By Larell Scardelli
Reiki is a calming treatment with metaphysical benefits not yet studied by science. Like with yoga and meditation, it took the practices becoming popular for science to catch up. “Treating colic with Reiki is not about eliminating a symptom, it’s good health and wise parenting,” explains Sama Ecker, Doctor of Medical Qi Gong therapy, Ordained Daoist Priest, Usui Reiki Master of her nine-years energy work on over 100 babies. “We can’t underestimate the life-long benefits of raising an infant that sleeps and digests their food well,” Ecker says, as many studies suggest colic comes from a combination of digestion, parental anxiety, and allergies.
How is it done?
Depending on the practitioner, you travel to their location or they will visit yours, and the session may begin with talking about your infant's colic. “Then, I like to treat the infant right after fed, swaddled, and, if possible, asleep while the mother or father is holding, so to keep comforted,” says Ecker. “I would use two fingers instead of the whole hand to do a series of healing hand positions on the infant.” These physical hand positions help the practitioner maneuver energy. Adult sessions might last 60-90 minutes, but with babies, 20-30 minutes of energy work is normal. “Infants need shorter sessions because their energy blocks shift more quickly than adults,” explains Ecker. So as the parent, you would be with your infant the whole time and be able to ask questions to your practitioner. The remainder of the session is used to counsel parents, as many Reiki professionals have a catalog of other training skills, like nutrition, herbalism, or therapy. “Whatever is happening in the family has an effect, from dad or mom being stressed at work to adjusting to a new family schedule,” explains Ecker. “The infant is syncing their energy fields with the primary caregivers, so counsel is also to train the parent in directing energy in a healthy way.” Beyond healing colic, the ultimate goal is more energetic harmony and communication within the family unit.
Stress:“Infants have a very sensitive system and are constantly scanning their environment for calm or distress,” explains Ecker. It’s normal to be a frazzled after bringing home a newborn, but your family’s mood is something to consider if your infant is showing signs of stress. “We now understand that stress can indeed modulate neurological responses, therefore supporting the need to promote parental stress-coping mechanisms,” reports Pediatrician Lawrence D. Rosen, MD.
Reiki can help both parents and infants significantly reduce stress by decreasing heart rate and blood pressure. “It’s not just the topic or environment. Within the body, we are building the platform of a strong, well-balanced nervous system,” Ecker explains. During a session, you may be given ‘homework’ or tools like meditations, writing exercises, visualizations, mantras, or intentions specific to your case to continue healing at home.
Digestion: Since poor digestion and colic are often in tandem, this is a good place begin. “Highly trained Reiki professionals will understand the function of the organs and immune system,” says Ecker. “So, for me, I would begin by energetically treating the function of the liver and the spleen while properly descending the stomach qi to reduce repeating breast milk and burping.” Know that healing one aspect of an imbalance will have an overall positive effect on your baby. “When Reiki improves digestion, we then have a foundationally stronger immune system as an infant, which equals fewer colds, viruses, infections, allergies, and ultimately less need for prescription medicine and antibiotics as an adult,” says Ecker of her life work. “We have improved immunity for life.”
Sleep: The obvious: if we have reduced digestive stress and improved family harmony, we have a baby that sleeps like, well, a baby. “Reiki is notorious for having a link to improve the endocrine system,” Ecker explains of her experience. A quick science lesson: Within our hormonal system, also known as the endocrine system, exists the pineal gland. It’s a small but powerful gland located deep in the center of the brain that produces that luscious sleep hormone, melatonin. “It’s a leading gland and universal life force is compatible with regulating its function.” And just like you, lack of sleep can make some pretty wacky things happen in the body. “When we regulate the sleep cycle, we’re regulating aspects of the brain. So even though an infant is coming to improve the sleep cycle, we’re setting the baby up to reduce ADHD and improve cognition,” as Ecker has seen in her professional experience.
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