Reiki, Self Care & Nursing: Holistic Help for Overwhelming Stress!

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By Marilynn Carter, Reiki Master/Teacher & Author of “No Fret Cooking

As a Reiki Practitioner, I have worked along side healthcare professionals and patients in traditional medical settings and provided Reiki treatments to nurses.  I have seen first hand how this stressful work can be and have witnessed how often nurses are faced with putting the needs of others before their own.

Caring for patients whether in traditional or alternative ways requires giving time, compassion, expertise and energy to others.  Some of the self-care basics such as taking breaks, drinking enough water, eating adequate nourishment, and taking time to relax and rejuvenate are often left by the wayside.

Carolyn Myss, a well-known medical intuitive and healer says, “we cannot drink from the well if the well is empty.”  As caregivers, day in and day out we constantly give of ourselves to our patients, clients and loved ones while forgetting to replenish our selves. It is no surprise that we are more effective in our work when we are healthy, balanced & refreshed.  So when we honor our own feelings, personal strengths and spirit, we actually have more to give to others. A relaxed healing presence will radiate to others filling them with comfort, strength and hope.

I believe it is important to honor your spirit & your true feelings.  When caring for others it is essential to remember to not neglect yourself.  Know that it is OK to say “No” at times, because if you are not balanced & healthy how can you be an effective healer?     One way to do this is to learn and practice the art of Reiki.  Here are some frequently asked questions about this ancient healing art and how it can be a technique for self-care.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is an ancient healing modality dating back thousands of years and rediscovered
in Japan in the 1920’s.The Japanese word, Reiki can be translated as, Universal Life Force Energy—
the healing energy of the Universe. It is a non-invasive healing modality that connects us with the energy surrounding and within us.

Reiki practice is based on the belief that Life Force Energy animates all living beings. When your life force or energy is low or restricted, you will be more vulnerable to illness.   Reiki is the energy that flows through the hands of a trained Reiki Practitioner, flowing through a person’s energy pathways (Chakras) and energy pathways (meridians), releasing energy blockages, and raising a person’s vibrational energy. It is both powerful and gentle.

According to the National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine, (NCCAM) at the National Institute for Health, (NIH), Reiki is classified in the category of “Biofield Medicine which involves systems that use subtle energy fields in & around the body for medical purposes”.    Click here for more research about Reiki found through the NIH-NCCAM website.

What are some of the potential health benefits of Reiki?

When the flow of “Life Force Energy” is disrupted, weakened or blocked, emotional or health problems can occur. Imbalances can be caused from many situations occurring in our lives such as: emotional or physical trauma, injury, negative thinking, fear, worry, doubt, anxiety and emotions that aren’t expressed in a healthy way.  There are numerous health benefits of Reiki treatments and a few are listed below.

• Reduces stress and muscle tension

• Promotes relaxation and restful sleep

• Stimulates and supports the immune system

• Reduces recovery process from surgery, childbirth, and major illness

• Helps decrease pain and discomfort and amount of pain medication needed

• Eases side effects of chemotherapy & radiation

For a more comprehensive list of health benefits, click here.

What is a Reiki session like?

During a Reiki session, the client lies, fully dressed, on a massage table, a bed or in a chair if that is more comfortable. The practitioner gently places her hands on, near or above areas of the body needing attention as she channels the healing energy. This activates the body’s natural ability to heal itself and create a state of balance. As energy is transferred to the body; you may experience warmth, coolness or vibratory sensation similar to the feeling of ripples or a tingling sensation emanating from the practitioner’s hands. Although the effects vary from person to person, most people experience feelings of complete relaxation and a sense of calmness.   A typical session will last about an hour.

Individuals can perform Reiki on themselves, once learned and can be an important addition for   healing and managing stress.  Spending a few minutes of self Reiki before you begin your day or during difficult times will help to support and strengthen your energy system from the inside out for whatever challenges come your way.  In addition to supporting yourself, your patients and clients will also benefit when you send a reiki smile, give a Reiki hug or a gentle touch of the hand.

How do I learn to do Self Reiki?

One learns how to do Reiki from a Reiki Master, which means teacher, a person who has studied all the levels of Reiki.  Reiki is simple, easy to learn and requires no particular belief (believe) system.  It is safe for anyone to learn, even children & seniors.  No prior special training or preparation is needed to learn Reiki other than to have an open heart to receive the energy.  Small classes allow for one-day certification, questions, and lots of practice.

Students become connected to the Reiki energy through an attunement which (that) is a simple ceremony where the teacher transmits the Reiki energy to the student.  Once this process has been activated, your inner healing channel will be open for the rest of your life.

Students do not need to force the energy, as it flows gently & automatically. It is activated by the laying on of hands & one’s pure intent for the person’s highest good for self or someone else.  Once attuned to Reiki, you will be able to receive & transmit universal healing energy whenever you wish.  The more you use(s) the energy, the easier and stronger the energy flows.  At the end of the workshop, students receive certification as a Reiki I Practitioner.

Marilynn Carter has been cooking and working in the medical field since the age of 15. For the past 10 years she has been a wholistic health practitioner as well as a health and environmental awareness guide at, Many Paths for Health

Marilynn and her husband/ jazz musician Steve Carter have published a unique cook book that includes original music to cook and dine by!  They’ve published the 2nd Edition on MAAT Publishing which they developed to help authors navigate the often confusing world of self-publishing!

If you had only one cookbook, this is it! Together food and music are paired that take you on a culinary adventure to nurture, tantalize, and stimulate your body, mind, and spirit as you prepare and enjoy your food.

The focus is on fresh, local, organic ingredients without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Alternative ingredients used to create gluten-free, dairy-free, raw, vegetarian recipes, that even children love.

Here’s a complimentary recipe for Pepper Poppers!  A great Potluck!  And don’t forget to scroll down to listen to Steve’s music also called, Pepper Poppers!  (Listen all the way through to hear what cooking Pepper Poppers sounds like!)

No Fret is a cookbook for everyone, and no fret, there is room for your own creativity and personalization!

For more info about Distance Reiki or “No Fret” , contact:
Marilynn Carter, Wholistic Health Practitioner, Energy Medicine Practitioner
603-742-2191 or or


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