Why Hospitals are Embracing Reiki, Podcast with Samantha Avery

Listen to the podcast episode here. 

Check out Samantha's website to find out more and book a session. 

Transcript below.

Amy: Hi Samantha and welcome. How have you been over the last few weeks and months?

Samantha: I've been really well thank you.  I've been doing a lot of Reiki because Reiki helps balance your emotions and your mind and also your physical health. We've been doing a lot of distant healing and we also have been running a global Reiki share where practitioners get together via Zoom. We've been doing self healing and then we've been sending healing through our neighbours and across the world.

It's a really big time for us as Reiki practitioners. Very changeable times. We do need that sense of stability and harmony to help us with our resilience in these times. A lot of people who have never had Reiki before are calling and wanting to understand a bit more because we're all seeking, I think that extra thing that's beyond our day to day lives. We want to have more meaning, more depth in our lives and maybe we're experiencing emotions and thoughts that are new to us. And I think we're looking for resources, a little toolkit if you like to help our sense of wellbeing.

Amy: I've heard of Reiki but I'm not too familiar with it and I'm sure some people listening might not be as well. Did you want to start by explaining what it is and where it comes from?

Samantha: Yes, I'd love to. So Reiki is a Japanese word and directly translated means 'universal life force, energy or spiritual energy'. It's an ancient healing system that originated from Japan and it was brought to us by a man called Mikao Usui. We call him, Mikao Usui Sensi because he really, we say 're-founded' Reiki and brought it to our practice.

Reiki is a hands on and hands off healing system. It brings balance and harmony to the physical body, the emotions, the mind, it brings clarity and also soothes and supports your spiritual body. Now reiki is actually based on a lot of science and it's based on the bio-field. You'll start to hear this word a lot more. It's a new term that medicine and therapists are starting to use. It is the type of energy field that regulates everything from our cellular function to our nervous system. The body is made up of molecules and these molecules have a positive and a negative charge. A Reiki master can interfere with that energy by simply placing their hands close to you. They don't even have to touch you and that can influence these energy flows and these currents going through the body. So we find that a lot of people have a greater sense of wellbeing. They feel calmer. It's a little bit like having acupuncture, I suppose, where the acupuncture is helping the body to balance.

Amy: That's interesting. And how so you're saying hands on or hands off. So mostly in isolation it's been hands off.

Samantha: Exactly. So hands-off for isolation and you can send distance healing. So the person doesn't need to be in the room with you, or you can do it with the 1.5 meter rule where you actually sending Reiki to the person, a meter and a half in front of you. And that's actually what they use in hospitals. 

Gordon: So when you're doing it digitally, do you need to see the person? How does that work?

Samantha: Technically you don't have to see the person, but personally I like it. You want to have a chat with a person before and you want to tell that practitioner what's happening for you. Reiki is all about freewill. If you have a focus and intention about what you want to address or how you want to feel or how you'd rather feel, that's a very good starting point.

The conversation helps the person to understand what they may be experiencing. And then what we do is that person can either turn off the phone or the video, which I do encourage, so you're not interrupted and can relax in their own home and maybe put on some nice relaxing music. Imagine that person in front of them, and they'd have an understanding of their energy, that they're able to tap into that person's energy because of their training, because the ability of Reiki, and then they can actually conduct a Reiki healing as if they're in front of them. And they'll go through the physical body, the emotional layers of the body, the mental layers of the body, the spiritual, and just bringing through this absolutely beautiful, unconditional love healing for that person to receive.

Reiki is all depends on free will. So if that person wants to receive that Reiki, they will soak ip whatever they need for that time. That also means that if you don't want to receive Reiki, don't worry, you won't receive it. And I love that ability to control what you want.

Amy: That's interesting. How often do people generally receive Reiki?

