My Reiki Journey Part 2: Living As A Highly Sensitive Person
Updated: Aug 13, 2019
When I signed up for a Reiki 1 class in April 2015, I had no idea what to expect or how I'd be using Reiki in my life. I felt "called" to be there based on several things that happened to me, even though I didn't exactly know "why." (Want to start at Part 1 of My Reiki Journey?)
I've always had some interest in how energy works because I've always felt sensitive to energy. For a long time, I didn't know how to deal with that sensitivity. Occasionally, my sensitivity to certain places, people, or situations would get the best of me and I'd have a hard time moving through that sensitivity. Meditation helped me deal at a mental level, and sometimes physically- by at least carving more space out of my life to "recenter"- but there were still periods of time when my sensitivity was so strong that even the most subtle changes in space weather could completely drain my energy during a geomagnetic storm or ramp me up with anxiety during a solar flux. (That's a story for an entirely different post.)
While living in Australia, my sensitivity reached a level I'd never experienced before. I was eating many more local fruits and vegetables, and almost no high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated oils, as well as experiencing lower air pollution. I shed 30 lbs of weight without even trying. I noticed that as I was eating cleaner foods and breathing cleaner air, I also started becoming even more sensitive, which meant feeling even more energetic "stuff" all at once. Much like being blinded by the sun after being in a dark movie theatre for 2 hours, or standing right next to an ear-shattering siren. Until I learned how to manage my increased sensitivity and adjust to it, it was overwhelming and at times even emotionally unsettling.
I don't remember when I first realized that I was highly sensitive to certain energies- but once I started paying attention, I could better analyze how my own energy was affected by both external and internal factors. Since Reiki is an energy healing practice, I figured that at the very least, learning more about Reiki healing could help me understand more about my own energetic sensitivity and perhaps give me a few more ways of dealing with it beyond meditation.
Before I even signed up for Reiki training, I'd already started investigating energetic self-care by reading Energy Healing by Ann Marie Chiasson, MD. Little did I know at the time, this book outlined a lot of what I'd be learning in Reiki 1 - which included different methods of practicing energetic self-care, but the book also included several other energy healing methods, like meditation and tapping. This book also helped me realize that I'd already started using some basic energy healing techniques and Reiki hand positions on myself before I even knew what I was doing... my hands would just naturally fall into certain places as I'd fall asleep, or I'd notice their interesting arrangement and position when I woke up.
For me, a full weekend of Reiki 1 training felt like a big warm hug from the universe. It gave me a community of people who understood my sensitivity to energy- people who had similar experiences in their lives, including the experience of friends and family occasionally labeling these sensitivities as "imagining things". Even just having one or two other people who could really identify with my sensitivity was a huge source of comfort. It can be frustrating and slightly maddening when you feel things that other people don't feel, because what's real to you isn't real to them.
The best explanation I've come up with for how I feel energy, is similar to how everyone can feel wind, cold, heat, humidity, and pressure changes- which are widely accepted as very observable and measurable energetic changes that no one questions or attributes to ancient Gods anymore just because they can't "see" them. Now that we have scientific tools for measuring these large changes in atmospheric occurrences, people have a way of "seeing" them when before they could only "feel" them. An energetically sensitive person can pick up on more subtle changes in bio-energy that we don't have the best scientific tools for yet, kind of like the way that dogs can smell and hear certain things that humans cannot. Just because everyone can't observe it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
It's awesome that we're entering into a medical age of understanding some energy movements in the brain with EEGs and in the heart with ECGs, and I'm confident that some day we'll have the tools to better understand how Reiki (or life energy) moves from the environment and through all of the major organs and systems of the body- helping Western medicine better understand Eastern medicine. Until then- the human body actually has a pretty fantastic capacity for sensing things which cannot yet be scientifically measured. Granted, the human body is also not a perfect or infallible tool for measurement, because not everyone has equal sensitivity- just as everyone doesn't have equally keen eyesight, hearing, or sense of smell. However, the more people we have who are aware of things we cannot yet measure scientifically helps us get closer to being able to measure them.
... Have you noticed how your own energy fluctuates after eating different types of foods or drinks? Have you noticed how changes in temperature, light, humidity, and air pressure affect your personal energy levels?