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Distance healing - real or a load of bunkum?

Distance healing, the practice of sitting in a quiet meditative state and being present to the energy of another when they are in a different location, can't be a thing right? You can only act on what you can see and directly experience, surely? Obviously distance healing is a load of bunkum made up by charlatans that make up rich stories because they want to con you out of your money.

I've heard much of the above in my 14 years as a Reiki practitioner. When I first started in 2010 the idea of hands on healing wasn't well received, let alone the idea you could support a person's healing from distance - that was just a step too far!

Most of these arguments about the ineffectiveness of distance healing come from those that haven't trained in Reiki. They might cite studies that have tried and failed to show any kind of distant human to human connection via research into extra sensory perception, including telepathy, intuition and empathy. The on the whole, the scientific community has concluded this phenomena does not exist and that there are other reasons as to how successful results were achieved. Any positive results were debunked stating the research done was poorly administered, non-repeatable and lacking Scientific rigour.

On paper it's not looking good for distance healing right now, is it?

Meanwhile it's 2006 and I'm really struggling at work. The office I work in is small, and I'm really affected by anyone going through a tough time. It's like I can feel all their emotions and I can't stop myself feeling them. I'm miserable though I have no reason to be, exhausted and have started to dread going to work because I cannot escape the sea of negativity I'm experiencing there. I am quietly being driven to despair by forces outside of my control.

Something had to change.

It's experiences like this that drove me to learn Reiki in the first place. I'd learnt that there were ways to energetically protect yourself, which sounded useful. I was desperate to get my life back and not be impacted by other people's issues. I happened across a healing school and my journey with Reiki - the practice of working with spiritual energy - began!

Learning Reiki isn't an overnight thing. At the beginning you go on a course (Shoden) and learn the basic principles. After this it's up to you to find the time to apply them, practice and continue to delve deeper and deeper into what is meant by spiritual energy through study and practice.

If desired, students can then continue their learning with the Okuden (inner teachings) course, where the framework for distance healing is introduced, before completing the last level of Shinpinden (mystery teachings) - where you fully realise the oneness of everything.

In Reiki, it is understood that everything is spiritual energy. This means a table, chair, cloud and tree are all spiritual energy, and so are our bodies, thoughts and feelings. Reiki is therefore everywhere and in everything, and therefore interconnected. It is this interconnectedness that enables us to connect with anything or anyone, anywhere that is used for the practice of distance healing.

It's a hemisphere thing

In her amazing TED Talk neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor describes the stroke experience that left her with only a functional right hemisphere. In her talk Jane explains that the left hemisphere sees us as separate entities to the world and our right hemisphere sees the world as unboundaried and interconnected. As she was experiencing the stroke she went through waves of euphoric right hemisphere experiences where she felt expansive and boundless, to dual hemisphere experiences where she understood her spiritual form existed within a physical vehicle.

It therefore makes sense that on some level our brains are able to tap into our right hemisphere connectedness to know the thoughts, feelings and emotions of another - even if they aren't in the room with us.

This is the ability that is nurtured in distance healing (and what was at play in the office I found so difficult to work in). We sit quietly so we aren't distracted by the world around us, and focus on the energy of the other person or thing we wish to connect with. Each practitioner will experience this differently but for me it is visual, has a felt sense and may include words or phrases.

I then feel I can engage with dialogue and healing with the being directly as I would as if they were in a room with me.

First experience

Somewhat sceptical distance healing was possible my first distance healing client was a coaching friend in Wales. We had a brief chat before I sat down to see what I could find. During the session I was very drawn to her left cheek and jaw. On completion I reached out to share my findings to be surprised to learn the friend ground their teeth in their sleep and their left jaw was the side most affected.

Hmm, maybe there's something in this distance healing approach?

As the years went on and I set myself up professionally, I was given more opportunities to try out distance healing. My clients included pets, children with autism, elderly parents, terminally ill cancer patients, mental crisis' and those too far away or too unwell to travel to my clinic. Each reported a relaxation benefit and a sense of comfort and support.

I too have been on the end of distance healing, and it's quite lovely to have! The feeling that someone else is with you when times are tough is both nurturing and life affirming. I have also asked for help when my friends, family and pets have been struggling, and I always notice a positive shift after.

So do I still think distance healing is bunkum?


I am ok with the idea that we are all connected and that where attention is focused can bring shifts. I now frequently sit down and "send healing" for those I know are struggling, to areas of the planet in conflict and to those that are disruptive and full of fear and hate. One example of how I've effected distance healing on a global scale is my Peace Project group online where I share love, wisdom and goodness on a daily basis. Another is to my Reiki students who I think about and wish well to often.

What the 2006 office experience taught me was that we are indeed interconnected and that I can use my sensitivity to that to good effect, as can you. You do not have to be distance healing trained to think of someone with love and affection and send them loving vibrations. In fact, I think many of the struggles we face could be significantly eased by us all being more aware of others and considering them in our choices like the one big team that we are.

It also happens that research is showing there is a positive correlation between distance healing and decreased stress, anxiety and pain, and increased wellbeing and sleep quality as demonstrated in a study surveying frontline healthcare workers that were gifted four twenty minute distance healing sessions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do you have any good distance healing stories? I would love to hear about them below!

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