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  • Rachael Meyer, Humanist Celebrant


I'm all for opening my mind to new ways of thinking and new rituals. Not many people are used to dealing with the loss of a loved one so when I was looking for colleagues in the funeral industry to help me give a little insight into grief and the grieving process, I was put in touch with Yvonne Cookson, Reiki Master and Holistic Therapist in Harrogate. Yvonne's experience in emotional well being is highly regarded. She writes:

Many people suffer terribly with the persistent and debilitating emotional pain caused by grief. When traumatic events happen, such as the death of a loved one our energy gets stuck in causing emotional pain, and often resulting in physical ailments.

Looking after emotional health and spiritual well-being when we are grieving should be a priority as grief can stop our minds coping with the simplest of things; very like being in a constant fog. Our physical body can also go through immense stress leaving us feeling broken and showing physical symptoms such as:

· Headaches

· Insomnia

· Anxiety

· Loss of appetite

· Sickness

· Fatigue

· Heart palpitations

· Depression

So, what is Reiki?

Reiki (ray-key) is Japanese for ‘universal life energy’, or in other words a system of natural energy healing. It was founded by Mikao Usui in the early 20th century and evolved due to his research, experience, and dedication. It is a very powerful healing technique that can help with a multitude of emotional and physical problems as well as promote a sense of well-being.

Life energy plays an important and vital role in everything that we do, and Reiki can promote healing, relaxation, and a sense of calm.

There are different types of Reiki that anyone can enjoy in the normal course of their life, but it can also be used alongside other conventional or complimentary treatments to provide support physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

The Benefits of Reiki while grieving

As we know grief can affect us physically, but it is important to understand why. Every living thing needs energy to be healthy. Energy comes from a variety of sources such as food, from exercising and from being outside in nature.

Grieving can consume our energy and it needs to be replaced or balanced otherwise we will continue to feel worse and worse. After the death of a loved one, some people can feel their hearts physically aching and have similar symptoms to having a heart attack. Others may feel a heavy feeling in their stomachs like they’ve swallowed something dense and this can result in a constant feeling of sickness.

As humans, we are made up of energy so when the energy paths of the body are blocked or disturbed, the result can be illness, weakness, and pain.

Reiki energy knows where in the body to go to heal and it helps balance and strengthen the flow of energy within the body. This in turn may ease pain and muscle tension, improve sleep, and increase the body’s ability to heal itself. Energy flows through a Reiki practitioner’s hands and can enhances a person’s natural healing processes. Reiki provides us with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits through balancing our energy.

Some of the benefits of Reiki include:

· Promotes relaxation

· Improves sleep

· Reduces stress and tension

· Helps with pain management

· Reduces anxiety

· Helps with digestion

· Improves circulation

So why not consider trying Reiki. Don’t wait until you are grieving to receive its benefits. If you haven’t tried it and are grieving, Reiki can help you to stay well both physically and emotionally which is something we need after suffering any loss.

Typically, my clients achieve very noticeable results in their emotional pain and grief relief in their first Reiki session. They frequently call it “life changing” and “amazing” and report feeling lighter like a huge weight has been lifted from them.

Yvonne can be contacted at

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