“Is it okay that I fell asleep?” you ask groggy-eyed and a little embarrassed after your Reiki treatment. “Yes, it’s fine you slept because that’s when healing and recovery from illness take place”, I respond.
If you fall asleep during your Reiki treatment it’s normal to wonder if the session was effective and if you received these benefits :
- increased energy levels
- a mental shift toward life challenges
- a clearer and calmer mind
- increased self-awareness
- and a reduction in physical pain
You may also wonder if it’s best that your mind is observant during your Reiki treatment as it is during meditation.
The good news is that:
- Reiki is still effective if you fall asleep during your treatment
- you don’t have to meditate to receive or practice Reiki
- Reiki has similiar benefits to meditation but is easier to practice
So what happens if you fall asleep during a Reiki treatment? If you fall asleep it’s an indication that you are able to let go of your mind and body and experience deep healing.
If you’re receiving Reiki to:
- stabilise your mind & emotions
- connect to yourself & something greater than yourself that you’re a part of
- increase your energy levels
- or for extra support during physical illness or injury
you have a much better chance of regaining balance once your system is given an opportunity to relax and restore.
Reiki activates your parasympathetic nervous system (the system responsible for regulating your digestion, slowing your heart rate and lowering your blood pressure), and creates an optimum environment for healing to take place. True recovery and healing takes place when you’re relaxed. So you needn’t worry if you’ve fallen asleep during your Reiki treatment.
Over the past 15 years, I’ve received different types of body-focused treatments including massage, Reiki, shiatsu, osteopathy and kinesiology. It’s only during a Reiki treatment that my mind, body, and spirit completely relaxes. Sometimes my own snoring wakes me up, even if I’m lying face-up on the table. I often joke with students and patients saying that if they fall asleep when receiving Reiki they receive 6/10, if they snore they receive 8/10 and if they dribble they receive 10/10.
Similarly, if you’ve learnt Reiki and you fall asleep during your self- Reiki practice it’s because you need to. We spend a lot of energy attending to the needs of our family, friends, and co-workers. Life can be fast-paced and you could also be experiencing burnout symptoms such as physical and emotional exhaustion. Thankfully, your self-Reiki practice:
- restores you to balance
- revitalises your energy
- connects you back to yourself
so you can better manage the demands of daily living.
So what are the similarities and differences between Reiki practice and meditation? There are a few so I’ll just focus on two.
One of the main differences is that if you fall asleep when receiving Reiki, the treatment is as effective as if you remain awake. Unlike in meditation, sleep isn’t an indication that you’re not getting the most out of the practice. One of the “aims” of meditation is to focus the mind on a single subject such as the breath and to remain wake during the practice. Whereas, Reiki meets your deepest need. If you fall asleep your subconscious need for rest, healing and recuperation is being met.
One of the main similarities between meditation and Reiki is that like meditation Reiki can be a method for realising your true nature which is kind, peaceful and stable. Reiki and meditation both help you to become more aware of what you think and how you behave. By receiving Reiki, or doing self-Reiki treatments, you begin to cultivate patterns of behaviour that are beneficial for yourself and others and practice letting more harmful ones go. This doesn’t take effort, it happens naturally.
Of course, if you happen to be awake during your Reiki treatment, or when doing your self-Reiki practice, you may notice:
- Where does my mind wander to?
- What thoughts and feelings am I experiencing?
- How do certain parts of my body feel?
Practice noticing whatever thoughts and emotions you experience without judgment and then practice letting them go.
Staying awake during Reiki sessions or falling asleep are both valid approaches to Reiki practice because Reiki meets your underlying need which changes moment to moment and day to day.