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Reiki and Stress Management for Children on the Autism Spectrum

From Autism Today: Reiki – This Japanese healing art can make a tremendous difference in the health of your family.

Many children on the autism spectrum may experience acute anxiety, fear and stress. The implications of this may create severe disruptions in both home life, such as insomnia, anxiety, loneliness, and at school such as lack of focus, over worry, and feeling stressed due to lack of social interaction. Reiki has been found to be very beneficial in assisting the child on the autism spectrum in letting go of anxiety and stress, creating a calming effect and allowing the child to feel a deep relaxation and peace. As a side benefit, reiki has shown to improve the child's sleep, they feel happier, improving concentration and well being.

Reiki is a subtle form of energy work, an ancient form of Japanese healing that works with the universal “life force energy” or reiki. The reiki practitioner allows the universal life force energy to flow through their hands and onto the child, which assists in activating a healing response in the child’s body. It is powerful, gentle, and non invasive as reiki can assist the body to return to balance and to promote health and well being by increasing the life force energy in the body.

The most successful reiki areas to reduce stress in the body and mind has been placing the hands on the head, as we hold a lot of stress and tension there, the heart as this is where we store our emotions, the stomach area, where a lot of anxiety and worry is held, and lower abdomen and feet, to bring us more in touch with our bodies and emotions.

Research has been done on the effects of reiki and children on the spectrum. In an article in Autism/Asperger’s Digest Magazine in 2000. Lewis Mehl Madrona- PHD- Coordinator for the integrative Medicine, University of Arizona, College of Medicine. Said the following:

“We have done a pilot study on reiki massage for autistic children. The preliminary results are encouraging, especially when the parents use the reiki along with visualization in between formal appointments with the therapist. The use of reiki by parents and therapist appears to encourage non verbal communication. Children are calmer and have less stimulation.”

Physician and author, Larry Dossey MD is the author of The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things, and New York Times Best Seller, Healing Words. He states: “reiki is increasingly incorporated into modern medicine because of one compelling reason, it works.” Reiki is a beneficial way of transforming stress into relaxation and balance and to enhance well being and positive energy.

Reiki is not a substitute for medical treatment but can be used in conjunction with medication and other therapies because it poses not side effects or complications.

To find a reiki professional visit the website for International Association of Reiki Professionals at:

Cress Spicer has over 25 years experience working in different school boards in the U.K and Canada working as a education assistant supporting the wonderful autistic children, over 10 years experience working with autistic children doing reiki classes and holding stress relief workshops for both children and adults on how to manage anxiety and stress. She is currently writing a book about children with autism.

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