of distance healing, how could that be possible I wondered?
I completed the Introduction course and moved onto Level 1. I felt nothing, nothing at all, I believed it all to be a big con. I went home and told my husband that it doesn’t work, it was a waste of time and money. Luckily, he at the time felt unwell with a flu type bug, he suggested I lay my hands on him and try giving him Reiki to see if he could feel anything, I was very skeptical. But thankfully, he said, “Wow, it feels like you have put a radiator on behind me” … and this was the beginning of what has proved to be an incredible journey. Over the next few years I dabbled in and out with Reiki, practicing on friends and family, who felt various sensations, although I still felt nothing. I would try it on the dogs, my beautiful petite little German Shepherd enjoyed it, it relaxed her so deeply, she would ‘break wind’ which always made us giggle. She would pick up her head, look at her rear end, as if to say “who did that?”. Well, animals can’t lie, so I knew there had to be something to this Reiki.
At this time I wasn’t practicing on myself, so no wonder my health was getting to an all time low. My neck was very painful too and I had no idea why. I had sciatica now for over 2 years, which brought me to tears, feeling like there was barbed wire in my left foot. My irritable bowel was now also so bad, that I would sometimes literally crawl on all fours to get to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, between the tears and the pain. I was so fed up, I finally gave in and went to the doctors, and she arranged a physio appointment for my sciatica and neck and medication for my IBS.
Then it happened, I was telling my mum how I had 2 appointments booked with physio-therapists and what she said next changed my life, and the life of many around me now, new friends and old. She said, “Why aren’t you Reiking yourself?”.
As I pondered on this, I decided it was time to take action. I researched as much as I could about Reiki, and came across Frank Arjava Petter, a German Reiki Teacher, who had been teaching Reiki around the world for around 17 years at that time. I got in touch with him, and he kindly emailed me back, and explained to me what the different sensations all meant, a word I had not heard at the time was ‘Byosen’. He explained to me that whilst scanning over a person’s body and picking up different sensations of hot and cold, or tingling was call Byosen Scanning. I went onto reading around 7 or 8 of his books, and now my passion for Reiki was truly born.
My thirst for information was now unstoppable, research after research on the internet, book after book, cd after cd, coming across Bronwen Stiene’s Reiki Cd’s was a light bulb moment, as she beautifully explains about how we work with the energy within, to strengthen the practice. I came across Taggart King – Reiki Evolution, he generously allows member of the public to purchase his manuals even without going on his courses. Now information was pouring through, and I was beginning to really understand what Reiki was really all about.
So, more and more I Reikied myself, as my symptoms and discomfort from condition after condition started to improve, and then one day, after about 9 months (which is funny, as it’s like I was reborn), I felt something in my right knee, it moved, it was energy, I could feel energy moving within me, it went down my leg. I continued to Reiki myself and meditate every day now, and could feel more and more energy flowing within me. Shortly after that my right shoulder that had been troubling me now for years, suddenly it didn’t hurt anymore. Gradually all my aches and pains were much better, though I did notice, and still notice to this day, that when I drink coffee, my hips ache the next day! It makes sense as coffee is diuretic and is taking valuable water out of our system.
I decided I needed to share this new found knowledge, as my health was improving, my understanding of Reiki was growing. I contacted a local high school as they offered evening courses. I was soon up and running offering my own ‘An Introduction to Reiki’, a 6-week course in learning all about Reiki before committing to a Level 1 course. I am delighted to say that I still have student’s with me today, who first began their journey with me some 6 or so years ago, the days when I typed up all the hand-outs that made up a manual. I am now very grateful to Taggart King, as I am able to provide my student’s with his manuals (buy in a bulk of 4 you can get them at a reduced cost).
I had been teaching for around a year, running Level 1 and 2 courses, when one day, a gentleman rang me up, he was a friend of my cousin Donalds’ and he said he wanted to learn Reiki, and that my cousin had told him he had to learn with me. I giggled, and said no, the distance was too far, he was down in Leicestershire, and I was up in Cheshire. But we had a lovely chat about Reiki, and then he asked me about lineage. It had not occurred to me that I needed a lineage, as my first Reiki teacher told me it was just ego, all Reiki came from Usui, and I did not need a lineage, I believed her, why wouldn’t I, she was my Reiki teacher!