Samantha: It does depend when we're going through difficult times. People would like to come weekly, maybe they'll come for like three weeks or maybe they're going through a really tough time and they might come a couple of days during that week. Then that's usually when we're in a crisis or we're going through a really stressful time. Some people will come fortnightly, they like it as their regular practice. Some people come monthly and some people come as, and when they feel it's necessary for them. So I have a lot of clients that are in high stress environments. They may be executives. They may be, you know, CEOs, CFOs going through difficult times or maybe they're going through a marriage breakup, whatever the experience is at that time. And I always invite the client to really tap in to their feelings. And if they feel it supports them and they want that extra support, then that's there for them. But it's really important that you trust your own intuition, have other clients that come for their spiritual practice. And so, because it is a spiritual practice, it helps them evolve their own sense of wellbeing. And then we have people that can't sleep. So sleep deprivation is a big thing. And so a lot of people come and some, some research shows us that an hour of Reiki can actually give you the same benefits as four hours of deep sleep. And I'd love to get some scientific papers on that, but certainly people feel refreshed. I had a client actually came to see me and she hadn't slept for years and this was a real issue for her. And she came to see me and after 10 minutes of Reiki, she was fast asleep.

Amy: How did you get into Reiki?

Samantha: It's an interesting one. Initially my sister introduced me to Reiki back in around 1999. We were at a mind body spirit festival in London, and she's a podiatrist in the UK and she had come across Reiki while she was working in the NHS. They provide that to their patients. Okay. Yes. So it's quite interesting. And I've sat down in this festival and somebody put their hands on my shoulders and it felt nice. And I have kind of these colors, you know, I could see beneath my eyelids and that was my experience. It felt nice. It felt intriguing, but it was certainly tangible. I could feel this sort of ripples through my body. So I was intrigued, but it wasn't until a number of years later that I, that Reiki crossed my path. And that's when I migrated to Australia with my then husband, we separated shortly after and neither of us had any family or close friends here. And so I started receiving Reiki healings true in that time. And it really gave me a lot of comfort and a lot of support and an inner strength and enabled me to process this new transition. And after each session, I felt really calm, focused, energized, and I really loved the sense of this inner peace. I kind of washed over me and many days after the session even. And so my monthly treatments became part an integral part of my self care practice. Now I'm with this curiosity ignited and a connection to that inner peace, which I was really unaware of. I became quite interested in a spiritual development and exploring things like psychic abilities. And one day in a meditation circle, my friend invited me to join her at a Reiki level one beginner's course, to be honest, I wasn't that particularly interested. And two, she said it would actually open up my energy and strengthened my psychic abilities, which I was quite passionate that time. So I agreed to go along with her. And in that course, we learned about the history of Reiki, how to give a healing to someone, how to give healings to ourselves. And we even explored the human energy field and chakra system. And during that course, I had a profound experience that connected me to an unconditional love, absolutely illuminated my heart and soul. That's the only way I can describe it. And from then I was, I was hooked. So then I shared this Reiki healing with everybody that would let me practice, keep my hands, come on, let me show you this brachy thing. My friends, they were crazy, but they loved it. So they were, you know, happy recipients. So I then went on to study the Reiki two practitioner certification, and it was there that I really began to appreciate the power of Reiki. And so it's in Reiki too, that you are taught the process of distant healing, which we just mentioned. And at this time I was really interested in testing out this energy thing that I didn't really fully understand, but I enjoyed receiving it. And at first, I mean, it seems a bit of a bizarre concept that you can actually send healing to somebody who isn't directly in front of you. That was very curious and enthusiastic. And I was ready to test out whatever this Reiki could do. So then, but at that time I received a call from my elder sister and she was in the UK. And interestingly now she told me that my teenage nephew had been physically assaulted that day and trying to protect a friend. And as a result, my nephew received a number of blows, leaving him with a highly inflamed broken jaw. The police were involved and the inspector was visiting the following day for statement and to take photos of the wounds, et cetera, is that my sister asked if I could send him this Reiki thing that I'd been doing to help him with the emotional trauma. And so I said, yeah, of course I jumped at the chance to help however I could. And so that night in their night, how daytime he was there in the UK. And I sent him Reiki from Australia, from Sydney, sending it to London whilst he was sleeping. Didn't know if it would work, but I thought I'd just give it a shot. There's, there's nothing, no harm can be done. And I had his approval to do that. You must have a somebody's approval to receive Reiki. So I called the next day just to check in on how he was feeling and how everything had gone and actually was the Reiki of any help. Did he feel anything? And she actually thanked me and said that he was feeling much better and the Reiki had worked, but it had worked too well. 

