The value of cultural diversity reveals itself in so many ways. A group of inspired Reiki Masters and Reiki practitioners have brought this ancient Japanese healing modality to remote West Coast Nuu-chah-nulth communities. By introducing this practice, which was rediscovered and studied by Dr. Mikao Usui, these practitioners hope to open a gateway to traditional Native energy healing practices that have been lost or diminished over time.
The intent of the Nuu-Reiki project is to demonstrate compassion and support healing potential in communities that don’t have access to a full range of traditional and alternative medicine solutions. Reiki complements medical care and provides stress relief to people who have been challenged – emotionally, physically, culturally and spiritually – by changing times and past abuses.
Reiki has become a globally established practice; Reiki Master Martha Thomas, one of the leaders of the Nuu-Reiki Project, sees strong parallels between the traditions within the Nuu-chah-nulth communities and the Japanese healing techniques reintroduced by Dr. Usui. The project is designed to educate, empower and share healing techniques with those wanting to heal in local First Nation communities. By combining traditional teachings with Reiki, Thomas hopes to create a set of tools for spiritual development and self-healing that can have true resonance with local communities.
Many Nuu-chah-nulth community members have been haunted by past traumas of residential schools, removal from their families, and government policy intended to eliminate their traditional culture. While these stressful experiences may have taken place decades ago, the wounds remain in the form of physical illness, substance abuse, alienation, withdrawal or hostility. Reiki introduces a painless, personal coping tool to deal with the stress. The project will not stop at offering Reiki. It will eventually include teaching Reiki to build local capacity and create opportunity in the communities.
The Nuu-Reiki project is an example of what all communities can accomplish with an open mind and an open heart. We can all benefit from healing and transformation at different times in our lives – whether we are receiving it or helping others find it.