REIKI FOR BIRTH FEARS AND TRAUMA
Concerns during pregnancy can be a normal part of the process. When those concerns become fears that detract from, rather than add to, the health and safety of the pregnancy, it may be beneficial to address them. Cultural attitudes, family beliefs, and media portrayals of the nature of birth can play into fears. Excess fear, by its very nature, is counterproductive to the processes of pregnancy and birth.
EFFECTS OF EXCESSIVE FEAR DURING PREGNANCY AND LABOR
• Increases pain perception
• Can cause labor to slow or stop
• Decreases immune function
• Raises blood pressure and heart rate
• Can interfere with bonding
• Can increase the use of medical intervention
PAIN AND ANXIETY REDUCTION DURING LABOR
Because Reiki induces relaxation, it reduces the perception of pain and helps the laboring woman rest when necessary and conserves her energy during the physically challenging process of labor. Reiki can also help reduce blood pressure, allowing for vital oxygen and nutrients to reach the baby.
PREVIOUS TRAUMATIC BIRTH EXPERIENCE
Some women have found difficulty in adjusting to life and parenthood following a traumatic birth experience. Other women may be expecting another child and may want to work through the previous birth experience before going into labor again. Reiki can help the mother resolve lingering feelings and negativity from a previous experience.
HISTORY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT OR ABUSE
Birth is a personal and intimate process involving the same anatomical structures as those involved in sexual activity. The process of labor and birth can often unexpectedly trigger emotions and/or memories of previous sexual abuse or assault. Some women may not remember the abuse, but repressed memories stored in the body can be triggered during labor and birth. Reiki sessions geared towards possible triggers and corresponding coping mechanisms can help improve birth experiences.
PREGNANCY LOSS, ELECTIVE TERMINATION, STILLBIRTH, LOSS OF A CHILD
The loss of a pregnancy or the death of a child can be one of the most devastating life experiences. Women who have been deeply affected by loss can use Reiki to continue through the grieving process, find closure, or manage fears and concerns regarding a current or future pregnancy or birth. Reiki can also address the physical body and the effects of stress inherent to loss.