Gordon: Wow. Yeah. That's amazing.

Samantha: So that was very interesting and a great test for me. I felt, okay, I have some proof now to myself. That's the power of this Reiki. 

Amy: What is the process of becoming a practitioner? 

Samantha: You can be a practitioner after level two. So first of all, you do level one, anybody can receive level one and it's a full day training. There's a minimum of 10 hours face to face training. And then after about three months, minimum of about two to three months, you can then do the Reiki level two practice practitioner certificate after a year. You're then qualified to further your study to be a Reiki master practitioner. Now this is when it gets really exciting because you can start really working with the energy fields of the spirit of the person. And there, you can go into things like releasing old patterns and past lives and really working with the energy field repairing and doing DNA activations and very other really interesting things.

Amy: I have in my notes that you're a Reiki master teacher. Is that something different as well?

Samantha: Yes. So after three years of being a master practitioner and having a practice, you can then do the teacher training. So that's what I, I did. And so yeah, now I have the absolute honour of supporting other people, other students on their journey, sharing the gift of Reiki.

Amy: How do you find people learn about Reiki? Is it sort of word of mouth or is it something that you get drawn to?

Samantha: It's a variety everybody's drawn to it. And it's really interesting. People come to the classes and they it's a variety of, Oh, I had Reiki. I liked how it felt. I've read a lot about Reiki. I want to learn how to do it. Or they may have a child that they want to help. My, my son's father he did his Reiki one practice to help my son when he was born. And my son actually had a Reiki when he was two hours old given by his father, which was quite profound. You know, he he'd just put his heads, his hands in the back of my son's head. And my son just pushed his head into his hands as if, give me more, you know, so if the right of reasons, and some people have never heard of Reiki, but they just feel drawn to learn. So there's a various reasons. And, you know, there's obviously recommendations, but Reiki has become quite popular certainly in the U S and Brazil and the UK as well. And so yeah, people are learning more and more about it every day.

Gordon: You were saying that 800 hospitals and clinics in the US are now offering Reiki as a complimentary service.

Samantha: That's right. It's very, very exciting. So we have four, I don't even know the actual final number now. It keeps increasing. So around 900 hospitals and clinics, 800 hospitals, or more than 800 hospitals are in the U S and we have actually five hospitals in Australia that give Reiki as a complimentary medicine to traditional medicine. One of the, yeah, it's exciting. So one of the biggest hospitals in Perth, the Fiona Stanley hospital has actually opened a complimentary health clinic. And the clinic was opened by the cancer care and health minister for Perth in July, 2019. So there they offer the Reiki and various other complimentary medicines. You also have at st. Giles Gardner hospital st. John of God Subiaco and Albany hospital. And you've also got it at the JW while palliative care unit in Tasmania across the world. You've got it in the us, the UK Brazil, Mexico Reiki is offered in children's hospitals and hospital emergency rooms. It's also in pre-op operating rooms, post-op oncology, cardiology, orthopedics, internal medicine, and palliative care. So it is huge. And we're hearing more and more about it with some really exciting results that are coming through from the hospitals.

Gordon: Are conventional medicine practitioners, are they welcoming with open arms or is it a little bit of pushback or a bit of everything?

