Elise Brenner

Imagine visiting New York City for the first time in your life, but you are not able to look at thrilling architectural sights beyond the first floor. Imagine accompanying excited children to the playground, but you are not able to watch your own children swoop with glee on the swings or squeal with delight on the merry-go-round. Imagine that everyday tasks, such as dusting and doing laundry, are minefields with disaster looming with each turn of the head. This puzzling set of challenges is what individuals suffering from inner-ear balance disorders, known as vestibular disorders, face every day.

For two decades I battled a vestibular disorder which interfered with my daily activities and created serious anxiety. I faced constant uncertainty; not knowing what wrong move I might make would set off an “episode.” An “episode” for me went something like this: I either wake up in the morning with the room spinning, or I engage in an activity during the day that sets off dizziness. The dizziness soon induces nausea. The nausea, in turn, causes vomiting. At this point, whatever people or places were supposed to fill my day, were completely over for me. All I could do was to sit completely still, perhaps moaning a bit, between bouts of vomiting. Despite attempts at various medications and techniques, the scenario may well end with a trip to the emergency room due to severe dehydration.

Biomedical interventions through the years provided occasional relief, but were never a guarantee that an agonizing day would not ensue. The anxiety in my life at that time centered not around job or family, but on whether I would get through the day, week, and month without a horrifying dizzy-nausea-vomiting episode. I can recall many frantic moments making phone calls, during which I could barely speak, to get a substitute instructor or to otherwise inform co-workers and employers that I was too ill to work. Needless to say, sufferers from vestibular disorders endure chronic and physical and emotional symptoms from which most folks are blessedly shielded.

The gift of Reiki and a reprieve from my own vestibular disorder came into my life in an unexpected way, as is common to many Reiki practitioners and clients. I loved every moment of every hour of my Reiki Level 1 class. The initiations felt natural to me; they felt like something for which I had always been waiting. I began self-treatments immediately, and have not missed a day ever since. One day, perhaps a month or two later, I stopped short in the middle of an ordinary day and suddenly realized I had not experienced a dizzy-nausea-vomiting episode for quite some time. I thought to myself, “could it be the Reiki?” I tried to work out the timing of my Reiki 1 class and the apparent cessation of my vestibular disorder symptoms. Well, the timing sure seemed about right. Still, despite the facts that stared me in the face, the “scientific me” was still looming over the “Reiki me”, being skeptical about the whole thing. I persisted in my self-treatments and the months without any symptoms of dizziness rolled by. I thought about the balancing effects of Reiki and considered that the self-treatments had literally balanced me! I did not suddenly flirt with danger, and run outside to do somersaults on the lawn or trek out to Six Flags to hit the giant roller coaster, but my daily trepidation and anxiety had melted away along with the vestibular disorder symptoms. To this day, I am free of this condition and continue to practice daily self-Reiki.

Not only did Reiki practice and meditation provide dramatic relief from the vestibular disorder, my daily practice continued to bring many other lasting benefits. I teach at a college full of students with virulent forms of colds and flus, yet, since practicing Reiki, I have been free of the usual twice-a-semester colds for about a decade. Similarly, it is extremely rare for me to experience even a mild headache now, despite the fact that I had a twenty-year history of migraine headaches. Perhaps the most transformative effects of my Reiki practice have been on the mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. But that, my friends, is the enticing seed of another Reiki Story.

Elise Brenner

eliseb@rcn.com

Brenner Reiki Healing