“You’ll think I’m crazy, but when I’m on the therapy table with my eyes closed and I receive Reiki, I see colors!”
“Yes, my dear, I know: green and purple,” I replied.
The patient opened her eyes wide, her jaw dropped: green and purple!
The fact that two people with their eyes closed in a dim room can see the same colors at the same time is an amazing experience and, above all, it’s got no scientific explanation, but I’ve experienced it so many times that I’m no longer surprised (although I admit it’s SO cool!).
The most curious thing about it is that it’s not just about visual effects. As a matter of fact, after another Reiki session, a patient looked at the volunteer with kindness and asked “you feel overwhelmed today, don’t you?” The therapist was going through a rough time and was deeply distressed by her problems at that moment…
These are examples of one of the effects of Reiki therapy: the expansion of consciousness. If we look this expression up on the internet we will find complicated articles about theosophy, quantum physics and even aliens. In my opinion the expansion of consciousness is a very simple concept: a deep understanding that leads us to accept ourselves first and, as a consequence, other people, just the way they are. It is such a deep level of acceptance that its natural result is the two people (therapist and patient) becoming one and making the same experience, seeing or feeling the same things.
It was clear to me that many Reiki therapists can develop this ability, but I was happily surprised to find out over the years that it is a bi-directional phenomenon: the patient also becomes capable of feeling the other person, as shown in the example mentioned above. During the Reiki sessions I actually often feel such a deep union with the patient that I perceive a sphere that surrounds us, making us feel like one being. It is not an experience that involves only two people, but it also happens when there are two or more therapists around the table, we are all part of the same sphere.
The other day I read an article about a doctor, Joel Salinas, who has a peculiar neurological condition: Mirror-touch synesthesia. That condition causes individuals to experience the same sensation that another person feels. It seems that Salinas had this ability since childhood, but it greatly developed when he began to attend medical school, allowing him to perceive his patients and realize in a few seconds if the person in front of him is, for example, thirsty, hungry or in pain.
Some of the journalists who wrote about Salinas’ case highlighted how challenging this neurological phenomenon can be for a doctor who spends his life examining people who may have very high levels of physical pain or distress. However, Salinas claims he managed to control the most unpleasant effects of this super empathy and it seems that this helps him to take better care of his patients: since he perceives exactly how they feel, he is aware that their well-being is also his own well-being.
What is the connection between Joel Salinas’ story and Reiki?
It’s the synesthesia which, in my opinion, is the language of Reiki. As a matter of fact the constant practice of this discipline gently leads both the therapist and the patient to feel what other people feel. I think we could therefore imagine what the consequences would be on our society if this technique were practiced by everyone. Who would commit murder if they could sense other people’s emotions? Who would ignore someone who’s hungry or thirsty? Who would deny the homeless a roof? Nobody would, because in that case, other people’s well-being would be our own.
According to science, we were all born synesthetes. When we grow up the brain eliminates the excess of neuronal connections through a process called pruning. I think we should voluntarily re-create these connections and begin to consider synesthesia not as a superabundance of inputs, but as a sure path towards the improvement of the human species.
Cover picture by Fabrice Van Opdenbosch