Samantha: Well, I'm not at the forefront of the hospitals, so I can't say directly, but the fact that they've got these clinics, actually in the hospitals, I'm headed by people at hematologists and clinicians and top surgeons is certainly is changing the landscape. And I'm recently had the honour of speaking to one of the top oncologists in the U S dr. Sheldon, Mark Feldman, he's chief of the division of breast cancer surgery and surgical oncology which is a, is a very, very very high level. And he was saying that he actually, he has Reiki practitioners in the operating room. And what the exciting thing about this is not only, you know, that it's supporting traditional medicine and supporting the client and the patients, but he also has medical students in surgery. So the students are witnessing this United front of, of complimentary medicine and medicine together.

Amy: So they're seeing it from the start of their career.

Samantha: Exactly. And how profound is that to be coming out of med school where they have to be so unemotional in surgery or they, otherwise they just could not do their job. You know, this is a huge responsibility and these are experts in their field to be in surgery. They are absolutely at the top of their game. And so they have to be very clinical, but if you're having a student there that is watching this ability to be so precise, an emotional, and then also having the emotional side of the whole team supported as well as the patient is, it really does take it to another level. So it's a very exciting future, I think.

Gordon: So does the Reiki practitioners support the team that are during the surgery or the patient as well, or both?

Samantha: Interestingly, both. So what happens is when the patient goes to see the oncologist, and it depends if the oncologist has this service available. But in, in the U S for certain, is that they, the Reiki practitioner can be with a patient from right at the beginning of diagnosis, right through to treatments and through surgery. And when that person wakes up from surgery, it's the Reiki practitioner. That's there, that's welcoming them back. So they are fully supported now what the hospitals are telling us that, well, this particular surgeon was saying to me that when the Reiki practitioner is in the room, the whole landscape changes, they're there for the patient. So they're sending Reiki to the patient from a distance, and we're probably two meters away because they have to be out of the way of the surgical team. So they are basically sort of beaming if you like like a beautiful sunlight of Reiki energy, but what's happening is the whole surgical team are receiving this energy as well. And the surgeon says it a sense of deep humanity to the, to the team. And every body seems calmer. They seem to have a greater sense of wellbeing. They seem to flow much smoother together. He's he also says that what they're finding in the hospitals as a direct result to the patient is that it's really stimulating the body's immune system. And they find that that stimulates the tissue and bone healing after surgery or injury. I mean, it also supports the wellbeing of the client receiving all the medical treatments. And he's saying that it actually the, the patients seem more receptive to the conventional medicine and they're needing less pain relief. So they're still having pain relief, but they're needing less, which is a big, big issue in hospitals because hospitals have an opioid issue, you know, so they really, anything that can reduce that is a big, big plus. And they're finding that it alleviates the stress and they feel that that brings a much more, a deeper sense of relaxation and peace. Now, if the body is more relaxed, we know this neurological testing and scientific evidence shows us that when we are less stressed or more or less using up all of our vitamin C in our adrenals fighting off, you know, the panic, when we can get into a state of rest and relaxation, the body can then be at its optimum to really support whatever recovery and boost the immune system. So what Reiki does is allow that relaxed state for the body to be in that relaxed state, so it can be working at its optimum.

Gordon: When you're practicing, do you find that takes a lot out of you out of your own energy and your own? Do you have lie down often? You feel really drained afterwards?

Samantha: No, I don't. But some practitioners do when they first start, I do sort of experience that and it's because they're trying to use their own energy. Have you ever felt if you have children and they fall over, you'll do anything for them not to cry, anything for them not to hurt your take on that such empathic people. We just want to take away the pain. And, you know, sometimes that happens, you know, when people do massage, they feel exhausted after that feels fantastic. And things like that, what they're doing is they're taking on that other person's energy. So in our training, I do, I'm very strong on boundaries, especially energetic boundaries and remind the practitioners that the Reiki practitioners aren't doing the healing, it's the client themselves that are doing the healing all. And what I mean by that is the, to receive Reiki. You receive it from somebody who has been attuned by Reiki master that can deliver the Reiki to you. So they're basically opening the door to this energy for the patient to draw upon it as much as they desire, okay. As is suitable for their wellbeing. Now their soul, their energy will know what that is. We don't know as practitioners, what that is our job is to get out of the way. And what I mean is our job is to open the doors, to allow that patient, that client to receive whatever it is that they desire at that time. So with that in mind, there is no need for a practitioner to put their own intention in their, their, their intention to, to help or to fix the situation, because it really isn't about them. It's about the client receiving whatever they choose to receive according to their freewill. Does that make sense?

