Val Kenney

My Story of how Reiki came into my life………

I was in my 20’s- working as a graphic designer and came across a one night information class about something called Reiki offered in Watertown MA. My boyfriend (now husband) was having on and off back pain- this was a chronic issue from a motorcycle accident years ago. I decided to go since Reiki might help him with his pain instead of pain medications.

I remember that the man doing the presentation seemed so honorable but what he was doing in some way seemed hokey- The details about the presentation I can’t remember. I thought about taking the class and decided that this Reiki seemed unbelievable and couldn’t really work. I decided not to take the class and the expense was part of my decision. I found out years later that man was John Harvey Gray. This was sometime in the mid 1980’s. It was not yet my time.

After working in Graphic Design and raising a family I worked as a private personal care assistant for a few clients- I decided that to become a nurse after realizing that I could desensitize my fear of needles, blood and wounds after assisting a surgeon in the ER with one of my clients with a deep dehisced abdominal wound. Graphic Design, although a glamorous profession no longer interested me- I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.

In my 40’s, I became a LPN, while working at a hospital I met a Respiratory therapist who was a Reiki practitioner. She told me a little about it and encouraged me to look into it further suggesting the practitioner she studied with. There was a one day event and Reiki was offered to patients- no one was signed up and I received my first Reiki treatment while sitting in a chair. One person worked on my head and another on my abdomen. I remember feeling heat in my abdomen and kept my eyes closed during the short session.

One day doing direct patient care I had a patient who was unresponsive- I positioned him and medicated him but wished that I had something more to offer for comfort. I decided it was time to take a Reiki class. After finding out Reiki I and II was offered for credit classes at the local Community College (North Shore Community College- Danvers MA) I decided at the college having 15 weeks of 3 hours class time as well as college credits would be my best path. I hoped college credits would have more recognition with the medical community and I could apply the credits else where in the future. I plan on pursuing a degree in integrative medicine and college credits could be used in some way and make my training have more validity.

After finishing my Associates RN I took Reiki I and then one year later Reiki II. I also took all the health and Wellness courses that where offered to complete the certificate offered by the college. My training included clinical time doing Reiki treatments as well as journal documented self treatments. For my learning needs this was the best way for me to learn and have a lot of Reiki experience. I volunteered for a bit at the Reiki Clinic and took part in different Reiki Shares (that is how I met Joanna). I still love to attend different Shares in different states with various practitioners. We all practice the same yet differently.

While at the hospital there was a patient who was not able to take pain medications but was in pain. I had permission of the family- 2 doctor’s orders and was told that I could not do any Reiki on her. I had volunteered this service on my own time at no cost but was told I was not hospital certified. I was told to stay out that patient’s room by a manager. I asked I could pray for her- I did pray but did not do long distance treatments since I felt ethically I was told not to do Reiki specifically. She passed and I hope had found some comfort somehow. One of the hospitals within the company I worked offered Reiki I and II with Libby Barnett. I signed up since I felt that if my organization offered it might have more validation with-in the organization. The best thing that I took away from that 2 day class was to just do Reiki. I feel that scanning doesn’t have a place in a medical setting and is probably what I saw John Harvey Gray doing that seemed hokey.

As a nurse- we do not diagnose, scanning in some ways feels like diagnosing to me and is out of my scope of practice when I am in a medical setting. Even outside with friends and family I do not feel comfortable sharing what I feel. Sometimes I feel nothing- many times I see colors and patterns. When I start to analyze what I see or feel my ego comes in. I remind myself that its Reiki- I am the conduit. At this point in my life I offer Reiki freely as a gift to those who need it with no monetary exchange. I make a good living as a nurse and can offer my time in exchange for a thank you or having someone feel better. I also have exchanged treatments for massages, baked good, hugs and toilet tissue( I was nearly out and the nearest store was 20 miles away- toilet tissue was welcomed).

Recently I attended the Common Ground Fair in Maine, ended up in the wrong lecture and, I and provided Reiki for surgery during pre-op and post-op while they had surgery in Massachusetts. It all fell into place as was planned. I was not allowed in the operating room but we are meeting with administration and talking about Reiki at Lahey Hospital in Burlington MA. The person having surgery is a Reiki practitioner and practicing Shaman, for him having Reiki was very beneficial spiritually for him. It was a wonderful experience and a opportunity for me. I have made a friend- I was meant to be in that class and be of service.

While at work, I spread the word of Reiki when the opportunity arises. Staff members (Doctors, Nurses, Physicians Assistants, Cases Managers and Aids) have received quick treatments. Usually I realize they are in distress and I offer and sometimes they come to me. I have them sit in a chair and stand behind them placing my hands on their shoulder. Two doctors have told me they would like to be attuned and a nurse manager at Lahey said she would like her nursing staff to be trained. I have been considering moving on to Reiki III –Masters now that I feel I’ve found my path to teach others in the medical profession. I’ve looked into different classes and when the time is right for me it will all fall into place as it always does.

I still do not wish to charge for treatments or training at this point. Spreading the word of Reiki for me is enough. I will talk this over with my original Reiki I and II teachers when the time comes. I feel my role is as a bridge between Allopathic and traditional medicine. Herbal medicine is my other passion. I am moving forward educationally towards a BSN and then Masters and further. I love to learn about the wonders and mysteries in our world. I thank those teachers who brought Reiki to me and those who enrich my knowledge about this peaceful modality. When I feel physical or mental discomfort Reiki is always there to sooth and comfort me. I am training now to become a Hospice Volunteer offering Reiki to those who need comfort.

Valeria Kenny, RN, CRRN