I finally got to the end of a rope today. I've had month-long migraines for the last three months, with significant abdominal components. They're...unpleasant, and they linger, and after two weeks of feeling like a giant is squeezing you like a tube of toothpaste and just not wanting to eat or breathe or move or live, you get desperate.
I got new medications from my doctor -- hopefully, they will address the root cause of these migraines, but we have a whole 'nother month to see how that plays out. In the meantime, there have been some lingering after-effects (as usual for migraines), including body pain. And my new meds are having a really irritating side effect, in that they exacerbate my bruxism, and leave my face in a more-or-less permanent cramp. Yay. But still, cramps or giant's dental hygiene? I'll take the cramp, thank you.
My father has a visiting nurse who also does reiki. He's recommended it for my mom, for pain relief on her knee. I figure...eh. There's a local place, it's $40 for half an hour, if nothing else, it's half and hour of bingly-bong massage music and low lighting. And the shop smells like sandalwood and patchouli, scents which I find very soothing. I can forgive that expense.
So in the interests of science, here is my lab report.
Reiki for Surly Knitter
Introduction: Reiki is a Japanese energy work method that practitioners claim offers health benefits. Does it really work, or is that a load of crap? That was the purpose of this study, to report the outcome of a reiki session on someone who was desperate for pain relief.
This researcher's hypothesis is that there will be some relief, based on the fact that the subject is both desperate and highly suggestible.
Materials and Methods: The study pool consisted of one (1) female, 42 years of age, caught in the throes of the serotonin shakes. She reports a face cramp, moderate to severe, impacting her ability to sleep and chew. The cramp is affecting the muscles in her cheek, forehead, down her throat and to her shoulder.
A reiki appointment was obtained with a practitioner, female, age unknown, working out of a shop front location. Practitioner lists herself as "Certified Usui Reiki Master Teacher" in promotional materials. Study subject is familiar with the practitioner on an acquaintance level.
At the appointment, the subject removed her shoes and lay on an uncomfortable massage table with knee bolster, covered with a sheet for warmth. The practitioner proceeded to supply 30 minutes of reiki -- involving hands cupped around the head and neck of the subject.
Results: The subject reported an unusual wave-like sensation running up and down her limbs during the portion of reiki with hands around her ears. After a bit, her toes began tingling, but not in a painful way. Upon standing, subject reported feeling 'empty'. After a few moments, and some time to ponder, subject states the sensation is similar to "growing two inches, and losing 20 pounds". Subject reports she realized that the after-effects of her previous abdominal migraine (tiredness, heaviness in the abdomen) had vanished during the session. An hour and a half post-appointment, subject still reports feeling lighter than before and having significantly less joint pain than before, additionally, her lower back has relaxed to the point she can touch the floor with her palms again, something she has not been able to do for months. Her jaw, however, still hurts and is tight.
Conclusion: Reiki worked for this subject in unexpected ways. Her jaw, the primary reason for the appointment, was mainly unaffected, although muscles in her neck and shoulder have relaxed slightly. The most marked change was the feeling of lightness and of having grown. Her abdominal cavity no longer feels bloated or tense.
Reiki worked, for this subject. What that means for other subjects at large is unknown.