Amy: I wanted to ask when you have a, a hands on appointment, what sort of does that look like? Is there different parts of the body that you touch? 

Samantha: Yeah, absolutely. There's a special hand positions that we're taught in Reiki. Now the the first part of the consultation is your sit down and do the client will have an intention. So maybe they're going through a tough time at work or they're feeling a bit stressed at the moment and it's affecting these different areas of their life. So you have to verbalize it, or it's a very good idea to verbalize it. So you becomes in your conscious awareness for the patient, and then they there's, you're fully dressed and you can either stay seated in the chair, or you can lie down on the massage table. And so usually it's an, a lovely, relaxing environment. There might be some gentle, instrumental music playing. They might have some people that like to have a roamer therapy, but it's gentle lighting. It's like kind of going to a spa and not a spa, but it's nice and relaxing. And you rest on a massage table with a pillow underneath your legs, pillow underneath your hair, the lumpy blanket on top of you. So you're nice and warm and relaxed because when you have Reiki, your brainwaves drop into theater and theater is like going into a deep sleep and that's when the healing takes place. And so when you go into this theater, when you go into this sort of a deep sleep, your body temperature drops. So you want to have a nice blanket over you. And then the practitioner will maybe put some tissues over your eyes. There's no skin or skin contact and put it some tissues over your eyes. And then they'll do hand positions. So they're not rub their hands before they start. And at the palms of their hands, they'll then go through a process and they just place their hands over the eyes. And they'll be there for a couple of minutes, you know, whatever. It feel, they feel the tune to doing intuitively do, and then they'll move their hands at the back of the head around the temp holes. And so on around the throne is just around the sternum. They don't touch the neck cause most people don't like that. And then across the heart soul plexus and the soul plexus is where we have our personal power. And this is where we keep a lot of our stress is in the solar plexus. I don't know if you felt nervous or stressed about things and you get those knots in the tummy. This is all the soul plexus getting really congested in, in fear. And so what we want to do is just bring in the Ray into the solar plexus, gives it more energy, more personal power for it to balance those adrenals, et cetera. And then it goes down to around the hips and then the legs, the knees and the joints, the feet when they might come over to the arms and the hands. And this would take probably about 40 minutes maybe. And during that time, usually by about the solar plexus, the client tends to fall asleep. Now, if you ever have Reiki and you fall asleep and you snore, it is a compliment to the practitioner, not strange. Nope. It's very, very normal. I think 80% of people that I, I support snore, you know, and it's usually a little, little snot here and there. And it's basically, it's a compliment because it means that I trust you. I'm so relaxed.

After the treatment, I then sort of go around the body during a hands off treatment. So that's when I I'm being Reiki through the chakras and through the energy system. And then I do a lot of grounding when we're stressed and worried, pretend to be in the head. So we do need to be really grounded into the feet. And so towards the end, what we do is we it's as if we're kind of bringing the energy back into the body and we start to really anchor the energy into the feet. And what I personally like to do is give the fee, it's just a little gentle rub and that just helps people to come back. That sounds good. I already feel relaxed about it. It's it's deeply relaxing and people, the absolute joy, the majority of practitioners love about Reiki is when the person that has received the Reiki that moment when they open their eyes and they just look like they are in absolute bliss. It is. Yeah. It's breathtaking.

Gordon: And I see from your website that you're resuming consultations on Monday the 25th of May.

