In this second part of our interview with Jennifer Brinn, the Master level Reiki practitioner discusses how she uses Reiki to facilitate healing and help clients have a peaceful and comfortable death. She also talks about using Reiki to comfort someone who has had a loved one die.
Debra: Hi, Jennifer, welcome back. I really appreciate the time you’re taking with us.
Jennifer: You’re welcome!
Debra: Do you have any experience working with clients who are close to death?
Jennifer: Yes. During the AIDS epidemic, I worked in a hospice for people with AIDS. Most of our clients were poor. Some were also homeless. The clients’ needs varied upon their situation. One might express anxiety about how their family would manage without them. And others suffered physical pain or fear of death.
Debra: How did you respond to these problems?
Jennifer: Unlike some energy treatments, during which the practitioner directs the energy to a specific place on the body, Reiki practitioners do not send energy to a single spot. Instead, the energy is drawn by the client to the place where it is most helpful. Thus, the client moves towards a place where healing can occur.
Debra: How do you work with dying patients?
Jennifer: Sometimes I run my hands over the patient’s body, especially if they are not experiencing physical pain. If pain is a problem, I’ll usually run my hands about an inch or two above the patient’s body. I’ll always ask the patient about which method is more comfortable for them. The goals are to assist in healing by easing pain, relaxing the muscles and helping the client find a calm center.
Debra: How do you work with clients experiencing bereavement?
Jennifer: First, it helps to find out how the person is expressing their grief. Some people, for instance, appear anxious or tearful. Others may seem stoic or be in denial, while others engage in risky behaviors. Yet another reaction I see is laughter at seemingly inappropriate times.
Debra: How does Reiki help with grief?
Jennifer: The best way is to help the client find their center so they can respond to the loss with genuine emotion. Some people will try almost anything to avoid facing grief and pain. So it is important for the practitioner to remind the client that any response that does not harm them or anyone else is perfectly all right.
Debra: When my father died in March, my mother, my sisters, and I went to his memorial service. Just as we were about to leave, one of my sisters remembered something funny about Dad that sent us into gales of laughter. Is this an inappropriate response?
Jennifer: No. It sounds like you were centered and were easing your pain by sharing humorous memories, which is a perfectly reasonable response. That said, some people might disapprove of laughter at a funeral. If a close friend felt this way, you might want to explain why you were laughing. If it was merely an acquaintance, no explanation would be necessary.
Debra: Thank you, Jennifer. I really enjoyed learning more about Reiki.
Jennifer: You’re welcome. I enjoyed talking to you.
If you missed Part One of Jennifer’s interview, please read it here.