I started suffering from chronic neck pain a decade ago, when I was in high school. I began seeing a chiropractor on a weekly basis, but only saw minor relief. Never did a day pass that I didn’t experience some degree of neck pain that would usually result in horrible headaches. My mom eventually took me to get an MRI scan. Nothing came up abnormal from the results, and thus began a long, long journey of dealing with neck pain everyday.
Throughout college I still saw a chiropractor for my neck pain. He also practiced traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and acupuncture. These were other modalities I was interested in, too. Luckily, I found more relief from the pain, but I would always have to come back for adjustments. I felt like I was chronically dependent on chiropractors. Alas, I tried everything from massages, CBD tinctures and oils, physical therapy exercises, yoga stretches, ice packs, heat packs, acupuncture, traction tables, energy work, and even float tanks. Sometimes the pain would get so bad that I even entertained the fantasy of cutting my own head off and properly reattaching it.
Yeah, it was pretty bad.
When I began my yoga journey in college, I developed a liking to metaphysics and the mind-body connection. I devoured any information I found about how energy works in our bodies and how powerful our thoughts are. Books like The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton, The Mindbody Prescription by John Sarno, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, and Emotional Freedom by Judith Orloff, all came to me at the right time with the right messages. My fascination grew and I started learning more about how my neck pain could be related to my past traumas and limiting beliefs. I wasn’t allowing myself the freedom to see both sides of everything. I was very stubborn and anxious, and everyone knew it.
Learning about energy work eventually led me to discover the chakras, which ultimately led me to reiki. I knew after receiving my first reiki healing session that I wanted to become a reiki practitioner. Little did I know the impact it would have on my decade long neck pain.
What is reiki?
Reiki is a spiritual healing practice that uses universal life force energy to promote relaxation and facilitate physical, mental, and emotional healing.
After searching the internet for a local reiki teacher, I landed on one and decided to call her in hopes that I could join the next reiki class. All the classes kept booking up before I could reserve a spot, but finally (due to divine timing) I was able to land a spot to become a certified Reiki I practitioner. I was so excited the day of our class. My expectations were wide open, and I knew deep down that this would be a transformative experience.
During the class, myself and my fellow students received an attunement so that we could properly channel the reiki energy. An attunement is akin to your car getting a tune-up. In order for anyone to be able to channel reiki, you needed the blessing, wisdom, and power of reiki infused with our own unique energetic signature from a reiki master. After my specific attunement I felt SO relaxed. My body felt heavy and I kept yawning. I asked, “Is this normal?” My reiki teacher said, “That is the feeling of being grounded. It’s unusual for you since you’re not used to it.”
I was shocked that feeling grounded felt like such a foreign feeling to me!
Shortly after our attunement session we had a break for lunch. I went outside to eat in silence, enjoying this “new” feeling. Unfortunately, it was short-lived. I had reentered the hustle and bustle of the world and started picking up on everything going on around me, instead of staying centered within my own being. Sadly, I went back into class feeling the jittery, anxious feeling I have become so accustomed too.
“I think I lost that feeling,” I said to my teacher. She came over to me and told me to just breathe. I felt her moving my head in a circular motion, allowing myself to let go and breathe. A couple minutes passed and she slowly stepped away. Immediately I felt a huge release from my neck and shoulders. I opened my eyes and started searching for the right words. “Did you just… unwind me?”, I asked in disbelief. My teacher simply looked at me and smiled.
I knew and she knew that years of being “wound up” had just unraveled.
Later that day, I came home and really noticed how different my neck felt. Before, I had problems tilting my head back, which effected my ability to do some yoga poses. My most recent chiropractor had explained that it was due to some trauma my neck experienced. But when I tilted my head back and lifted my chin up, my neck moved with no problem! I moved my neck from side to side and couldn’t believe how effortlessly it moved.
To confirm that what I was feeling was real, I set up an appointment with my chiropractor. I told him about my experience. To his amazement, he said my neck had freer range of motion AND the muscles felt different. “Different in a bad way?” I asked. “No, different in a good way. They are holding less tension.”
Ten years of chronic neck pain and all it took was a reiki master to physically and metaphorically unwind me during my Reiki Level I class. Currently I’m living without chronic neck pain and I rarely see my chiropractor now. Don’t underestimate the power of spontaneous healing. It’s powerful.
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Photo: Julia Caesar on Unsplash