When looking for a healing therapy to promote stress relief and relaxation, many people have chosen massage therapy as a helpful way to release muscle tension and to help the body and mind relax. There are a variety of styles of massage therapy, with differing amounts of pressure applied to the body, varying methods of movement, and focuses on different areas of the body. What massage techniques have in common is that they massage the physical body in some manner, normally using some type of manual pressure or stroking. Even when a therapist’s hands are not on the body, something else is, such as hot stones, massaging balls, or other items. These therapies tend to increase circulation to the areas massaged and help the body release tension and stimulate self-healing.
Another approach used for stress relief and relaxation is applying energy field therapies, such as Reiki. These therapies do not involve applying pressure or physical massage to the body. Much of the time they are applied without touching the physical body at all, as they are intended to work on the energetic level, which bridges the body and soul. Reiki and other energy based therapies may be applied by massage therapists and done in combination with massage therapy, or may be applied separately and offered by individuals not trained in massage therapy. Since energy therapies don’t involve physical manipulation of any kind and don’t require touch, they could be practiced by non-medical personnel, such as clergy or laypersons. Many Reiki practitioners and other energy healers work intuitively and use their own heightened sensitivity to non-physical energy to perceive where there are disturbances in the energy field of a client that need energetic rebalancing. These methods focus on rebalancing or refreshing the flow of spiritual life force energy rather than applying pressure on the physical body.
From a holistic, energetic perspective, the body, mind, and spirit are all layers of energy that are part of our being, and all are interrelated and influence one another. Thus, much of our energy is on the non-physical level. Consequently, in order to more directly promote healing and stress relief on those deeper levels, energy healing is a valuable resource. Therefore, massage and reiki complement one another, and reiki has the potential to bring stress relief and release to a deeper level if we consider the spiritual nature of who we are and look at the body as the surface layer of oneself when observed from the physical vantage point. Yet, if we look at things from a non-physical vantage point we could consider that the physical plane and the physical body are the deepest level of creative expression, and thus physical massage may access those aspects of one’s being more directly than energy therapies.
Since different people respond to physical touch and massage and to energy vibrations in different ways, some individuals may prefer massages while others may prefer energy healing therapies. Since both types of treatments have some similar benefits, it is worthwhile experiencing both massage and reiki if you are seeking to relieve stress and feel more healthy and balanced. Since most of the physical and psychological illnesses people experience are fostered or aggravated by stress, these tension relieving therapies can help many people experience improved health and well-being.