Healing or Curing? And When? (Oh, My!)

"Reiki can cure (insert malady of choice here)."  When I hear that phrase come out of a practitioner's mouth, or see it written in a social networking post, I cringe inside and out, and here's why:  curing implies instantaneous or near-instantaneous removal of a malady, which is not the intent, purpose or ability of Reiki as I have come to know it.

That's not to say that I have not seen/been advised of remarkable results through Reiki from my clients; entirely to the contrary.  Even so, there is a vast difference between being healed and being cured.

"Reiki 'works' every time."  Another cringe-inducer for its implication that whatever maladies an intended recipient may have at any given time, Reiki will make it all better in one session.  Again, that does not align with Reiki as I know it, and it is a statement I wouldn't choose to make to someone with a diagnosis of terminal cancer, for instance.

Here's a context to hold for the remainder of this post:  Reiki heals on physical, mental and spiritual levels for the highest good of the recipient.  Hold that context!

Back in the fall I had been given permission to support a six-year-old girl with what is pretty much the worst kind of brain cancer you can be diagnosed with (if there's such a thing as a best to worst spectrum with cancer).  Over the course of a couple months I regularly supported her with distance Reiki, and I prayed.

In both instances - that of healing and that of praying - my intentions were always for her highest good, in spite of the fact that what I really wanted (because it would have made me feel better) was to hold an intention that those two modalities would effectively cure her of cancer, and all would live happily ever after.  What I really wanted was to plead with God for her life.

She died the beginning of December after being able to comfortably (for the most part) and happily celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving and even Christmas (thanks to Santa making an extra-special, early trip just to see her) with her family and closest friends.

"How is that healing?!"  Yes, I can hear you asking that outraged question.  Here's how:  She was able to participate in and even enjoy her final two months on Earth in spite of that insidiously aggressive cancer.  Her family and friends got her for those months rather than the shell of her the cancer may have dispensed.

Of course we want a cure for cancer and [insert whatever disease you'd like to see obliterated here], and people have been miraculously cured (healed. ahem.) through what doctors call spontaneous remission, but the reality is that it's far more likely healing - to whatever degree - is going to take place with complementary medicines such as Reiki.

You're still holding that context, right?  Let's have a refresher, just in case:

Reiki heals on physical, mental and spiritual levels for the highest good of the recipient.

For the highest good.  That's a stand-alone context (and concept) that requires letting go of the almighty ego.   I'm not going to tell you that it's easy to let go of the ego when you're offering healing support to a six-year-old with brain cancer, because it's not; not at all.  It's not easy to do when you're offering healing support to a relative with back pain, either.  Nonetheless, that's what I did (and what I do) because healing through Reiki is not about me and what I want; it's about what's best for the recipient, no matter what it looks like...and that's where we enter the mysterious unknown.

I don't know - can't know - what is best for my clients.  Wonder if that sweet little girl's body had survived the ordeal, but her consciousness had been obliterated?  Her family and friends would then have been faced with the additional pain of being left with a breathing, yet lifeless, body.  How would that have served her, or them?  It wouldn't have.  That wouldn't have served anyone's higher good.

Happily, healing generally takes shape in the forms of a good night's sleep, reduced or eradicated pain, reduced swelling/inflammation, great relaxation, peace of mind, and more as the body is balanced to an optimal degree to facilitate healing.  Sometime the healing takes shape in ways that could be deemed miraculous.  No matter what the healing may look like, it can be quite a journey to get there.

Three levels of healing.  What I have discerned from my Reiki practice is, oftentimes, the more severe the malady, the more profound and prolonged the healing process.  With someone dealing with severe, chronic mental and/or physical pain, for instance, the Reiki healing process may raise (reveal) other issues before the more desired aspects of healing are reached.

The process can result in additional - albeit temporary - discomfort as Reiki is delving far below the surface symptoms to, hopefully, the very root of the dis-ease (otherwise, it's like taking alcohol from an alcoholic but not addressing what contributed to their addiction aside from drinking too much).

When healing is happening at that level, it is more than likely the results are going to be long-lasting - possibly life-long; a most desirable outcome.  It may take weeks or even months.  For those who are all about instant gratification, that may be too long to wait, but in closing I'll say this:  It is that deep, multi-level, multi-dimensional healing that I see as being the fundamental difference between healing and curing.  I choose healing.

Women Will Save the World

The Jewels of Larry Crowne