How reiki can support anti-racist strategies
Wed, 03/08/2023 – 16:57
The past two years have been a season of transformation. While multiple systems within our nation have been pressured to change, each individual body experienced tension that mimicked what we watched play out in the media and in our communities. Whether or not we answered the call of our healing, individually or collectively, is a matter of opinion. What is certain, though, is the undeniable shift toward accountability for wellness and the clarity in which we speak life into what we need, desire, and deserve.
More uniquely so, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities continue to stand tall in the face of what seems like everlasting racism. This generational fight can make one weary – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Those advocating for anti-racism have also felt the anger of injustice and the vulnerability of perseverance.
Many organizations have begun to design anti-racist strategies that identify biases and are setting new expectations for all stakeholders to consistently oppose racism. However, there is a missing element: Attention to energy. The negative energy created by and contained within a global pandemic, police brutality, mass incarceration, toxic work environments, inequitable community resources, and other spaces where racial bias exists eventually permeates our whole being. Anti-racist strategies then require energy work as a valuable part of the solution.
Reiki is a nondenominational gentle healing practice that originated in Japan and includes five principles that reaffirm mindful living and interconnectedness. Reiki practitioners help facilitate healing that removes blockages and restores balance where the energy is directed. The noninvasive practice involves hand placements along the body’s energy centers (chakras), and can be done in-person or remotely.
Here are a few ways that Reiki can support anti-racist strategies framed around a particular intersection of feelings and responsibility.
Anxiety and workplace policies
Introducing anti-racist strategies within an organization can be anxiety-provoking. To get it right, and not merely perform, begs for everything but bare minimum. The calming effects of reiki can ease the anxiety of individuals involved in evaluating, implementing, and assessing the anti-racist strategies within the workplace. Consider offering mini reiki sessions as a component of employee wellness to support everyone.
Introspection and social responsibility
Anti-racist strategies benefit from our candid self-reflection, and we must bring our whole selves to the process to name our biases and consider what we may be perpetuating. Reiki promotes introspection that challenges the root of our thinking, beliefs, and habits. What we have always done is not necessarily good for us. The ignorance of our actions is not bliss when anyone (or a group) is left abused and marginalized. Reiki helps us act in alignment with the best version of ourselves.
Racial fatigue and social advocacy
White fragility, white supremacist beliefs, and whiteness often challenge the progress of anti-racist strategies. In response, advocates work tirelessly to shift the narrative and hold systems accountable so that BIPOC communities can live with dignity. This kind of effort leads to a chronic lack of rest. Reiki activates our parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body enter a state of total relaxation. During this time, our body is not in “fight-or-flight” mode and engages in standard regulatory activities that optimize our health. Policymakers, grassroot organizations, and activists benefit from this restoration that is essential to sustaining any effective and impactful movement.
Compassion fatigue and health care
The health care system is overwhelmed by the pandemic, but BIPOC communities are unfortunately accustomed to some practitioners who ignore their duty to do no harm. When considering anti-racist strategies, reiki healing can help providers cleanse their emotional and mental spaces to show up with greater humility, empathy, and allow themselves to connect more deeply with patients of all backgrounds. Reiki can also encourage the release of personal trauma that may appear when performing pain assessments, determining diagnoses, suggesting treatments, or simply listening to the patient as the expert in their life.
Detoxification and community development
Successful anti-racist strategies include impacted individuals and groups in the process of creating solutions. Just as reiki can assist the body in engaging in its natural healing abilities, communities can embody the detoxification that is manifested through funding, programs, and safety. Reiki removes toxins from our energetic and physical bodies; our chakras are rebalanced; we are grounded; we can conceptualize community solutions with clarity; and we find reprieve from hypervigilance, heightened stress, and overstimulation.
These examples are meant to show the breadth and depth of reiki as a master healing tool, with uses as universal as the energy itself. Everyone involved in the process of anti-racist strategies has an energetic stake in the outcome. As we consider anti-racist strategies, we must remember that it is less a concept than a compass: That tool only functions when we take action in the guided direction. Reiki fills the journey with healing energy.
Nya Wilson is the creator of Dialogue Nyne and is an Intuitive Reiki Healer.