Jazz explained to me the importance of lineage, I told him I would call him back. I quickly researched Reiki Teachers in Cheshire, and well did I strike lucky, I came across Simon Bailey at The Navitas Centre in Crewe. I phoned Simon, we chatted I told him I wanted to learn all there was to learn about Reiki. He explained to me that he taught both Western Style Reiki and Original Japanese Reiki, I told him I wanted to learn both, he laughed playfully, and said I didn’t need to, I could come along and join one of his Japanese Reiki courses. This was kind, but I genuinely wanted to learn both, so that I could have a thorough understanding of the differences, in practice, rather than just theory.
I phoned Jazz back, and explained I was on the way to getting my lineage, and that he too should come and train with Simon, he did. And we are all still friends to this day 😀
Meeting Simon, and working internally with energy, through the teachings of Original Japanese Reiki, has completely changed my life, and my family’s life, my friends, student’s and clients. I completed all levels of both Western and Japanese with Simon, and continue with advanced training, I will always be a student!
Most people think of Reiki as a hands-on healing technique that is used for others. Well, it can be, but the original system was not set up for that. It is so much more, we are so much more! And I believe the path of Original Japanese Reiki can get us there, can indeed allow us to be the miracles that happen.
Miracles are happening every day, when you see the difference that Reiki makes to people’s lives. One of the things that I have in common with my students is that they all say how much Reiki has changed their lives, that it gives them clarity on life, they feel generally better, better able to cope with all that life offers. These are the small daily miracles. I have witnessed and experienced bigger miracles too.
One of my highlights has to be my friend with MS. I did not know when I was Reikiing him that he had not moved his right foot in over 3 years, after our first session together, working with his sister, who was one of my first students’, he sat up and looked at his foot, and moved it, exclaiming in delight to look at it, I didn’t know what he meant until he explained. This made a huge difference to his life, it enabled him to finally walk up the stairs again, with help and support from a therapist he was able to join a gym, it gave him hope that he did not have before! This had a wonderful knock-on effect for all his family and friends.
I have had asthma and taken regular inhalers for as long as I can remember, if I forgot to take my inhaler, or if I was out in the cold damp air, laughed a lot, drank certain drinks, I would wheeze, and need to take my inhaler. I even ended in hospital for 3 days back in 2000 with a peak flow of 150 which is dangerously low. I have now not taken my inhaler in over 3 years, except for the one occasion when we played with Playdoh (though not the original dough) at Christmas and I felt a little tight chested, so I took it to be on the safe side! And when I went for my last asthma review the nurse exclaimed: “I don’t know what you are doing, but keep doing it, your test is off the chart, in a good way”. I explained about Reiki, the Joshin Kokyu ho cleansing breath, and chanting, all of which I believe has strengthened my lung capacity, as well as the regular Reiki practices.
I don’t get headaches very often, as I drink plenty of water, but on one occasion recently I had a terrible headache, I instinctively held my hand to my head, and the pain moved from my head into my hand, it was very painful, but much preferred it to be there, than in my head, I held it for about half an hour, as it gradually subsided into the Universe. The same has happened with the odd tummy pain. It certainly feels like a miracle at the time!
The same happens when my daughter has tummy pain, she is so relieved that I can take it from her, within such a short time, without the need for any medicines, which often make her sick.
And of course when I Reiki students and clients, I can often feel their pain being released through my hands, and to the Universe which is big enough to cope with it!
So, miracles are inside us all, and it is up to each one of us to find them. Whilst we can Reiki others, it is usually a temporary fix we are giving them. The deep healing has to come from within, taking responsibility for our own health I believe is the answer to long-lasting healing, life-changing healing, good health, and happiness. If you want real change, you need to find it within. This is what the Original system of Reiki can lead us too. As we heal ourselves from the inside, as we work with energy internally, as we practice Reiki, we become Reiki. The more we practice the clearer it all becomes. We each are our own miracles.
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After running her own ‘Kids Corner Playgroup’ for a decade and being an Attendance Manager at a high school for another 5 years, Natalie finally settled down and found her true passion in becoming a Reiki Practitioner and Teacher. She’s been teaching Original/Traditional Japanese Reiki for the past 7 years and founded ‘Relax and Heal with Reiki’, keeping as close as possible to the original system of Usui Reiki Ryoho, as taught originally by Mikao Usui. Natalie is very passionate about sharing Reiki and over years have seen Reiki transforming so many lives: “I have always believed that our health, first and foremost is our own responsibility, and whilst there are times when we need to turn to conventional medicine, there are many times when we can in fact heal ourselves.” If you want to contact Natalie, check her website: www.relaxandhealwithreiki.co.uk.