Sei heki is an under-explored and under-estimated part of Reiki.
In Jikiden Reiki the psychological or ‘sei heki’ treatment is done quite differently from the physical treatments. Taught in the Okuden part of the training, sei heki can seem a little overwhelming at first as there are some key things practitioners must learn before embarking on sei heki practice.
However, in reality, it only takes a few committed sessions with pen and paper and some regular repetition of the Japanese kototama sentences (or mantra) and you have it down - for life! I’ve had a 79 year old student tell me she didn’t think she could do it with her ‘well-used’ brain only to find that after she practiced, she could! She’s now delighted to be able to use it whenever and wherever she wants.
Sei heki can be used to help yourself or others with patterns or habits you want to move through, such as procrastination or indecisiveness. It is used to help move through fears or phobias and it can be used to help with longer term or more serious issues, addictions and trauma.
What I love about the sei heki treatment in Jikiden Reiki is it’s directness. It doesn’t mess about. It’s not there to sugar-coat and just make you feel temporarily better, it’s there as enormous support and as an effective catalyst for you to go through definite changes you want to make in your life.
Some key things I have come to understand about sei heki are:
It’s not a miracle one-off treatment
You can never tell how many treatments will be needed in advance
It brings up the layers underneath your issue
It's different from the Western idea of healing
It works with your life - trust the bigger picture
1 It’s not a miracle one-off treatment
While one treatment of physical Reiki or sei heki can have profound effects, to really eliminate something from the body, or to move through a psychological pattern, more treatments are needed. If you are working with a phobia or an addiction such as smoking or alcohol, it is much more likely to be many months of regular treatment than a few every now and then. If you stick it out and commit, it’s worth it! One of my students used sei heki to help a boy with autism who was experiencing violent outbursts. She sent him sei heki every day for three months to get such incredible results. You can learn more about that here if you listen to the audio testimonial.
2. You can never tell how many treatments will be needed in advance
We often say we’d like to make changes in our lives, but are not yet completely on board. If that’s the case, sei heki will help, but the first period of treatment will help the person to come to a place of truly wanting to make change - then from there, it begins to work on the issue itself. There is no way of knowing how long something will take. It could be six treatments for one person and six months of treatments for another. It will work in harmony with the individual, where they are in their life and what serves them best.
3. It brings up the layers underneath your issue
In Jikiden Reiki, sei heki is done using the symptom you are experiencing. However, if, for example, what you’re wanting to move through is panic attacks, there is clearly something causing them. Sei heki works on the layers underneath the symptom to help bring out whatever is needed to be seen or felt in order to move through the experience. Often this happens without the person noticing much other than a decrease in the symptom. However, sometimes, whatever is underneath will come up clearly for the person to look at. As this happens, you can continue with both sei heki treatments and physical Reiki to support the person as they make the changes necessary. In my experience this happens gently and the benefits of continuing treatment are evident.
4. It's different from the Western idea of healing
Sei heki is essentially working on the deeper mental and emotional levels inside in order to help move you through the layers of ‘stuff’ that stand in the way of you living life freely. In other words, as Usui said, it is going to help you free yourself to live ‘with the mind of buddha’. This means that you are living closer to the essence of you - your soul or ‘tamashi’ is increasingly revealed as you move through the (beautiful!) junk you have collected along your way.
In the West, we have tended to be more drawn to treatments that relax us, promise us angelic feelings of other worlds and (we hope) make things painless for us.
In the original Japanese Reiki, there is an understanding that we are responsible for our lives and also our healing. It’s more of a ‘roll up your sleeves and see what’s really going on here’ kind of thing, Feeling the pain is often an important part of healing. We don’t lie back and let someone else do the healing for us - instead we become empowered and realise we are the ones we have been waiting for.
Because of the nature of Reiki, the sweet feeling that we are held and that everything is ultimately okay, is also there to support us through.
5. It works with your life - trust the bigger picture
Over the years I have observed what happens when people commit to using sei heki to support a big change in their lives. Sometimes it's a smooth ride all the way. However, when using sei heki for bigger, more ingrained patterns or habits, it can be necessary to strap yourself in for the longer haul - and it’s worth it. It’s important to look at the changes in terms of the whole picture. Often, the habit or addiction will move in a kind of wave-like ebb and flow, yet always in the direction of your desired outcome. It's helpful to look at the bigger picture along the way and trust that movement is happening
Kicking addiction with sei heki.
I have a student who was addicted to smoking marijuana. After taking the course and gaining a few years experience using Reiki, she decided she was ready to use sei heki to help her kick the addiction. She teamed up with another Jikiden Reiki practitioner and they agreed to send each other sei heki treatment every day for 30-45 minutes. (This is often a good way to do it as we tend to commit to sending to others more easily than giving to ourselves.)
At first she noticed she didn’t want to smoke as often - little changes. Then, she started to see things differently when she did. It wasn’t as much fun. It didn’t stop the difficult emotions in the way it used to. She began to realise she was smoking in order to cope with long-held feelings from childhood.
The first few months, she was smoking less, realising more, but still unable to quit. The next few months something changed. She stopped smoking. However, now she had to deal with the feelings she had been avoiding. Reiki and friends helped her go through this (of course if someone feels it necessary, therapy can help alongside this).
Then she understood for the first time that she had the strength to do this, and she wanted more in her life than to put herself into a haze to avoid feelings.
She relapsed a few times - but was able to see the bigger picture when it happened. Each time she did, a new understanding occurred for her. She noticed she was smoking but didn’t really want to. She stopped again within a week. The next time she smoked when a difficult situation came up in her life, it didn’t help, plus she didn’t like it and after smoking once, threw the rest away. Now she had to find healthier ways to move through feelings - and gradually she did. The relapses were part of healing the addiction.
Whenever things got tough and the urge came up, she gave herself sei heki for avoiding/fear of feeling emotions right then and there until it passed.
She started playing music and doing art. Whenever feelings were overwhelming, she wrote and wrote whatever was in her head - then burned it to let it go. Eventually, she cut the number of sei heki treatments down until she was able to stop altogether. Two years after starting those treatment swaps she has no desire to smoke and no fear that a tough situation will make her reach for the addiction as a prop any more.
Sei heki can be the catalyst and the support for making huge changes in life.