Samantha: That's right. Very exciting. We're reopening the clinic that's in Mosman. And so we put in place all of the recommendations from the government. And so we have we only have one client in, at a time spacing. And so that person will be sat with us with a 1.5 meter distancing and they'll receive a, what we call a distant healing, but they're actually in the room with me. And so we just like, you know, being in the operating theater, if you, if you have the joy of having a Reiki practitioner with you in operating theater it would be the same. So it would be, you know, doing their hand positions, but from a meter and a half above, you know, a lot of people can't, what is it the same? And it's interesting because I, I did a Reiki, two training course with some students just before we shut down for COVID just before the big epidemic. And we at pandemic and we were looking at how this would work moving forward. And so I taught them how to do a distant healing with the person in the room. And they were just sat in a chair and that you'll be able to see some photos on my Facebook page. And these are new practitioners, you know, and they're kind of wanting to explore very much like myself. I want to test the boundaries of this, the capacity of this heating modality. And so I gave them the healing as I sat, you know, a meter and a half away from me, and they were having already received hands-on treatments. They were really surprised about how they could feel the energy through their body. So that's what we'll be doing from the 25th of May. So we're really excited to be welcoming our community back.

Amy: Can people learn more on your website? 

Samantha: Yes. It is Samanthaavery.com. 

I'd also really like to share with you a really exciting bit of activity that's happening in the U S so there is, there's a lot of papers on Reiki scientific papers and studies that are happening. That's giving us lots of different EV evidence about relieving stress, anxiety, reducing pain at Teague, and generally improving the quality of life. Now over in the U S dr. Sheldon Feldman who's the chief of the division of brain surgery and oncology in the U S he is working closely with a group called medical Reiki works. And our medical Reiki works is run by a woman called Raven Keys. And she's been in surgery with Dr. Feldman for about 20 years. And she's been with other dr. Oz doing heart surgery as well, and various other clinicians. Now they have teamed together. And the exciting thing is they're actually doing a very significant medical trial taking place as a clinical trial taking place in new New York. And dr. Feldman is going to be running that with an epidemic epidemiologist, forgive my pronunciation with dr. Alison modal and together, they're going to be doing this trial with patients with breast cancer. So it's a controlled trial, which is what we really want evidence of control trial across social and economic populations and that's planned for this year. So what they'll do is they'll have a group of volunteers. One group will think they're having Reiki, but it's dummy Reiki. So a placebo and another group will think they're having Reiki. And they really are having Reiki. And another group will have no Reiki, and they don't know if they are not having Reiki. So this is going to be a controlled environment or across these patients. So with these findings and with this top oncologist we're going to be very, very excited to see what comes through because the surgeons can see what's happening with the patients, but they want to be able to prove it. They won't be able to measure it, and if they can measure it, then we can get more Reiki into the hospitals. Then the private health funds can then start getting on board with more data. So it's a very, very exciting time for so keep posted are whenever we get any information, I'll be putting that on my Facebook page. I don't know if it's going to be this year or next year, but certainly that's, what's in place.

Amy: Yeah, definitely. That's interesting. I'll give you a follow and keep following that story. That's awesome. That'd be really interesting to see what the outcomes are from that study. Do you know when it concludes?

Samantha: We don't, I mean, it was all ready to go this year and then we had the COVID pandemic. So, you know, there's a lots of different activity going on at the moment. So I've not been told of an actual specific date cause I'm sure the medical teams are a bit overwhelmed at the moment. So they'll let us know if you want to check out more about that, then you can look at medical Reiki works. They have a Facebook page as well, and there'll be keeping updates there.

Amy: Okay, great. I'll link that as well. That's great. All right, Samantha, thank you for chatting to us about Reiki today. It's very interesting chat.

Gordon: Yeah. Thanks Samantha. I've learnt so much.

Samantha: Brilliant. Thank you Gordon and Amy and I love to be able to give you a beautiful Reiki healing whenever you wish.

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