Using Reiki to Reduce Anxiety in ASD Children

reiki and asd anxietyI am the mother of 3 boys, all with varying forms of ASD. Over the years I have been able to refine and adapt standard Reiki practices to accommodate the needs of each of them. Reiki have been useful in decreasing stress and anxiety for all my children, in helping them to sleep at night, and even in providing each with a level of control over their own emotions.

I have been using Reiki with my eldest son since he was a few years old and with the younger since they were born, and before.

Using Reiki With My Boys

a study in perseverence

Thing 1 and Reiki

My second son, called Thing 1 on the internet, has been exposed to energy healing work from before he was born. He would always try to get involved when I did Qi Gong, and would become angry enough to kick hard if I put a shield between him and the energy flow.

Once born, he had some of the hardest natural shields against healing energy that I have felt. I found 2 ways in though, through breastfeeding and through the vestigial umbilical connection. From birth he was very set in what he wanted, didn’t like sleep, and wasn’t at all happy that this little body he’d found himself in wouldn’t do what he wanted it to do. He didn’t become happy in fact until he finally figured out how to stand up and walk.

Sending Thing 1 Reiki was never straightforward because he did block against it and as he got older he began to shun physical contact. At least any physical contact that was not on his terms. If I tried to send Reiki through direct contact he would pull away and tell me to stop it! When I sent it from across the room however, he accepted the energy.

These days, he is more willing to accept direct contact Reiki, but it still have to be on his terms. He generally doesn’t want to lie down, he wants to sit up, and he can only tolerate it for a few minutes.

He has shown curiosity in Reiki and we’ve done simple games with energy movement and flow. In recent years he asked if he could learn Reiki for himself and over the course of several days we talked about how Reiki works and some of the ethics around using it, such as never using Reiki on someone who hasn’t said it was okay. He has now been attuned to Reiki 1, using direct and indirect attunement methods, and uses Reiki on himself and sometimes even on me.

Thing 2 and Reiki
Thing 2 is my little energy sponge. If it’s flowing, he’s there sucking it up. He has a thing for direct skin stimulation as well, so part of the work with him has been in teaching him that he can’t take energy from people all the time as well as appropriate and inappropriate ways of touching other people. When he is older, I will teach him Reiki Level 1 as well.

In the meantime, he likes the little games we play with energy. His favourite being the way I  use Reiki to remove ouchies. With his help I pull the hurt into my hand, and then he gets to blow it away.

decrease stress with reiki

Do’s and Don’ts When Using Reiki with ASD children

A few things I’ve figured out through trial and error

Let the child set the pace – when he wants to stop, then stop.
Children generally know when they have had enough.

Work within the child’s comfort zone.
Most ASD kids are not happy about lying down on a table or being in a strange place. Let the child sit and work with them that way and if possible use a space the child is familiar with and comfortable in.

Use indirect distance Reiki if the child does not tolerate physical contact. It creates more anxiety for the child if you try to force close contact.

Add in extra extra stimulations. Incense, essential oils, music. Many kids find that Reiki combined with other stimulations that affect the emotional centers are too much to handle.

Force the child to accept Reiki. Little and often is the key.

I’ve also seen it suggested that you try sending Reiki while the child is distracted, such as when he is playing a video game. My own experience has been that doing it at such times is more likely to set off an anger meltdown than to prevent one.

Better to try sending it indirectly a times when your child is relaxed, such as when he is sleeping; and, to try sending it directly during times when he is receptive to physical contact.



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